It’s really easy to hate on Thomas Kinkade. His landscape paintings, which boasts themselves as “paintings of light,” are dull, wooden, and nearly all the same. Wholly uninteresting, Kinkade’s paintings beg to have a little pizzaz added to them. Luckily, artist Jeff Bennett has solved this problem. He’s added the Star Wars Imperial Forces to Kinkade’s work. Storm Troopers, Star Destroyers, and more invade the candle-lit houses, babbling brooks, and flower gardens. Houses are set on fire and landscaping is trampled. And, throughout it all, you are cheering for the historically “bad guys.”
Bennett’s keen Photoshop skills allow him to seamlessly integrate the two worlds, making them believable and thus very entertaining. In a way, this series mimics the typical good vs. evil story. The exception is that who we perceive as good and evil is turned on its head. You’d think that tranquil Thomas Kinkade paintings would be harmless. But think again. Kinkade, with his lowest common denominator work, overpriced and mass produced chachkies, and greed (in 2006, his company was convicted of defrauding two Virginia gallery owners), is really the bad guy in this scenario. The Imperial Forces are helping destroy banality. (Via Adweek).
Caleb Charland (previously featured here and here) newest photography project features mesmerizing light displays using mostly fruit, a nail, copper wire, and the long exposure technique. These organic batteries produce enough of a current for Charland to capture the light’s illumination in these long exposure photographs.
“My current body of work, Back to Light, expands upon a classic grade school science project, the potato battery. By inserting a galvanized nail into one side of a potato and a copper wire in the other side a small electrical current is generated. The utter simplicity of this electrical phenomenon is endlessly fascinating for me. Many people have had the experience of drawing power from fruit in the classroom, and it never ceases to bring a smile to the face or a thought to the mind. This work speaks to a common curiosity we all have for how the world works as well as a global concern for the future of earth’s energy sources…my hope is that these photographs function as micro utopias by suggesting and illustrating the endless possibilities of alternative and sustainable energy production. The cycle that begins with the light of our closest star implanting organic materials with nutrients and energy, is re-routed in these images, Back to Light, illuminating earth once again.” (via this isn’t happiness)
New York City-based artists’ collective Mosstika cleverly reintroduces the jungle to the urban by covering ordinary steel and concrete surfaces with green, living graffiti made of real live grass and moss. The eco-minded, guerilla street artists primarily operate within New York City, the ultimate urban jungle. The collective is led by artist Edina Tokodi whose own Japanese Zen-inspired installations explore the interconnectedness of nature and the humanmade, inorganic world.
About its creations the collective says: “We believe that if everyone had a garden of their own to cultivate, we would have a much more balanced relation to our territories. It is with this notion in mind, that we at Mosstika, aim to collide the worlds of art and nature, creating havens of unexpected greenery, within the colder harsher environment. Together we aim to give green guerrilla tactics a new twist by creating works meant to be touched, in turn aiming to touch the souls of all that pass by. We strive to call back to mind a more playful existence, returning man to nature, even among the barren patches of urban existence.”
(via Visual News)
Andy Freeberg‘s “Art Fare” series is currently on view at Kopeikin Gallery in Culver City, CA. The series captures gallery owners and artists, usually hidden behind desks and gallery walls, in plain sight at major art fairs. Simultaneously “real-life” and narrative drama, the photos depict the business of the art world in stark, natural light. The results are humorous, seedy, and honest.
The exhibition is up until October October 27th. See more photos from the show after the jump.
Images courtesy of Andy Freeberg and Kopeikin Gallery.
Last week we launched the Colt 45 + Beautiful/Decay Art “Works Every Time” Design Competition, and have been getting in some killer designs! You can visit the Gallery to check out a few of the latest. To refresh your memory, the winner gets a whopping $1000.45 (clever, right?) and, along with nine runners up, a gallery show curated at Synchronicity Gallery. This is a great opportunity to stuff your pockets with the green stuff as well as further your art careers, whether it’s your big break or a great exhibition for your resume. You can visit our Colt 45 + B/D microsite to find full details as well. The competition will be fierce- be sure to enter! April 15th deadline- read full rules, regulations and how to enter HERE!
Olivia Locher might just be 21 years old but her photography has a level of sophistication that you don’t often see at such a young age. Creating layered and complex narratives Olivia takes us on a surreal journey where young girls are stacked in corners like dolls, marshmallows are stuffed down your pants, and pretty girls and pretty flowers are wrapped in plastic to keep them beautiful for eternity.
Tova Mozard’s works elicit the uncanny feeling of cinematic conflation and collapse. They’re like stills straight out of dreams you can’t remember, surrealist, hallucinatory, at times slightly comedic in their implausability. They all, somehow, seem to deal with mortality, what lays behind the curtain, absence, death, the supernatural…there is a haunting Lynch-ian tendency that I like too. In particular I love her photo after the jump of Pappy and Harriet’s restaurant, in Joshua Tree…a cheery bbq joint with country bands I have been to many a time…though I almost didn’t recognize it as Mozard makes it look like an ominous place from a horror movie. Many look like lost out-takes from Twin Peaks (she did name her solo exhibition after the Giant’s message to Agent Cooper….”the owls are not what they seem.”) I also like her ’cause she’s Swedish. Unsettling and seductive.
Adam Voorhes, a photographer residing in Texas, has released an amazing book documenting 100 extremely rare, damaged, and malformed human brains. This book, called Malformed: Forgotten Brains of the Texas State Mental Hospital, was released this November through PowerHouse books. As Voorhes’ work shows, there is an aesthetic beauty to the contours and shape of a brain that only add to the intrinsic mystery surrounding them. Through a twist of fate, Voorhes gained access to a medical niche and has built a body of work that will prove to be historically priceless. His project created a detailed photographic archive of the brains that has led to a new, revitalized interest from the medical community. Scientific journals have voiced intrigue and the researchers at the University of Texas at Austin are now producing MRI’s of these brains, which will be displayed in their new medical school.
Voorhes explains how he came into this subject:
“I had been sent to the University of Texas’ Animal Resources Center to borrow a brain to photograph for a magazine article. I was shown through a laboratory into a storage closet filled with human brains stacked in jars from floor to ceiling, two rows deep. All told, there were more than 100 rare specimens extracted from former patients at Texas’ state mental hospital in Austin, and all displayed distinct abnormalities. Each jar had been labeled with a date, an observation in archaic Latin and a case number.
I took the brain I’d been assigned and returned to my studio to work, but I quickly became preoccupied with the vision of this decaying collection. I wanted to know more about the donors, their quality of life and experiences. The gravity of what I’d seen haunted me. The thought of cataloguing the collection and preserving it with my camera became an obsession.
Eventually, my photography team and I were granted access to the lab. Uninterrupted and unsupervised, we donned respirators and heavy gloves. Over the course of two days in the locked research facility, we documented the collection. The history of these brains remained unknown, however. Although the descriptive text on some of the jar labels had faded or worn away, most had corresponding case numbers. Those case numbers referenced medical records, and those records became my secondary obsession.
In over my head, I collaborated with journalist Alex Hannaford to track down the story behind the brains. As he pored through archaic documents and tracked every available lead, he uncovered not only the history of the collection, but also the unfortunate loss of nearly half the original specimens. Our hope for this project is to help preserve the remaining portion and foster greater interest in its beauty, historical importance and medical value.” (via Slate)