Austrian-born artist Alois Kronschlaeger creates work that exists at the intersection of art and architecture. He is interested in environment and light, and in exploring time and space via geometry. Often referring to his works as “architectural interventions,” Kronschlaeger is fascinated by the way viewers rearrange themselves within a space occupied by one of his interventions.
At times Kronschlaeger’s work feels surreal, as with Habitat, a large-scale installation in the Mammal Hall of the former Grand Rapids Public Museum. For Site:Lab 2012 Kronschlaeger created what he called “a very awkward imagery of juxtaposition.” He took the existing landscape of 27 habitat dioramas built in the mid-20th century and incorporated contemporary architectural interventions. The impact of the combination of the organic and the geometric was strange and disorienting. A viewer wonders about what is real and unreal, an inquiry that requires the him to further analyze his experience.
At other times Kronschlaeger’s work feels like pure science fiction, as with Spire, the massive installation he did for Site:Lab in 2011. For this work Kronschlaeger’s installation occupied three floors of an abandoned commercial building in downtown Grand Rapids. The work took over six weeks to create and the finished project was a grand demonstration of Kronschlaeger’s interest in environment, light and the ways new materials can revive and transform a space.
Kronschlaeger furthers his inquiries in his less dramatic works as well, such as his skylights, wall pieces and smaller sculptures, which I am particularly drawn to. This fall he will finish a large work at MOCA Tuscon (see video below), and will then head to Beijing where he will create another site-specific structure.
Generic Art Solutions is a duo made up of artists Matt Vis and Tony Campbell. The two artists comment on present day anxiety by re-imagining classic paintings. Their photographs are carefully staged, often to resemble classic works of art. Their images are clearly populated with subjects, clothing, and settings that are all modern. However, the compositions immediately bring to mind the paintings of Caravaggio, Goya, and Marat. Perhaps a reason the images of the classic artwork and re-imagined in the duo’s photographs are still relevant is because people have never moved beyond the anxieties and problems that plagued us centuries ago. The gallery statement for their upcoming exhibit at Miami’s Mindy Solomon Gallery expounds on that point:
“The work of Generic Art Solutions (whether it be a photograph, performance, video, or print) begins with a thoughtful re-examination of the human condition, and the effect of recurring cycles of technological advancements and cultural awakenings. But, how much has mankind really evolved? Aren’t we essentially still making the same mistakes? According to the artists, it would certainly seem so. Compare Gericault’s famed painting ‘The Raft of the Medusa,’ 1819, to the G.A.S. representation of Deepwater Horizon’s oil spill in April 2010, as depicted in their photographic work ‘The Raft’ (2010): these two artworks portray shockingly similar tales of human suffering brought on by corporate greed. Or, take Delacroix’s ‘Liberty Leading the People’ commemorating the French Revolution in 1830, and the perpetual revolutionary uprisings of the Arab Spring as seen in G.A.S.’s ‘Liberty,’ 2011. The artists state: “However evolved we may think we are, the folly of human behavior is still the root of all societal (dis)functions. This is a sobering thought that demands attention. But there is a message of hope in these contemporary homages: through thoughtful reexamination and a commitment to change, we can break the cycle of repeating our mistakes.”
Nøne Futbol Club is a duo of Paris based artists. They work in a wide variety of mediums and forms from video to installation. However, nearly all of their work seems to be tied together by a certain mischievous sense of humor. Though not always overtly political, the duo’s art is definitely subversive. For example, consider Lift a Finger, the first piece pictured here. The maneki-neko, usually a statuette of a welcoming or beckoning cat suddenly becomes hostile with a simple change of hand gesture. The pharase “KEEP WARM BURNOUT THE RICH” is turned into a branding iron. The implement not only burns, but more importantly is a tool for displaying and designating ownership.
Nicolas Rosette goes onto describe the duo’s practice saying:
“Nøne Futbol Club is a duo that is capable of mobilizing as many accomplices as necessary to make their works and performances.
The playful component is inseparable from their creative process which tackles the world like a playground for the expression of an art whose nature has continually bordered on the cellophane of the white cube and the great palaces must take the risk of being a mass distribution product. The recursive principle in their work is reversal. It is not about diverting elements from pop culture(or popular culture, the term changing depending on whether this culture comes to us from one side or the other of the Atlantic Ocean) but of a reversal whose final address is always popular culture. A double inversion, whose process of revelation reflects back to us as in a mirror the possible destiny of an art world which has become less subtle than the current popular media cultures; whose practices of critical and jubilatory diversions are the foundation. Would the Nøne Futbol Club be applying to contemporary art what digital cultures have subjected Chuck Norris, the pope and Darth Vader to?”
Adela Andea’s light installations and sculptures seem otherworldly. They almost feel organic, reminiscent of vivid underwater scenes, but the lights, wires and other tech that make them seem more like alien landscapes. The Romanian-born, Texas-based artist seeks to explore the line between actuality and virtual reality. Weaving LED and CCL lights with pulsing electrical components Andea creates installations that transport a viewer to a place where art becomes experience, and that experience is all encompassing.
Andea likes to think of her work as incorporating many layers of truth. She embraces the possibility that there isn’t one reality, and her work strives to capture that notion visually. With the fast and overwhelming advancement of technology, Andea’s installations represent the dialogue between people and new technologies. The desire for a viewer to have a personal experience with her work, but to also think about the way that information can be manipulated to form one’s notion of reality is the driving force behind her complex installations.
In her artist statement Andea writes: “The numerous transitions in my life made me think about the enormous capability of people to adapt to situations and even more, search for the new possibilities of personal development through inquisitive experiences.” A witness to the Romanian Revolution in 1989, and eventually forced to immigrate to the United States in 1999, Andea is certainly qualified to make work that comments on the experience of experiences.
Her work is currently on view at the Texas Biennale, now through November 9th at the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas.
It is almost difficult to believe that these self-portraits by Spanish Eloy Morales are oil paintings. His oil painting are generally executed on large panels such as the one above. Morales carefully blends colors and layers to flawlessly recreate his portraits. He nearly seems to consider each painting a separate test of his abilities. Morales is known to write notes prior to a painting of goals to meet that he felt weren’t met on a previous work. However, there is more to his work then a simple recreation of a photorgaph. Morales explains in Poets and Artists Magazine:
“I am interested in working on reality through the use of pictorial codes, previously understanding that it is a false relation and I always keep in mind that painting is an independent expression. Finding a meeting point that truly represents my vision keeps me going on painting.” [via ignant]
The paintings of Victor Castillo have a unique eerie style. He began drawing from a young age inspired by cartoons, comics, and album covers. Castillo finally attended art school but found himself disillusioned with his time there. After leaving school he spent some time working with an experimental art collective in his native country of Chile. Next Castillo relocated to Barcelona, Spain. It is in Barcelona that his signature style solidified.
His painted world are most noticeably populated by children wearing clown-like masks: a red nose protrudes from a white face and any eyes are conspicuously absent. Though the masks smile, there is something disturbingly insincere about the expressions. Castillo carefully sets up each scene of his paintings almost as a sort of visual parable. A small narrative unfolds hinting at a larger message. Political themes such as greed or abuse of power begin to emerge within the symbolism of each piece. Castillo makes use of narrative tools often found not only in painting, but also comics. A statement from a past solo exhibit at the Jonathan Levine Gallery further explains the symbolism behind his paintings:
“In this exhibition, Castillo’s allegorical visions of the current socio-economic world crisis come in the form of spooky children’s tales. Through acrylic works on canvas and drawings on paper, his cast of masked, hollow-eyed children serve as a vehicle to convey ominous narratives of survival, greed and indoctrination. Inspired by vintage animation, his paintings are like theatrical sketches of tragicomic situations. With cartoon-like figures in the foreground and lush, classical landscapes in the background, Castillo’s dramatic baroque lighting completes the effect of exposing corrupted innocence.”
“I heard my song at Whole Foods like a half an hour ago… this is weird”, said Montreal’s Cœur de Pirate, aka Béatrice Martin who performed this past weekend in LA at the El Rey Theatre in front of a very enthusiastic crowd. At only 23 years old, she already has two award winning LP’s under her belt and three new nominations from the ADISQ (Association québécoise de l’industrie du disque, du spectacle et de la vidéo) this year, and she was invited to perform at the Francofolies first American event, A Tribute to Édith Piaf at New York’s Beacon Theatre tonight. I was more than happy that the busy young singer/songwriter graciously sat down with me to chat before her LA debut.
“It’s my first California tour, I did Portland and Sasquatch about a year ago when I was still pregnant so that was intense”. ”I wasn’t expecting such a turn out” she says about her show at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall the night before. “I thought 3 people were gonna show up… it was packed… people that don’t know French and they’re just singing… it was really nice so I’m excited about tonight”.
Artist Eyal Gever mixes two and three dimensions to capture the movement of destruction. For these installations Gever begins with a three dimensional model of an explosion that is split into ten layers. The layers are transformed into inkjet prints on acrylic, hung, and lit from underneath. Combining the ten layers gives the piece a strange sort of depth and seems to freeze time. Viewing the sculpture, though motionless, you begin the anticipate the motion and unfolding of the explosion as if it were a running algorithm. Gever explains the technology and concept behind his work saying:
“My sculptures are created from software I have developed. I am influenced by the destructive impact within our environment. Uncontrollable power, unpredictability and cataclysmic extremes are the sources for my work. They inspire, fascinate and remind me of the constant fragility and beauty of human-life. Beauty can come from the strangest of places, in the most horrific events. My art addresses these notions of destruction and beauty, the collisions of opposites, fear and attraction, seduction and betrayal, from the most tender brutalities to the most devastating sensitivities. I oscillate between these opposites. Using my own proprietary 3D physical simulation technologies, I have developed computational models for physical simulation, computer animation, and geometric modeling. Combining applied mathematics, computer science, and engineering, my work captures and freezes catastrophic situations as cathartic experiences.”
Check out the videos above and after the jump to see how the three dimensional images are sliced.