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Book Artist, Jody Alexander

WRAPPEDWORDS001 I am in awe of Jody Alexander… one could spend hours sifting through a single work by this book & installation artist. Librarian by day, book & installation artist by night, the Santa Cruz artist is incredibly detailed in her execution – teetering on the obsessive – and sparks in the onlooker, a childlike curiosity.

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Janis Straupe Carves An Exquisite Cabinet In The Shape Of An Enormous Beetle

Janis Straupe - WoodenJanis Straupe - Wooden

Janis Straupe - Wooden

Latvian artist Janis Straupe carves intricate and detailed wooden creations that experiment with functionality and design. Working in wood for over thirty years, he builds wooden sculptures as well as highly unique wood furniture. Although built from the very traditional material wood, his works are incredibly contemporary and creative in design, like his cabinet that resembles a giant beetle. The two side cabinet doors open up as wings or the shell of the beetle, while the top drawer is part of the head. There are so many little compartments that are located in every nook and cranny of the cabinet. This beetle-cabinet exhibits incredible design while still remaining practical and functional.

Janis Straupe’s work displays incredible craftsmanship, as his beetle cabinet is hand made. Insects being a theme that often comes up in Straupe’s work, he also has a series of enormous, larger than life spiders. The artist constructed several large, wooden spiders that stand up on all eight legs, towering over your head. One even has its legs sprawled out against the wall, as if to climb up to begin a web. Humungous insects carved out of wood are Janis Straupe’s specialty. (via Bored Panda)

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Han Xiao’s Portraits Have Garbled Faces

Han Xiao - Painting portrait painting portrait painting portrait painting
Han Xiao‘s portraits show people with garbled faces, expressing themselves with thick swirls of paint instead of a pleading frown. Citing Francis Bacon as a major influence, she channels her inspiration through the tangled emotions and shocks of color in her paintings.
“The major themes I pursue include life, conflict, confrontation of odd shapes in the social environment, and the contradiction behind the reality,” Xiao says. The contradiction she seeks to portray seems to come from within her subjects, their identities marred by some kind of disconnect between their inner and outer selves.
Xiao’s work has been described as having “a kind of loneliness and faint anxiety,” but the sense of violent desperation is offset by the fact that these people seem to want to be heard. The brushstrokes are frenetic and intense, but they are also trying to communicate something — ultimately, they are trying to connect. (via I Need a Guide)

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Keith Lemley’s Eerie, Neon Ax Installation Explores Memories Of The Forest

Keith Lemley - Installation Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 8.07.49 PM Keith Lemley - Installation

Keith Lemley is an American artist who builds sculptural, light-based installations that explore the crossroads between nature and technology. Featured here is “The Woods,” comprising a dimly-lit room with illuminated axes lain against chopping logs and cracked cement walls. The scene is eerie yet serene, mixing bright-light modernity with the dark, cobwebbed corners of rustic life. The lights bring a sense of warmth and presence where there is otherwise cold stillness, calling upon our own memories of the forest while also estranging them with urban glamor. In the following statement, Lemley describes his desire to transcend time and environmental boundaries:

“My work is about seeing the unseen—the invisible presence which exists in our minds and surrounds all objects, experiences, and memories. Working in my studio in rural Appalachia, I have developed a keen interest in being part of and observing natural systems, time and the process of life and death, and an aesthetic sensibility synthesizing the organic and the machine.” (Source)

Other works by Lemley similarly explore the beauty of the natural world, manifesting it beyond normative representations; “Arboreal” is a speculation on the geometry inherent in nature, whereas “Past Presence” uses light to enhance the ragged dynamism of driftwood. Lemley’s goal is to shift our perspectives on the environment, and he does so by fulfilling the adventurous spirit and infusing physical images with the resonance of personal experience. Lemley’s installations renew familiar landscapes with meaning and excitement; as he writes, “one [ultimately] walks away more self aware and delighted in everyday visual ephemera and the experience of being a living, breathing being” (Source).

Visit Lemley’s website to view more. (Via The Jealous Curator)

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Studio Visit: Aaron Johnson

aaron sitting in front of 2 new paintings Aaron Johnson’s sunny Brooklyn studio is full of riotous, colorfully undulating, larger-than-life monsters.   He’s getting ready for a show that opens next week.  Luckily, he had some paintings in progress so we can see how he puts his paint on.  Known for making paintings that are both incredibly gorgeous and politically aggressive, Johnson continues to develop and has upped the ante with his new work.  Now he’s including Old-Master appropriations, political satire, religious abominations, gender-benders, and personal references, all played out in monstrous iconography. 

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Awesome Video Of The Day: Salem’s King Night

Lets keep the Christmas cheer going with this video! Ho Ho Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Noooooooooooooo!

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Qiu Jie’s Chairman Meoooow

670_1230767024“Qiu’s Portrait of Mao is a humorous play on words: “mao” means “cat” in Chinese.

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Hollywood Contact Sheets Reveal The Moments Between Scenes Of Iconic Films

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Rear WIndow, Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

1980-Raging_Bull_2-De-Niro

Raging Bull, Christine Loss

Paramount/The Kobal Collection/Howell Conant

Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Paramount/The Kobal Collection/Howell Conant

© Sid Avery/mptvimages.com

Giant,© Sid Avery/mptvimages.com

In the newly-published book titled Hollywood Frame by Frame, author Karina Longworth examines the contact sheet, a necessity in film making before the advent of digital technology. The prints were used by photographer as a way to review and edit their work, and the sheets contain small thumbnails of multiple shots. They were marked, scribbled on, carefully examined to find the perfect shot later used in advertising.

These sheets are alluring; not for how interesting and different each individual frame is, but it’s a tiny glimpse into what went on behind the scenes in famous films. You’re able to see what was and wasn’t chosen, as well as the outtakes. A description for Hollywood Frame by Frame describes it as, “…it’s often the photos not chosen that best capture the true spirit of their subjects and the life they lead after the director yells cut. This was never truer than in the classic Hollywood era, where behind-the-scenes photos were carefully vetted for marketing purposes and unapproved shots were never expected to be seen again.

Some of the films included in the book are: Some Like It Hot, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Taxi Driver, and Silence of the Lambs. It was published by Princeton Architectural Press.

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