The installations of Damian Ortega reflect a curiosity that is at once childlike and serious. His dismantled, dissected, carefully arranged pieces often hang from the ceiling prepared for inspection. Ortega’s installations encourage viewers to think about relationships between the parts and its whole, between individuals items and the group. It’s easy to see how these ideas can expand to wider topics. In a way, Ortega not only takes apart a Volkswagen physically, but also socially. He deconstructs ideas in a playfully literal way.
The style of Copenhagen-based animation director and illustrator Helena Frank plays with hyper-realism and proportions—very serious big heads balancing on little bodies. Though she encourages people to view her “best work” at her website, her awesome tumblr gives us a piece a day, “no exception.” (via)
Hassan Rahim lives and works in Los Angeles. He has just concluded a solo exhibition at HVW8 in L.A. entitled The Air Above This Ground. Rahim has a knack for transforming childhood memories into conceptual work that pays tribute to the past while relaying thoughts on the present and future. His photography, collage and mixed media pieces are heavily rooted in 90′s NBA nostalgia. Themes of fame, struggle, life and death are all explored with re-appropriated and combined imagery. From the press release: “…Conversant with pre-existing works–Rahim’s “The Big Three” owes as much to Wallace Berman’s “Untitled” (hand holding a cassette) as it does to Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman, and Scottie Pippen—his pieces build a bridge from art-historical zones to realms of culture that are usually entirely claimed by advertising. There is a reclamation of imagery happening, the sports Hero comes back home to art. One is reminded of classical sculptures of discuss throwers, or of the fact that Nike was originally the Greek Goddess of Victory.”
Designer David Schwen presents some interesting ‘Pantone’ pairings here. Rather than pairing complimentary colors, Schwen combines inseparable snacks. Designers constantly coordinate toward aesthetic perfection. These ‘swatches’ coordinate a much more common but no less perfect pairing. That said, our pursuits may be mundane, but still, we have a bit of designer in each of us.
Clowns can be…unsettling but however you feel about clowns, Kyoko Hamada‘s photo series called ‘Clown Care Unit’ is fascinating. In partnership with a hospital’s medical staff, these professional performers work one-on-one with acutely and chronically ill children, their parents and hospital staff to help ease the stress of illness by reintroducing laughter and fun as natural parts of everyday life.
Long time pal and semi-recent B/D blog contributor Ryan De La Hoz not only likes to support fellow artists by blogging about them but also makes lots of wonderful work as well. In gearing up for his solo show at RVCA | VASF Gallery in SF Ryan took a few sneak peak photos for us of the new work. The show opens Friday March 15th from 7 – 10pm and will feature an assortment of paintings, drawings, collage, and sculpture. Check out the video above for more insight into Ryan’s world and to learn about his analog art world.
I get a little nostalgic for summer when I see photographer Henry Busby‘s images in his short series Revere Beach. Located in Massachusetts, thousands of beach goers relax along its shores on hot summer afternoons. Busby captures this scene in a style that vaguely reminds me of Rineke Dijkstra’s portraits of swimmers, yet we the viewer are kept more at a distance to observe the subjects as anonymous moments. Check out the work and don’t worry, summer will be here soon.
Wolfgang Stiller‘s series Matchstickmen are a depiction of people that are literally burnt out. The sculptures resemble giant match sticks, the the charred match head like a human head, ignited and tossed about the gallery. A play on the phrase ‘burnt out’, the series comments on the unending demand of human labor. Interestingly the installation was created while the German artist was living in China. However, Stiller says of the work:
“I don’t want to see it only as a critique on the Chinese system. Any other system in the world has the same problem. Big companies exploit their employees to make larger profits, all over the world. As long as we have affordable T-shirts or sneakers, we don’t really want to know whether they are made by children in India or not.” [via]