Evan Meister‘s drawings have a certain Old New Yorkfeel to them- a dark past (or future) referenced through shrewd hieroglyphs. I always find myself trying to read his work like a comic strip in an unknown language- where the punchline is Evan’s perfect balance of technical skill and engaging originality.
Born in Bavaria, Southern Germany, photographer Elena Helfrecht taps into the dark stormy mood often connected with the painter Caspar David Friedrich and the German poets writing about the emotions of the human condition. Her images have a beautiful delicacy to them, heavy with reflection and contemplation as Helfrecht tries to make sense not only of the world around her, but also the world within herself. In her series Little Stories, she compiles photographic narratives of moments that are intensely personal to her.
Including close ups of her hands covered in blood, her feet poised in front of freshly picked flowers, her stomach cradling a pigeon, she uses her own body to visually express her inner thoughts and emotions. Helfrecht reflected on the series:
I think the most intense one for me has to be “Farewell” [the pigeon narrative]. I often think about death. I really fear what comes afterwards – the ending of consciousness, where nothing is left (at least this is what I can’t stop believing). When I went to work and just came out of the station, a pigeon fell down right in front of my feet and died there after a short cramp. I was shocked. I didn’t expect something like this to happen and I was deeply moved. I even cried. It was like a metaphor how quick everything can be over and what is left of it – nothing but an empty shell. We live and rush around without cherishing what we have, and then it will be simply over.
This series is about the one issue which bothers so many of us: the matter of life and death. In the pictures the shown human body is alive, but one day the images will show something which is no more, like the bird. Still I believe something will stay in this world after we die: Memory. This is what the photographs itself stand for (for me they are a tiny piece of hope).
We all love a good boombox – but probably not as much as Tom Sachs. He has dedicated a whole exhibition to speakers, cables, and different sound system configurations. Tom Sachs: Boombox Retrospective 1999–2015 is exactly what it sounds like – a display of functional boomboxes made by Sachs and play 60 minute playlist created by the artist, friends and fans created throughout the show (Kanye West being one contributor). A fan of 1980’s street culture combined with his D.I.Y and punk ethos, Sachs has been fashioning different sound systems for a long time – he has even crafted functional ceramic boomboxes in the past.
With his love for raw materials, assemblage and with his homemade aesthetic, Sachs has created many unstated feats of engineering. His past projects include recreating Knoll office furniture out of only telephone books and duct tape, building a whole McDonalds store out of plywood and glue, and making numerous Hello Kitty sculptures out of anything from foam core to bronze. But this show is the first time we see just how many time Scahs can rebuild one theme over and over again.
Louis Grachos from The Contemporary Austin explains how impressed they are with Sach’s work, and how his ideologies and attitude match the city his pieces are shown in:
I have worked with Tom Sachs on several projects in the past, and I am very excited to introduce his work to Austin [Texas]. Like Austin, Tom takes his eccentricities seriously. The maverick spirit of self-reliance and attention to hand-crafted precision that come through in his work will keenly resonate with our audiences in Central Texas and beyond. (Source)
Devin Crane recently released a new series entitled “Heaven Can Wait,” combining the unusual concepts of high fashion, sexuality and theology. Inspired by every day life, Devin states that he “wanted to bathe each painting in heavenly light and contrast with dark pieces of turmoil. This represents the choices we make in life that can either bring us absolute pleasure or confinement in our self-made prisons.”
Devin Crane is a well known computer animator working with the likes of Disney and Dreamworks. Some of his projects included Shrek 2 and Aliens 4. His use of rich color, highly stylized figures, and satire brings a heightened sense of awareness. Devin will be exhibiting “Heaven Can Wait,” at Galerie Arludik in Paris on May 25th, 2010.
These plump and curvy sculptures are the work of Chinese artist Mu Boyan. Using a variety of materials, Boyan’s sumo wrestler sized figures are sculpted into contexts that make use of the space and density of the large bodies. The rolls of fatty tissue are shiny and smooth, the positions of the bodies graceful and balanced, though almost completely consumed by their own densities. Boyan’s figures are vulnerable, and each figure’s bodily placement underscores the vastness of their large forms. The figures’ faces and bodies are soft and playful, almost cherubic, lending a familiar and comfortable feel to the experience of the sculptures, though the figures are placed into vulnerable positions. According to Boyan, this series reflects his exploration and fascination with the depiction of Chinese political symbolism in art. (via exhibition-ism)
Dylan Rabe is a fellow artist and friend and colleague of mine. His illustrative works contain all things one could hope to see in a painting. Executed with bold colors and painstaking attention to detail, they fuse together theatrical narratives with assemblages of eccentric subjects, symbolic props, aged furniture, and elaborate décor; he successfully fits all such things into a single painting, typically creating medium to large-scale works. Dylan derives influence from a variety of sources such as 1950’s pulp art, soap operas, science fiction and romance novels. His work is enigmatic and enchanting, and I hope to see Dylan’s work gain further recognition in the future.
Dark and stoic work from Dutch artist Desiree Dolron. These images remind me of portraits by the Old Masters, especially Vermeer and Rembrandt – the extreme stillness in each frame helps you focus on all the small details that make the image really pop when you look close. Find more at Galerie Gabriel Rolt.
Ellen Schinderman curated the first part of her contemporary needlepoint exhibit Home is Where The Needle Marks at (Sub)Urban Home, with a second round of art to follow on Saturday, June 16th at PopTART gallery. After building a network of artists working within the medium via personal interactions and social media sites like Flickr, Ellen assembled a group that is really pushing the boundaries of concept and subject matter. For example, Mark Bieraugel presented several pieces that featured the titles of porno mags he used to keep hidden in his room as a teenager, which were hand sewn onto camouflage patterns – in essence, still keeping them hidden. There was also Robert Marbury who took pictures of graffiti in bathroom stalls and turned them into circular pieces that you’d expect to see in a wonderful little old lady’s house, except for the fact they say things like “I heart boobs” and “I heart dicks for din-din.”