In honor of Rineke Dijkstra‘s retrospective currently on view at the Guggenheim, we figured we’d do our own little rundown of the photographer’s work. Dijkstra’s portraits illuminate all the subtle emotions and struggles inherent in being a youngster. When you’re a kid, you can’t help but be the underdog. Some cosmic order of the universe is keeping you down in some way. You want to be taller, smarter; or maybe you want a pair of sneakers that you can’t afford. And all the while, you’re not sure if you’ll ever make it out of adolescence alive. And your lack of hope makes the whole process that much worse. The painful existence of childhood brings about a certain unique wisdom. It’s not true wisdom (you haven’t experienced enough of life to be wise), but it’s close. Maybe the right term is jaded. In Dijkstra’s photographs, youthful subjects stare out at us in disdain: “what are you gonna throw at me next?” And you just want to tell them that everything’s going to be alright, that it gets better with time. But then you wonder if you’d be lying. Reconnect with your younger self with more images after the jump.
When Isaac Tobin is not working as a senior designer for University of Chicago Press or playing with type design, then he is whipping up some pretty phenomenal collages with minimal resources. Each piece remind us that cutting back and holding the line is just as important as drawing it. His seemingly simple use of familiar and found paper products matched with sporadic vintage text and condensed doodling presents an accessible everyday charm that inspires affordable creativity.
New York painter Monica Cook depicts absurd, messy scenes in these paintings of women playing and posing with food and sea creatures. Often referred to as “absurd,” her work tells of women, sometimes not naked, covered in liquids and slime, fruit pulp, and cradling octopi. There is no arguing her painterly talent at narrating the viscosity of the elements in the frame, but she leaves it up to the viewer as to how they will interpret the contents of the scene. Meaning, she has no implied meaning:
“When I’m painting, it’s more about my relationship with the object than it is about me. It’s hard for me to separate myself from the experience. It could be a fish or an octopus. I handle it until it becomes unfamiliar to me so I can see it in a new way. People might want to read into those paintings but for me, it’s just about finding magic in the mundane and exploring further. I’m sure if I stumbled upon the work I’d see it differently.” (Excerpt from Source)
Artist Maja Ruznic paints what she remembers. Ruznic acts in a literal way on the idea that remembering is a creative process. Painting from experience and filling in the unknown, her paintings feel like their plucked directly from the middle of a narrative. Speaking of the way past experience plays into her creative process Ruznic says:
“Sometimes I am drawn to someone’s hands, to one’s rhythm of speech, to one’s constant checking of their cell phone. This interest usually serves as an incentive to begin a painting.”
Cris Bruch’s work might be found on a more tasteful version of planet Pandora. His shapes have this mysterious, organic quality that I imagine existing on an alien planet populated by giant blue people who are really into saving the environment and stuff. His exhibition at Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Gather and Wait, from July 1st – August 28th explores the artist’s creative process through a series of drawings, photographs of works in progress, and completed sculptures.
Based out of Sydney Australia, Mitch Beige Brown is a young designer with a stunning portfolio of unusual and playful works under his belt. Ranging from ironic/iconic art direction and collaborations for record sleeves, Mitch’s perspective is a breath of fresh air.