With simple masking tape, photographer Robert Chase Heishman transforms everyday spaces into flat, geometric scenes. This effect creates an illusive new space, redefined by new boundaries. Whether the tapes’ colors are bright or more subdued, the effect is stark. He creates new shapes within the photograph, or uses the tape to create a framed effect for the photograph. If the photographs were stripped of tape, the photographs would be a bit dull. By adding the tape to some of his scenes, Heishman creates the effect of a lost dimension. Because his designs are so thoughtfully shaped, it takes more than a glance at these photographs to recognize that the tape has been placed onto the scene and not the photograph. When he’s not masking his surroundings with tape, Heishman also works with video and sculpture to explore similar themes like peripheral vision, flatness, and digital affect. He lives and works in Chicago. (via from89)
The Metamorphosis Series by artist Shi Shaoping is a poetic look at life. Shi created 3,000 ceramic eggs over the course of a year. Each egg weighs about 22 pounds and as a group come in at about 48 tons. The eggs were then taken to some of China’s loneliest locales. From grassland to beach, deserts, and mountains, the ceramic eggs were spread out on the ground. The entire project was documented with photographs and videos.
In a way The Metamorphosis Series is as much a site specific installation as it is a performance. Shi set before himself an intentionally difficult project, one that would entail hard work, a journey, and perhaps transformation. Like the egg, these too are a symbol of life. However, they clearly also point toward potentiality – the field of eggs seems poised to hatch. The exhibition statement goes on to relate about the project:
“Shaoping is like a fortuneteller who uses the 3,000 giant eggs to remind people of the weight of life. The beauty of the work is the unpredictability, and the unlimited imagination it brings. The fragile yet vigorous eggs of life emphasizes that we eventually have to respect every single living thing in the universe. The sands may cover the frost-glazed castle; the soaring fallen leaves may blanket the ground. The persistence and power of life, however, will fight against the mediocrity and itself. The contradiction is the language Shaoping’s looking for to express his world of Metamorphosis. This triggers the speculation and discussion on contemporary art and life value.”
Beautiful/Decay has partnered with premiere website building platform Made With Color to bring you another exclusive artist feature. Each week we join forces to bring you some of the most exciting artists and designers who use Made With Color to create their clean and sleek websites. Made With Color doesn’t just help artists create gorgeous websites but allows them to do so in a few minutes without having to touch a line of code. This week we’re happy to bring you the mixed media collages of Tim Furey.
The work of New Jersey based illustrator Tim Furey is full of texture, shapes, neon colors and best of all aliens! Combining a wide array of media in his collages Furey creates psychedelically hued interiors, still lives, and narratives that will hint at the story without giving away the plot. Inexpensive craft paper meets holographic stickers and crayon scribbles create images that are as primal as they are futuristic. The result is a hypercolored world where aliens mingle with mankind to create unknown future worlds.
I considered Doug Aitken to be a big thinker when I read about his Song 1, a huge sound and video installation enveloping the Hirshorn Museum, or his Mirror, a video project that consists of an L.E.D screen that’s wrapped around the facade of the Seattle Art Museum.
With his latest project, Station to Station: A Nomadic Happening, Aitken has taken “installation” to a whole other level. For three weeks this September a train decked out with L.E.D lights will travel from New York City to San Francisco making 10 stops along the way (next stop St. Paul, Minneapolis on Sept 12). Aitken designed the train as a kind of kinetic sculpture, or studio. At each stop artists, musicians, writers, filmmakers and other creatives will participate in site-specific happenings.
Aitken’s goal with the project is to address some big questions, such as “Who are we? Where are we going? And, at this moment, how can we express ourselves?” In an effort to create this “modern cultural manifesto,” Aitkin invited individuals such as Olaf Breuning, Urs Fischer, Christian Jankowski, Lawrence Weiner, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Dan Deacon and Dave Hickey (and many others) to participate. Everyone involved was asked to reconsider the way they create. Ed Ruscha, for instance, thought up a cactus omelet that will be made and served to participants in Winslow, Arizona.
The project, made possible by Levi’s, will also raise funds for various cultural institutions across the country through ticket sales (yes you can get tickets if they are still available for the happening in a city near you) and donations from partners, institutions and the public.
The concept of Station to Station confronts and challenges the system whereby art is, all to often in today’s society, created solely for museums and galleries. Station to Station embraces the key components of a 1960s happening, especially spontaneity and audience engagement, but the enormity of scale raises the stakes. I admire Aitkin’s ambition particularly because, in the spirit of a true happening, Station to Station could go off without a hitch, or could go completely awry. Whose to say though which would be worse?
The pen, ink and gouache works of Minneapolis-based artist Nick Howard are a visually startling exercise in repetition, form and mass-psychology. By carefully rendering similar figures gathered together in masses, each drawing creates formations and shapes that echo the power of a collected focus, or the terror of mob mentality. Using a style that is precise yet simple, individual figures blend into one another despite their unique features, masks, several mouths and monochrome capes. Enhancing the eerie and silent quality of the works is the monuments that occasionally appear, built by the nameless and faceless, or simply serving as a symbolic, yet arbitrary, gathering point.
Says Howard in a statement of his work, “I am fascinated with people, relationships and mass psychology. In particular, I am interested in how the mind works and how the feelings, thoughts, ideas, and perceptions we have create our world both personally and collectively. I find inspiration for my work by both looking outwards and inwards.”
This simultaneous outward and inward focus is particularly fascinating, as it illuminates the allure of the collective – whereas one figure alone might not illicit an emotional or aesthetic response, hundreds or thousands of them, carefully drawn and carefully placed, create a sum that is greater than its parts. Similarly, the drawings tap into the simultaneous feeling of empowerment within a large group, as well as the loss of individual and personal control.
Artist Jeffrey Gibson blends art histories and cultures with seeming effortlessness. His work isn’t the pastiche of past decades, a witty pairing of disparate influences. Rather, Gibson’s work appears more to be rooted in contemporary remix culture. Portions of modern and contemporary art styles inhabit art pieces along traditional Native American artwork with an inclusiveness that’s refreshing. Interestingly, the gallery statement of his latest exhibit at Shoshana Wayne Gallery notes:
“This mash-up of visual and cultural references comes from the artist’s Choctaw and Cherokee heritage, moving frequently during his childhood—to Germany, Korea and the East Coast of the U.S. , and his early exposure to rave and club cultures of the 1980s and 1990s. Gibson cites that the sense of inclusiveness and acceptance, the celebratory melding of subcultures and an idealistic promise of unity all galvanized by the DJ’s power to literally move an audience to dance to his beat, continues to serve as a primary inspiration for his inter-disciplinary practice.”
Still, the way in which the Native American styling especially stands out makes the Native American artists largley left out from the discourse of modern art history conspicuous. The gallery statement continues about this relationship: “The paintings are done on elk rawhide stretched over wood panels. Gibson arrived at this format after years of looking at painting techniques found in various non-Western art histories, of paintings on shields, drums and parfleche containers (animal hides wrapped around varying goods). The paintings also read within a modern and contemporary art context whereas artists from the 1950s and 1960s were looking towards traditions such as Native American and Oceanic art to create ideals of spirituality, animism and purity. One can infer artistic influences from Frank Stella, Ellsworth Kelly, and Donald Judd.”
It’s in this way that Gibson inserts himself and his heritage into art history: by this smart mixing and remixing, and an artist’s eye at the past.
In addition to creating public work in cities, Spanish street artist Borondo has recently used spray paint to recreate monochromatic portraits using a hay stack as as a canvas. Although he’s using this unconventional material (even for a public artist), his classically-inspired style and flawless technique are sustained. No matter the materials used, each piece of Borondo’s is blended artfully into its surroundings, creating a subtle, ghostly effect. While touring Italy this summer, Borondo painted a few large public pieces, including this haystack work in Cotignola, but his work can seen around the globe. (via from89)
Noell Oszvald, a Hungarian photographer with a penchant for dark, elegant, self portraits, is becoming a master of the surrealist photographic image. The 23-year-old photographer found wide acclaim after releasing a series of 22 photos to her flicker page early this year. The images are remarkable, but she’s only been shooting photos for a little less than two years. It makes you wonder what the motivations are of this emerging prodigy.
“I don’t want to tell people what to see in my images,” said Oszvald. “This is the reason why I never really write any descriptions other than titles. It shows what I wish to express but everyone is free to figure out what the picture says to them. It’s very interesting to read so many different thoughts about the same piece of work.”
Oszvald’s soft, black and white palette is a touch grainy and filled with contrast. And her images posses a striking amount of warmth in a dark frame. These compositions are solid—and the artist’s own physical beauty, and her affinity for a minimal frame add to the overall conceptual depth. (my modern met)