Food art. It’s everywhere. Yesterday I posted Emily Blincoe’s mouthwatering candy arrangements and today I’m posting these, well, not-so-mouthwatering photographs of fast food. Jon Feinstein’s Fast Food series is meant to expose the viewer to the repulsive aesthetics of the processed and chemicalized food marketed to us with an opposite aesthetic. Feinstein creates these images by taking still-warm fast food and placing them on a scanner, creating a stark black background and giving rise to a bit of condensation from some of the food. Each photograph is named for the amount of fat grams in each food, giving the series a scientific method of organizing and labeling them. After years of creating these images, Feinstein still craves fast food every now and again, a paradox that is not uncommon among his viewers.“I remember at the opening many gallery-goers responding that while their initial reaction was to be repulsed, something about the images also made them hungry.” (via)
If you’re like me, you grew up listenting to A Tribe Called Quest, and loved the shit out of them. Michael Rapaport’s documentary “BEATS, RHYMES & LIFE: THE TRAVELS OF A TRIBE CALLED QUEST” takes you back to that magical time in Hip-Hop when guys rapped about daisies, El Segundo and Seaman’s Furniture. It was a time when Hip-Hop was adventurous and Tribe Called Quest made it cool to march to the beat of your own drummer.
“BEATS, RHYMES & LIFE: THE TRAVELS OF A TRIBE CALLED QUEST” captures the nostalgia of a time before New York City had caught affluenza and was a hot bed for aspiring artists of all genres. The use of archival footage, vintage photos and clever animation rounded out this thoroughly entertaining journey through the history of one of Hip-Hop’s most seminal groups.
For screenings and locations go HERE.
Just in time for the election season Steve Lambert brings his iconic signage based sculptures to Los Angeles for It’s Time To Fight, And It’s Time To Stop Fighting, opening at Charlie James Gallery on September 15th.
The centerpiece of Lambert’s upcoming show is Capitalism Works For Me! True/False (pictured above), which is on a nationwide tour of museums, non-profits and public spaces in 2011 and 2012. The sign has been exhibited in Cleveland, Boston, San Diego, and Santa Fe, NM so far this year, and its travels will continue after the gallery show concludes in October. The Capitalism project is among Lambert’s most ambitious to date, in both its scale and its level of provocation. The sign itself blares a question seldom posed so clearly, while also serving to divine public opinion and understanding about capitalism. At every stop on the sign’s aforementioned tour, Lambert interviews viewers about their experience of the piece, posing whether capitalism does in fact ‘work for them’. These video-captured testimonials illustrate how people define and understand capitalism, and their relationship to it.
Lambert will also present five new sign sculptures that amplify the question(s) posed in Capitalism. If the Capitalism project asks its question to the ‘man on the street’, this group of five new sign sculptures speaks directly to the demographic of people equipped to acquire them. Reflecting a fresh awareness that a broad swath of corporate and individual 1%-ers have collected his work over three years of gallery and art fair exhibitions, Lambert has decided to create visual reminders, admonitions, and encouragements to those in positions to collect the work.
Beautiful dark photographs by Maria Datsykova.
Swedish photographer Erik Johansson creates surreal photographs that capture the supernatural in the everyday. Although they’re obviously doctored, his skills make the compositions look as though they’ve really happened. We see a lot of things that take place in open spaces and nature, and Johansson’s subjects are shown literally sewing up a landscape, effortlessly rowing through a green field, and setting the ships in a painting free into the ocean.
Johansson looks at photography as a way to collect material and to realize the ideas in his mind. He looks at every new project as a challenge to make it as realistic as possible, and he often succeeds. It’s part of the fun that goes along with Johansson’s work, because we generally think of photography as a documentation of something that actually happened; seeing wintered ushered in via someone’s bed sheets, for instance, creates a delightful confusion. We know that there’s no way that this picture is possible, but Johansson has crafted it so realistically that for a second we might believe it.
Photographer Brittany M. Powell has an ambitious project worthy of your support. She has embarked on a project of taking portraits of people that have incurred debt. Having already taken at least 15 photographs of different individuals, she has a Kickstarter project to help realize her goal of 99 different portraits. After losing her own job in 2008 and facing severe financial hardship, Powell decided to find others in a similar situation, to tell their stories and to dispel the social stigma surrounding bankruptcy, debt and talking about money issues in general. She says this about her project:
This [project] spurred my interest in investigating the role debt can play in our identity and how we relate to the world. Debt is publicly enforced and highly stigmatized, but is almost always privately experienced. It is in many ways an abstract form without material weight or structure, yet with heavy physicality and burden in a person’s everyday life. (Source)
Her subjects include James Riggs Davidson III who is an electrical contractor with a total debt of $52,335.63, Grace Ragland a family support worker with $75,000 in debt after her ex-husband was incarcerated and she became the sole carer of her family. She ended up working 2-3 jobs 7 days a week for 7 years. The range of people Powell profiles is so varied she really shows how common this problem is today.
My goal is to bring people together to recontextualize an abstract, often shamed experience. It is my hope that by having a platform to discuss this issue, it will encourage the viewer and participants to question and reframe our perception of debt and how we contribute to it’s power and role in our social structure. (Source)
To support her project visit her Kickstarter page here.
Joe Black is an artist who uses Pop Art against itself. Collecting iconic imagery (often choosing those which have already been famously exploited by other artists), Black creates large-scale hued portraits using copious amounts of consumer items. One of many artists using collected masses of materials into larger mosiac-style works, Black claims that he is open to using any material as long as it is small and plentiful (past pieces have used Lego pieces, toy soldiers, pins, ball bearings, badges) and relates to the source image. These images, which are best seen from a distance of fifty feet, offer a contextual surprise for viewers upon closer inspection.
Though trained as an artist and painter, Black claims to be uncomfortable labeling himself a professional artist, preferring to consider his work more based on image-making and craftsmanship. One such aspect is the time-consuming application of several thousand smaller pieces which make up his whole images, which Black hand-alters by using aerosol to add tones that give gentle gradients which become the lines and shading of the portrait. (via u1u11)
Touching on themes of the politically backwards, the environmentally compromised and the socially divided, Séguin’s “Illustrated Guide for Aliens” reveals deeper truths about the nature of humanity through images that are not only thought provoking but beautifully elegiac.
Brooklyn/Montreal artist Marc Séguin has a show with Mike Weiss Gallery in NYC through October 13th. In case you can’t make it out in person, we’ve got some snaps for you. The show is titled My Century (An Illustrated Guide for Aliens), and features fairly large works (most are 6 x 9 ft.) done in oil and charcoal on raw canvas. The paintings also contain unorthodox materials like taxidermy, locks of hair, and tar. This is Séguin’s second solo exhibition with the gallery, and it seems he’s taken things up a notch since his last show with Mike Weiss in the spring of 2011. The humorous works do a great job of illuminating the major imbalance of wealth and power in contemporary times, and don’t pull any punches. See more from My Century (An Illustrated Guide for Aliens) after the jump.