Yinka Shonibare is hands down one of my favorite contemporary artists. His stunning explorations into world history, the poetics and policies of identity, authenticity, globalization and imperialism raise interesting political questions without being patronizing. They are beautiful on a formal level, as well as conceptual.
For those of you in the Bay Area, Guerrero Gallery is having a group show of awesome artist featuring AJ Fosik, Ben Venom, and Erin Riley. With a focus on traditional craft, a seemingly almost extinct skill in today’s highly digitized world, this exhibition aims to bring light and exposure to the hands-on work of each of these very distinct art. The show will run through until December 4th.
A living snake wrapped around a face, a dozen of ladybugs, a scorpio and an howl using that same face as a structure. That is the set up of a fantastic photography series by Juul Kraijer called ‘Penumbrae’. The titles evokes darkness and shadows. It’s what we are getting visually and internally. The artist is inspired to manipulate reality, in the end, she gets to manipulate us, the viewer, in a disconcerting way.
The models are just the vehicle for ideas, they are not to be considered like portraits, nor are the animals. Clearly the main subject is twosome: the fusion between the animal and the face and the dark background. The intriguing face/animal amalgamation stands out from the shade, as if it had been sitting in the dark for an eternity. It will appear for a brief moment and then will go back into the gloom exactly the way we saw it at first, for all times.
Imperturbable tranquillity is the general tone. Despite a unsettling scenario that could create an anxious atmosphere, the calm sported by the faces leaves a mark of grace, the same expression that is usually found in Renaissance portraiture.
Juul Kraijer is fascinated by surrealist photography, hence the execution of her series. Surrealism is about getting rid of the mind and the reason to only let the imagination dive and drive into the interpretation of the picture. Ideas and dogmas cannot be suggested, personal understanding cannot be captured.
The artist has created provocative poses. By elevating the animals on top of the faces she questions the hierarchies between humans and animals, models and accessories. The fact that the roles are reversed creates intensity, almost a tension. Comparably to the symbol of eternity described above, the use of the mirrors creates oddity and redundancy, which extends the feeling coming out from the photographs.
The viewer is tempted to look away but there’s an indescribable attraction, a desire to see more.
Juul Kraijer is represented by The Wapping Bankside Project in London, UK. The photographs are available in books which can be order here.
Copyright: Juul Kraijer, Courtesy: The Wapping Project Bankside
It seems Los Angeles has finally decided to warm up to us and the heat is slowly but surely attacking our foggy lovable city. I was trying to find something to post here that would welcome the heat wave back in LA after months of rain and freezing cold nights. Although this commercial is obviously targeting the concept of using natural gas in “winter”, I feel like if I could describe the heat in LA right now, would be a wool covered house.
The commercial is made by Lovo Films, a company that operates in Europe. They are known for making great commercials for companies like Belgacom, Coca-Cola, Telenet, Yamaha, TDK, Mio, McDonald’s, Gordon Beer, Center Parcs, Renault and Seat. They also have a “making of video” of this awesome commercial.
Now get ready to welcome the heat of Los Angeles with open arms~! HA!
Traveling all over the world, street artist No Touching Ground wheat pastes compelling imagery amidst various cities architecture that adds depth to the context of our time and place. Recently, in Greece, he posted work concerning their social political climate under the title “Ingredients Of An Uprising”. In one of them, an Axe body spray bottle, re-worked to say “Anarchy for Him” floats over other graffiti on a busy street.
No Touching Ground creates a nearly optical illusion as his work is so photorealistic that it blends into its surroundings in an uncanny way. He began by working around images of animals from the wild, and people dressed up like animals. His work has since become more political, ranging from symbolic elements indicative of social tensions, to portraits and quotes of protestors met at a demonstration. In Seattle he voiced many of the emotions surrounding the tragic death of John T. Williams at the hand of a Seattle police officer. His work is aesthetically lush and important for our social consciousness.
A rather mysterious artist, No Touching Ground has work all over the world. Alaska, Seattle, South America, Europe, and now Greece, there is no saying where his work will show up next.
I’m delighted to feature Stephen Alan Yorke , who has created an exhibit space simply by observing, documenting, and titling changes in one corner of the world. In Bromley, Kent there exists a ledge on Morgan Road – a paneless brick recession – that frames the littered objects left there by passerbys. Stephen has deemed this small walkway moment the Morgan Road Gallery. The artists themselves will forever remain anonymous, but their contributions become works when infused with Stephen’s titles such as The Many Mistresses of Captain Cola (Parts 1 and 11) and The Trident of Lucifer Jr.
Lizzy Stewart is a British illustrator who makes incredibly charming images. Inspired by Eastern European folk art and medieval painting, her drawings are wonderfully flat and full of simple shapes. Her work reminds me of some of her contemporaries like Pia Bramley and Carson Ellis, all of whom practically force a better mood on their viewer. Aside from her drawing and painting, Stewart makes graphic novel-style books as well. A lot of her stuff is available for sale in the store on her website too, so if you haven’t donated all your extra dough to the Red Cross’ Sandy recovery efforts, you can do some one stop christmas shopping and support a young burgeoning artist all in one foul swoop! (via)
Tonight, Ryan De La Hoz opens Welcome to Your Doom, a solo show at Four Barrel in San Francisco. If you’re out that way, head over and show some love (6-9P). You can also buy original work from the artist in our shop. We like his no-nonsense approach to some heavy themes. He even throws in a little humor sometimes. See if you can spot it.