“Alfred Steiner, part intellectual draftsman, part pop culture surgeon. His works on hot press paper consisted of characters and scenes from the popular to the ambitious—Shaggy and Fred from Scooby Doo!, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Saint Anthony—all composed of jutting, blood-tipped bones and glistening, sinewy muscle. Profiles were assembled not with soft lines but with femurs, horses galloped not with hooves but on bare bone and demons brandished swords of muscle over prostrate outlines of pus and blood. Steiner creates a disorienting, dreamy and disturbingly beautiful feast for the eyes, calling to mind large masterworks of surgeons operating in an amphitheater, though one believes it is Steiner whose work operates on us, rather than vice versa. By creating instantly recognizable outlines from the most vital and basic parts of human anatomy, Steiner forces us to look at the culture around us while acknowledging the literal cultures within us.” –Sarah Hassan
Matthew Kelly is a photographer living and working in NYC. His photography is definitely nothing less than unique. His current project “As My Father,” depicts a young man stepping into his father’s shoes, literally. Matthew’s other photos have the same portrait like qualities, and just like the first project, tell a dramatic story. Check out his website for more of his work and upcoming projects.
I love Paul Blow‘s witty and pithy illustrations (such as this obviously confused cat). His sense of humor relays a story without trying too hard. His illustrations have appeared in the likes of Business Week and the Boston Globe, giving him the opportunity to play around with popular culture and politics.
Within the setting of his captured vistas Vasilis Avramidis typically paints an arrangement of symbolic motifs, rendered in a way to be suggestive of neglect. These depicted scenes and objects are overgrown with moss and ivy, alluding to an overriding sense of decay that the paintings’ inhabitants desire to control and maintain. These characters are gardeners, keepers of sites, land and buildings. They are the caretakers.
The paintings express a repetition of varying hues of green, a reference to the duality between sickness and growth and how the land eventually reclaims everything that sits upon it. Objects being imbued with foliage confirm these concepts of the ongoing and endless conflict between the forces of destruction and the forces of philosophical cultivation. This force of nature against man-made structures and ideologies not only conveys a relentless struggle but also comments on the history of art and architecture being overwritten and unearthed with the passing of time.
The artwork of Jillian Salik offers up understated surprises. Her new exhibit DUEL TINT features frames, window dressing, and other wall fixtures adorned with baroque ornamentation. However, the typically gilded and gaudy colors that typically accompany such adornments, the reflections and windows that should fit in such frames were no where to be seen. Salik only offers the bare structure of the frames and ornamentation. Also, Salik makes an interesting choice of material: cardboard. She contrasts high-society trimmings and embellishments with a decidedly “low” material and digital production processes.
Mixed media artist Anila Quayyum Agha has figured out how to decorate an entire room with shadows cast from a box. Laser cutting intricate patterns into a wooden cube, a light within the cube projects an intricate display of shadows that envelope the entire room in ornate design. The results are breathtaking and the philosophy behind her work is fascinating.
This project, titled “Intersections,” combines the patterning of Islamic sacred spaces with architectural aesthetics:
“The Intersections project takes the seminal experience of exclusion as a woman from a space of community and creativity such as a Mosque and translates the complex expressions of both wonder and exclusion that have been my experience while growing up in Pakistan. The wooden frieze emulates a pattern from the Alhambra, which was poised at the intersection of history, culture and art and was a place where Islamic and Western discourses, met and co-existed in harmony and served as a testament to the symbiosis of difference. For me the familiarity of the space visited at the Alhambra Palace and the memories of another time and place from my past, coalesced in creating this project. My intent with this installation was to give substance to mutualism, exploring the binaries of public and private, light and shadow, and static and dynamic. This installation project relies on the purity and inner symmetry of geometric design, the interpretation of the cast shadows and the viewerâ€™s presence within a public space.”
Svetlana Karel is a Ukranian artist who molds plasticine into old masterpieces. She works as an economist at the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy in Kiev, but finds her work uninspiring. Having gone through a divorce that sent her into intense depression, she used her creations to keep herself focused on something outside of her problems. Plasticine being an unconventional medium associated with child’s play, Karel hasn’t been received too enthusiastically in her local art community. She lies in the realm of outsider artist. At one point she tried to set up an exhibition, but was unable to get it off the ground. Although her artwork isn’t too popular, she is constantly creating.
Karel speaks about how she began creating her plasticine art:
“Once, about 9 years ago, while I was playing with my kids (I have 2 daughters) I found that plasticine really helped me to forget about my problems. I touched it, started to create something and, during this process, felt myself becoming calm. So then I started to make more and more figures from plasticine and place them in to a single picture. The result was unexpectedly successful, so I continued to create pictures on childish theme for my daughters.”
The style of her creations is beautiful and a bit naïve. The figures can seem extremely realistic, or a bit caricature-like. It creates a new perspective on artworks that you’ve already seen again and again. They becomes less epic, more approachable, and certainly unintimidating. Which of her works can you recognize? (Quote and artist via Lost at E Minor)
Nicholas Bohac mixes paint, ink and silkscreen prints to create multilayered landscapes. The living texture of his work builds a world meant to raise questions about the current state of our environment. Where does nature end and humanity begin? How are we affecting nature, and how is nature affecting us? Similar to a hike in the wilderness, you will find it is easy to get lost in these paintings.