Rik Garrett is a photographer who uses alternative and outmoded techniques to infuse his images with symbolism and dark surrealism. We featured Symbiosis in 2013, a series wherein Garrett applied paint to images of coupling nude figures in order to make them resemble a single, intimate unit. Last year he published Earth Magic, a book of images that depict nude women stalking through shadowy forests, engaged in strange and arcane ceremonies. The highly detailed yet slightly deteriorated look was created through Garrett’s use of the wet plate collodion process, a photographic method introduced in the early 1850s.
According to the project statement, Earth Magic seeks to explore “historical and personal relationships between witchcraft, femininity, and nature” (Source). Channeling the legends and embedded superstitions about the feminine occult—the woman in tune with wild, decentralized, and hidden powers—Garrett’s images are haunting and empowering. He meshes bodies and woods together in unsettling contrasts of soft skin and jagged, dead trees. The black and white tones resemble moonlight, conveying the hours of witches and ritual. With their faces blurred and eyes shadowed, the women resemble beings crossing over from the other side—part human, part goddess, part ghost.
Eddie Martinez and José Lerma have a two person show up at Halsey Mckay Gallery in East Hampton NY. It’s only up until this Wednesday, August the 29th, I know it’s just two days to get there, but these are two of the best drawing/fabric/paintslingers of our generation. The colors in Martinez’s paintings can’t be replicated in a photograph because the paint is physical, like a thick smear of deep red oil paint that looks like martian roofing slate, or maybe a crack inside an antediluvian sea cliff containing some strange fossil reminding us of how old thinking is, and how we are only here for a little while so we should be kind to each other. Yes, red paint can say all that. Lerma’s pirate-like-figuration feels musical, and reminds me of the Clancy Brothers singing a sea shanty “Way haul away, haul away Jose.” History comes up to us and then recedes like the tide in Lerma’s work, you recognize something and then it is and isn’t what you thought. This is a good summer trip, like the first time you went to a water slide park after noticing girls/boys for the first time, an expanse of wave pools lapping lazily against a big breasted life guard and tower slides of pure unadulterated joy.
RISD student Sam D’Orazio’s paintings of blob head dudes, dogs wearing sweaters, drunk bugs, and mysterious floating heads borrow equally from underground comics as well as surrealism. My favorite images are the ones that are on the brink of abstraction but have enough representational queues to pull you back into reality.
Dissolving Europe is the latest public art intervention series by Berlin-based street artist Vermibus. Using a hacked inter-rail ticket, he has been traveling Europe with an extensive set of billboard-lock keys, using them to illegally access print billboards and advertisement frames. Once opened, he uses various solvents and paints to alter the images, sometimes removing them entirely, and even cutting and pasting others. this process destroys and beautifies, blurring the already transgressive line of advert-hacking public art interventions. The artist states, “By using the advertising space and how the human figures are represented in that space, Vermibus is removing the masks that we wear and is criticizing advertisement which takes away a person’s identity to replace it by the one of the brand.”
Continued from his website, documenting the process, “Vermibus regularly collects advertising posters from the streets, using them in his studio as the base material for his work. There, a process of transformation begins. Using solvent, he brushes away the faces and flesh of the models appearing in the posters as well as brand logos. Once the transformation is complete, he then reintroduces the adverts back into their original context, hijacking the publicity, and its purpose.” (via lizartblog)
This coming Wednesday and Saturday night, the thesis work from the GradMediaDesign department at Art Center will be on display at the South Campus Wind Tunnel, a former supersonic jet testing facility at 4 HOURS SOLID. On a personal note… I’m in this! Other graduate departments on campus (broadcast, fine art, environmental design, transportation design) will also be on display. The show will feature a very diverse group of work. The early versions of some of the thesis work hasevenbeenfeatured on BD in the past!
4 HOURS SOLID: Work and Ideas from the Graduate School at Art Center College of Design.
First Showing: Wednesday, April 18, 6-10 PM.
Second Shoring: Saturday, April 21, 8-10PM
Wind Tunnel Gallery, South Campus.
Art Center College of Design
950 South Raymond Ave., Pasadena, CA 91105
GradMediaDesign thesis project descriptions after the jump!
We probably all have an image of Paris in our heads; a romantic, cliched view of a city most English speakers idealize and fantasize about. As a recent first-time visitor to the city of lights (affectionately nicknamed la Ville Lumière), I am also guilty of having this idea. I dreamed it would be full of tiny quaint shoebox-sized apartments covered with ivy, or snow (depending on the season); the cityscape full of scooter sounds zipping through the alleys, or cats screeching as they scampered over falling garbage cans. I’m not sure if I can say whether that vision was realized while I was there, or entirely imagined, but I can relive a certain nostalgia when I see the photography of Alain Cornu.
Cornu captures a theatrical side to the romantic city, illuminated in the moonlight. Focusing on the endlessly interesting rooftops of Paris, his images are a treat to look at. Full of so many angles, hidden corners, inviting skylights and alcoves that we would normally overlook, the images are like a sweet homage to the power of potential in the city.
Having previously worked in the genres of landscape, Cornu is well versed at turning his subjects into fascinating objects. His past series include trees, rocks, misty fields, piles of twigs, windows, walls, doorways, streets, beach fronts, and walkways. And while all of these things could potentially be boring and un-inspirational, they turn into something absorbing and engaging in the hands of this observant photographer.
"View-Alters", Two Viewmatser Model-L Front Pieces, 2006
Los Angeles based artist Chadwick Gibson makes sculpture/devices that border on usability and absurdity by making the innards of various playground-use balls visible in his “Time Out Series” (can you still play tennis when your tennis balls are flipped inside out?), and combining the functionalities and inherent experiences in an elevator and a guillotine with the piece “Speed of Judgment” (mimicking a beheading followed by the sensation of floating above ones headless body).