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Kehinde Wiley’s Bold Paintings Reconfigure The Way African American Culture Is Portrayed

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Kehinde Wiley‘s impressive painting career is being celebrated at the Brooklyn Museum in a grand exhibition that is open right now. For fourteen years, he has been painting bold, decorative oil paintings that are reconfiguring the way African American culture is portrayed in art. He takes the techniques from the old European portraiture masters and turns them into modern and fresh images, relevant to a post-colonial culture. Old stuffy aristocrats and patrons wearing flouncy blouses and ridiculous wigs from centuries gone by, are replaced by black subjects with a certain street style to them.

Wiley asks different people – most of whom are regular passer-bys on the streets in Harlem, to sit for his portraits. They are given different art history books full of ornate backgrounds to choose from to complement their portrait. Wiley then paints them reenacting certain poses, imitating the European subjects and places the chosen embellishments behind and over their image. His style is a fusion of many different elements – French Rococo and the High Renaissance, Islamic architecture, West African textile design and urban hip hop, and is a result of his own mixed heritage.

Wiley later went on to create a series called The World Stage, where he traveled to Mumbai, Senegal, Dakar and Rio de Janeiro to portray different cultures and traditions in his work. He explains more:

One of the reasons I chose Brazil, Nigeria, India and China is that these are all the points of anxiety and curiosity and production that are going on in the world that are changing the way we see empire. As I’ve been traveling, I started to notice that the way many people in other parts of the world interact with American culture is through black American expression. It’s an interesting phenomenon. (Source)

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic is an exhibition showing over 60 of his paintings and sculptures, and is on until the 24th of May.

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Ben Krasnow Shows Us What A Record Player Needle Does Under An Electron Microscope

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Applied Science wiz Ben Krasnow conducted a series of tests to capture how information is disseminated on vinyl record, dvd, and cd rom. What he found was that the grooves of each device is shaped differently sending out unique signals. In the vinyl study Krasnow added a metallic surface to pieces of the waxy substance and allowed the electron microscope to pick up and photograph the action. In a magnified state vinyl looks similar to a used paper towel. The movement is recorded at 1/400th of actual speed. Under the magnification the needle looked like a pencil making arrow marks.The friction created over the tiny shapes is eventually translated into sound.

With a DVD Krasnow split apart the disc to locate the coded aluminum material. This was seen under the microscope as little dashes similar to morse code. In order to make gifs the scientist then took the material and downloaded it into photoshop. These resembled old super 8 movies.

Krasnow currently works at Google. He is best known for inventing keyboards, mice and joysticks for MRI machines. He sold these to academic institutions who in turn wrote about their use in science journals. (via demilked)

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Livia Marin’s Beautifully Broken China

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Livia Marin Sculpture

Livia Marin‘s Broken Things seem just fine.  The sculptures of her Broken Things series do indeed appear to be broken ceramic dishware.  However, for what the household items lost in usefulness retain in its aesthetic value.  Congealed liquid seems to pour out of the damaged cups.  The decorative patterns are pulled along out with the container’s little spill.    The sculptures are reminiscent of a family’s “good china” – utilitarian objects that seem to cherished for their decorative nature rather than ever see any use.

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Hernan Bas’ Lyrical Mark Making Of Dandies In Mystical Landscapes

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Hernan Bas painting
Fairy tallish and painterly is still the case with Hernan Bas. The Miami native, now living in Detroit, was a promising young art star in 2008-2009. Back then, at the age of 30, he burst onto the international art scene with a traveling retrospective. His stop at the Brooklyn Museum focused on several early pieces showing the artist’s development up until that point. At the time, there didn’t seem to be enough scope to witness a grand crescendo, and the retrospective presented a young man with great potential. Fast forward six years later, and similar narratives offer a more developed sense of self. The dandy, a central character Bas is known for, stemming from the decadent period of Oscar Wilde and art critic JK Huysmans, is still steady in the mix. Bas’ canvases continue to show great flair for turning ordinary spaces into mystical landscapes. Many scenes take place in the great outdoors. The rustic lure of old country houses, backyards and windmills are further enhanced by monstrous foliage. Trees and leaves are filled with larger than life wonder and endless beauty, where a thousand and one marks, make up a single canvas. Hints of Davinci, Matisse and Michelangelo behold otherworldly elements intertwined with religion. In one, an unusual priest flys a kite of stigmata transforming physical reality. In another, a reenactment of Saint Sebastian becomes apparent. Sometimes the action is missed because of the incredible mark making. The paint dazzles and seduces you into a place of aesthetic pleasure. It reaches a certain rhythm where everything falls into place.

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Maksim Hem

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Collage artist Maksim Hem aptly titled this quiet series of works “Untitled Colours.” The name lends itself to the idea of objects overlooked, because they don’t scream and shout to get your attention. Hem’s restraint does not imply a lack of feeling but rather an attention to detail that is unnecessary to decorate. It’s like watching the Discovery Channel over Bravo–the life and times of baby cheetahs are just such a welcome change of pace.

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Awesome Video Of The Day: Castrovalva’s Dream Carpet

It’s almost dinner time in LA and I’m thinking about skipping the main course and going straight to dessert. It’s going to be one hell of a feast folks. It will most likely look something like this video by Castrovalva.

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Soft Silicone Rubber Soul Sculpture

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Iconic and lovely Louise Bourgeois once said, “The feminists took me as a role model, as a mother. It bothers me. I am not interested in being a mother. I am still a girl trying to understand myself.”

Likewise, one might suggest that the soft and silicone rubber sculptures of Michelle Carla Handel, collected here, are conceptually doing something similar, but with a splash of Claes Oldenburg’s wit and color pop.

Each piece feels intriguingly pubescent: exploring the grotesque softness of bodies and gender through seemingly pliable forms that physically confuse or bend out of shape, emotionally heaving with discovery and wear.

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Human Guts Filmed With Pill-Cam Digesting Food, Look Like Something From Space

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“Journey to the Center of the Gut” is the artistic duo Sam Bompas and Harry Parr’s answer to “food pornography” images posted on Instagram; in asking celebrity chef Gizzi Erskine to swallow a SynMed pill-cam, they provide a more raw and intimate view of human consumption. The minuscule camera filmed Erskine’s insides as it passed through her digestive tract, and a live audience of hundreds was invited to witness the process. At times, the expert chef ate jelly beans, which, to the delight of all, bounced about before the camera.

The project, presumably titled after Jules Verne’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” places our modern aesthetic fascination with food within a more profound and cosmic context. By comparison, Instagram food images seem frivolous and relatively insubstantial; Bompas and Parr’s images are scientific and therefore authoritative, presenting the gut—normally considered to be a vulgar organ—with reverent medicinal care. At times, organs appear like fiery celestial bodies, commanding our attention.

These images, in contrast to prettily polished and filtered “food porn” shots, are dangerously vulnerable; their subject is soft, naked, sensitive tissue, and the SynMed pill-cam is capable of revealing potential problems in Erskine’s system (Bompas is pleased to report that her digestive organs are perfectly healthy). Juxtaposed against the glamour of the famous chef, whose careful updos and fashionable manner mirror those of old Hollywood starlets, the crude images are stronger for their entirely unpredictable, visceral portrayal of her inner self.

In a world where we’re tasked with consuming an impossible amount of imagery, ”Journey to the Center of the Gut” reminds us of the physicality of consumption. Amidst a plethora or celebrity chefs, cooking shows, diet books, and food porn, the project reminds us of the basic fact of our digestion; it doesn’t have to be pretty, but it’s something we all share. (via HuffPost)

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