Marcel Christ creates a series of photographs in which he tries to deviate from his usual commercial photographs. With clients like Sony, Nokia, Samsung, Evian and L’Oréal-Chirst is used to photographing still lives, essentially objects arranged in interesting and appealing but static ways. In his latest artistic series, Christ extends his modern, clean lighting and sense of composition (characteristics that resonate with his commercial photography), but takes it to the next level. Christ aims to transform what would be a static representations of colorful powders to something that is undeniably energetic- everything moves, jumps, and flies.
Christ succeeds at photographing unpredictable action. The powder’s movement and expansion are the main characters; they sporadically spread throughout the composition.
I think my work has some heritage from Dutch tradition, in its choice of props for instance – the vase. But different in its own way at the same time. Because it is not ‘still’ at all. It’s frozen in time, but very energetic in its appearance.
Using narratives and visual genres found in art, combined with the clean aesthetics of design and contemporary product advertising, the work of Norah Stone is representative of a generation which has seen both art and design coexisting, flattened by the computer screen, and has no use for their separation. “The classic art vs. design question is something that comes up a lot in my daily life but I often find it to be a futile discussion, says the Minneapolis-based Stone, “I guess I just don’t think it’s important to set up boundaries just for the sake of boundaries.”
Norah Stone’s most-recent series, Artificial Utopias, creates thoroughly modern still life scenes, which despite their alluring hyppereal-quality (reminiscent of advertising and pictorial), the distinct sense of disconnect between these spotless digital worlds and our own is unsettling.
“In a culture where most of our daily routines and habits have been replaced by a digital screen, the scroll, the pixel, and the ability to retouch has ultimately changed our ideals of perfection….As I was working on this project I was thinking a lot about how growing up in the digital generation has subconsciously molded me to be attracted to a certain cleanliness that can only be achieved on screen. Artificial Utopias was a culmination of my own personal experience with the digital world and also the research I was doing on still lives. The super clean, almost surreal aesthetic came from trying to recreate the visceral experience that comes from staring at a screen for a long period of time.”
This play between perfection and illusion, the real and the empty, eventually manifested itself into twin video works as well. “In the video works (below) I was trying to recreate the process of eliminating imperfections through the clone stamp tool. In post production, I spent a lot of time retouching these photos to achieve the cleanliness of a stock photo. I wanted to capture the mundane process of retouching and erasing over and over again until you’re left with something completely different,” says Stone, who perhaps quite telling concludes, “or nothing at all.”
“My recent paintings, which appropriate logos from hardcore punk bands, are meticulously hand painted to resemble silkscreen prints. I often incorporate drips of color that activate the surface and create a jarring contrast, which also references stain paintings of the 1950s and 60s. To compose the paintings, I combine images from various sources including vintage magazines, children’s activity books, websites, and my own drawings. The juxtaposition of these elements resembles the compositions of and mimics the tactics used in political messaging. The work also plays on the confrontation of violence and solidarity as expressed in a music genre that has roots based on a struggle for social justice.”
Photographer Fong Qi Wei transforms flowers simply by dismantling them. Her series Exploded Flowers captures a variety of flowers picked apart petal by petal then carefully arranged. The meticulously arrayed petals closely resemble mandalas or celestial bodies. Each composition underscores the unbelievable symmetry packed into often small flowers. However, there is also subtle medical atmosphere to the photographs, as if they were autopsied flowers or like pinned butterflies. Her series has garnered her some awards including 2nd place in the International Photography Awards’ Nature category. [via]
UK based artist Hannah Waldron began weaving in 2010. Since then she has produced a series of spirited abstractions that explore form and shape. Like maps to a quirky fantasy land a la Richard Scarry her work offers the glimpse of a joyous world populated by line and color. Her long compositions reach across the wall and sometimes barely touch the floor below. Other times her finished work is displayed within the loom as a way to bestow insight on the artform. (via)
Bjorn Veno is exhibiting new work at Nettie Horn in London from February 13-March 15th, opening tomorrow evening. I love the idyllic, pastoral scenes in the Romantic tradition, though recontextualized through Bjorn’s bizarre insertion of himself acting out fictive and autobiographical memories, or as he calls it, “automated performance.” He seems trapped in a kind of existential, physical awkward angst that disarms the seeming perfect setting for a sweeping and grand romantic gesture in the tradition of Jane Austen or Charlotte Bronte.
Michal Chelbin’s photographs of prisoners in the Ukraine and Russia makes me think who is this person? Chelbin chose to not discuss the prisoners crimes until after the photo shoot was over. The result is a haunting series of images that make the viewer ask who is this person? Why is he dressed like this? What does it mean to be locked up? And can we guess what a person’s crime is just by looking at his portrait?