Allie Pohl uses the measurements of an ideal woman (36-24-36) to engage in a number of conceptually driven art projects. Taking this ‘perfect form’, she fabricates a mannequin torso to represent the prototype for her conversations. To Pohl, this middle area constitutes a place of birth, renewal and assists the artist in her studies about self esteem, image and determination. In one project, the form is used as a chia pet showing the grass growing in the torso’s genital area. In another, the form is created using a red mirrored material and placed on a pedestal.
Pohl reassesses our idea of beauty and reflects on what women deem important. Some of her other work has examined the torso in the bathroom where she photographed a model on the toilet in gallery and museum restrooms. Her intention was to show the amount of time woman spend in the john. Another saw her take on the high heel. In 6″ shoes with a strap-on camera she went hiking. The result bore an all too familiar metaphor to the extremes women go to achieve physical perfection.
The hairier sex has also been the subject of Pohl’s studies. Using male mannequin legs from different eras, she created a group sculpture. The idea was to show what the perfect ‘male leg’ looked like throughout the years. Most recently, her torso has been used for philanthropy through a line of jewelry where all the proceeds go to various women’s organizations where Pohl lectures and discusses these important issues.
Recently, Mobstr published a series of images of a progressive graffiti “experiment” that spanned the course of a year, entitled “The Curious Frontier of Red.” On the wall of an electricity substation in Hackney Wick, London, the artist engaged in a strange and amusing battle with a local council worker. Mobstr explains the project’s inspiration:
“I cycled past this wall on the way to work for years. I noticed that graffiti painted within the red area was ‘buffed’ with red paint. However, graffiti outside the red area would be removed via pressure washing. This prompted the start of an experiment. Unlike other works, I was very uncertain as to what results it would yield. Below is what transpired over the course of a year.” (Source)
Over the 30 images included in his documentation (see the full series here), you can see how Mobstr’s game escalated: at first, he writes “red.” This word is painted over and re-marked numerous times as it gradually migrates to the top, where, eventually, the words “pressure wash” appear on the brick. The council cleaner then paints over the words “pressure wash” with red, to which Mobstr teasingly replies: “You went above the line.” In a hilarious effort to defeat the graffiti artist, the entire wall is painted red. “Thanks mate, it’s been fun,” Mobstr concludes.
Light-hearted and witty, Mobstr’s “red frontier” provides a visual dialogue demonstrating the battle against (and social delegitimization of) graffiti art. Luckily, Mobstr seems to be having fun with these cat-and-mouse battles, much to our amusement. Check out Mobstr’s website and Instagram to view more of his work.
Tabitha Soren‘s most recent body of work, simply titled Running, is an interesting collection of photographs that capture individuals fleeing in a state of sheer panic. By withholding most of the context from these freeze-frame images, Soren leaves her audience hanging in a moment of suspended terror—with no option but to construct a narrative around each scenario she presents. Each highly cinematic snapshot resonates with an easily relatable range of human emotions, and the focus of her work as a whole is tied up in using her lens to investigate the messier moments of life.
A longtime journalist and documentarian, Soren seems comfortable working in the realm of subject matter that is slightly unresolved. “My work is about what people can survive and what they can’t,” she says. “It’s about decay, how life can be reckless, and how you have to keep going. I explore how people can pick themselves up.” It’s interesting to see how these themes play out across the series, leaving traces of vulnerability, fear and escape etched into their collective storyline.
The Brooklyn-based multimedia artist Daniel Turner just finished a group show at Photo Epicenter in San Francisco.Turner uses a number of nonconventional materials, including camphophenique, tar, vinyl, umbrellas, and life jackets and in so doingquestions fundamental ideas of beauty and utility.
George Boorujy is a New York-based artist who paints large-scale animal portraits with ink. His subjects are non-human inhabitants of North America, such as bluebirds, lynxes, vultures, and black bears. Each species is incredibly researched, and it shows; after visiting zoos and studying photographs, Boorujy recreates the animals with painstaking detail. Every feather and tuft of fur is accounted for, creating a palpable and almost hyper-realistic sense of texture and animation. Set against a white backdrop, the viewer gets the rare opportunity to study the animals and appreciate their distinctiveness and beauty.
There is no denying that Boorujy’s subjects have a way of demanding our attention; their silent, steady gazes drill into the soul, in a deeply personal encounter. When our eyes meet, the boundaries between “humans” and “animals” fall away into a greater awareness of cross-species consciousness. The following quoted statement from Colossal reveals the emotional and philosophical intent of Boorujy’s works:
“Boorujy challenges the viewer to confront both the animal and their preconceived notions about it. Through their gaze an interaction evolves with the wild that otherwise would have to be sought out or birthed from happenstance. However fleeting our exchanges with the wild are, an impression of their presence marks our memories. There is something mystical at play; a silent exchange that either moves us towards awareness or heightens our fear of the unknown.” (Source)
Luis Dourado’s Famous and Dreaming series literally made me say “Wow” out loud. My fave from the group is of JFK pictured above. I also included two other images that I liked at the end of the post that are from other projects.