Pakayla Biehn is a San Franciso-based artist who collaborates with photographers in her Double Exposure series, by taking inspiration from double exposure photography and painting the images using oil on canvas. The end result is an incredibly beautiful and detailed series with an oneiric quality.
Tessa Farmer’s miniscule sculptures reinvigorate a belief in fairies: not the sweet Tinkerbell image in popular conscience, but a biological, entomological, macabre species translating pastoral fable into nightmarish lore. Constructed from bits of organic material, such as roots, leaves, and dead insects, each of Tessa’s figures stand barely 1 cm tall, their painstakingly intricate detail visible only through a magnifying glass.
Hovering with rarefied, jewel-like beauty, Tessa’s tiny spectacles resound with a theurgist exotica: their specimen forms borrow from Victorian occultism to evolve as something alien and futuristic. Playing out apocalyptic narratives of a microscopic underworld, Tessa’s manikin wonders rule with baneful fervour: harnessing mayflies, battling honey bees, attacking spindly spiders. Presented as wee preternatural discoveries, Tessa’s sculptures conjure a superstitious premise, dismantling the mythos of fantasia with evidence of something much more gothic, sinister, and bewitching.”
– Patricia Ellis
Check out Amandine Alessandra’s clever use of objects to create typography. I have to admit that they could be at times hard to read… especially her project “Take a seat and say something” (you can see it after the jump) but it’s really refreshing to see the transformation of mundane things when you look at them in another perspective.
For his recent show at Almine Rech Gallery Don Brown has produced his sculptures at a scale that is significantly larger than usual. Questions of scale are essential in the long process involved in the preparation of these works. The artist initially fashions a detailed clay maquette that will serve as the prototype for a much larger cast. Following enlargement and refining, the sculptures are then produced in either acrylic composite or bronze, but also, although rarely, in silver. The making takes several months, and the pieces are finally covered in a layer of gesso.
For years now Don Brown has been photographing his sculptures against a white background in daylight in order to document his work and bring out elements. By enlarging the prints, he gradually discovered in the flat representation of a volume a certain autonomy that is both powerful and subtle: “It’s as if everything is concentrated in a single view and the surface is uninterrupted” (D.B.).
DXV by American Standard is a landmark product line that represents the company’s storied history spanning 150 years. The collection spans four broad movements: Classic (1880 – 1920), Golden Era (1920 – 1950), Modern (1950 – 1990), and Contemporary (1990 – today). Each piece in the carefully curated collection harkens back to the era it was inspired by and combines it with modern sensibilities, technology and performance. Although each fixture is inspired by a distinct era, the entire collection has a dialogue and the ability to cross over and create a remix of eras in one space. The pieces in the Classic Movement by DXV echo the curves, details and flair of times passed while integrating the technology of the present. Whether you’re a restoration buff who wants true-to-period pieces or someone who loves modern finishes with a nod to the past, the Classic Collection has something to round off any design. The designers working with DXV created timeless spaces with a nostalgic flair that feel both traditional and contemporary. Artists like John Currin, John McAllister and Cecily Brown all take cues from classical periods in art history, while recontextualizing them into modern color schemes, subject matter and treatments.
“At age 17, I lost every possession I had accumulated in my short life span; ever since I have been a collector. My mission is to document and observe the world around me as if I have never seen it before. I take notes. Collect things I find during my travels. Document my findings. Notice patterns, Copy. Trace. Focus on one thing at a time. Record and follow what I am drawn to. It brings me immense joy to create space for what has been left behind. To preserve the history of others.”
Oakland-based illustrator and installation artist Lauren Napolitano works with found materials: wood scraps, old bottles, paper torn from old books, tattered lace and dried flowers amass in her subtle shrines, which are layered with the tiny, intricate painting style she has honed over the last decade. Entirely self-taught, Napolitano uses her thin, fragile, art-deco-inspired linework to coat forgotten relics of the everyday with new meanings, and new life. Her recent traveling project with street artist Shrine, called the “Reckless In Love Shack,” has been set up at Symbiosis and Lightning In A Bottle, and she continues to fill spaces with her lovely, lightly aged drawings and paintings, most recently at White Walls in SF and Old Crow in Oakland.
A portrait tries to capture the essence of a subject. By honing in on a solitary figure usually from the chest up, we’re able to delve into the eyes and see beneath the surface. There’s some seriousness involved because the traditional portrait is used to capture a visual record which can act as a long standing account of that subject. Taking this and flipping it, painter Austin Lee creates cartoon-like portraits of re-imagined people and animals. Bursting with neon color and loose line, his subjects have nothing to hide and let it all hang out. His work associates with characterture and gestural expression mostly ending up as vignette laden pictures.
With titles like Dunno, Mr. Worry, Facepalm, and Taboo the idea of community and friends surface as the subject for many of his pictures. In one, two figures appear in the front windshield of a car, the anticipation in their faces is that of a destination thay are unfamiliar with. In another, “Crush” a Mona Lisa type portrait peers out from a cabinet frame portraying someone the artist has a crush on?
Using a similar approach Lee creates heads out of 3D prints and acrylic paint. These look like self-portraits and capture certain aspects of his personality with the least amount of rendering. To some degree both his painting and prints reference minimalism in their quest to strip away and find the core of its subject.
In these difficult economic times, with decreased support from corporate America, Gen Art is looking to its loyal supporters of the past 15 years to help it celebrate its successes while looking forward towards insuring another great 15 years of programming. This is your chance to personally help save a company we hope you believe in.
I ♥ Gen Art: 15th Anniversary Benefit will feature an exhibition of the works of over 60 of today’s most exciting emerging/mid-career artists working in mixed mediums who either are Gen Art alumni artists or have been affiliated with or supportive of Gen Art programming over the years. Artwork will be exhibited and available for sale.
All proceeds from the evening will benefit the Gen Art Foundation, whose ongoing mission is to support undiscovered talent and providing a platform for emerging artists to garner increased exposure to a loyal audience of consumers and media.
June 24, 2009
*7-8pm VIP Preview
7 W. 34th St.