In her upcoming exhibit at Ambach & Rice, artist Ellen Lesperance intently and painstakingly reconstructs the sweaters of feminism’s heroines. Hand drawn and hand knit, the installation serves to attach these women’s politcal ideals and activism to their personal identity. Lesperance lovingly presents the objects nearly as if they were relics. Indeed, throughout the exhibit Lesperance alludes to ancient heroines in connection with these modern ones. In that light, the sweaters become a sort of “soft armor” in a struggle that extends from ancient female warriors to today’s feminist activists. Appropriately, the title of Lesperance’s exhibit is It’s Never Over.
The ‘carcasses’ of Tamara Kostianovsky are made entirely of her own clothing. She ‘cannabalizes’ her clothes to create life size racks of meat, fat, and bone. Using unwanted clothing, Kostianovsky emphasizes the human body and its constant physical demands. The work becomes a kind of parable for the nearly violent cycle of consumption. She says of the series:
“My intention is to confront the viewers with the real and grotesque nature of violence, offering a context for reflecting about the vulnerability of our physical existences, brutality, poverty, consumption, and the voracious needs of the body.”
Elvira ‘t Hart is a fashion designer who creates garments directly from the preliminary process of the sketch. Using a laser cutter she allows the intricacies of a simple line sketch to be realized in a physical garment. In her own words, “A lot of details contained within the first sketches are lost during the process of designing and executing clothing. By literally creating clothing patterns from the lines of sketches or sketching the patterns of clothing and cutting this out by laser, new shapes or suggestions of shapes are created. The clothing takes characteristics from the sketches: outlying lines, lines that trail off into nowhere and empty or unfinished areas. An image is reduced to lines, planes and areas which do not have to be fully formed or finished in order to portray ther ultimate meaning…” (via)
We have featured the work of Portland based Adam Friedman on the blog (here) in the past. He has just opened a new solo exhibition at Eleanor Harwood Gallery in San Francisco entitled Space and Time, and Other Mysterious Aggregations that is on view through March 2nd. From the press release Friedman explains, “In my work, rules of perspective, distance, and light are bent. Space can become a solid object and places are folded on top of one another. Millions of years are compacted into a single instant and rocks become fluid. I strive to present a moment that defies human intervention in the landscape, and pays homage to the potential in the inexplicable.”
Mel Davis lives and works in Berkeley, CA. With scraps of found wood as a base she utilizes subtle layers of oil paint to create striking forms that are both ragged and refined. In her own words, “Looking at British Romantic landscape artist John Constable I was struck by the beautiful and violent atmospheres he commands. Several attempts at introducing fury and ferocity in my paintings resulted in using found wood as a support. Manipulating these objects before, during and after the painting process by hammering, ripping, wrestling and sanding forces a characteristic in my paintings that can be interpreted as violence, however beyond this they also function as artifact. I am purposefully aging the paintings…I see them as fractured paintings clipped from a larger endeavor. These paintings are artifacts that are found and made precious by preserving and presenting them.”
Chelsea Wolfe released Unknown Rooms: A Collection Of Acoustic Songs last year on Sargent House and has just released a new video in collaboration with Converse x Decibel Magazine, Flatlands. The beautifully directed video by Charlene Bagcal is instantly mesmerizing and I’m sure will add to the “doom-folk” mystique of Chelsea Wolfe who I’ve still yet to see perform live. Thankfully, that is about to change since she’s currently on a short acoustic tour to play songs from the album.
You can catch her tonight, February 1st in Houston at Fitzgerald’s, Feb. 5th at Phoenix’s Crescent Ballroom, and next Friday, February 8th at the First Unitarian Church in Los Angeles along with Deradoorian from Dirty Projectors fame opening the show. She’s also performing on April 20th at the Desert Daze festival in Mecca, CA along with Warpaint. Check out her video for Flatlands and grab a ticket to one of her upcoming shows for what I’m sure will be a beautiful evening of music.
Christian Maychack lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Combining epoxy clay with various pigments Maychack creates dynamic marbled abstractions that dance around their wooden surroundings. The nature of the clay and pigment allows the forms to appear as paintings upon first glance. In this way the work blurs the line between abstract painting and sculpture.
Photographer James Florio created the series Homeless in Orlando. Alternating between slides of text and black and white photographs. The series captures the home and life of a homeless couple, Robert and Heather. Robert and Heather live in the woods of Orlando, Florida. The words and images describe the events that led to their home among the urban forests of the über-developed tourist hub.
The series feels much more like a film with its strong and touching narrative. Using a minimal amount of words and elegant photographs, Florio presents Robert and Heather in a way that is surprisingly emotionally engaging. He shows how typically simple tasks such as taking a shower, can become absurdly challenging. Homeless in Orlando provides a rare insight and is especially affecting. The rest of the Robert and Heather’s story unfolds after the jump. You’ll want to see it through to the last image.