Industrial designer James Boock, along with the design team of Josh Newsome-White, Brooke Bowers, Hannah Warren, George Redmond, Richie Stewart and Philippa Shipley designed and built the Quakescape 3D Fabricator. The fabricator uses earthquake data to visually represent the natural disaster. The machine retrieves the earth quake data which is then transformed into paint formations. Different color paint (representing different intensities of an earthquake) are poured onto the appropriate locations of a cross section of Christchurch, New Zealand. The wet paint flows down mountains, pooling in valleys, further transforming the raw information into art.
Rebecca Morgan creates a collection of characters and types, a cross between Brueghel’s stylized peasants, R. Crumb’s winking harlots, “Deliverance”, and the inbred mutants of many a horror flick. Morgan takes her background in rural Appalachia as the point of origin for her personae – as they become uncultured tourists, or especially in her self-portraits, expatriate interlopers ambivalently negotiating their depiction. Morgan’s more exotic rednecks inhabit a rural America where people exist intimately and potently with the wilderness, a relationship which urbanites can only smirk at and envy. Nature is either wistfully idyllic – the idyl found in a margarine ad – or the scene of demonically perverse debauchery.
Morgan’s style fluctuates between hyper-detailed naturalism, reminiscent of Dutch painters such as Memling and Van Eyck, and cartoonish caricature, which pushes the imagery to a ridiculous, repulsive, even absurd dimension. Jagged teeth, furry brows, corpulent bodies symbolic of sloth and over-indulgence, and a general air of dirty unkeptness all exploit the demonization of the Appalachian. Internal traits come to the surface, and while Morgan exorcizes her country folk’s demons, ridicule mixes with pride and defiant celebration. In her alternately tender and aggressive depictions of herself, she bares all – a metaphoric exposure of her former rural character, or to prod the viewer to question their own position.
My favorite painters, the Singh Twins, talk about their commissioned works for Liverpool European Capital of Culture 08. The Singh twins recontextualize a traditional style of Indian Miniature painting with pop culture references to create something lovely and new.
David Rochkind’s Heavy Hand, Sunken Spirit is a project about Mexico’s new normalcy: day-to-day violence and corruption due to Mexico’s violent drug war since the rise of former Mexican President Felipe Calderon.
Since his time in office, the battle against the country’s drug cartels has become a priority, and in consequence more than 50,000 people have been killed and kidnapped
The cartels in Mexico are ruthless, meting out an awesome brutality where heads are rolled into crowded discos and dismembered bodies are abandoned on busy streets.
Rochkind images intend to “frame the violence as a symptom”, as opposed to the problem. He is interested in documenting Mexico’s present situations in an unfiltered manner; he says, “when documenting this conflict it is important not to reduce what is happening to a series of nearly anonymous images of carnage that could be happening anywhere.” His honest imagery is not just about violence, though. In nutshell, these photographs tell a story, a present of people whom find themselves in these horrid yet mundane situations. The photograph’s rawness intend to offer a snapshot of history, essentially a set of documents that can be referred to later on, in order to answer questions and redefine Mexican culture in the future.
I chose to work on this project because it represents how a grand, intense struggle can be transformed into quiet, daily dramas that are woven seamlessly into the lives of those involved. I am drawn to extreme crises that become internalized, even routine, to the communities that they touch.
This work was published as a monograph by Dewi Lewis Publishing in December 2012 and was honored by PDN, photo-eye and Professional Photographer Magazine, as book of the year. The project has also been exhibited internationally, including at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Southeast Museum of Photography, the Blue Sky Gallery and others. (via feature shoot)
Chris Wilson cakes the canvas in sexy mystery. Temptresses, Sirens, Punk Rock Queens and Fallen Goddesses grace his haunted imagery. The texture in his work is so tangible your eyes can taste the grit. As he rises in the art scene, I most definitely suggest you keep not one, but two eyes watching Mr. Wilson. If you’re free this Friday evening, Chris is showing in a group exhibition at Tempo Royale (@ Wilshire Royale – 2619 Wilshire Blvd.) …I know I’ll be there!
Scott Lickstein’s surrealist pop culture infused paintings are ethereal and witty. He combines seemingly disparate imagery into one canvas evoking both a sardonic and dreamy aesthetic. The layers of reference are reminiscent of collage work, something he also dabbles in, in addition to photography and video. Lickstein: “Robert Motherwell declared collage as the most important discovery of the twentieth century. He wasn’t referring to the idea of cut and paste. He was pondering the exploration of infinite potential. Contemporary life is ocular bombardment. Content is overlapped beyond the veil of the conscious mind. Control and manipulation of this data is the game for now and for the foreseeable future for this artist.”
Coke Wisdom O’Neil’s conceptually driven portrait series The Box feels theatrically avant-garde, akin to Sartre’s No Exit, with strong emphasis on “the look”– or, the dilemma of seeing ourselves as objects in other people’s consciousness.
Each photograph was originally shot in a twenty-two foot tall wooden box, constructed by the artist himself and set up in a variety of different public spaces from New York City to Texas. Such an unnaturally large empty platform allowed curious subjects the freedom to perform when shooting; however, ironically, it also has a tendency to trap when printed– evoking a doll-like sense of display, especially when collected back-to-back on a gallery wall, suggesting “the look” is relative to not only our minds, but also most apparent in photography or art itself.