If you are lucky, once in a while you find an artist that helps you remember why you started getting into art in the first place. I first saw Dave Muller’s work in 2004 at his show ‘I Like Your Music’ at Blum & Poe, and at the time was just a fresh-faced college kid, only beginning to think about getting involved in the fine arts. I walked into this room full of his drawings of massive record sleeves – vibrant, colorful, and full of life – it was one of the first times that I remember feeling truly enthusiastic about art, not simply because I thought it looked cool, but because it seemed to speak to something about life that I was really excited about. It was a turning point for me in the way I interacted with art, and I’ve never thought about things the same way. For me, Dave Muller’s work is all about the good things that make life worth living – good music, good friends, a little messy, a lot of color, and a lot of fun. Dave has been one of my favorite artists since that fateful day, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to talk to him about his work, his alternate life as a DJ, and his recent wall drawing at the new Cowboys Stadium.
Artist/designer Mr. Kiji has already had a prolific career for someone so young, but his work across mediums and markets (ranging from paint to pixels) is all part of a much bigger vision he has for living a wholly creative life. In this video, he gives some sage advice to young upstarts, and discusses how he pulls inspiration and enthusiasm into every single project—whether it’s art or advertising creative for giants like Google and Converse.
Jimmy Joe Roche has a brand spankin’ new website…including a page entitled “labyrinth” which stacks Jimmy’s various videos, causing a seizural-wall of epileptic sound. Other fun stuff….Mac software entitled “Slime Pulse,” which, in the artists words is a “standalone generative noise software for the Mac OS.” Check it out!
Matika Wilbur is a Pacific Northwest photographer who is part of the Swinomish and Tulalip Tribes (Washington). In her unique position as both an artist and a social documentarian Wilbur became interested in capturing the contemporary Native identity and experience of Native Americans. Originally simply curious about her own identity and the way it grappled with how she felt others perceived her, Wilbur began a small project on her community’s elders. That small project morphed into an ambitious process of documentation.
With great insight, depth and passion Wilbur began Project 562. Despite the current cultural, economic and political progression of the Native Americans Wilbur was distraught by the strong and incorrect stereotypes that prevail. The 2010 census shows about 5.2 million Native Americans living in the United States and Wilbur feels it is important to portray how this significant population lives today. Thus she embarked on a 60,000 mile roadtrip to begin documenting citizens of each of the more than 560 federally recognized Native American tribes in the United States.
Along with photographs, Wilbur is taking oral narratives from all Tribal communities. Seeking out elders, cultural bearers, linguists, teachers, activists, artists, professionals and other contemporary Native Americans Wilbur is organizing her photographs and stories into a comprehensive and through project. As Wilbur explains, “My goal is to represent Native people from every tribe. By exposing the astonishing variety of the Indian presence and reality at this juncture, we will build cultural bridges, abandon stereotypes, and renew and inspire our national legacy.”
Sparking conversation about Edward Curtis, Wilbur responds to comparisons by saying that Curtis was a white man, who would bring his own “props” and pair clothing with the incorrect tribe—rarely even bothering to know the names of his subjects. Wilbur, on the other hand, wants to know the stories of her subjects and wants to portray them accurately, shunning the stereotypes Curtis’ photographs, to this day, perpetuate.
Having just completed a successful Kickstarter campaign Wilbur will continue with her project. A collection of images and interviews will be on display at The Tacoma Art Museum in May.
On a crowded bus ride in Beijing, Chinese artist Liu Di noticed his surroundings. “Looking out at the decrepit housing blocks”, he said, “I had a vague but strong feeling that there was something missing between the ground and the sky.” It was then that he had the idea for his 2008 series, Animal Regulation, an almost cinematic display of enlarged animals sitting amongst the ‘urban ruins’ of the city of Beijing. Using photoshop, he seamlessly embedded these wild, large animals into Beijing’s forgotten and depleted back streets, construction sites and tenement courtyards.
With the addition of the gigantic,exotic animals, Di not only tries to fill the void that he notices as he travels through the city, but most importantly, he attempts to draw attention to these spaces in a big and scandalous way. We cannot help but notice ‘the big panda in the room’, and that, I think, is the kind of reaction the artist is looking for. The metaphorical animal living amongst the city of Beijing alludes to deeper issues here–the void is filled with an unwanted visitor and in order for it to go away something must change.
Di’s political undertones cannot be missed.
“Between nature and human society, between the material world and the intellect, between obedience to and violation of the laws of nature. It is only when our preconceptions are jolted that we wake up and truly see.”
These photographs are part of Barbara Pollack’s My Generation, an exhibition that acts as the first in the U.S to focus solely on the new post-Mao generation of dissident Chinese artists. The catalogue includes works by Sun Xun, Lu Yang, Ai Wei Wei’s former assistant, Zhao Zhao and many more. The show is currently being co-presented in two venues simultaneously through a unique collaboration between Tampa Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts in St.Petersburg, FL. My Generation will be on view until September 28th, 2014.
Michigan based artist Christina Mrozik’s sculptures and drawings focus on stories of migration, self awareness, shelter, and mating.
We’ve been spending a lot of time at the warehouse lately scrutinizing every little detail on our samples.
It may look like we used 20 different screens to make the “Color Blind” shirt pictured above but it was only achieved with the use of a four color printing process!
You may remember James Callahan’s Barf shirt from a few seasons back. Well he is back at it again making some of the most gruesome, amazing, and face melting designs for our spring and summer 09 line. If you could only see what this design looks like once it has the rest of its colors!