New York artist Kevin Cyr finds beauty in derelict cars and unkempt landscapes. He has always been interested in painting vehicles and scenes that have defined the evolution of the American landscape. A lot of his work has to do with the commemoration of commercial and recreational vehicles barely the signs of over-usage. He enjoys finding the character of these old cars and giving them a portrait-like importance by removing them from their everyday context. I love the way he discusses certain issues with the present lifestyle we lead with a subtle touch of humor.
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.).
The phrase “3D photos” seems like a bit of a contradiction, right? But no, Letha Projects has been making these amazing minimalist photo sculptures, taking plain pictures and translating them into a work of art that expands on their single dimensional forms. She also works with her flat photos by cutting and manipulating a mixture of color and black and white prints to create texture.
Swedish architect Gert Wingårdh and Finnish artist Kustaa Saksi have teamed up to produce a massive installation for the 2013 Stockholm Furniture Fair. The project consists of 700,000 illustrated sheets of A3 paper and 44,000 suspension points. The result is a vibrant mosaic of art and design. In Kutsaa Saksi’s own words: “I’m fascinated by architecture and antique ceiling paintings in temples all over the world, and the way they’ve attracted people to share their thoughts and ideas. I’ve wanted to create a similar aesthetics, mixed with orientalism, art, mathematics, science and psychedelia, by depicting communication as Darwinistic evolution. Constantly on the move and a work in progress, like bacteria and marine animals when they crawled out of the depths of the sea millions of years ago.”
Watch a time lapse video of the installation being built after the jump! (via)
Dylan Wooters is a photographer and writer from California, living in NYC. His photographs depict his encounters through the various cities he has lived or traveled to. Mr. Wooters has also followed the Bay area graffiti scene and taken numerous photos documenting his experience. Check out his Flick’r account, as well as his website, for more of his photos and writings.
In Lauren Roche‘s paintings, like the best portraiture, there exists a story found in discrepant details. Amidst heavily applied broad stroke of paint and drips, black dots appear to be lactating from human and animals, insinuating teets as opposed to breasts. Teeth are bared in grinless maws not typically associated with people or their pets. And yet there exists an honest and humble beauty in Roche’s rendering of her subjects. Explaining that many subjects are taken from faces of friends and pets, as well as old photographs used for reference, the Minneapolis-based artist adds,
“The figures in my images are facets of my subconscious and take action in a pictorial language and don’t transfer into names for me. I like to leave the interpretation of personality up to the viewer, because that’s what I do.”
Roche’s paintings possess a rawness that cannot be denied, balanced in equal measure by a deft rendering of facial expressions. Perhaps the beauty of these paintings comes from their singular nature, and their anachronistic charm, evocative of a different era of capturing images. When asked the purpose of a focus on portraiture, particularly in an uploadable Digital Age, Roche responds,
“The purpose of portraiture is to give the maker and viewer the space for an interpretation of the subject that is private and flexible, fluid and idiosyncratic. Its difficult to compare portraiture to a cell phone picture because the process is so different. Drawing portraits is like a form of meditation and reflection for me and taking a cell phone picture feels more like a superficial gesture to prove that I’m enjoying myself.”
Roche’s work will be featured in the upcoming Two Dark Horses at Bockley Gallery in Minneapolis, MN, alongside Andrew Mazorol and Tynan Kerr (who when painting collectively go by AMTK, previously featured here) and Lindsay Rhyner. The exhibition, named after one of Roche’s paintings (top of page) opens this Friday, March 21st and runs through April 26th, 2014.
Japanese artist Junko Mizuno’s candy-colored works draw us into a world full of dark and erotic food fetishes. Meant as a metaphor the female sexual appetite and power, Mizuno’s illustrations feature women enjoying eggs, bacon, noodles, and more. Her maximalist style weaves geometric shapes, naked creatures, and luscious patterns into each composition. Coupled with the strong presence of a female character, it results in artwork that’s simultaneously grotesque, cute, playful, and alluring.
Mizuno’s inspiration comes from a range of historical and cultural influences, as well as traditions found in both Eastern and Western worlds. Fairy tales and the works of Aubrey Beardsley and Eric Stanton are also visible. Narwhal Contemporary writes about her paintings, stating, “One reoccurring image is that of the iconic multi-armed goddess cloaked in symbols of life and wisdom, surrounded by fleets of devoted minions and enveloped in flames that will never consume her.” They relish in their unapologetic gluttony.
Mizuno currently has work in a solo exhibition titled Ambrosial Affair at the Narwhal Contemporary in Toronto. This is the second in a three-part exhibition series titled Junko Mizuno’s Food Obsession. It’s on view until March 15 of this year.