The work of Stefanie Gutheil is a wonderful mess. Her current exhibit at the Mike Weiss gallery has the atmosphere of the precise moment a party becomes a riot. Gutheil’s paintings incorporate fleshy globs of oil and acrylic paint, fabric, glitter, hair, and fur. The seemingly turbid materials match the paintings’ libidinous subject matter. Even some of the paintings frames only seem to exist in order to be defied – cat’s tails, pants, hats all push past gilded frames and off the canvas. In what she portrays and how she portrays it, Gutheil’s work pinpoints a curious place precisely between fun and horror – the moment before the last finger loses its grip.
Hover boards are still not a reality and cars don’t fly in space. We all know this. However reality didn’t stop Michael J. Fox from skating in the sky and it sure as hell didn’t stop French photographer Renaud Marion from creating this extremely well executed series of classic cars that have been turned into sleek floating vehicles of the future. Marion kept all the best elements of the classic rides sans the wheels to create cars that even the Jetsons would be proud to ride in. (via)
The story of Meghan Howland‘s oil paintings are quiet like a secret. Her work captures understated dreamy scenes. A confusion of birds, hidden faces, a scarf that may or may not be choking its wearer – her work at once is lighthearted and hints at a darker undercurrent.
Her gallery relates, “Her paintings are often dreamlike, and yet carry a weight of something that is slightly more dissonant. The question of whether something is safe or dangerous, loving or hateful, is often unexplained in her work.”
A snapshot quality to the image, fill flash like lighting, lends the paintings the characteristic of a caught instant. However, her painterly hand stretches the moment. While definitely working a contemporary aesthetic, Howland’s paintings are at times reminiscent of Degas’ style and palette.
Los Angeles’ own He’s My Brother She’s My Sister recently released their debut LP, Nobody Dances in this Town on Park The Van Records. They also just played their first ever sold out hometown show at the Troubadour to a very enthusiastic crowd, myself included.
Their energetic live performance is really something to see… it’s hard to not dance to this band which makes me laugh at the title of their new record. The band consists of brother and sister Rob and Rachel Kolar on vocals and guitar, Oliver Newell on upright bass, Aaron Robinson on slide guitar, and then there’s Lauren Brown who plays drums. Well, she’s not just a drummer, but a tap dancing drummer. She actually stands on top of the bass drum and tap dances on it while keeping the beat, it’s pretty fun to watch. If you like Neko Case and Rilo Kiley, with a little sprinkle of John Doe and X thrown in, you’ll love this band!
They are currently touring across the country with stops at the Independent in San Francisco on Feb. 2nd, One Eyed Jacks in New Orleans on Feb. 24th, Miami’s the Vagabond on March 2nd, as well as SXSW in Austin from March 13-18th along with many dates in between and after. Check them out if you want to see a great live performance and definitely pick up a copy of their new album so you don’t feel alone when everyone else is singing along.
Artist Rik Garrett explores physical relationships in his series Symbiosis. By painting directly onto the photograph, Garrett literally fuses two bodies into one. Two writhing bodies seem to become one organism. It’s a nearly a literal interpretation of “two becoming one flesh”.
Garrett says, “Symbiosis is a new series exploring ideas regarding love, relationships, magic, Alchemy and mutually beneficial partnerships in nature.”
While the idea sounds romantic the imagery can appear otherwise. The single masses almost appear to be struggling against itself, perhaps alluding to the complexities of sexuality and relationships.
Heidi Voet lives and works in both Brussels and Shanghai. She creates sculptures based on minor alterations that comment on society and history. In 2010 and again in 2011 she produced large “Tapestries” made with thousands of digital watches. Presented as carpets these physical fabrics of time are vibrant representations of household staples. Maya Kramer explained one work in an article entitled ‘Beautiful because it is brief‘ stating that “Is six afraid of seven/ ’cause seven, eight, nine/ I’m about to lose the pieces I find is an elaborate carpet woven together from over four thousand, multicolored watches all set to the exact time. (…) at intervals throughout the day, the watch alarms simultaneously ring in a symphony of digital chimes. Over the course of the exhibition, the watches will inevitably malfunction, losing their synchronicity and eventually sounding like an out of rhythm and out of tune orchestra. Thus, as the title of the work implies, the march of time is subtle yet unceasing and its cumulative effect results ultimately in dissolution and increased chaos.” (via)
We have featured the work of NY based Matthew Palladino on the blog in the past (here). He has an uncanny ability to reveal subtle dark humor within everyday objects and situations. Palladino has just unveiled a new series of vinyl on canvas and ink on paper paintings that extend his cryptic vision. Figures sway as his claustrophobic compositions warp and pulsate. In other pieces fabric swatches shift and mutate throughout explosive abstractions. In his own words, “The work I make is not like science, it doesn’t begin with a question. It instead tends to end in a question.”
Holly Andres series Sparrow Lane presents an elliptical narrative of young women on the verge of adulthood. Drawing on the formal and thematic conventions of Nancy Drew books, 1970s horror films and Alfred Hitchcock, the series depicts girls in search of forbidden knowledge. By employing suggestive and symbolic iconography such as chrome flashlights, skeleton keys, mirrors, birdcages and open drawers, literal narratives are suspended to suggest psycho-sexual metaphors. The Sparrow Lane protagonists are propelled by curiosity, empowered by their discoveries, and are also intimidated by a sense of impending threat. While the girls flirt with danger, however, the work is apparently innocent and devoid of explicit violence. Rather, the series represents the potential loss of innocence.
More photos from the series and a fantastic promo video for the book of the series after the jump.