It would be too easy to suggest that Grace Mikell Ramsey‘s work only illustrates moments of science fiction or fantasy. This is not what draws us into her narratives. Instead, it’s her ability to capture subtle anticipation– insular moments of contemplation where reality gestures goodbye. Her characters stand on the precipice, holding their breath, surrendering to dreamy whims only young children or covens of three are capable of conjuring, unable to shake a certain heaviness of the pending trade and what is at stake.
Argentinian artist Gerardo Feldstein and his absurd sur/realist sculptures recontextualize the way we think about space and the body’s movement within that space. Some of his work features anthropomorphized figures, an exaggerated body part (arms, legs, heart), or he places his sculpted figures into a landscape or susceptible position. His figures encompass a narrative of power and humor, and the role that our perspective plays in relation to these concepts. Some of his mixed media sculptures emit a vulnerability that, though expressed through this absurd medium, feels relatable and almost empathetic.
The artwork of Cassandra Smith exists in the space between juxtapositions. Taxidermied animals are often a bit creepy. However, Smith’s stuffed forest friends are also playfully decorated – fish covered in rhinestones, and fur in bright paint. The natural plays with the synthetic, old with the new, and utilitarian with the decorative. She says of her work:
“My work is about manipulations and transformation. It is about exploring the ways that I can enhance and change found objects to give them something they did not have in their former life.” [via]
To suggest that David Adey builds art from recycled materials would be an understatement. He develops intricate patterns from previous design work. Each celebrity limb or fashion savvy lip is delicately cut out, then pinned and pieced together on a foam board, without any digitalized color manipulation; he does, however, use a Google search to locate the parts for his palette and develop an arrangement.
His process, Adey admits, is terribly methodical, time consuming, and detail oriented, however, this is exactly the point. He states, “For me as an artist, it’s a matter of developing or choosing your own constraints. Finding them and embracing them as a tool to make the work.” Echoing a similar sentiment put forth by the father of design himself, Charles Eames, Adey continues: “Without constraints, you don’t have anything. That’s the whole design process — working within constraints.”
The audiovisual installation titled Isotope v.2 was created Nonotak – an art duo made up of Noemi Schipfer and Takami Nakamoto. Light projections are projected on and through a box approximately thirteen feet on each side. Accompanied by sound the projection begins rather subdued. Low drones match lights moving and changing slowly. Soon, however, the light and sound seems to quicken its pace, become glitchy, even aggressive. Watch the video after the jump to see the Isotope v.2 in action. The installation is a reference and response to Fukushima and its now infamous power plant. Following the tragic 2011 earthquake control over the Fukushima power plant quickly deteriorated. Using this as a metaphor for the human relationship with nuclear energy, the installation creates a type of immaterial prison. Walls of light surround the visitors becoming ever more imposing as the projection progresses.
For anyone with a fondness for west coast life, the gritty, glorious scenery that unfolds across Bay Area painter Laura Sutro‘s canvases is nothing short of sentimental. In simple, generous strokes, Sutro uses tastefully honest narrative to spell out one person’s journey on the freeways, down the sidewalks and through the bedrooms of a contemporary California. Her lush, layered color palettes echo a careful, critical study of light, while her snapshot sensibilities make each piece feel curious and fresh.
Sutro’s works are currently viewable at Adobe Books Backroom Gallery in San Francisco.
This installation by artist Soo Sunny Park is appropriately titled Unwoven Light. Several sections of chain link fence have been connected and draped throughout the gallery. The wave-like sections of fence are filled with small pieces of Plexiglas. Light from the galleries many lamps and the sun at various angles fall through the glass projecting a multicolored pattern more impressive than the installation itself. Park uses the light as a medium, unfurling from the fence and fully splayed on every gallery surface. [via]
Dan Colen’s trash-to-treasure mixed media installations remind us of the potential of beauty in the discarded. In his exhibition, Blowin’ In the Wind, Colen repurposes the painting tools which he uses to create his Trash series. These objects are placed or hung in the gallery, absent of the painted canvases that resulted from their use. Painting tools include objects such as a flip-flop, a paint can, rags, string, bottles, a tire, a yellow mop bucket, a McDonald’s food bag, and an umbrella handle. In Out of the Blue and Into the Black, Colen tars and feathers an entire gallery wall with one small and bright painted canvas among this image of morbidity. Also part of this installation is a cluster of suspended beat-up and forgotten blue bicycles. Representing the more literal approach of trash-to-treasure are canvases onto which Colen has pasted painted trash or gum and gum wrappers. Colen’s background is in painting and a series of his oil paintings, entitled The Spirits That I Called, will be on view at Oko Gallery in New York from May 15 – June 15.