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James Franco Dresses In Drag, Mimics Cindy Sherman’s Photographs

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At current his exhibition at PACE Gallery, the actor James Franco tries his hand at self-portraiture, posing as the legendary photographer Cindy Sherman in replicas of her 1970s student project Untitled Film Stills, a series of silver gelatin prints in which she dressed as iconic women in film. In this strange mimesis of Sherman’s own impersonations, he reflects on an actor’s place, calling into question fixed notions identity, gender, and time.

Sherman, often playing the role of shape-shifting Bacchus and pushing the boundaries of selfhood, questioned the limitations of contemporary femininity, presenting clearly-defined roles for women: the femme fatale, the ingenue, the metropolitan sophisticate. Her film stills represent a sort of painful self-awareness; the film stops mid-reel, and the heroine introspects: who am I, beneath this costume?

The dialogue is complicated by Franco’s series, which in essence, presents an actor playing the role of artist playing the role of actor; what’s more, he’s a man playing at womanhood. Unlike most modern drag, where men seem to flawlessly transform into women, Franco insists on asserting his masculinity; in most of the images, he wears an unconvincing blond wig and facial hair.

Where there is a sort of anxiety in Sherman’s stills, the self-consciousness of being watched as expressed through a downturned lip and upward gaze, a housewife’s mishap in the kitchen, Franco’s New Film Stills project a self-assurance that borders on arrogance. His identity is unchanging, for unlike Sherman, his transformation is incomplete. He knows who he is, remaining forever the actor, who, in Brechtian fashion, refuses to lose himself completely to the character. Take a look. (via BUST, Art in America, and Interview)

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Awesome Video Of The Day: Röyksopp’s Got Drugs

In the future buildings will crumble and burn, graffiti will warn about the end of the world, drugs will be rampant, creepy guys with black eyes will lurk in the dark, and skinny european bgirls with airbrushed t-shirts will roam earth. Oh and faint electronic music will be the soundtrack to our lives.

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Paper Art: Seven Artists Revamp Paper Into Sculptural Works

Tomas Saraceno paper art

Tomas Saraceno

Tomas Saraceno paper art

Tomas Saraceno

Tomas Saraceno paper art

Tomas Saraceno

Paper is a surface used by artists all the time, however we rarely see the true versatility of it as a material explored to the extent that is seen in the paper art featured here by: Ryuji NakamuraKyosuke Nishida and Brian LiJeff NishinakaTomas SaracenoMatt Shlian and Jen Stark.

Tomas Saraceno is a master of transforming a space and infusing it with an interactive surreal quality.  His installations that are constructed to provide viewers with the experience that they are walking on a cloud are absolutely captivating.  The soft dream-like magic of his work is more tactile and intimate, however, in this paper installation Cloud House featuring cloud like formations made only out of smaller geometric matte paper structures.

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DANIEL ARSHAM Reconsiders Architecture

Daniel Arsham’s structural interventions cause walls to appear in a state of flux, as if they are melting or dripping, reverse the notion of architectural rigidity and of a partition’s standard presentation. His aestheticized sculpture and installations realize hypothetical architectural elements and counter intuitive designs, queuing possibilities and coercing material to behave atypically.

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Artist Rachel Dien Creates Delicate Fossils From Flowers

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London based artist Rachel Dein creates fossils from everyday objects. She allows herself to preserve tangible pieces of the present as keepsakes for the future. The simplicity of the work adds to its honesty and preciousness. Dien studied as a propmaking apprentice at the English National Opera, giving her quite a extensive knowledge of object creation. Her “fossil” project began with the desire to preserve a sentimental bouquets of flowers. Her process has now blossomed into a practice of creating beautifully adorned tiles. She takes cherished, perhaps fleeting, objects and allows them to exist eternally. Her work is created with a fairly basic form of casting, yet allows her to capture delicate and intricate details. She learned the process from a glass blowing class in art college, during which she was told to press shapes into wet sand and pour molten glass over the impression. After that, she began experimenting with clay, plaster and paint, and found her way to the tile making process she uses today. Each of the molds she creates can only be used once, and therefore each piece is a unique, personalized object. Her work is undoubtedly graceful, and in a slight sense, almost whimsical. The process of casting has a long history, and despite her creating in the preset, her objects tend to feel as if they have come from a deep rooted past, truly capturing the feel of being a “fossil.” (via deMilked)

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Mark Menjivar

 

Short Order Cook | Marathon, TX | 2-Person Household | She can bench press over 300 lbs. | 2007

Short Order Cook | Marathon, TX | 2-Person Household | She can bench press over 300 lbs. | 2007

 

In his “You Are What You Eat” portrait series, Mark Menjivar examines the interiors of refrigerators in homes across the United States. The result is an exploration of hunger issues, of “how we care for our bodies, for others, and for the land.” The result is a full spectrum of interpersonal connectivity in which everyone is truthfully represented.

 

In his statement, Menjivar claims, “A refrigerator is both a private and a shared space. One person likened the question, ‘May I photograph the interior of your fridge?’ to asking someone to pose nude for the camera. Each fridge is photographed ‘as is.’ Nothing added, nothing taken away.”

 

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Nick Smith’s Recreates Classic Paintings With Pantone Swatches

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Nick Smith‘s playfully arranges Pantone swatches to paper to re-create famous paintings from “Girl with a Pearl Earring” to “Mona Lisa.” Though his work uses broad swaths of colors, the pictures are still recognizable, looking almost like 8-bit art. He takes classic pieces and brings them into the 21st century, adding a little twist of tongue-in-cheek pop art to it along the way.

Smith’s previous work has also been largely representative, such as his “Shades of Lust” series, which labels various shades of pink Pantone swatches with suggestive yet simple titles such as “NIPPLE” and “BOUNCY.” (via I Need a Guide)

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Yinka Shonibare Interview for the BBC

Yinka Shonibare is hands down one of my favorite contemporary artists. His stunning explorations into world history, the poetics and policies of identity, authenticity, globalization and imperialism raise interesting political questions without being patronizing. They are beautiful on a formal level, as well as conceptual.

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