Lee Stoetzel carves fast food, life-size VW buses, vintage Mac computers, and even fine art from wood, recalling iconic objects, and ironically, examining worn-out symbols or ideas in contemporary art, initially cultivated from the likes of Chuck Close, Rube Goldberg, and Claes Oldenburg.
Whether its mesquite or cypress, each renewable resource favors sinewy flaws or wood marks that, according to Stoetzel, feel comparable to brush strokes, providing another layer of texture and pop of craftsmanship.
Check out the video of Stoetzel discussing his work in his studio and see a few more stills after the jump.
Herbert Baglione, a native from Brazil, has brought to light the strong culture of graffiti from the streets of Sao Paulo to the rest of the world. The art that lives in the streets of the South American country is very well portrayed in his artwork as he brings to life the monotonous urban environment that we pass by every day. He takes on the task of making it part of his canvas.
Israeli artist Ronit Bigal transforms the body into a text. For her “Body Scripture II” series, Bigal uses digital photography overlaid with Biblical text (in Hebrew) and floral ornamentation drawn with black Indian ink to create these stunning images of body calligraphy. The body is exposed and abstracted, the text contouring bodily landscapes and capturing hidden textures and unspoken eroticism. Upon close inspection, the text on the bodies is hard to read. It’s small and intricate, but the overall effect creates a visually hypnotic pattern. Bigal places the text so thoughtfully around the curves of the body that it is hard to believe the text was not drawn directly onto the subjects. Her work also leaves me curious about which passages she placed on particular body parts, and if she was deliberate in the placement.
Her Saatchi profile explains that these images “…are almost abstract and enigmatic, arousing the viewer’s curiosity to discover what are the photographed objects, what meanings lies behind the texts; and whether there is a thematic affinity between them or, perhaps are the associations purely aesthetical?” (via my modern met)
Inspired by traditional paintings from the Baroque and Rococo periods, Joe Becker‘s paintings not only portray a remarkable craftsmanship but provides images full of vivid and colorful nightmares. Charged with juxtapositions of pop culture imagery and chaotic scenarios, his paintings offer more than plenty excitement and tension to the viewer.
Photographer Amy Lombard is no stranger to the fringe cultures. Last year, she attended Bronycon in Baltimore (previously featured on B/D here), where she captured some of the festivities. During the year, she also frequented different animal shows and photographed who and what she saw there. The result comprised a series titled, Welcome to the Show. The types of animals range from cats, dogs, lizards, horses, and bugs. Lombard not only documents the animals, but their owners, and the relationship to one another.
The shows she attended are not the likes of the Westminster Kennel Club. Instead, they appear to be local and amateur. Since we don’t know what the context is of the shows, it makes the photographs all the more alluring. Some seem to double as pet shops (it’s only $5 for a painted hermit crab). Her style is candid, and her subjects not posing for the camera. Instead, they go about their business of show, looking, buying, and selling.
Welcome to the Show is the documentary of a niche interest. It’s not particularly glamorous, but is interesting and amusing. Lombard’s eye captures subtleties like small, amusing moments. A dog is wearing a skirt (or apron) with a $1 bill tucked in it. There are numerous people that look like their pets, which doesn’t seem surprising at an event like this.
Argentinian artist Fabian Marcaccio’s sculptures are paintings come to life. During the 90s, Marcaccio began to create a series of sculptures he referred to as “paintants,” a portmanteau of “painting” and “mutant,” of which he combines digitally manipulated imagery, sculptural form, and 3D painted surfaces. From this point, he began to create work influenced “by the dynamic relationship…between elements and overcrowdings that attract and string one another, link up and get activated in time and space.” His sculptures are at once stable as physical entities and unstable as representations of excess and collapse. Marcaccio uses a variety of media in his creations including oil and acrylic paints, silicon, sand, rope, plastic, wood, and aluminum. He’ll also create color-saturated brushstrokes with white or colorless silicon and stick them onto his sculptures.
On May 29 at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, Luxembourgian performance artist Deborah de Robertis, wearing a gold sequined dress, plopped down in front of Gustav Courbet’s painting “The Origin of the World,” and spread her legs and vaginal lips, publicly exposing herself. The artist’s intent was to re-enact the famous painting, but with an open, exposed vagina in contrast to the vagina presented in Courbet’s piece. Eventually, de Robertis was escorted from the premises by police officers, and two museum guards filed sexual exhibitionist complaints against her after the incident.
“This is a typical case of disrespecting the museum’s rules, whether for a performance or not,” the Musée d’Orsay’s administration said in a statement. “No request for authorization was filed with us. And even if it had been, it’s not certain we would have accepted it as that may have upset our visitors.”
de Robertis, of course, disagrees with these accusations (as does Banksy). “If you ignore the context, you could construe this performance as an act of exhibitionism, but what I did was not an impulsive act,” she explained to Luxemburger Wort. “There is a gap in art history, the absent point of view of the object of the gaze. In his realist painting, the painter shows the open legs, but the vagina remains closed. He does not reveal the hole, that is to say, the eye. I am not showing my vagina, but I am revealing what we do not see in the painting, the eye of the vagina, the black hole, this concealed eye, this chasm, which, beyond the flesh, refers to infinity, to the origin of the origin.”
de Robertis says she’s performed this piece, “Mirror of Origin,” more than once in the same museum without causing a hysteric scene, and unsurprisingly, this is not the first time a performance artist has imitated a famous work of art by exposing their body: last year, performance artist Arthur G stripped down and appeared in front of Musée d’Orsay’s parade of male nudes, “Masculin/Masculin.” It is also not unusual for female performance artists to use their bodies as a medium for messages about our culture and the way it conceptualizes female anatomy and sexuality: I’m thinking of recent Beautiful/Decay features, like Milo Moire’s vaginal egg-dropping and Casey Jenkins’ vaginal knitting. The reactions garnered from such performances reflect our culture’s current conception of female anatomy and sexuality and prove that our stripped-bare biology continues to be seen as obscene, threatening, and attention-seeking, even within performance-based contexts. (via art fido)