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Kelley Smith’s little wildlife

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20 year old photographer Kelley Smith’s inanimate animals make me feel all warm and fuzzy.

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Remedios Varos AT Frey Norris

It’s not often that we post about deceased artists but a show about the imaginatvie and bizarre work of surrealist Remedios Varo merits a mention.

The first exhibition of Remedios Varo to ever take place in the western United States, Indelible Fables at Frey Norris illuminates the ever-imaginative and prescient world of this deceased surrealist artist. Spanish born Varo certainly died prematurely, by heart-attack in 1963, but in a short career she had acquired a cult-like following among friends in Mexico City, her adopted home. Many of these friends were involved in an informal investigation into esoteric religion and the teachings of George Ivanovich Gurdjieff and his student Peter Ouspensky. As part of this soteriological pursuit, with close friend, the celebrated English artist Leonora Carrington, Varo created some of the most inventive painted scenarios of any of the artists associated with surrealism. Varo would remain something of a marginalized, but popular figure in Latin American art right through the 1990’s, when a solo exhibition at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC elevated global awareness of her work and in part catalyzed an ever accelerating level of scholarship and market demand. View the show at Frey Norris from January 19th-February 25th.

 

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Photographer and Sculptor Amanda Charchian’s Bewitching Female-centric Art

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Enchanting and provocative, the dreamy work of Los Angeles-based sculptor and photographer Amanda Charchian leads a life of duplicity. Simultaneously spiritual and political, her art finds a balance between a transcendent admiration of nature and an intrinsic fascination with the female body.

Ranging from hypnotic crystal installations that give window planes life to sensual and beautiful photographs of female nudes interacting with wild nature, Charchian’s work hosts a wide variety of inspiration: Louise Bourgeois’ feminist sculptures, ancient Greek and Egyptian mythology, spiritual meditation, and the mysterious occult all play a part in the artist’s oeuvre, comprised of tremendously unique and stunningly cohesive works.

While, with her cast of all-female photography subjects and her emulation of Ms. Bourgeois, feminist undertones are highly evident in her projects, it is her interest in alchemy and enchantment that most aptly summarizes her body of work. She explains:

“Employing 2D and 3D mediums to transmit mystical experience into matter, my art practice is a means of communicating the subconscious sphere into objects; creating possible portals to ascend beyond known reality.” (Facebook)

Whether photographic or sculptural, her captivating pieces evoke a sense of otherworldliness, uniting the natural with the supernatural and, ultimately, bringing the transcendent down to earth. (Via Ssense)

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Justin Bua Disses Robert Rauschenberg!

I thought long and hard about whether I should post this but even after a good nights sleep i’m still angered by this video. If you’re not familiar with Justin Bua he is an illustrator primarily focusing on urban imageries of dj’s, breakdancers, and other various hip-hop related imagery. What do we think of his work? Well lets just say you won’t find him featured in B/D anytime soon. But I digress.

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Claire Colette’s Subtle, Cinematic Pencil On Paper

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At a time when makers have more tools at their fingertips than ever before, it’s intriguing to see an artist dedicated to perfecting the use of the most basic, universal medium: pencil on paper. The delicate, slowly unraveling works of Bay Area artist Claire Colette showcase a deep understanding and intimacy with her chosen medium. The works are an investigation of fragmentation—reminiscent of destroyed VHS film, magazine clippings or even slightly fragmented memories. The works reveal the artist’s interest in capturing, remixing and representing an instantaneous moment, despite the fact that each piece is slowly and meticulously rendered in graphite.

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Damian Oretga’s Dismantled and Dissected Installations

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The installations of Damian Ortega reflect a curiosity that is at once childlike and serious.  His dismantled, dissected, carefully arranged pieces often hang from the ceiling prepared for inspection.  Ortega’s installations encourage viewers to think about relationships between the parts and its whole, between individuals items and the group.  It’s easy to see how these ideas can expand to wider topics.  In a way, Ortega not only takes apart a Volkswagen physically, but also socially.  He deconstructs ideas in a playfully literal way.

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Hugh Kretschmer’s Surreal and humorous ad campaigns

Native Los Angeleno Hugh Kretschmer is one of those rare photographers who has the ability to completely transform a commercial ad campaign or editorial piece into a magical story that will move you. Using metaphor and hand crafted trick-the-eye elements he transports us to surreal narratives full of humor and intriguing mystery where anything can happen.

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Dan Golden’s Photo Realistic Paper Clip Paintings

Dan Golden lives and works in Boston, MA. He is currently working on a series of watercolor paintings of paperclips manipulated by other people. The result is a an amusing photo realistic body of work that celebrates miniature monuments and the individuals who created them. In his own words: “At one point or another, practically everyone has either consciously or not turned this ubiquitous everyday object into something other than what it was intended for. Is it possible that these miniature ‘sculptures’ somehow carry with it the distinct personality of it’s creator? In many cases, I believe they do. Therefore, I feel as if these paintings are in a sense, portraits of the individuals doing the manipulating.” (via)

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