Based in France, skull artist Jim was born in New Caledonia, “gateway for Oceania and many other horizons. He goes to New Zealand, stops over the New Hebrids, discovers Australia, India, and lands in Hong-Kong. Human experiences, cultural, ritual, he is marked by his travels and encounters…” He is informed by “contemporary art, African, Oceanian, Amerindian, popular, religious…multiple passions and a melting-pot of influences”. Now that’s a lot of location-dropping, but it’s evident that a lot of brain-stewing and new-material-hunting goes into his sculptures.
Apak is a husband and wife duo who live and work in Portland, Oregon. Aaron and Ayumi Piland produce vibrant scenes where tiny explorers seek out and cultivate miniature landscapes. These floating microcosms exist in an endless galaxy and depict an intersection of nature and technology in harmony. The paintings come across as hopeful reflections on our interaction with the world around us as well as the unexplored universe.
Spanish Photographer Andres Medina has a knack for creating beauty with very little. There’s really not too much action in a lot of his photographs. Somehow, though, he frames such emptiness with beautiful lighting and technique in a way that amplifies the emptiness of the world in a really appealing way. Some of Medina’s best stuff is taken at night. You can almost feel the moist, cold air in his night photos, and your ears prick up as you are drawn into their silent world. The pictures celebrate our passive surroundings, as the lack of animated subject matter minimizes distraction. Some things are centered around such an internalized power source that you have to black out the rest of the world just to notice them.
American artist Anne Lemanski creates quirky, conceptual sculptures of animals. She begins by creating a copper rod amateur which she then cuts, manipulates, and braises together to create what she refers to as a three dimensional line drawing. She then uses various materials, such as prints created from images of her own collages, leather, and vinyl. These works act as a further adaptation of her collage practice. Her sculpture aesthetic roots from images she has been familiar with for years. As the Alumna Artist-In-Residence at the McColl Center for Arts + Innocation in Charlotte, North Carolina, Anne Lemanski developed her practice between both her collage and sculptural elements, leading her to create her newest exhibition, Simulacra. As the artist moved between techniques of meditative cutting and pasting to the physicality of creating a structure, she began to realize that ultimately, despite the difference in the materiality of the work, what was creating was the simulation of animals. By creating a falsified “double” of something that is in fact real. Lemanski allows herself to enter the postmodern discourse of the notion of “simulacra,” a concept associated with French philosopher Jean Baudrillard. Within the philosopher’s work Simulacra and Simulation (1981), Baudrillard argues that by creating “copies,” society has replaced all meaning with mere symbols. Thus, the human experience has become hyper-real, as all meaning is just a simulation of what once was. Lemanski notes that her own practice replicates the same notion, as she creates the simulacrum of nature. She allows two dimensional imaging to become three dimensional. This process allows the viewer to then experience the simulated, while channeling the real.
Follow a hapless little chap on a terrifying journey through a cavernous clap factory.
Make sure to catch Kevin Cooley’s gorgeous show at Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles up until February 11th of next month. Titled Take Refuge, the exhibition features large scale photographs and videos evoking human struggles in the harsh and unforgiving, yet sublime, natural world. This body of work was created in disparate locations including the Arctic territory of Spitsbergen and the American West as well in more ordinary places such as New York City and Los Angeles. Referencing the Romantic movement in art and literature, the work attests to both the fear and longing nature inspires.
Edie Fake resides in Chicago. In his work with zines, comics, and illustration, he applies a unique sense of design to playful postmodern compositions, and creates original musings on eroticism with subtle, deft penwork. He recently received a book grant from Printed Matter in NYC. He does pretty rad tattoos as well.