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Documentary Watch: Waiting For Hockney

Waiting For Hockney is the story of what hard work, a bit of misguidedness, and a giant dash of dillusion can do for an aspiring artist. If you’re an artist you need to watch this film. Rent it on Netflix or oder it on the documentaries website. Read the the official synopsis below and watch the film trailer after the jump.

Waiting For Hockney is a comic and poignant tale of a man and the people who believe in him as they collude and collide for an entire decade in the service of a grand idea.  The film explores the sometimes precarious line between dreams and delusion as it looks at the risks, payoffs and consequences when one man single-mindedly pursues his vision. Billy Pappas is a true American original.  An art school graduate from a working class background living in rural Maryland, Billy has decided that his mission in life is to reinvent realism.  He spends eight years on a single drawing of Marilyn Monroe working to show a microscopic level of detail he hopes will reveal something deeper than photography.  Literally, he hopes to create a new art form.   Aided, one might even say enabled, by an eccentric cast of characters including a clergyman, a professor and an architect calling himself “Dr. Lifestyle,” Billy finally completes the portrait and then begins a quest to show it to renowned contemporary artist David Hockney, the one person he thinks can validate everything for which Billy has been striving.

 

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Dan Rocca

Is it semiotics or shamanism? Work that feels both automatic and authentic, eluding formal structures of control with a well-versed hand– Dan Rocca’s drawings perplex even the most learned planeswalker.

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Cecilia Paredes’ Wallflowers

Peruvian artist Cecilia Paredes gives new meaning to the term “wallflower.” In her recent collection of photographs, entitled “Landscapes,” Paredes seamlessly disappears into a dizzying array of patterned wallpapers, using only paint and, in some cases, simple costumes to complete the transformation. Paredes’ self-painting is so precise that, oftentimes, the only hint of her presence is a flash of sleek brown hair or a pair of gleaming white eyes peering out from the background. Through this disappearing act, Paredes explores themes of displacement and migration, illustrating the difficulties of blending in to new surroundings without completely casting off one’s roots. 

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Artist Interview: Maskull Lasserre

 

Maskull Lasserre’s creations are tributes to the process of creative inquiry, while also existing so confidently within the world of the craftsman.  His conceptual propositions are incredible inverted thoughts that require a certain inquisitive disposition from its onlookers.  Within the work exists the same double-take of mind required by the French surrealists, while also asking questions of skill equally as challenging. Within each incisive action of sculpting exists a test of otherwise practical objects and casts them in perfectly intentional new contexts.

The point is that there should be no limitations to the questions one can and should ask, if only because the point of art itself is to serve as creative cognitive dissonance.  The inquiries within are about emblazoning images on the mind while inviting logic to skip a beat, thus opening up a brand new set of possibilities. Seemingly unhindered by any technical obstacle, Lasserre’s art is a bold testament to creative evolution, pushing the philosophical envelope while clearly exceptional insofar as vision and craftsmanship. It’s always been about the ideas, but the impeccable execution within makes one question whether or not this artist is confined at all; After having asked the following questions, ir’s clear he isn’t in the least.

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Give Your Baby Some Booze

Okay just joking. Maybe don’t give your kid alcohol. After all this project by Anna Utopia Giordano isn’t about promoting brand name kiddie alcohol.Instead the artist is looking to raise social awareness on topics such as alcohol abuse by teens, pregnant women, and the disinterest of some parents towards their children (abandoned for days between toys and video games), how far marketers can go to gain the attention of their younger customers. See more designer booze after the jump.

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Sam Falconer

Sam Falconer is a freelance illustrator based in the UK, whose portraits of famous figures such as Jack Nicholson and Bette Davis mix textures, patterns and colours in a playful manner. Many of the collage renderings evoke the work of John Baldessari in a quirky play on pop imagery. More after the jump.

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Tiger & Turtle – The Roller Coaster for Pedestrians

Tiger and Turtle – Magic Mountain is a large site specific sculpture by Heike Mutter and Ulrich Genth that is a roller coaster for those of us who don’t like the sensation of falling to our death over and over again at hundreds of miles an hour. Built as the ultimate roller coaster for pedestrians, this magnificent piece sits on top of a man made hill in Duisburg that acts as a giant green pedestal for the work. Visitors are invited to walk through the maze of loops and turns using the LED lit handrails and the even spaced steps that casually guide them through the official roller coaster for the speed challenged.

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Holly Coulis


Holly Coulis’s still lives and portraits all share an idiosyncratic relationship between background and subject; with their hodgepodge of complex patterns and vibrant color, her paintings combine a witty sense of humor with a deep regard for craft. On top of bright layers of complimentary orange, she arranges people from old photographs, animals, and plants in a flat style reminiscent of Alex Katz. Coulis brings a modern sensibility to traditional modes of representational painting.

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