Hernan Paganini is a graphic designer/interior designer from Buenos Aires, Argentina. As a child, Paganini would collect objects he randomly found on the streets. As time went by, those objects became the inspiration for most of his work. He now teaches at the Public University of Buenos Aires, where he also graduated from.
Minneapolis born John Lurie is a jack of all trades. He was originally a musician, playing sax in NYC no wave group Lounge Lizards. Later, in the 1980s, he moved on to acting, having a number of memorable roles in Jim Jarmusch movies like Down By Law. Mostly recently however, and especially since isolating himself due to what seems to be Lyme disease, Lurie has been a painter, creating dark, absurdist works with unusual titles. If you like his work, I recommend adding him on Facebook. His online updates are little gems of black humor, just like his paintings.
AlunaGeorge performing at the El Rey Theatre, September 12, 2013. Photo by Barry Belkin.
Aluna Francis and George Reid, better known as AlunaGeorge have one of my favorite records of the year. I’ll even forgive them for covering Montell Jordan‘s 90’s hit, “This Is How We Do It” even though I couldn’t help but sing along when they played it during their LA debut at the El Rey Theatre a couple of weeks ago.
Playing songs from their debut album, “Body Music” released on Vagrant Records this past July including my favorites, “You know You Like It”, “Attracting Flies“, and “Best Be Believing”. They also got the crowd really riled up when they played their collaboration with Disclosure, “White Noise” which the crowd acknowledged by jumping up and down through the whole song. Ending their set with, “Your Drums, Your Love“, the lights came on almost immediately signaling no encore even though most of the crowd was begging for more.
You can catch the band performing in Australia starting this Saturday at the Listen Out festival taking place in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth before heading back home for a full scale European tour that will have them on the road until the end of November. Check out their latest video for their infectious song, “You Know You Like It” and definitely try to catch one of their upcoming shows.
Peter Gronquist makes the unlikely combination of taxidermy and symbols of power and luxury. Taking the traditional forms of taxidermy, Peter creates gold and silver antlers for the stuffed animals that are transformed into an array of powerful firearms and luxury brand logos. One could argue that using the ever so popular image of guns and brand names might be a rehashed idea that keeps popping up over and over again within the street art/low brow community but you have to admit that there is a wow factor when you come across a giant stuffed deer with Rambo style machine guns pointed at both sides. What do you think? Are these simply gimmicky combinations with not much depth or the next best thing since sliced bread?
“My recent work references a variety of artistic techniques and influences from traditional oil painting and modern digital photography to the iconography of ancient Egypt , the American pin-up and nineteenth-century taxidermy. In this group of work, I seek to chronicle the relationship between the genesis of female icon objectification and its historical development. These works describe the psychological juxtaposition between the inherent urge to exploit one’s own short-lived youth and the pressures of adhering to social expectation. I explore the push and pull of these two concepts, asking how they have affected the female psyche and as well as how society has actively created its own vision of the idealized female.
My source material includes a range of visual elements, attempting to portray diverse visualized vernaculars, both past and present, into single compositions. My centralizing of the female figure illustrates the tensions and conflicts between the power of their beauty and strength of their character, as well as their inevitable vulnerability. Historically, artists have exploited the tradition of realistic oil portraiture not only to create a likeness, but also to embody the essential character of the subject. My paintings reconcile traditional portraiture with the more modern idea of an active subject, depicted not solely based upon her social status, but immortalized for her beauty and appeal. Similarly, the inclusion of taxidermied trophy animal heads alludes to the vulnerability of a creature that is prized for its beauty, complicating the notion of power attributed to the anthropomorphized deities of the ancient Egyptians. Finally, the figures are foregrounded against fragmented views of digital interruption and pixilation, serving to remind one of how computerized communication has profoundly affected how we reimagine the female form.”
Sean Norvet is an LA-based artist who paints grotesquely amusing mash-ups that represent the mania and excess of contemporary culture. Food and flesh are his two main ingredients; shattered jawbones, melting eyes, raw meat, and fast food collide in unholy, humanoid altars. Norvet punctuates his pieces with eroticized body parts, mixing desire and beauty ideals with mass consumption. Despite the gruesome subject matter, his work is surprisingly humorous—and there’s a lot to digest.
In an Artist Perspective video with the Stay Gallery, Norvet describes today’s technology-saturated world as an all-you-can eat buffet. From dawn until dusk, we are inundated with arbitrary connections and information—whether we consent to them or not. With intense talent and keen social observations, his paintings reveal this cultural chaos in shameless and visceral ways, provoking self-reflection through imagery that is fun, insightful, and revolting.
The figurative drawings and paintings of Pasadena based artist Ching Ching Cheng are remarkably captivating to me. She uses members of her family often as subject matter but continually chooses to portray them in a conceptual way embracing different ways to illustrate a memory of that person in her past more so than the realistic representation of them. Ching uses sculpture and installation mediums in her work, such as her vintage polaroid and mm camera sculptures made of found books & maps. Each camera sculpture has tremendous amounts of character to them feeling to me as if they are alive beings or the “true” soul of whatever camera they are embodying. Ching’s work is thoughtful and personal slivers of her life past and present. Her primary influences include nature, and psychology.