LA sculptor Andrew Lewicki built this bad ass half pipe for a skateboarding themed group show at the Torrance Art Museum. Check out a few more skating themed works as well as a oreo cookie manhole and gold color crayon gold bar sculptures after the jump.
Any attempts to describe the madness that was Art Basel Miami 2010 in a few sentences will undoubtedly fall short. Put succinctly – lots of art, lots of people, lots of sun, lots of fun. People go to Art Basel Miami for many different reasons, but yours truly went in search of the ever-exciting, awe-inspiring, never-before-seen, knock-your-socks-off, kick-ass kind of art that makes me say YES! Did I find what I was looking for? It’s hard to say my friends, so loyal B/D reader you be the judge. Here are some of the highlights from Day 1: Art Basel Miami Beach…
That seemingly irrational paranoia of always being watched begins to rise when viewing photographs from Andrew Hammerand’s series, The New Town. The artist, currently based near Phoenix, Arizona, has created a power play in the dichotomy between watching and being watched. He offers us a glimpse into the lives of a small, Midwest town and its anonymous inhabitants by electronically accessing and controlling a webcam on a cellular tower, taking screen-shots of what was captured over the course of a year. This camera, overlooking the town, is appropriately located on a steeple of a church, giving new meaning to “omnipresent”. This camera is watching over the people, not unlike a higher power. The question is who is in charge, who has the power? Do the townspeople have power through the safety gained by being observed, or do we have the power because we are doing the looking? We live in a world of meta-data in which digital snapshots are constantly being taken, whether it is through the lens of literal cameras, or by information given from our Google searches.
One element that is especially significant in this remarkably unique series is the anonymity behind every aspect of it. The artist is unknown to the subjects being watched, the town’s location and peoples’ identity are also a mystery to us. Although we see small hints of each person’s life, what he or she is doing remains unclear. We have no indication if their intentions are malicious or moral. By nature, even the viewer is anonymous to the artist, especially when the artist’s work is being displayed through digital publications like this one. The grainy quality of the photos makes each composition all the more intriguing. We are wrapped up in the mystery, in the unknown story of these peoples’ lives. We see them playing in a park, pushing a stroller, and texting, but we do not know them at all. Even further, many of the subjects seem isolated in spite of being around others. Are we all detached through the lens of a camera, or does the convenience of the digital age connect our existence? Hammerand brilliantly gives rise to a slue of challenging questions and tests society’s progression into a super-digital age. Interconnecting technology, privacy issues, and digital culture, Hammerand’s work confronts contemporary politics in authority.
Fall down the rabbit hole and take a walk on the wild side in Olafur Eliasson’s world of psychaledic prisms and dreams. An “Alice in Wonderland” fantasized-like experience of kaleiscope and colorful imagination, testing all your senses. A magical sight of both light and darkness.
His carefully constructed umbrella of mirrors resemble a mysterious and complicated visual spider’s web. A beautiful complexity hard to resist visiting and walking through. Face forward and step. Look up, look down, to your sides and digest the vivid dream that surrounds you. Relax your eyes and allow light to enter your pupils. The tunnels he creates are made out of various pieces and sizes of glass. Walking through must be something like sitting on a rainbow.
Turning around sends you back into the depths of black, as the glass pieces lose their color—showcasing another dimension…. onyx city. His work encourages you to walk through to the other side. Standing dead center might feel like a cross road. A contemplation. A decision. Should I stay? Should I go? Should I continue forward? Should I go back? A moment of mindful reflection stirring up emotion.
We have featured the work of Chicago based Steve Seeley (here) in the past. He continues to combine pop culture elements (super-heroes, celebrities, and wrestlers) with classical depictions of nature and animals. His exploration of disruption and serenity have led him to a series of Heavy Metal animal paintings. We see the famous logos of Danzig, Motörhead, and Slayer spliced with animals to form new beasts. Another piece features a wolf and monkey with “corpse paint” commonly seen on Norweigan Black Metal musicians. The paintings comment on the “darker” side of nature as well as our cultural impact on the natural world.
When I was a kid I was obsessed with turtles. Not sure why but I just loved turtles. I even had a pet miniature turtle named Skatey. Why did I name him Skatey do you ask? Because I liked to skateboard…. I know I know… I’m very good at naming pets.
This video goes out to my buddy Skatey up there in turtle heaven. RIP
Everyone’s favorite alt-bluegrass band Punch Brothers are back on the road to support their new EP, Ahoy! just released on Nonesuch Records. Chris Thile and company have been riding a wave of success since they released Who’s Feeling Young Now? earlier this year including a highly regarded appearance on Austin City Limits with the Civil Wars. LA’s own Luckman Fine Arts Complex will be hosting the show on December 1st, 2012. Tickets are still available from Ticketmaster for what’s sure to be a hand clapping, foot stomping good time. Check out their video for “Movement and Location” from their episode of Austin City Limits after the jump and get your tickets to an upcoming show.