There is something very interesting going on in Thomas Struth’s approach to photography. It is incredibly clinical. So crisp and clean that the environment captured within his camera almost appears staged, and yet at the same time more realistic than in reality.
Kristian Burford’s art installations meditate on the postmortem state of sexual arousal without a partner present. Nestled in a messy realistic setting, each carefully constructed wax figure seems to sigh inward, recollecting him or herself after an erotic whim has been satiated. However, the intention does not stop there: it seethes and penetrates with primal implications. Encountering each diorama, our own interior worlds are challenged and heightened as we find ourselves cast to confront not so much nudity, but even more so, our own erotic inclinations as possible voyeurs.
Canadian artist Kathryn Macnaughton creates beautiful illustrative designs using suggestive imagery and pornographic material. I particularly love her “Filthy Rautten” series and her “Unicorn Sandwich.”
Recent MICA grad Andy Vible makes “life-size sculptures of human bodies whose heads have been replaced by everyday objects”.
Straightforward enough. Or maybe not. By decapitating his sculptures he makes us feel slightly uncomfortable. In a way, we’ve lost our heads too, and that’s a good place to start. Without a head (without a brain), we are left fully subject to Vible’s will. He has our attention. And that’s where the “everyday objects” come into play. Vible inserts these elements (cctv cameras, loudspeakers, reference globes, birdhouses, etc.) into his works in order to “communicate in a type of language that everyone understands”. In common language and without our personal projections, the works are able to come across clearly. Click the link and hit your bookmark button. You know what to do.
Jessica Dalva is a Los Angeles-based artist who creates beautiful, wall-mounted sculptures depicting dark, fantasy imagery and the exploration of internal struggle. Recurring throughout her works is the feminine figure in various states of intensity and solemnity, such as sinking in a sea of grasping hands or engaged in somber rituals. Like religious artifacts, each sculpture carries a spiritual energy intended to resonate with the viewer. With metaphorical, mythological prowess, Dalva visually expresses the torments and transformations of subjectivity, from personal battles against fear, to moments of rapture and emotional healing.
Dalva’s works are currently being exhibited in a feature show titled Hapax Legomena at the La Luz de Jesus Gallery. “Hapax Legomena” refers to words that only occur once in a text or within a language, which often makes them untranslatable; Dalva uses the term to explore the singularity and ephemeral nature of an individual’s inner struggle. As outlined on the exhibition page:
“These experiences can be difficult to convey due to the lack of a context to anchor them, as well as the inherent gap between understanding and expression. The pieces are singular expressions of an idea, hapax legomena, in that they are representing distinctive concepts, as well as attempting to communicate the untranslatable through the imperfect language of art.” (Source)
An encounter with Dalva’s work is intended to be a subjective event, representative in some intuitive way of the hurdles encountered by everyone. Dalva’s darkly mystical works do an incredible job communicating the physicality of emotional pain and restoration; with their eyes fogged and eerie, the feminine figures become transcended forms, their bodies acting as expressive vehicles. It is left to the viewer to interpret the spiritual/emotional passage in which they are engaged.
Installation view Irreducible Complexity/ You and I and Irreducible Complexity/heart
The sculptural work of Andrea Haslerhas always created a dichotomous dynamic – push and pull, revulsion and attraction. The Zurich, Switzerland-born artist (previously featured here) has used her trademark visual medium of sculpted fiber-glass covered with wax to insinuate the human body, with equal parts inference to our insides as well as outsides.
Her newest work is title Embrace the Base, a commission for Greenham Common in Berkshire, England by New Greenham Arts. The site, which held the longest women’s protest against a site storing nuclear weapons in the early 1980’s, is rich with history and emotion. The larger pieces in Hasler’s commission recall the tents that these women protesters erected in their camp outside of the military base which now serves as a cultural meeting place.
“For the New Greenham Arts Exhibition, I have created a new sculptural body of work that takes Greenham Common’s history as a starting point, particularly with the Women’s Peace Camp with its tents situated on the site during this time. This new work also takes into account the historical perspective. as well as entwines with the recreational aspect of how Greenham Common as a site, is being used now, as well as the New Greenham Art gallery being located in the former American Army’s entertainment quarter. Metaphorically I am taking the notion of the tents which were on site during the Women’s Peace Camp, as the container for emotions, and “humanise” these elements to create emotional surfaces.
Hasler mentions that with Embrace the Base she is taking a political element as a starting point and then involving body politics. In Matriarch and Next of Kin, two tent forms, cloaked in skin-like covering, recall the tents that these protesters erected in the Women’s Peace Camp. While one tent is a full-sized replica, the other scaled down, and as the artist hints, most likely represents a mother and child relationship. Often working with skin as a loaded (and typically, simultaneously literal) metaphor, Hasler says, “It’s almost like I am taking the fabric of the tent, the sort of the nylon element of the tent, and I make the fabric, this skin layer as sort of the container for emotion, or sort of the container to hold emotion, as in the skin holding emotion.”
I’ve been saving these photos for a while but i just realized that I’ll probably never be able to categorize them. So file these under “random photos amir took of weird shit.”Pictured above is the official Playas punch! Amazing that I only live 5 minutes from the fine venue that serves this up. First one to guess the location gets a sip from my pimp cup.
The installations of London-based artist Zadok Ben-David‘s miniscule metal flowers are detailed, dense and mesmerizing. His travelling series of the work (called Blackfield) appeared in London, Portugal, Sydney, Singapore, Berlin, Linz, Untergroningen, Seoul, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Derived from illustrations appearing in 19th century Victorian encyclopedias, each iteration contains nearly 20,000 delicate 3-D floral etchings.
Each individual flower is crafted from metal and each side is hand-painted with either a stunning meltdown of color—or a heavy coat of black. Hovering between breathtaking and completely disturbing, the flat, sketch-like sculptures seem ominous as they stand in perfect rows, tucked into a massive bed of white sand.