A humble kingdom of mountains dominates the geological park of Zhangye Danxia in China. The images are surreal, hard to believe they haven’t been photoshopped. Naturally formed of multi-colored layers, the mesmerizing rocks echo the intoxicating installations of Katharina Grosse. She creates an environment of massive abstract installations on where she sprays vivid horizontal and vertical colored lines.
The mountains are overlooking the world and we are observing their similar version in the work of Katharina Grosse. A bizarre unpredicted three way which leaves us, humans, feeling very small face to face with the immensity of creation.
They are both the result of a performance, nature’s on one hand, the artist’s on the other; leaving on site a charismatic scene. The colors on the mountains are the result of deposits of sandstones and other minerals that occured over 24 million years ago. The regularity of the juxtaposed colors is shocking, as if a human hand had meticulously traced those lines. Unthinkable; yet nature did it on its own.
Katharina Grosse, already featured in Beautiful/Decay for her incredible installations, uses space without any limits. Her art is, at times, perceived as graffiti art or outdoor paintings. Means by which she expresses herself as a vision and avoids to think about a separation between what’s inside and what’s outside. “When I’m painting I show what I’m thinking about the world I live in. I don’t make up a world”.
The artwork of James Payne is a visceral microcosm of xerox fuzz and highlighter smears. He is currently the co-curator of the seminal midwest noise space and art gallery; Skylab, has had a chap book of his poetry published by Monster House Press entitled “Austerity Pleasures”, is the lead singer of the punk band Lose the Tude, and continues to self publish a myriad of zines, comics, and exhibition catalogues.
Fixed Design hails from San Francisco and we first saw them at this year’s Dwell on Design event. Their products are pretty stunning, our personal favorite was this turntable and record collection friendly shelf called the Extended Play.
It’s an acrylic stone shelf nestled at an angle inside a walnut shell, the unit has casters making it super easy to move from room to room. They are even stackable! Thumbs way up!
Kevin Francis Gray’s neoclassicist-inspired sculptures are beautifully minimalist. Most of his work is created with leather, bronze, marble or fibreglass resin, depicting a stunning color palette of white, black, grey, brown, and gold. His subject is the human form and much of his work features shrouded figures. Gray attends to the detail and subtlety of the drapery that contain his figures, sometimes with a shocking element. His work exudes a familiarity and universality that is at once haunting and captivating. His work recently appeared in 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman as a darker version of the mirror man. Gray was born in Northern Ireland and currently lives in London
Cool photographs from Akihiko Myoshi. The photographer is captured in a mirror as bars of color, meant to evoke pixels, are positioned in the frame. A nice commentary on personal identity in the Digital Age. But the coolest thing about this series is Myoshi’s process:
The photographs included here are of mirrors, paper and tape often adhered to the surface of the mirror taken with a large format camera as they attempt to unpack the structural mechanics of photographic representation.
Originally a computer engineering PhD candidate, Myoshi now makes art and teaches at Reed College. (via)
Nøne Futbol Club is a duo of Paris based artists. They work in a wide variety of mediums and forms from video to installation. However, nearly all of their work seems to be tied together by a certain mischievous sense of humor. Though not always overtly political, the duo’s art is definitely subversive. For example, consider Lift a Finger, the first piece pictured here. The maneki-neko, usually a statuette of a welcoming or beckoning cat suddenly becomes hostile with a simple change of hand gesture. The pharase “KEEP WARM BURNOUT THE RICH” is turned into a branding iron. The implement not only burns, but more importantly is a tool for displaying and designating ownership.
Nicolas Rosette goes onto describe the duo’s practice saying:
“Nøne Futbol Club is a duo that is capable of mobilizing as many accomplices as necessary to make their works and performances.
The playful component is inseparable from their creative process which tackles the world like a playground for the expression of an art whose nature has continually bordered on the cellophane of the white cube and the great palaces must take the risk of being a mass distribution product. The recursive principle in their work is reversal. It is not about diverting elements from pop culture(or popular culture, the term changing depending on whether this culture comes to us from one side or the other of the Atlantic Ocean) but of a reversal whose final address is always popular culture. A double inversion, whose process of revelation reflects back to us as in a mirror the possible destiny of an art world which has become less subtle than the current popular media cultures; whose practices of critical and jubilatory diversions are the foundation. Would the Nøne Futbol Club be applying to contemporary art what digital cultures have subjected Chuck Norris, the pope and Darth Vader to?”
Viktor Gårdsäter lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. He recently completed a series of photographs that examine the passing of time, fragility, and memories. Composed as a fashion shoot, the underlying idea of life and death resonates in the graceful imagery of a calm and dignified protagonist. The artist explains, “Balloon man’s last walk” is a fashion story about an elderly man’s last day alive. We get to follow this man on his nostalgic journey through significant places and memories of his life, in a last walk and a farewell to his city. He is dressed up and in his hand he holds the balloon. The balloon works as a metaphor for death and in the end takes him to the sky.” (via)