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Documentary Watch: Amy Casey

A nice short documentary on Cleveland artist Amy Casey. Hear Amy talk about her inspirations, references, and watch her work in her intimate sized studio. Watch the full documentary after the jump.

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Lotta Mattila’s Animal Sculptures


Lotta Mattila
is a Helsinki-based Finnish sculptor who is currently the artist-in-residence at Skylab Gallery in Columbus, Ohio. Mattila finds meaning in the contradictions between her sculptures’ form and their content (a literal battering ram made of glass), and uses those material contradictions to comment on human nature, often by punning off of Finnish sayings.

Mattila’s Skylab exhibition Gravitation opens Friday (11/30) and runs until December 10th. Gravitation takes the “weight of the world” – its physicality and heaviness when one is depressed – as its central metaphor. More of Mattila’s work can be found after the jump.

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Neo-90’s Monster Rave

Amazingly ridiculous neon neo-90’s rave monsters from future primitive fashion line Casette Playa.

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Joanna Black’s Photos Show Us What Ugly Doesn’t Look Like

black-photographyblack - photography black - photography black - photography

Joanna Black, a photographer, entrepreneur and collector in Edinburgh, UK, uses surrealist images to show us what ugly doesn’t look like. Her “Black Teeth White Heart” series is a compilation of Black’s nose, eyes, lips, and even toe nails in a style that is hauntingly beautiful.

In describing “Black Teeth White Heart” Black begins by saying, “people always told me I was ugly.” As a child, Black suffered from an acute form of scoliosis, causing her to live, sleep and play in a waist to neck metal brace. Her brace in addition to blackened teeth, which were caused by a treatment of tetracycline, were devastating. In an artist statement she recalls the pain of being pitied by adults and mocked by her peers. By the age of 13, however, the brace was removed and her teeth corrected and she left behind that “ugly girl.” It seems impossible that Black, now the owner of Miss Bizio, a couture vintage clothing shop in the Stockbridge neighborhood of Edinburgh and partner at Black Appointments Executive Search, could be ugly or pitied. Relatively new to professional photography, Black has already been shown at the Rencontres d’Arles (2015) and the International Photography Awards (2014).

In “Black Teeth White Heart,” Black takes intensely close photos of her body that, while pinpointing her physical idiosyncrasies, leaves you feeling like you are gazing on your beloved. Reminiscent of Dora Maar portraits by Man Ray in the 1930’s, many of her black and white photos capitalize on Black’s ability to be completely at ease in front of the camera while simultaneously executing the shot. Others are developed to include shadows and graininess and, at times, seem to allude to the many x-rays that Black must have undergone throughout her childhood. Her color photos are more playful and sexual, accentuating her mouth and parted lips. Close photos of her staring eye feel more medical than voyeuristic and her toes a reminder of our fragility.

While “Black Teeth White Heart” covers a lot of photographic ground, the core of the piece, an investigation into beauty, comments on the singular perfection of our features.

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Julien Salaud Creates Stellar Caves With Glow In The Dark Thread

cave installation
Julien Salaud- Installation cave installation Julien Salaud- Installation
Julien Salaud is a French artist who creates incredible thread drawings that light up like constellations under ultraviolet light. His otherworldly installations feel larger than life and look like futuristic cave paintings, brimming with both raw primitive energy as well as evoking the sense of some neon-splattered future.
His latest series of installations, called Stellar Cave, brings to life a mythology of their own. Their pantheon includes scenes from the natural world: birds of prey caught in mid-flight, deer-like creatures, and even a human figure who seems draped in the regalia of some minor forest god.
In an interview with Trend Tablet, Salaud says:
“There are different kinds of beauty. I suppose the one I am interested in is like a fruit: I am not following a logical analysis, and I am not trying to have some concept. I am rather into contemplation, which implies taking some time.”
Observing Salaud’s work from the darkness enables viewers to reflect and contemplate the world as we know it from a different point of view — one that seems almost extraterrestrial. (via This Is Colossal)

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Danielle Duer’s Beautiful Oddities

I first encountered the work of Nashville-based painter and visual artist Danielle Duer at a local restaurant-slash-coffeeshop. The order line separating me from my hipster-approved gourmet grilled cheese — well, it was long, but I didn’t mind. All the while that we inched forward, salivating obscenely, my eyes were glued to the walls of the establishment, for it was there that a number of Duer’s creations hung. I may or may not have jostled a few fellow salivaters aside so as to get a clearer view of each piece, hanging there against haphazardly stuccoed walls beneath little strips of birch bark that simply read “Danielle Duer.” First thought: I want one.

Duer’s paintings and drawings couple dainty details with fanciful landscapes, all rendered in vivid color. Ships sail in from far off places and bears cavort on unicycles in imaginative scenes that would look right at home on book covers. As the artist once said, she learned as a child to create places, whether through writing, painting, or drawing, that were smothered with the most “delicious, bizarre scenery.” As her creations show, she is also well aware of the importance of “oddities and peculiarities” in making something beautiful.

Take a closer look at Danielle Duer’s beautiful somethings after the jump.

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Paco Pomet’s Pink Clouds And Orange Rivers Change Vintage Photos Into Surreal Paintings

Paco Pomet - Oil on Canvas

Paco Pomet - Oil on Canvas

Paco Pomet - Oil on Canvas

Paco Pomet - Oil on Canvas

Spain based artist Paco Pomet paints colorful clouds of pink and blue that consume and take over vintage scenes of landscapes. A skilled painter, Pomet uses oil paints to create surreal landscapes where his vibrant colors transform each image into something out of the ordinary. He paints his transformative palette like a wave that will eventually consume everything in its path. Pomet’s work starts out looking like vintage photos of tranquil wilderness in black and white or sepia tones, but then a burst of colored slime oozes and covers the scene. His fluffy pinks and fiery reds cut through the composition to reveal new elements, changing the situation and meaning of each image. Not only does this now distort the circumstance of the painting, but also the setting has become a whole different world where anything is possible. This is a place where tree trunks can glow, the sky can drip, and mountains can break in half. Each color is placed cleverly and adds a bit of humor and curiosity to his work.

Pomet’s paintings show influence of traditional western paintings and landscapes, with their inclusion of desert scenes, covered wagons, and cowboys. His choices of misfit colors do not only break up this traditional imagery, but ads a contemporary, dream-like quality not unlike that of contemporary pop-surrealism. His paintings hint at analogue photography, but with elements of modern design.

Paco Pomet is represented by Richard Heller Gallery in Santa Monica, CA and currently has a solo exhibition on view until February 15th. Make sure to see the artist’s incredible work in person while you have the chance!

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Keita Sagaki’s Doodles Turn Into Classic Works of Art

What may at first look like a sketch of a classic sculpture is actually a mass of tiny doodles  by Japanese artist Keita Sagaki. Sagaki manages to turn drawings of UFOs, skulls, and aliens that you’d see on the edges of your middle school notebook, into beautiful works of art. These tongue-in-cheek works combine the artist’s respect for classic paintings and sculpture with his love for modern comics and graffiti. Sagakis art can take months to create since each work is composed of millions of smaller compositions. Each of his drawings are improvised and drawn directly onto the surfaces he uses without being drafted.

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