We each seem to know someone caught on Google’s Street View – even I can be found in my driveway on the online map. While its surreal finding a part of real life online for anyone to see, artist Paolo Cirio brings it back to real life again with his series Street Ghosts. Cirio finds images of people in Google Street View and prints life size posters of them. He then wheat pastes each person in the physical location he found them on Street View. Cirio makes a point of mentioning that the wheat pastes were printed and posted without authorization. This underscores that these images of various were acquired without permission to begin with. The series raises questions and concerns in regards to salvaging privacy in an increasing technological and commercial world.
Noah Sheldon’s well rounded portfolio has a little bit of everything for everyone. My favorite photos are his landscape shots. Although they are images of familiar places, the composition and perspectives make them feel like worlds from a far away galaxy. Noah also has a hilarious series of cat photos wearing human clothes for those of you who need a good laugh during the work week. All of this and more after the jump!
Helen Warner’s photography is jarringly beautiful: part Tim Burton gothica, part carnivale, part Shakespeare; looking through her photos is an invitation to a secret séance. With dramatic use and manipulation of negative space, many of the figures photographed appear to be drifting out from nowhere, candidly caught in the act of being mysterious. Having studied cinema and modernism at The Queen’s University of Belfast, she is currently living and working in Northern Ireland. Warner’s work has a flair for the histrionic, and her photographs carry the weight of a Shakespearian scene. “Death, where is thy sing?” rings through these women, skin caked in white, their faces shrouded, sometimes bound, encased by winter’s wood, cast in autumnal hues. The women are caged by items of beauty, while being items of beauty themselves. A glass cube in the forest, a white plastic sheet encircling forest trees, or even a head locked under the bell jar, buoyed by flowers. There is an underlying juxtaposition between being out in the remote wilderness, the wild, and being bound by external forces, which extends to even the elaborate costuming. There is the ongoing implication that movement is not fluid, it is stifled, both by internal and external circumstances, but the faces photographed certainly aren’t giving any hints away.
Catherine Chalmers manages to make captivating and beautiful those creatures that cause most of us to feel squeamish. Chalmers travels the world to capture images and video of rodents and insects in their habitats. Being one part scientist and one part artist, Chalmers is interested in bringing focus to nature using art as her vehicle.
For her most recent project, Leafcutters, which was partially funded by a Guggenheim Fellowship, Chalmers captured the activities of ants. She was intrigued by the many similarities they have with humans. She noted that like us, they inhabit almost every ecosystem on Earth, are one of the dominant species in their habitats and they impact the grand structure of other biological systems. Beyond that they also wage war, take slaves, raise and keep other animals for food, and are also capable of making their own antibiotics. They’re also, as Chalmers demonstrates, highly photogenic.
Chalmers American Cockroach series, equally beautiful and tough, captured arguably the world’s most dreaded insect. Forcing us to confront our discomfort with cockroaches Chalmers wondered if she could seduce people into liking them because, as with the ants, they’re a lot like us.
Larissa Bates both celebrates the male gender identity within the history of art while struggling to disassemble heteronormative understandings. As a way to foreground these issues, Larissa has assembled a motley cast of idiosyncratic characters, all of her own invention. Like a method actor, Larissa has delved deep within the psychis of her creations, their implications and motivations. Set within the backdrop of expressive pastoral scenes, influenced by the work of Nicholas Poussin, hoards of fantasy creations lead their grandiose dramas. Larissa recounts the struggles of her imagined MotherMen, Lederhosen Boys, and Little Napoleons in an epic practice not unlike Henry Darger’s warring Vivian Girls. Her current body of work, “Just Hustle and Muscle” is on view at the Monya Rowe Gallery in New York, from now until October 18th.
Artist Tomás Saraceno just opened his newest installation on June 21 at K21 Staendehaus (see his work previously here). He is known for creating sprawling interactive installations. However, In Orbit is his largest and most complex piece to date. Saraceno’s newest work is situated 65 feet over a piazza. It consists of multi-tiered netting which visitors can wander through. The installation is scattered with clear and metallic orbs, some nearly 30 feet in diameter, resembling planets floating in space. [via]
Felice Varini’s site-specific paintings will have you dizzy as they distort your reality by altering your perception. Depending on where you stand or how you look her work, it looks completely different. One moment you are standing in front of a spiral of bright oranges, if you move to a different angle, skewed and broken. Her public works are painted on beams of buildings, walls of galleries, windows, and much more. The artist incorporates the entire space that her work inhabits into clever optical illusions, manipulating your eye into seeing something amazing.
Her eye-popping, bold shapes and vivid colors that she uses in her works make it impossible to ignore if you are lucky enough to spot one. Each shape the artist creates is like a piece to a puzzle that only fits together at the right moment, forcing you to pay attention to your surroundings. Varini’s optic art demands that you slow down and take a second to enjoy all that is around you, including her incredible artwork. If you don’t, you may just walk right pass it, only catching hints of blues and reds where there should have been squares and triangles. Felice Varini, originally hailing from Switzerland, now lives and works in Paris where she installs many of her brilliant works. (via Ignant)
Artist Pierre Schmidt constructs surreal worlds filled with the inner horrors of the subconscious, both terrifying and beautiful. Using photo-manipulation, illustration, and collage, he combines both traditional and digital methods to create scenes of people with faces dripping right off their skulls. Many of his disturbing, melting face runs down the composition, only to reveal sudden bouquets of flowers. Using vintage photographs, he collages imagery of 1950’s housewife types lounging about, only to be caught up in a peculiar and fantastic scene. Schmidt’s work is highly psychological, as many of his pieces have titles based on the theories and writings of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. His flowing faces crack open the hidden psyche, pouring out its contents for us to examine. The face being a vessel of identity, Schmidt strips his characters of this so that we may look inwards into our own mind.
The Berlin based artist offers us a glimpse into a strange world of bizarre happenings, filled with faceless ladies, lush flora, and silhouettes that contain galaxies. Schmidt’s work is full of emotion and internal awareness, leaving us to sort out his stunning and complicated mash of imagery. We are left to decipher his sliced open heads, melting eyes, and rainbows oozing from faces. Like stream of consciousness, Schmidt melds together his illustrations with a unifying flow, effortlessly forming captivating and magnetic work. (via Hi-Fructose)