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Studio Visit: Melissa Oresky

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I stopped by Melissa Oresky’s studio the other day. She is a Chicago painter who has been around for a minute and makes some really nice landscapy paintings with lots of collage and drawing thrown in for good measure. Check out what’s going on in the studio!

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Montgomery Perry Smith: A Delicate Blend

 

Chicago based artist Montgomery Perry Smith finds beauty in the unexpected.  His process often includes taking discarded elements of once functional objects (i.e. the base of a papasan chair or a broken lamp) and coupling them with meticulously handcrafted details.  The end result of which is a strikingly sophisticated body of work.  Smith’s sculptures are as sexual as they are formal, but he is never hitting you over the head with it.  Drawn forms are delicately paired with altered materials to create elegant compositions that reveal subtle references to sexuality.  Since graduating with a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the spring of 2008, Smith’s artistic career has been steadily gaining momentum.  A recent solo show at Sabina Lee Gallery marks Smith’s first foray into the Los Angeles art scene, but if the prediction of Smith’s future success by Chicago publication Newcity as one of nine “Breakout Artists” to watch in 2010 is as prophetic as I think it might be – we will be seeing much more of his work in the years to come.

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Todd Baxter’s Photographs Fool Us Into Thinking That They’re Paintings

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Believe it or not, these images by Todd Baxter are not paintings. They are photos, crafted with a painterly touch that clearly demonstrates the photographer’s influence of other fine art media such as painting, drawing, and sculpture. Baxter loads his compositions with exquisite details, and we see hand-made badges, fur scarves, and even exposed entrails that make up his series Owl Scouts. The surreal coloring and controlled lighting makes it easy to forget that what we’re looking at is a well-considered photograph.

Narrative images tell the story of young scouts that trek through the wilderness and encounter a series of adventures. Some are neat, like when they find an owl that’s been burrowed underground. Other times are more gruesome and include a near-drowning and cut, bloody hand.

The formal considerations of the photographs and their subject matter can’t help but make someone think of Wes Anderson’s film Moonrise Kingdom. Baxter’s work is more surreal and dark, however, where the woods is a character in the tale of these young scouts. (Via Optically Addicted)

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Marius Watz

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Norwegian artist Marius Watz uses Processing and other programming languages to explore the effects of different rule-based systems on virtual space. The finished product may be printed, sculpted, or a video.

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Brazilian Design Team Bicicleta Sem Freio Thrill Us With Color

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The Brazilian duo Bicicleta Sem Freio (‘Bicycles without brakes”) have broken away from murals and are now concentrating on some fine art work. Its two current members Douglas de Castro and Renato Perreira first met while attending art school in Goias, Brazil and started collaborating on large scale outdoor and concert poster projects. This led to a series of street art and other prominent commissions all over the world. They recently had their first gallery exhibit in London at “Just Kids” art space. This allowed visitors to see the work on a smaller scale in a white box environment.

The duo create imagery that combines rock and roll with sexy women and animal hybrids. Their bright colors depict figures drawn in similar likeness to action style figures which reference Wonder Woman and Flash Gordon. Most of the pictures take on a fantastical sensibility where shape and color are used to dramatic effect. The two illustrators aren’t afraid to combine loud off key hues to create a funkiness which strikes you with energy and power. Normally when street art is brought down to a smaller scale it loses some of its grandeur but that doesn’t seem to be the case with Bicicleta Sem Freio. Instead the smaller scale work is even more detailed and at times even borders on abstraction.
Some of their significant campaigns have been for The Life Is Beautiful Festival, Coachella, Nike, SubPop and Absolut. (via booooooom)

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LITTLEWHITEHEAD


British collaborators LITTLEWHITEHEAD combine humor and violence to create amazing sculptures, paintings, and installations that shock, awe, and amuse all at once. Check out the above video and here the duo discuss various pieces and their creative process. Also make sure to purchase our recent book Beautiful/Decay: Book 7 which has a massive 20 page interview with the talented young artists!

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Collaborative Team’s Chandelier Shadows Room With Trees

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Forms in Nature from Yeray Lopez Portillo on Vimeo.

Artists/design team Thyra Hilden and Pio Diaz collaborated to create, Forms in Nature, a chandelier which, when alight, creates shadows in any (reasonably sized) room that appear to be intertwined tree branches or entire root system. Describing their collaborative process as combining “existing cultural icons and basic elements, which they transform and modify to tamper with the common perception”, the duo essentially reconnects modern technology to more primitive, natural elements.

The creators say of the piece, “The shadows engulf the room and transforms the walls into unruly shadows of branches, bushes, and gnarled trees. Mirrorings are thrown out upon the walls and ceilings and provide weak Rorschach-like hints of faces, life and flow of consciousness.” (via mymodernmet) 

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Jiyong Lee Carves Fragmented, Geometric Glass Blocks That Represent Cell Division And Growth

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Jiyong Lee is an artist and educator based in Carbondale, Illinois, who works in the medium of glass art. In a series titled Segmentation, Lee has created fascinating, geometric glass blocks that metaphorically examine life science. Mirroring the processes of cell division and growth, each sculpture is divided into fragments that represent “cells, embryos, biological and molecular structures—each symbolizing the building blocks of life, as well as the starting point of life” (Source). As a whole, they are firm structures, much like the proverbial “building blocks”; but internally, they are irregular and segmented, symbolizing the varying growth rates and beautiful asymmetry of organic life.

The glass Lee has chosen to work with varies in its translucency, which is significant to his theme. Sometimes the fragments are see-through; in other places they are dense and clouded. For Lee, these conditions of visibility represent “what is known and unknown about life science” (Source), for although modern science seeks to fully comprehend the workings of life, there will always be an unreachable mystery within. The internal haze also represents an unknown future for cells as they live and continue to change.

Visit Lee’s website to view more.

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