Adam Friedman is a painter who is drawn to the similarities between the geologic process and human institutions (financial, governmental, etc.) He is interested in showing a million years on one canvas through the changes the surface, ridges, etc of the earth undergoes through time. But more importantly, he attempts to show a world that is healed of the human intervention it is currently suffering.
Rune Guneriussen is a Norway-based artist who photographs orchestrated installations. Household objects are granted an anthropomorphic quality — they appear to be captured in a natural setting. Guneriussen believes “that art itself should be questioning and bewildering…” and would rather “indicate a path to understanding a story” rather than limit a viewer’s experience by being too prescriptive.
Han Xiao‘s portraits show people with garbled faces, expressing themselves with thick swirls of paint instead of a pleading frown. Citing Francis Bacon as a major influence, she channels her inspiration through the tangled emotions and shocks of color in her paintings.
“The major themes I pursue include life, conflict, confrontation of odd shapes in the social environment, and the contradiction behind the reality,” Xiao says. The contradiction she seeks to portray seems to come from within her subjects, their identities marred by some kind of disconnect between their inner and outer selves.
Xiao’s work has been described as having “a kind of loneliness and faint anxiety,” but the sense of violent desperation is offset by the fact that these people seem to want to be heard. The brushstrokes are frenetic and intense, but they are also trying to communicate something — ultimately, they are trying to connect. (via I Need a Guide)
The team known as Lang Baumann is made up of artists Sabina Lang and Daniel Baumann. Together they create large scale installations which playfully interact with the surrounding environment. Comfort, the series presented here, fills houses, barns, apartments, and more with tubes of air. The tubes twist through doors and windows completely overtaking the space they’re stuffed in. The installation and its title recall homes, living spaces, and an the perpetual search for physical comfort.
Salt Lake City based artist Stephanie Kelly creates beautifully detailed illustrations out of thread. The series featured here is entitled “Dwellings” and speaks to the theme of domesticity that informs Kelly’s use of embroidery and her attempt to reclaim craft as fine art. Painting with thread instead of oils gives her work depth and tactility, creating rich and voluminous textures and blends. Kelly embroiders thread and fabric wallpaper pieces onto stretched canvases, which gives her work this remarkably detailed multi-textured design. Kelly began as a painter and illustrator, and was eventually given the opportunity to work with whatever medium she desired and decided to combine her skills with her love of craft. Kelly says her grandmother taught her to embroider and that this has largely inspired the domestic theme that permeates her work. Kelly’s painter’s eye applied to embroidery reminds me of the last embroidery work I posted, featuring Ana Tereza Barboza. You can watch a video profile of Kelly after the jump. (via from89)
Women always say that men think with their crotch so Cuban artist Yoan Capote decided to create a series of work replacing the male genitalia with a giant brain. All of Yoan’s smart and witty conceptual sculptures mix a dash of irony with a dose of comedy such as the ladder with rocking chair legs or a pair of pristine running shoes carved out of pure marble.
Alvvino, Berlin based design/illustrator creates a style that seems long past. When i first peeked at his website I thought to myself “Classic!” Then I thought “no no, you’re just an intern here. You have no authority to make judgements like that” But the craftsmanship of these pieces are inevitable and their atmosphere is both pleasant and consuming.
Olivier Valsecchi is a photographer with an eye for transforming bodies into emotional landscapes of strength and despair. We featured his powerful I Am Dust project last February. The series featured here, entitled Drifting, takes a different approach to human architecture; instead of majestic, stately nudes, we see men and women reclining alone and in pairs, arching their backs against bare tables and chairs with a baroque-style melancholia. The darkness surrounding the figures highlights their pale expressions of death and defeat, lending the illuminated flesh a cadaverous-yet-living quality. The series statement elaborates further on this bodily ambiguity:
“Straying the audience from their grounds of certainty, Valsecchi induces an unsettling doubt on whether his subjects are falling apart or withstanding paralysis. He investigates this tenuous and brooding space between inertia and the urge to go somewhere. His bodies appear to have been submitted to an exorcism, an epileptic trance, or a mutilation akin to a reptile being cut in two pieces — and yet still crawling.”
Drifting also channels the art tradition of still life. Posed to capture the wordless throes of pain and despair, the figures’ perfect configurations make them portraits of emotion. Speaking to the use of the genre, Valsecchi writes: “Still-life was the perfect fit for a post-war atmosphere. Beyond symbolizing the ephemeral nature of life, it relates to the notion of transitioning. I wanted to set bodies into an unfamiliar environment and infuse them with a feeling of disorientation, as if recovering from trauma or stuck in a vertigo.” Despite their static postures of grief and submission, Valsecchi’s tragic nudes tremble on the verge of healing, embodying and enduring the darkness so that they can overcome it.