Mark Mulroney is currently showing new work at Mixed Greens in Chelsea. The exhibition, entitled We’re Never Getting Rescued With That Attitude, features paradisiacal scenery created with graphite and acrylic applied to both found book paper and carved wood panel, respectively. In addition to reading Gauguin’s letters from Tahiti, studying Tarzan imagery, and internalizing clichéd tropical sunsets, Mulroney investigated 30-years-worth of Playboy and Penthouse magazines in preparation for the show. Click past the jump for some installation views, and check it out in person before April 20th.
Japanese illustrator OneQ brings together East and West in his sexy illustrations. Pulling inspiration from both traditional Japanese comic book art and American pin-up photography, her work simultaneously has the feeling of being vintage yet contemporary through the combination of digital rendering techniques with classic pin-up poses.
Evelyn Bencicova’s photography is stark and haunting, which could probably in part be attributed to the headless-ness of her subjects in most of her works. The colouring is sterile, and the figures’ body language imitates the stillness of their environment. Although each naked body touches at least one other, there is no sense of sexuality or pleasure. The bodies seem like one larger, unified organism, like some strange jellyfish or starfish. They splay themselves over surfaces, as if they’ve been washed up across the desk they rigidly lie on. They are compelling because although logically you realize you’re seeing a human body, they lack any recognizable aspects. It’s near impossible to feel empathy or understanding without facial features or visible imperfections or distinguishing character. It is especially with so many clones together. The series is an interesting experiment in identifying what defines our living human character.
I want to apologize in advance for making this comparison, but if I’m being completely honest, I’m reminded of the film Human Centipede. Of course, conceptually they are completely opposite, one being completely vile and horrific, the other pleasantly vacant. Still, if the Human Centipede were instead an experimental art film, maybe it would be the Human Starfish, and the film was about a multi-human entity that slowly explored an abandoned hospital or institution, these photos would be the stills. (Via Daily Metal)
Through some intense thought and focus, French artist Nicolas Jolly meticulously pieces together thousands upon thousands of tiny black streaks (from his finger imprints) in order to create a cohesive image. The end product comes to be this series of eerie landscape scenes that take inspiration from the early works of the symbolist movement.
Jolly’s practice involves the alterations, in width and length, of his finger markings in order to simulate light, shadows, and shape. When viewed from afar, the images seem whole with a magnificent sense of movement and texture. Jolly’s ability to create figurative work with small abstract markings is, clearly, quite remarkable.
(via My Modern Met)
Nathan Coley is a Glasgow-based artist who is well-known for his inspiring, troubling, and haunting illuminated text sculptures. When they aren’t being featured in a gallery, Coley installs these works in public spaces — in parks, over doorways, and on top of buildings — places where they are visible from afar, or as people walk by on their day-to-day business. The words he chooses derive from both research and personal experience; literature, lyrics, historical documents, and overheard conversations comprise some of his source materials. Many of his installations are directly related to religion or private belief-systems — for example, “Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens,” and “There will be no miracles here.” Others speak to violent experiences in human public life; “Burn the village, feel the warmth” is a reference to the London street riots of 2011.
As human creatures, it is safe to argue that we have a complicated relationship with language. Language is how we make sense of the world, and a way for us to connect with others. But none of us can deny the frustrating limitations we experience with it. We use language to express our innermost fears and desires, yet somehow the words seem inadequate; we can read a line of poetry and be shaken to the core, but remain unable to articulate why. Coley’s works have a similar effect; made of fairground-type globes set in aluminum frames, his sculptures confront us with their bright, almost garish boldness. “There will be no miracles here,” the sign reads, in the middle of a field; the isolated word “here” signifies a sinking stomach, a staggered thought, the unsettling fear that “miracles” are phantasmagoric events residing only in the hearts of the troubled and desperate. Coley’s work affects us on deeply personal and inexpressible levels, adding notes of hope, doubt, and other emotions into our present moment.
Architecture and context play a very important role in Coley’s work, as well. As Lisa Le Feuvre eloquently states in a monograph on Coley’s work:
When Coley pays attention to an architectural landscape it is always constructed through a singular gaze, sometimes directed where the buildings meet the ground as one walks through the streets, other times looking up or down at the buildings designed to stretch up to their full height, like enthusiastic children in a schoolroom, urgently wanting to say their piece. Architecture fulfills and produces desires, perhaps most explicitly seen in places of production, power, worship, and memory. (Source)
As Le Feuvre expresses, there is no doubt that certain (if not all) public spaces have different and powerful effects on us: stroll beneath the arched ceilings of a church and feel humbled; stand in an abandoned park at dusk and sense creeping loneliness. But what Coley also explores is the way power operates in such spaces; who does the public space belong to, and what is our role within it? How do our behaviors and self-conceptions change when we enter those spaces? As Foucault writes in Discipline and Punish, “He who is subjected to a field of visibility, and who knows it, assumes responsibility for the constraints of power; […] he becomes the principle of his own subjection.” If public spaces are indeed “field[s] of visibility” that operate on us via internalized systems of control, than Coley’s integration of art into them is doubly rich for analysis — and also somewhat subversive; the words “We must cultivate our garden,” set atop a hotel in Vancouver, Canada, reinvests local architecture with meaning, transforming our experience of that space from controlled, everyday banality into a new, stimulating process of personal signification: we decide what the “garden” means to us in that particular time and place.
We’re loving these clever and subtle gif images created by 21 year old Boston, MA based illustrator Daniel Barreto. The small dwellings are carved into the nooks and crannies of trees deep in the woods. Their windows glowing with light and flickering in the dark snowy night beg the question “who built this house and how do they exactly live here. ”
Alex Schaefer, a senior at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, creates portraits that explore the surreal and dark nature of the human experience.
Through bizarre props and Photoshop tricks, Schafer creates the ultimate, dreadful parallel universe- a landscape that enables us to coexist with what most of us fear: loss of control, death, and powerlessness.
Although sometimes comical, the artist places his subject, a man, in several different scenarios that deem him weak. Whether he is being tied down and unable to escape, crushed by rocks, or lost within a television screen- he has reached an endpoint.
Lala Albert has consistently drawn the most beautiful multi-eyed freaks for years now. I’ve never seen theme and variation work this well before, and I don’t believe I will get tired of her work any time soon. Catch her sprawling comics at Vice , in Chameleon and Gang Bang Bong, and on Arthur Mag. She tumbles, flicks, textiles, and twits. Sassy. Oozy. Gals.