Sometimes I wish I was a monkey who traveled to exotic places like space. Until that happens I can just watch this video created as a collaboration between World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Ben Lee and Leo Burnett, “Space Monkey” carries a message about our planet, and features Ben Lee’s track, “Song for the Divine Mother of the Universe”.
Taking the idea of a dining table and adding a twist, Michael Beitz constructs some pretty amazing furniture. Instead of a flat surface he creates a friendly wave and some distance between the two sides. Normally dining tables are associated with friends, family and connection. Beitz’ work on the other hand is related to keeping a few feet away from the other person either through length or an obstruction in the middle. If it weren’t for the titles you might not know why the artist would make what he does except for aesthetic reasons. However, since he defines his sculptures we’re given clues as to why his work is made. The underlining current points to communication or lack of. Another is domestic space. “Not Now” is his latest table with a huge wave type loop in its center. It recalls roller coasters and skater loops. The construction itself is done with an old fashioned wood oak or mahogany. He documents the work with two people sitting on each end and visually defines its purpose. Other recent projects have been “Picnic Table” which takes the traditional picnic bench and turns it into a swirling dervish of wooden proportions. Another is “Knot” where instead of a table he creates a huge knot between two couches.
Beitz has documented some of his larger projects on video. These include folding, slapping and fan houses. (via ignant)
Arend deGruyter-Helfer gives you a pile of Facebook gifts. Gifs. They’re almost better than a pile of real gifts!
Mark Schoening has been busy in the studio lately working on a brand spanking new series of paintings and a new sculpture for a show opening this weekend at Blythe Projects in Culver City, Ca. He was kind enough to document the process and give you a sneak peak.
Within his series Cowboys, Italian born artist Stefano Galli captures the essence of the rodeo. When encountering Galli’s blurred displays of fast paced moments, at first glance, the images almost take on a painterly aesthetic. The blended earth tones enriched by small marks of what could be cadmium red mimic the sort of guttural intensity found in Abstract Expressionism. Yet, with further inspection, it becomes clear that these moments are, in fact, not abstract at all. Galli’s series displays a hyper specific sensibility of the rodeo — they go beyond what is physically there and take on the challenge to document both the visual and psychological affect the rodeo has on these cowboys. With a crowds of faceless faces, bucking broncos whose warped bodies begin to take the formation of something out of a Francis Bacon painting, and long, lingering lights that possess a cinematic feel, Galli is able to represent the true element of movement. His photographs are a clever answer to create a discourse on a challenging topic for a motionless medium: speed. But, more importantly, his images provoke not only a discourse on gesture, but also on control. What does it feel like to have control when all sense of homeostasis is disrupted? How does one remain in control? And further, through the distortion of the image, is Galli provoking the viewer to lose his or her control? Are we asked to let go of our need to make sense of what we’re seeing? Perhaps, for a moment, we should act on instinct. Delicate yet powerful, Stefano Galli truly exposes a contemporary visual thought process on an age-old tradition.
Heeseop Yoon is a Korean artist based in New York concerned with clutter, junk, and our impossibility of absolute perception. His enormous installations begin with photographs of people’s piles of hoarded objects, which, like Giacometti, he then draws and re-draws and re-draws, leaving initial lines to remind him of the instability of his own perception, then re-draws them on enormous scale using tape (which is a form of junk in its own right) galleries and on buildings. The combination of cluttered objects and the instability of perception is a pretty perfect one, they feel like the exact opposite of Gursky’s 99 Cent store photograph yet weirdly similar, both enormous in scale, both about the glut of objects in our society, but executed in inverse manners. His pen and paper drawings are amazing too, check out his website to see more!
Eliot Lee Hazel may be an LA based photographer but his photographs subjects look like the inhabitants of an artist colony on mars. Think Silverlake but in space.
San Diego-based artist Seyo Cizmic works largely within the realm of the surreal. From hammers that droop to knock nails into their own bodies to wooden pencils with thorns built into them, many of the objects Cizmic creates are meant to confound the viewer. Barely any of them are usable in the practical sense of the item, presenting a challenge to viewers about what exactly these objects could be meant for. Some are rife with humor, such as Cyclops’ Shades, a pair of tie-dyed flower child sunglasses with only one lens, or Fish Machine Bank, a gum ball machine filled with goldfish. They’re sculptures that are meant to be questioned, scrutinized, perhaps even laughed at. Cizmic’s objects are of a different world, one in which backwards is forwards, in which objects that don’t follow reason are a new, cockeyed normal.
Within the nonsensical nature of Cizmic’s objects, however, lie larger issues at play. There’s With God on Our Side, a gold-plated sword with a crucifix at the base, joining religious iconography with an image of violence. Then there’s the self-explanatory In God, Money, and Guns We Trust, in which a pair of disembodied gold arms in military regalia hold a dollar bill up as if in prayer. Despite having his tongue pressed firmly against his cheek, Cizmic often layers his sculptures and installations with these deeper meanings, making the scrutiny and perplexity they evoke all the more rewarding.