Pier Francesco Martini‘s digital self portraits are an interesting twist to one of the oldest practices in art.
Shawn Brackbill is a Brooklyn, New York based portrait, fashion and music photographer.
I first came across your work a few years ago on Flickr. It seems like you were shooting mostly musicians then. How did you come to be involved in shooting fashion week?
I was shooting mostly musicians up until my first Fashion Week. I pitched a shoot to Dazed and Confused in July of 2008 to cover an event called Boadrum 88. It was started the year before by The Boredoms, a Japanese band, and that year Gang Gang Dance would be leading the performance of 88 drummers here in Brooklyn. I covered the event using multiple Polaroid cameras and Yashica Electro GSN rangefinder I had acquired from Ebay and refoamed.
A few weeks after delivering the images from that shoot, Dazed contacted me about covering the Spring / Summer 2009 New York Fashion week for them. They basically sent me out with a list of shows to cover and not much direction. That season I started to figure out what and how I wanted to cover Fashion Week and was hooked.
Artist Brian Adam Douglas makes use of a unique process. Before exhibiting at galleries, Douglas began his practice on the streets of Brooklyn under the name ELBOW-TOE. His distinctive style was easily spotted as he used wood cuts, charcoal, collages, and stencils throughout New York City. Douglas has since further developed his process, style, and subject matter. He has retained his painterly style that could be found in his street art and paintings. However, Douglas now applies this to a special kind of cut paper art or collage work. In fact, he prefers to call it “paper painting”. Douglas paints individual parts of paper precise colors and carefully cuts them. All of these small pieces are then often adhered to a wood panel to create one painting-like composition. While he has often focused on individual people, Douglas has now ‘zoomed out’ in a sense. His work now often encompasses entire landscapes or scenes. These scenes frequently touch on natural disaster and specifically the way people cope with them. The statement of his current exhibit at Andrew Edlin Gallery further describes this style:
“Virtually all of the works in Douglas’ new series deal with the rebuilding of life and purpose in the wake of catastrophic deconstruction brought on by natural disasters and climate change(including overt references to Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy). They are not merely about the breaking down of things but about an innate capacity to cope with disaster and the rehabilitation of purpose. Spending up to half a year on a single piece, Douglas’ laborious process demands a pictorial integrity where nothing is wasted and everything serves his intensity of purpose. Forgoing the relative ease and fluidity of the brush stroke, the artist methodically builds his compositions through shards of color incised from sheets of paper he has painted, forging a novel way to combine painting and collage into a singular hybrid.”
We are really enjoying Nolan Hendrickson’s recent work. They remind me of the dirty side of city life – but through a colorful, and naive window. The bold colors remind me of electrical signs that pollute the city at night. But the style of which Nolan approaches these paintings are so fun and dreamlike that it feels like I am experiencing these environments as a child.
Photographer Jeffrey Milstein takes his architectural eye thousands of feet up in the air and captures the New York and Los Angeles skylines like you’ve never seen them before. He gives us more than just a bird’s eye view of both familiar and unfamiliar buildings; his photographs are artistic compositions within themselves. Milstein shows the intricate symmetry, lines and details of architecture which are not always visible from the ground, and by doing so allows the structures to become landscapes of their own.
He not only gives us an original visual angle but also a deeper look into the craft of architecture itself, from the repetitive structures of suburban LA homes to the angular beauty of the Empire State, the colors and textures of the building materials are both in harmony and contrasts with the natural elements surrounding them. The trees surrounding the bases of the buildings almost become accessories, they accentuate the craftsmanship and thought of architectural feat, housing and industry.
What Milstein has done here is captured the essence of our times, a combination of nature, artifice and something in between. By doing this, he has also managed to bring architecture to a more accessible level, by elevating the audience above the buildings in a way that makes their intricacy more simple without letting it loose its character and distinct characteristics. Beyond this, Milstein has managed to make a point: there’s only so much we can see for where we stand.
See Jeffrey Milstein’s work in person at Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles from July 18th-August 22nd.
Artist Nastasja Duthois creates large installations and small-scale embroidered artworks that explore aspects of shadow and negative space. Though composed of thousands of straight sewn lines reminiscent of crosshatching, the final pieces are generally organic in form from the silhouettes of dogs and animals to more complex landscapes.
“My work is done ellipses, gaps and assembled fragments that attempt to re-transcribe experiences and encounters. It restores daily annotations that one way or another have caused me a surprise, empathy, an indistinct disorder, rebellion or indignation choked. I contemplated steps, stopped movements, noted the words of anonymous … I approached … I immersed myself until disappearing collecting many snapshots of collective life that my readings were converted. Cross existences are mixed with reminiscences and personal obsessions, while retaining their opacity and mystery. They reactivated real memory and imagination. What thoughts and feelings aroused places, objects and people became especially experiences of encounter with oneself. I want to watch the world with the attention of the traveler who discovers a country; I’m looking for simple and fleeting wonders.”
Charles Clary, a paper artist, has begun a body of work calling to the nostalgia of the 80s and 90s. Taking VHS boxes from old movie favorites and the containers for childhood games, like Operation and Monopoly, he cuts into the cardboard and weaves through a layered paper sculpture.
The concept is interesting although it is not absolutely clear what purpose the paper layering is serving in reference to the found items. While I find Clary’s work to be provocative and unique in most of the settings he has explored, in this specific scenario, the nostalgic entertainment pieces and the paper formations seem more to detract from one another as opposed to enhancing or adding to the viewer’s experience.
As explained in his artist statement:
“I use paper to create a world of fiction that challenges the viewer to suspend disbelief and venture into my fabricated reality. By layering paper I am able to build intriguing land formations that mimic viral colonies and concentric sound waves. These strange landmasses contaminate and infect the surfaces they inhabit transforming the space into something suitable for their gestation. Towers of paper and color jut into the viewer’s space inviting playful interactions between the viewer and this conceived world.”