These headless figures resemble ancient Venus statuettes. However, the sculptures’ construction betray their modern origin. Artist Etienne Gros pulls, tucks, and pins foam to resemble the classic nude. The full curves and folds of the foam mimic human flesh in strangely similar manner. Gros contrasts the age-old form with modern industrial material to highlight concerns that have never disappeared – the body, sensuality and sex. Gros is familiar with the human figure beyond this unique medium. He’s explored themes of the classical figure in paint and even smoke.
Jason Shawn Alexander illustrates and paints beautiful people who are bent and crooked from the struggles of life. However, he does it in a way that’s still appealing and uplifting to view. So, when you stand in front of his work you begin to feel up and contemplative, rather than ominous and down like you’d initially imagine from the darker pigments and conditions of his subjects. Originally from the south, Jason now resides in Los Angeles and interestingly enough, besides being a figurative painter, he worked for years as a draftsman at all of the top-dog comic publishers like Dark Horse and Marvel…(via)
Hilary Harnischfeger’s relief paintings and sculptures make me think of ancient topographic maps with a dab of Richard Diebenkorn tossed into the mix for good measure.
Artist Andy Ralph pulls the backyard into the gallery. Banal items often forgotten in the rain seem to be tumbling out of control. An army of garbage cans marches on two by fours, lawn chair frames grow to nearly gallery bursting sizes, lawn fences become imposing towers. Ralph’s work obviously contains an amount of humor transforming everyday commodities into absurdities. His art, though, also has a subtly menacing quality. While rendering the common items useless, he also appears to give them a certain subjectivity – a life of their own.
Rony Alwin is oftentimes associated with his company Rony’s Photobooth, which sets up photo stations at parties all across the world. However, he somewhat secretly has been taking incredible and iconic pictures of uniquely American still-lifes and landscapes all along, which he encounters while road tripping across the States. His crisp and clean photos of American Flags and abandoned typewriters tell unspoken stories that really pull you in and allow you to create your own narratives around them. I, for one, was totally blown away when I stumbled across these on his personal website and can’t wait for him to release some prints. I mean, yes, his other sites are always exciting to check out, but this set of photos mark a maturity that really showcases his talent and eye for the interesting.
For people who have a soft spot for early animation Jeremy Tinder’s new work pricks the skin like Cupid’s arrow. The strangely solid little people remind me of rock crystals or the thread spools that R. Crumb would draw faces on, something small, secret and precious. If they weren’t painted I would want to put one in my pocket to talk too when I felt down and out. Ok, that was weird, but you see where I was going with that.
For 3 months of the year, Corey Arnold is a commercial fisherman. For the rest of the time he travels around Portland, Oregon and the surrounding areas photographing the wildlife in a very sincere and earnest way. Beginning his life at sea, he first worked as a deckhand on a crabbing vessel in Alaska in 1997, and from then started documenting his experiences in an on-going series called Fish-Work. In it, Arnold captures the lifestyle of the commercial fishing world, filled with images of men in neon colored rain jackets, bundles of ropes, dead bait, enormous waves, monstrous fish and hoards of birds.
In his new series though, he has concentrated just on animals and their personalities. The exhibition Wildlife is as unpretentious as it sounds. Arnold has been able to become quite intimate with his subjects, capturing bears, birds, seals, sharks, and moose all in a relaxed, natural state. Spliced with images, once again, from the fishing world, we get a good idea of how seamlessly Arnold fits into his environment. It seems the animals caught on camera don’t notice the presence of this human one bit. The artist reflects on his obsession with the wilderness and also his ability to go unnoticed within it:
I harbored a deep desire to be an animal living in nature and I didn’t have far to travel. The lush gully in my backyard, just out of sight beyond a thicket of poison oak, was home to coyotes, raccoons, possums, stray pets, snakes, lizards, rats and crawdads. Any bustling in the bushes was a potential mystery to unravel or a prey to stalk. I was a particularly curious child, an amateur wildlife tracker, behaviorist and hunter who often pressed the boundaries of human/wild animal proximity. (Source) (Via Super Sonic)