The monumental works of Danish artist Rasmus Danø orbit the dark side of modernity: The atom bomb, the polluted landscape, the decay of pop culture back yards like Disneyland and Graceland. Using a condensed and dramatic form mixing elements of comic book art, Californian underground, and murals with the great European tradition, the large scale religious implementations of the Baroque in particular, Danø works range from the traditional painting to reliefs and singular objects.
In Mongolia, where the weight of tradition and Soviet rule still hang heavy, it is considered dangerously taboo to be a homosexual. Gays, lesbians, and transsexuals must keep their identities secret, often secluding themselves or participating in prostitution, in an attempt to safeguard their lives against violence and discrimination. In 2011, photographer Álvaro Laiz decided to capture the secret lives of these Mongolians in his series “Transmongolian.” Laiz initially traveled to Mongolia because he was interested in how the country’s newly opened borders affected the population, with the tradition of Mongolian culture meeting with Western influences from the outside. His research led him to connections with transgender individuals whose stories he decided to document with his photography.
Laiz captures these ostracized Monogolians conducting their day-today lives alongside images of them in traditional Mongolian queen costumes. Laiz’s Mongolian series is the first of a larger project exploring transgender people in societies across the world. (via huffington post)
Montreal-based artist Jon Rafman‘s series New Age Demanded is dominated by a distorted, bodiless figure made from textures and skin taken from paintings by artists – such as Gerhard Richter and Franz Kline – and made anew. With the aid of photoshop, Rafman collages numerous different elements onto the deformed classical bust and its background to mix old with new, high art with low art, and craft with technology. More after the jump.
Igor Eskinja’s simplistic installations are elegant and optical illusory. Using basic and inexpensive materials such as tape, wires, and cords, Eskinja practices his art with precise measurements and an architectural eye. His work straddles the transition between 2D and 3D perception. He thoughtfully uses the space of the wall and floor of his installations, requiring viewers to stand at a particular angle in order to experience the effect given in these photos. The simplicity of his form and the perception between what is visible and not introduce space for interpretation and meaning. Oftentimes, after the installation is over, the work is thrown out due to the instability of his work, drawing attention to the impermanence of the forms he creates.
New York artist Danny Evans, photoshops photos of celebrities to make them look like the average joe, precisely, to show what the super famous would eventually look like without the best make-up artists and stylists that money can buy.
“It was a reaction to the over-Photoshopped images of celebrities that we see everyday. I thought it would be interesting to take it in the opposite direction.”
The project has been active since 2006, when Danny started ‘making-under’ the highly popular photographs of socialite Paris Hilton. Evans was fascinated by how quickly Paris’ pictures created instant buzz, and how much power she really had over a mass public just by being rich and ‘attractive’. Needless to say, the collection of Paris’ ‘make-unders’ grew from there; Evans created a Facebook page named Planet Hiltron which turned into a huge success; from there, he started to work with other celebrities.
“Basically just stripping away their cool personas I always find it interesting to see what’s left after the Hollywood has been scrubbed off. My intention wasn’t necessarily to age them, but to strip them of their ‘Hollywood’ facade. That has more or less been my general goal with this series all along.”
Artist Kristen Schiele produces vibrant paintings and shadow boxes. Schiele richly layers her work both in her medium – paint, thread, collage – and in narrative. Her work merges indistinct structures and landscapes with rays and patterns of color as well as collaged human figures. Each piece seems at once to be about stories and tell one of its own. Speaking about the sources for her layers of images she says:
“I do keep a sketchbook. I also have a library of images printed out, some scanned in from libraries. They are from years of collecting. I get ideas and start folders of images for different paintings. I narrow the folders down into a show.” [via]
Since 2009,Tony Orrico has performed his Penwald drawings. Combining elements found in dance, theater and performance art, it explores repetitive movement for long periods of time, bringing drawing’s motion into peril with human physicality. The idea originates in finding a point when an act becomes more than just motor skills and crosses over into the creative process. In Tony’s case, this leaves an aesthetic mark on physical existence in the form of an abstract drawing.
After graduating with an MFA in Choreography from the University of Iowa, Tony joined Shen Wei and Trisha Brown Dance companies. As a principle, he performed in major cities around the globe, including Sydney Opera House. Both troupes known for an avant garde approach ensured that he was never far away from a serious art practice. When he was ready, this enabled him to use the experience he learned as a dancer and combine it with his passion for drawing. One of his first Penwald performances at Postmasters Gallery, NY in 2009, would set the stage for everything that followed. From there, he received an opportunity to perform at The National Academy Of Sciences in Washington DC, and was soon taking his “Penwald” series to venues worldwide. He was one of the few selected to reappropriate performances from Marina Ambramovic’s retrospective, “The Artist is present” at New York’s Museum Of Modern Art, an experience he was honored to have.
His newest project, CARBON, further investigates the relationship between material, body and movement. Again, testing the limits of physical, mental and creative capacity, Tony sleeps in a box of graphite broken off throughout the course of a day, from Mexican pottery bowls. The material is used as a metaphor for life and death. A few recent highlights include performances at The Metz-Pompidou, New Museum, BAM, and solo Exhibits at PPOW Gallery NY, MUAC Mexico and Shoshanna Wayne Gallery Los Angeles.
I absolutely love Ben Newman’s gorgeous illustrations that have a beautiful vintage feel to them. I doubt they were created using old printmaking techniques but I’m just going to close my eyes and Imagine Ben working away in a little cottage full of printmaking presses making ornate illustrations full brilliant texture and delicately faded color.