Ron Ulicny is a Portland-based artist who creates “viscurrealistic fabrications”, sculptural works that draw their impact from surreal change-ups in material selection. A vintage bowling pin is sliced open, and a nocturnal forest is inserted into its midsection. A hand saw’s blade is replaced by multiple paintbrushes. I wasn’t necessarily surprised, when going through the artist’s portfolio site, to find quotes from Jasper Johns, Magritte, Duchamp, and Rauschenberg, each of whom are pretty clear influences on Ulicny. But, even in emulation, Ulicny’s work is completely singular. He knows his materials so well (where does he find some of these things?), and his execution might be a little cleaner than some of his heroes. You’re gonna want to check out more of the artist’s works, so find a selection below, but hit up his website and tumblr to get the full picture.
Well folks the day is here! Beautiful/Decay Book:2 is almost sold out. We only have 25 hand numbered copies left on our shop. Once this book sells out it will NOT be reprinted. Get your copy of this limited edition run of 1,500 now on the B/D Shop for $20!
Interested in landscapes, San Francisco artist Jenny Odell spends quite a bit of time looking at places viewed from above on Google Maps. Searching for industrial forms and shapes that, when combined create an unusual and striking kind of landscape. Odell then creates digital prints, the likes of which have even been exhibited in the Google Maps headquarters. Of her work Odell says:
“Much of the strangest architecture associated with humanity is infrastructural. We have vast arrays of rusting cylinders, oil rigs dotting wastelands like lonely insects, and jewel-toned, rhomboid ponds of chemical waste. We have gray and terraced landfills, 5-story tall wastewater digester eggs, and striped areas of the desert that look as though they rendered incorrectly until we realize that the lines are made of thousands of solar panels. Massive cooling towers of power plants slope away from dense, unidentifiable networks on the ground and are obscured in their own ominous fog. If there is something unsettling about these structures, it might be that they are deeply, fully human at the same time that they are unrecognizably technological. These mammoth devices unblinkingly process our waste, accept our trash, distribute our electricity. They are our prostheses. They keep us alive and able, for a minute, to forget the precariousness of our existence here and of our total biological dependence on a series of machines, wires, and tubes, humming loudly in some far off place.”
Drawing attention to our dependent, but odd relationship with this infrastructure Odell is also exploring what it has to reveal about our habits, patterns and the elements of our everyday life. She is also interested in viewing this infrastructure in a way where it takes on the quality of being the remains from a time and civilization gone by. In other words, her images take on “tragic air: they look already like dinosaurs, like relics of a failed time from the perspective of a time when we will know better—or when we are no longer here.”
While you’re with your family yawning over Triptophan-turkey food comas slumped into your pumpkin pie, why not surprise everyone and inject your holiday with a little ROCK! Maybe try jumping on the table and singing “Pinball Wizard” from The Who’s “Tommy.” Really, nothing beats Elton John as a pinball-hat, giant glasses, stilted piano-playing wizard battling a satin-chained Roger Daltry.
Sabato Visconti is a photographer, visual artist, and digital puppeteer. He fine-tunes his art on an atomic level by using a number of techniques that manipulate code and scramble pixels into what is often surprising results. “Glitch art,” as the aesthetic is called, uses a palette of static, snow, and other shadowy artifacts to create art that is, despite its hi-tech nature, exceedingly organic.
The intense colors and bio-rhythmic patterns that emerge from Visconti’s glitched-out photographs are raw and still retain an emotional connection to their subjects. Some are more abstract, emerging like clouds of texture that seem by turns woven and crumpled and, when it gets particularly noisy, crunchy. Though it might be counterintuitive, it makes sense that glitch art is organic; after all, artifacts in old-school photographs and film footage have always occurred spontaneously. Now, artists are harnessing that force of microcosmic nature and using it creatively.
“You’re trying to find this really fine balance where something doesn’t break fully, but breaks just to the point that you can see it breaking,” Visconti explains. The tension between form and disintegration is palpable in his work; at times, it’s like staring into a digital void or a watching a snapshot of an identity crisis. He takes it one step further in a collection called, “Vertigo by Alfred Glitchcock,” which takes stills and remixes them into evocative visual mayhem.
Do androids dream of electric sheep? If they do, then this is what they see when they close their eyes.
Michael Kontopoulos, a grad student at UCLA Design|Media Arts has created a system of sculptures that are constantly on the brink of collapse. His intention was to capture and sustain the exact moment of impending catastrophe and endlessly repeat it. This documentation gives me the chills, makes me sweat, and I almost scream when each machine comes close to collapse. Good job Michael.
Acrylic sheeting, automotive paint 12 x 13 ft, dimensions variable
For his recent exhibit at Goff+Rosenthal, “The Thin Ice of Modern Life,” artist Jeremy Earheart created a stunning black light landscape of hyperspectra, fantasmagoric homages to Young America. Using hand-cut plastic, string and paint, light is a variable medium that simultaneously “activates” and transforms the works. With a visual language ranging from eagle wings, canons, even Masonic symbols—Earheart the neon signs and symbols of America’s past and present.
If you don’t know about Camille Rose Garcia and her twisted fantasy worlds, now you know. The artist has been killin’ it for a while with dark mixed media paintings that are easy on the eyes the way the poisonous apple in Snow White tastes good- you know there’s something sinister at work here, but you can’t help yourself anyway. Garcia’s colorful works feature animals and pretty ladies, neither of which are innocent. Watch your back. More snaps after the jump, and check out her blog, which, if not updated regularly, is a nice window into what the artist’s thinking.