Photographer Joe Maloney revisits the art of summer slumming along the east coast in his retrospective show “Asbury Park and The Jersey Shore, c. 1979” at Rick Wester Fine Arts. Maloney, according to The New Yorker, chose Asbury Park specifically because the area was “distinctly working-class, non-affluent, semi-urban, slightly run-down beach town, with a music culture and a vibrant street life.”
Most striking about this collection, however, is not just the “Darkness On The Edge of Town” vibe meshed with beach resort kitsch, but even more so, the intense level of isolation that vacation culture embodied before cell phones, Wi-Fi, and the Internet at large. Each portrait seems quiet somehow: subjects full of secrets and aspirations. Its a trapped or estranged sort of quiet that I strangely miss . . . and maybe long to reclaim.
Linda Gass stitches together hand-painted silk crepe de chine to create these colorful aerial representations of the topography and geography of the San Francisco Bay. Some of the image designs she sources from other publications, while others are completely her own, like her depiction of an imagined restoration of Bair Island. Other land features represented include the original Dumbarton bridge (opened 1927), the Southern Pacific Railway bridge (opened 1910), the Fields of Salt, the South Bay, and salt ponds. In addition to these quilts, Gass also uses paint, mixed media, and even the land itself to create work that consistently addresses issues of land and water use.
From her artist statement, “I use the lure of beauty to both encourage people to look at the hard environmental issues we face and to give them hope. My paintings are done on silk, a naturally beautiful surface, and I gravitate towards luminous, saturated colors, giving my work an optimistic feeling. Although many of the landscapes I depict are ugly in reality, my landscapes are beautified as I prefer to engage the viewer through pleasure. I am trying to create an attitude shift from feeling overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problems to feeling inspired and empowered to take action through the experience of art.” (via skumar’s)
I’m absolutely loving this series of of dictator sculptures by Stephen Ives’ based on everyones favorite toy Mr. Potato Head! Saddam Hussain, Stalin, Kim Jong II, Lenin, and even Hitler call all be made with the removal and addition of a few pieces. Now you can have playtime and pretend to be an evil dictator all at once! More dictators and other amazing sculptures based on toys after the jump!
Josh Jefferson is a Boston-based artist who paints and draws raw, coarsely layered, and geometric portraits. Viewing the face as the locus of emotion and individuality — as well as a mask we shape to convey our identities — Jefferson’s rough-yet-sophisticated style allows him to represent the structures of the face while simultaneously exploring the symbolic interiority of each portrait; with loose and boldly-colored brush strokes and layered washes of paint, Jefferson gives each portrait a constructed superficiality as well as a deeper, visible core: translucent shapes become thoughts floating around inside a skull, eyes sink into deep vortexes, and mouths smile and grimace all at once. In a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, Jefferson described his style and motivations:
“What really gets me excited is when I see a painting that seems effortless — when an artist has confidence and it appears that the painting came about like one fast whiplash, a slaphappy moment. If I could convey that feeling of loose abandon and control I would be happy. The distortions and geometric interpretations in my drawings and paintings act as structures for me to build on and react to. I kind of need to repeat things to find their meaning, and the structures help with this process.”
Just as our emotions shift, fluctuate, and blend together, Jefferson’s imaginative-yet-structured portraits manifest the complexity of inward experiences — experiences that may seem abstract or unreadable to anyone not enduring them personally. As Jefferson strives for that balance between “abandon and control,” there is a distinct sense of chaos and order, childhood lightness and adult stoicism; shifting between semi-transparent shapes and bold lines, Jefferson’s faces invite and repel us. In showing the imperfections amidst an otherwise bold exterior, the portraits allow us to view identity as a careful construction — a facade — over a complex and vulnerable personal world.
Jefferson’s works will be featured at Head First, an exhibition at the TURN Gallery in New York City running from June 24th until August 16th. The gallery will be hosting the opening reception on the 24th from 6-8pm. Check out Jefferson’s website to see a larger collection of his work.
In Texas it is illegal for children to have unusual haircuts.
In Alabama it’s illegal to have an ice cream cone in your back pocket at all times.
In California nobody is allowed to ride a bicycle in a swimming pool.
In Connecticut pickles must bounce to officially be considered pickles.
In Texas, it is illegal for a child to have an unusual haircut. In Alabama, you can’t carry an ice cream cone in your back pocket at any time. You can forget about riding your bicycle in a swimming pool if you’re in California. Yes, that is illegal, too! All states have weird and obscure laws that don’t make any practical sense. But, we love to laugh about them, and photographer Olivia Locher has taken this one step further. Her series, I Fought the Law, depicts some of these absurd laws in some equally absurd photographs.
Locher has some great source material to work with and does it justice. Formally, her photographs are beautiful. They are colorful, well-lit with engaging compositions. Even something as mundane as pickles is made interesting. While some images are just simply nice to look at, others are more narrative, like the man biking in the swimming pool. I’m also curious at the potential story behind the several dildos places among fine China.
The eight photographs of I Fought the Law has whet my appetite for more. I’m happy to know that Locher intends to disobey the laws of all 50 states and continue this series. I’m looking forward to seeing what my state, Maryland, has come up with! (Via Feature Shoot)
Brecht Vandenbroucke’s paintings use humor to drive home themes of racism, social, issues, religion, and death. He work is the love child of Jules De Balincourt and Chris Johanson’s paintings who may or may not have had a three-way with vintage comic books. In other words, it’s really good!
Everyone knows i’m a fan of simple yet effective videos. This probably wasn’t easy to make but the concept is so simple that it leaves me feeling like like “why didn’t I think of that.” Video by Korb, music by Mario Basanov & Vidis Featuring Jazzu.