Within his series Cowboys, Italian born artist Stefano Galli captures the essence of the rodeo. When encountering Galli’s blurred displays of fast paced moments, at first glance, the images almost take on a painterly aesthetic. The blended earth tones enriched by small marks of what could be cadmium red mimic the sort of guttural intensity found in Abstract Expressionism. Yet, with further inspection, it becomes clear that these moments are, in fact, not abstract at all. Galli’s series displays a hyper specific sensibility of the rodeo — they go beyond what is physically there and take on the challenge to document both the visual and psychological affect the rodeo has on these cowboys. With a crowds of faceless faces, bucking broncos whose warped bodies begin to take the formation of something out of a Francis Bacon painting, and long, lingering lights that possess a cinematic feel, Galli is able to represent the true element of movement. His photographs are a clever answer to create a discourse on a challenging topic for a motionless medium: speed. But, more importantly, his images provoke not only a discourse on gesture, but also on control. What does it feel like to have control when all sense of homeostasis is disrupted? How does one remain in control? And further, through the distortion of the image, is Galli provoking the viewer to lose his or her control? Are we asked to let go of our need to make sense of what we’re seeing? Perhaps, for a moment, we should act on instinct. Delicate yet powerful, Stefano Galli truly exposes a contemporary visual thought process on an age-old tradition.
Origami is both impressive in its folded construction as well as its ability to signify the need for change by urging us to look beyond the paper forms. Animals are no doubt the most popular subject, and Japanese artist Takayuki Hori has a twist on the conventional foldings. He crafts these animals to appear as victims of Japan’s urban pollution, and the pieces expose the sad truths of what happens to these creatures. Hori showcases garbage in their insides using X-ray-like detail. If you look closely, you can see tiny bottles and other trash within the stomachs and ribcages.
These works appear in Hori’s exhibition Oritsunagumono (which means “things folded and connected”) which critiques the polluted coastal waterways and the effects they have on its inhabitants. Images are printed onto translucent sheets of paper and later folded into their origami shapes. The result are a ghostly tribute and haunting reminder of our impact on the environment. (Via Fast Co. Design)
Want to see what it’s like to live in sunny California? Just watch this music video for Viernes’ single Liquid tunnel.
Chicago based Ryan Travis Christian has just opened his first Museum Exhibition at CAM Raleigh entitled Well, Here We Aren’t Again. Ryan spent three weeks on site creating a large-scale wall drawing, sculptures and floor installation specifically for CAM Raleigh’s Independent Weekly Gallery. This new body of work continues his hazy vision of dank landscapes ripe with powerful patterns, cartoon personalities, and awkward situations expertly rendered with graphite and ink.
Christian Rex Van Minnen’s remarkable paintings showcase a mastery of traditional oil painting techniques that are paired wildly with a fascination for historical painting, witty humor, and a strong inclination towards the grotesque.
His still lives pay homage to Dutch vanitas painting yet, even using modes of traditional depiction, they expand to encompass modern sensibilities through the addition of present-day objects and graphic symbols; rainbows, uncanny mushrooms, Cretaceous plant life and hearts and stars accompany decaying flowers, rotted fruit, and scenic lands far away.
His portraits reference the unconventional Mannerist painter Guiseppe Arcimboldo, as well as contemporaries such as Glen Brown and Ivan Albright. Like his still lives, Christian’s portraits are conventional in composition and style, yet his subject’s faces are unrecognizable, malformed and undefinable. They are constructed from a cluster of earthly refuse; human and animal skin, organs and entrails, fruit, insect parts, fur, and textiles come together to emanate feelings of unease, horror, and wonder through intricate, realistic depiction.
Yasamin Keshtkar’s work is about examining the role of painting through process, material, and the nature of the two dimensional image. Each painting is part of an effort to solidify these elements into an effective/legitimate result. Personal questions about what she is doing are carried from one painting to another, underscoring this foundational dichotomy between painting and reality that she is trying to represent.
In the Mexican city of Monterrey, where the over development of newly built suburbs affect peoples daily lives and customs, there is a large bridge spanning Highway 85. On that bridge Alejandro Cartagena pointed his camera down at the morning traffic. He was seeking and peeking into the backs of open trucks, where construction workers often pile together on their way to earn a living. Like commuters everywhere, they sleep, eat, read and talk on their way to work. Often they look up, and maybe they notice someone taking their picture.
The shape of the tall, narrow pictures mimics a long stretch of highway, and conjures up the journey’s forward motion. Lined up in rows, each pictures a different vehicle, a different load of human cargo, and truck after truck; they suggest the relentless drive to stay alive.
In her series, Impressions, Scout Paré-Phillips’ uses flesh as her medium by photographing the imprints left from inviting undergarments. Through an almost monochrome, yet warm and familiar palette, her photographs are simultaneously quiet, yet demanding. At first glance, the images seem to display an act of seduction; they document marks of ghost articles of clothing worn for, most likely, the purpose of creating allure. However, with further reflection, the work runs deeper, having a softer, more reflective meaning. These impressions, are, perhaps, the physical representation of emotional indentations, or the struggle of vulnerability versus dominance during the act of sex. The fragility of one’s skin cannot help but to mimic the fragility of one’s state of being. She displays slight imperfections on otherwise flawless, blank-canvas-reminiscent flesh. Impressions, the marks made on us over time, whether they be permanent or fleeting, are what make us the intricate beings that we are. The artist speaks of the work in terms of the skin of a lover. She states:
“Their skin is sacred; it is the most honest container for these people that we love, sharing with us the timelines of their lives through birthmarks, scars, blemishes, tattoos, wrinkles, bruises, and even the marks left behind daily from their clothing. It is what we covet in our lovers, and what we abuse for our pleasure.”
The photographer, musician and model, Scout Paré-Phillips, is quite prolific in her making. Her multidisciplinary body of work culminates in the foggy, slight margin that exists between innocence and cognizance. She has somehow found a niche outside the realm of binary and has created a theme that functions in paradox. Being quite young herself, the artist’s work can be explored through the lens of coming into an awakened adulthood. The work seems to be bound by the true intricacies of emotional falsities and the strange balance between darkness and light that is the essence of being human.