Towering over visitors at a height of almost seven stories, New Cornucopia and The Big IOU by John Salvest is comprised of 105 multi-colored steel shipping containers, stacked seven high and fifteen across. The containers will be used as mosaic tesserae, with “I O U” spelled out on one side of the massive structure, and “U S A” on the other. Developed over the course of the past year, this striking installation is unfolding in Kansas Cities Grand Arts at a moment of exceptionally divisive national politics and public discourse.
Says Salvest of IOU/USA:
“The placement of the project near a regional branch of the Federal Reserve Bank, one of the main components of national economic policy, comes at a time when concern about the United States’ ballooning federal budget and foreign trade deficits is a major part of the national conversation. Its location between the Fed and the Pioneer Mother Memorial is also fitting in that, whereas the permanent public monument rightfully celebrates America’s and Kansas City’s triumphant past, the temporary public sculpture may generate meaningful discussion about where we, as a nation, are heading.”
Manipulating glass to the limits of its expandability, Graham Caldwell creates surfaces marked by crumpled and stretched distortions. These agglomerations simultaneously recall stainless steel and shriveled skin, quite an unfamiliar pairing. The spectrum of forms and structures embodies an otherworldliness found in microorganisms or evolutionarily complex sea creatures.
Teetering between playful and sinister, much of Caldwell’s work hinges on the importance of viewer interaction. In one work the convergence of angles toys with the viewer’s understanding of perspective. One’s own image is contorted as if by multiple funhouse mirrors. In another work, planes of iridescent glass are interlocked in an organic, geodesic structure. Seemingly less concerned with the viewer’s presence, this work plays a mise en abyme within its own brightly hued peaks and valleys.
Ronald Kurniawan’s illustrations are inspired by ideograms, syllables, letterforms, beasts and heroic landscapes. He slowly but surely continues to create a visual language where the wilderness and civilization could merge happily together. With the belief that the sublime and nuclear age could coexist, he paints romantic environments and breaks the quiet scene with juxtaposed imagery taking the shape of icons and letterforms. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles where he paints meticulously and happily accompanied by his pug Ruffles, an avid artist himself.
Rosanna Webster’s Tribalism series is a response to primitive beliefs in a fluidity between human and animal forms, and therianthropes. In many early hunter gatherer societies animals were seen as messengers between worlds with costumes and ritual used to aid spiritual practice. The images here were inspired by the idea that through animal costume and imitation spiritual transgression could occur.
York Christoph Riccius’ work is proof that commercial photography doesn’t have to be dull and boring. York photographs for some of the worlds biggest brands and manages to push the boundaries of what corporate America will accept for their campaigns.
Japanese artist Yoshihiko Satoh’s takes mass produced musical instruments and stretches, enlarges, manipulates, and contorts them into objects that unleash the energey residing in their function and shape.