Caleb Larsen must be one of those really smart people that thinks really really hard all the time. His piece “A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter” is a sculpture that is programmed to reauction itself off on eBay every 7 days, and if you buy it, you are required to immediately put it back up for auction again, so the cycle keeps on repeating. Any attempt by me to explain this work in a paragraph or less is going to fail miserably – check out this excellent interview with the artist after the jump to get a better idea of what is really going on. If you are in Seattle, go see for yourself at Lawrimore Projects, Larsen’s show “Everything All The Time Right Now” is up until February 13th.
Mel Kadel is originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and graduated from Moore College of Art in Philadelphia. She now resides in Los Angeles (and represented by Richard Heller Gallery), in a log cabin by the 5 freeway. She works using ancient papers, tiny pens, Q-tips and glue.
We all love a good boombox – but probably not as much as Tom Sachs. He has dedicated a whole exhibition to speakers, cables, and different sound system configurations. Tom Sachs: Boombox Retrospective 1999–2015 is exactly what it sounds like – a display of functional boomboxes made by Sachs and play 60 minute playlist created by the artist, friends and fans created throughout the show (Kanye West being one contributor). A fan of 1980’s street culture combined with his D.I.Y and punk ethos, Sachs has been fashioning different sound systems for a long time – he has even crafted functional ceramic boomboxes in the past.
With his love for raw materials, assemblage and with his homemade aesthetic, Sachs has created many unstated feats of engineering. His past projects include recreating Knoll office furniture out of only telephone books and duct tape, building a whole McDonalds store out of plywood and glue, and making numerous Hello Kitty sculptures out of anything from foam core to bronze. But this show is the first time we see just how many time Scahs can rebuild one theme over and over again.
Louis Grachos from The Contemporary Austin explains how impressed they are with Sach’s work, and how his ideologies and attitude match the city his pieces are shown in:
I have worked with Tom Sachs on several projects in the past, and I am very excited to introduce his work to Austin [Texas]. Like Austin, Tom takes his eccentricities seriously. The maverick spirit of self-reliance and attention to hand-crafted precision that come through in his work will keenly resonate with our audiences in Central Texas and beyond. (Source)
Living matter thrives and dies within the intricate linework of Michigan-born artist Christina Mrozik. On large pieces of paper, she uses pen, ink, marker, and watercolor to compose semi-surreal visions of nature that are much different from the usual paintings of serene landscapes and friendly animals. Mrozik’s creatures bustle with a quiet ferocity: cranes perching on wolf carcasses split open with their progeny inside; owls flap wildly, trying to escape a rope of viscera that binds them to the roots below. Full of verdant symbolism, it somewhat resembles a twisted Garden of Eden, but it is important not to let the dark imagery overwhelm us; Mrozik’s vision of life-embracing-death (and vice versa) transcends existential horror, arriving at a depiction of nature that gives meaning to death and joins all living things in a greater life process.
The human perception of “nature” is central to Mrozik’s work. In her artist’s statement, she points out the seemingly contradictory “double perception” we have of nature: “it is either something to be glorified, or something to be dominated” (Source). We relish in its beauty and the idea of “untouched” lands, but we also wish to place ourselves above it, to separate ourselves, defining it as an “other” that can be controlled and exploited. Through her organic forms and the fusion of human and animal imagery, Mrozik’s art seeks to dissolve these imaginary boundaries, exemplifying how a sentience exists throughout all living things. As she concludes: “I feel that the basic stories of feeding, migration, shelter, mating, and self awareness are an essential part of our inner being and affect our view of the world both around us and within us.” (Source).
I guess you don’t want to talk to me anymore is the name of an ongoing project by photographer Kelly Shimoda. The project, published as a blog, consists of photographs of text messages captured on the phones they were received on. In these photos, we get a voyeuristic look into the lives of the sender and recipient, and are led to question the ramifications of this (fairly) new method of communication, in which the message is inevitably boiled down to its essence due to the 160 character length of an SMS. These photographs are a bit hard to read when shrunken down, so you can click them to view full size or check out the blog, linked at the beginning of this post.
Dutch-born Lauren Hillebrandt‘s photographs objects and reframes them in other-worldy, digitally-made landscapes. Her latest series, Flat Landscapes, presents various ordinary objects surrounded by bright panels of color to subvert the norms of still-life art, and recently won Foam Magazine‘s still life contest.
More photography from this series and some of her earlier work is shown below.
Network Osaka is a graphic designer. That’s pretty much all I know about him or her. I don’t think they’re from Japan. They’re either from California or Mexico. Past that, Network Osaka has done some really nice print work, often employing a straightforward modernist aesthetic without seeming too derivative of the old masters.
Brian Morris loves to draw intricate graphics full of satanic goats, skulls, and evil roses. I can’t really blame him since that’s all I would do if I had his skills. Keep it going Brian and hail seitan!