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Winnie Truong’s Bearded Friends

Canadian artist Winnie Truong creates the coolest illustrations with pencil crayon on paper.  I am particularly enjoying his Ornament and Correction piece.  Who knew Crayola could be this awesome?

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Paul McCarthy Attacked While Installing Christmas Tree (Butt Plug) Sculpture

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Paul-McCarthy-butt plug

Famed Los Angeles artist Paul McCarthy was attacked in Paris on Thursday while finishing the installation of his nearly 80-foot tall sculpture, called Tree, outside the Place Vendôme. Paul McCarthy, who contributed this piece to the FIAC’s “Hors Les Murs” program, was punched in the face multiple times by an unknown assailant who was enraged by the nature of the sculpture. Tree, although ambiguously shaped and rather indistinct, happens to distinctly look like either a Brancusi sculpture or, less poetically, like a butt plug. 

The angry assailant, or shall we say “pain in the ass,” was also enraged that McCarthy is indeed NOT French, and yet is showing work at this prestigious venue. Luckily, McCarthy was not seriously injured, despite being shaken and disturbed by the incident. McCarthy explained that the sculpture “started as a joke.” He primarily noted that butt plugs and Brancusi sculptures shared a similar silhouette, which eventually led to the realization that a green object of this shape also resembles a Christmas tree. Thus, Tree was erected.

“But it is an abstract work. People may be offended if they want to refer to [it as a] plug, but, for me, it is more of an abstraction.”

FIAC director Jennifer Flay noted that despite the understood controversial aspect of the sculpture, the inherent ambiguity in it precludes it from being offensive or unsuitable for public view. It was fully approved before installation by all local bodies. (Excerpt from Source)

To see more naughty work by Paul McCarthy go here.

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Painter Philip Hinge Tests The Meaning Of ‘Bad Taste’

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Full of expressive, wild colorful brushstrokes and heavy layering and textures, Philip Hinge puts on a show of his playful sense of humor and confidence. Intentionally flirting with the line between ‘good art’ and ‘bad art’ in his exhibition Don’t Look Now, he approaches his subjects with a unique sensibility. Hinge paints anything from blow up dog balloons, to rock stars dressed in bridal gowns, to mermen sunbathing and boys greedily stuffing their faces with spaghetti. Choosing banal subjects and turning them into something special and surprising is his talent.

Contextual ambiguity abounds in Hinge’s work, allowing his paintings to express a subtle anxiety that is felt rather than seen. At the same time, by ironically appropriating sources as diverse as everyday kitsch, science fiction, and the canons of art history, Hinge lampoons widely-accepted tropes of high art. (Source)

Hinge manages to break down some of the traditional and existing boundaries within the painting (and greater art) world. And while his technique and style may seem primitive, his subject matter adds a subtle layer of complexity to his work. His past series include I Am The Black Wizards – an amusing look at the death metal community and the stereotypes that go with it. He has rockers stabbed with knives, swords and clubs, gripping their legs in pain, and tough guys wearing witches hats and capes, pinned to a wire fence. His light-hearted approach to certain social taboos is a refreshing thing to see.

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Riusuke Fukahori’s Incredibly Realistic Golfish Sculptures Made Out Of Resin

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Riusuke Fukahori, a Japanese artist with an endearing obsession with goldfish, paints three-dimensional renditions of the fish by using a complex process of poured resin on authentic Japanese household containers.

Fukahori strives to paint the goldfish as realistically as possible. His love for the funny looking fish goes beyond words, and the only way to truly pay homage to his ‘friends’ is through creating these unbelievably real-looking sculptures made out of resin. Fukahori keeps dozens of goldfish in tanks and buckets around his studio, he sits and watches the goldfish when he feels uninspired or simply needs company.

His work can be quite deceiving; the goldfish look so real that when people first see his work they find it impossible not to try to reach into the ‘water’ and touch the ‘fish.’

Each of Fukahori’s resin pieces [the resin goldfish] are contained in a variety of everyday Japanese household items. His usage of these items in his work reflects a personal touch, as many of the containers used were bowls and cups that he himself used for years.

The goldfish resin sculptures entail very complicated, repetitive, and labor intensive steps. He first pours a layer of resin, then lets it dry, then paints a small portion of the fish, then lets it dry, then pours another layer of resin—he patiently repeats these steps until the final product is achieved.

“I didn’t invent resin and not the first to use resin. I am not a resin artist. I am a goldfish artist. I think it’s obvious which pieces are Riusuke Fukahori pieces because the imitators use the wrong containers. They will never understand goldfish the way I do. They are only copying the craft, not the soul.”

The Painted Breath, an exhibition of new resin works and paintings by Fukahori, will be on exhibition at the Joshua Liner Gallery in New York on November 21st,2013 till January 18th,2014.

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Kirk Cheng’s Displays The Cycle Of Life And Death In Full Bloom With Bizarre Sculptures Made Of Flora

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Kirk Cheng invites us to stop and smell the roses at his new solo exhibition “Circle of Life” at the Above Second gallery in Hong Kong. Cheng being a floral artist, he constructs fantastical floral sculptures that appear as if they derive from ecosystems from another planet. Flowers, which are often used as just a decoration, are now in full bloom as the main attraction. Cheng uses striking, vibrant colors with unique plants that are arranged in circles, taking over the gallery space in all their glory. Like every plant, these magnificent flora pieces will start to die, whither, and decay. Although this death is bittersweet, the artist intentionally shows this process, hence the title of the exhibition “Circle of Life.”

An organic beauty can be found in seeing different stages of the lifecycle of Cheng’s floral arrangements. Death is natural, but it always stems from life. The decaying plants have their own unique aesthetic, as their colors are now dark and their texture changed. Seeing the flowers transform into different colors and their pedals turn hard and crispy is both intriguing and interactive, as the exhibition becomes ever changing. No doubt if you saw Cheng’s work at the end of the exhibition, it would look like an entirely different show than at the beginning. Perhaps displaying the dead flowers next to the thriving ones makes the living flowers seem even more full and vivacious. Seeing such an honest example of the cycle of life holds its own tragic beauty, allowing us to experience the magnificence of life. (via Hi Fructose)

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Andres Serrano’s Powerful Images Of Death

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The Morgue (Infectious Pneumonia)

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The Morgue (Pneumonia drowning)

The Morgue (Death Unknown)

The Morgue (Death Unknown)

Artist Andres Serrano‘s series of photographs The Morgue investigates ideas of death and our relationship with it.  Working with a forensic pathologist Serrano photographed the bodies with a near classical beauty rarely associated with the morgue.  Serrano ensured the anonymity of each person through tight cropping or veiling the face.  The way in which the light interacts with the bodies and their veils is reminiscent of Italian baroque painting.  The chiaroscuro of each photograph seems to underscore some mystery behind death balancing the morgue’s comparatively cold analytic approach.  Further, the careful attention to detail and composition dignifies each person.  Each subject, some actually unknown persons, are considered individually as initial shock gives way to contemplation and reflection.  However, these are not sentimental images.  There still remains a certain emotional detachment, a terrible loneliness in death, and Serrano’s intention is ambiguous.  Each photograph’s title is each subject’s respective cause of death, and have been inserted in each photographs’ caption.  Also, please note: Some may consider these photographs to be graphic and/or disturbing.  (via boum!bang!)

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One Of Dubai’s Only Street Artists Working Outside Of The Law

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Dubai and the United Arab Emirates has seen a recent influx of street art and artists.  However, those working beyond preordained areas, outside the law and within a true graffati tradition, still surprisingly few.  One of the only such street artists is known Arcadia Blank.  Though rare and often illegal, the artist’s work has garnered the support of many locals by forgoing trite tagging for short thought provoking maxims.  The short text pieces touch on religion, politics, globalization, media, and a range of other matters with an intriguing mix of sarcasm and sincerity.  Further, Arcadia often utilizes temporary structures, which not only minimize private property damage but also is especially appropriate to the artwork’s style.

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Estelle Hanania

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French born and Paris based photographer Estelle Hanania is obviously interested in ritualistic worship and folklore culture. Find more of her work at FAT Galerie.

 

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