Strata #4 is a two channel video by the artist known simply as Quayola. For the video, Quayola used images of two grand altarpieces by Rubens and Van Dyck. He worked with an HDR photographer to obtain huge 20,000 by 20,000 pixel images of the work. Then using unbelievable computing power and algorithms Quayloa investigates each masterpiece’s underlying structure, composition, and color. Strata #4 at turn resembles 20th century abstract renditions of the baroque work. Yet his video squarely part of a New Aesthetic, part of a 21st century sensibility.
Their fourth album, Adventures in Your Own Backyard was released earlier this year on Domino Records and now they are back to play the First Unitarian Church in Los Angeles this Wednesday, November 21st. I recently saw Lost in the Trees there and let me tell you it’s a wonderful place to see live music. Tickets are still available via Ticketfly and apparently if you bring some canned goods or non perishables to the show you’ll get a nifty Patrick Watson poster. Check out the video for Into Giants and I’ll see you at the show!
French artist Gilles Cenazandotti constructs life-size animals out of litter he’s combed from beaches, recycling a variety of plastics and other detritus. Titled, “Future Bestiary,” this series of sculptures directly addresses problems related to throw-away culture and the waste that results from conspicuous consumption. When the creatures are inserted into natural landscapes, they almost appear digitally rendered because the contrast between natural and man-made elements is so pronounced. Of his work, Cenazandotti says,
“Impressed by everything that the Sea, in turn, rejects and transforms, on the beaches I harvest the products derived from petroleum and its industry. The choice of animals that are part of the endangered species completes this process. In covering these animals with a new skin harvested from the banks of the Sea, I hope to draw attention to this possible metamorphosis – to create a trompe l’oeil of a modified reality.” (via laughing squid and junk culture)
Alyssa Monks might make photorealist paintings but she’s equally interested in abstraction. Monks’ paintings explore the tension between abstraction and realism, using different filters to visually distort and disintegrate the body. In this shallow painted space, the subject is pushing against our real space. Strokes of thick paint in delicate color relationships are pushed and pulled to imitate glass, steam, water and flesh.
“When I began painting the human body, I was obsessed with it and needed to create as much realism as possible. I chased realism until it began to unravel and deconstruct itself,” Alyssa states, “Realism and Abstraction are in a symbiotic relationship – they need each other to exist and eventually become the same.” -Alyssa Monks
Finnish photographer Perttu Saska has created this unsettling series of Jakarta street monkey photographs titled “A Kind Of You.” These monkeys are captured as they are: dressed in children’s clothes and wearing doll faces, their chains often visible. Apparently, training and dressing monkeys to act like humans to ask for money is an Asian tradition – one that has escalated to dire conditions and circumstance for these poor creatures.
Thankfully, upon searching for more information about these monkeys and this tradition, I stumbled across a BBC article published yesterday that cites the removal of the first 11 out of 350 monkeys from Jakarta streets. They have been quarantined where they will likely remain for a few months before they can be released back into the wild. Since 2009, animal rights activists have been campaigning against this cruel tradition, and hope that this initial removal will set the stage for complete banishment of this cruel practice.
Of his series, Saska writes, “Modern city culture has turned the old tradition in to eerie and haunting act of cruel street theatre where animals become something else, never able to reach our expectations.” With the awareness created by people like Saska and animal rights activists, these Indonesian monkeys hopefully won’t have to be subjected to the unreasonable expectations of their human handlers any longer. (via ufunk)
Jaroslav Kyša’s sculptures and site specific installations and alterations blend a nice mix of concept and humor that I always appreciate. From a geode forming in a baguette to gold leafing an old railroad marker in a park Jaroslav brings a bit of art into the everyday and mundane.