Born in Belgium in 1969, Anja Van Herle combines a European sense of high fashion in her artwork with an American sense of wonder. Her childhood years were devoted to exploring the fundamentals of her art using crayons, pencils and watercolors. In 1987, she enrolled in Belgium’s Higher Institute for Art Education where she earned a Master’s of Fine Arts in Painting. In 2003, Anja relocated to Los Angeles, where she now concentrates on figurative paintings that are inspired by both classic and contemporary fashion while exploring issues of identity, emotion and human interrelationships. As timelessly chic as Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Anja’s women are playfully sexy, and their expressions and eyes tell stories that go far beyond the simple exhibition of fine fashion. In Anja’s masterful hands, fashion becomes alive.
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In applying vibrant colors to discarded containers, Tony Feher’s objects become transformed into beautiful and arresting pieces of sculpture. Evoking lanterns or hummingbird feeders, these majestic works have a meditative mood, and, although constructed from manmade materials, present a relationship with nature. A personal favorite is the tower of green fruit baskets. Appearing fragile and ephemeral in its airiness, the piece hints at architecture and minimalism. With a strong interest in transparency and suspension as an aesthetic tool, Feher provides a
Chinese artist Qie Zhijie is known for working in mediums as diverse as calligraphy to performance art. Much of his work, though, is tied together by a subtle mischievousness. These two sculptures constructed by Qie, Oil Can Dragon and Cash Cow, are no exception. Both sculptures are entirely built from skillfully cut oil barrels. Considering the dragon and the tree are both symbols strongly tied to the natural world it’s clear Qie’s choice of using oil barrels wasn’t a trivial one. In Cash Cow, an imposing tree of six stacked oil barrels, Qie contrasts birds perching on boughs and cut from metal lids with an airplane high its branches.
We’ve always known that as far as street style goes, Tokyo rules. Inhabitants of the city don elaborate outfits and express a strong point of view through their appearance. Photographer Thomas Card’s new book Tokyo Adorned highlights more than 130 photos of these iconic looks. From Lolitas to cosplay to Yamanba, he captures girls who wear gas masks, laced top-hats, and plastic backpacks shaped like bat wings.
The photographer traveled to Tokyo a year after the devastating tsunami hit. “The country experienced an upsurge of national pride,” he writes, “and participants in street fashion increasingly celebrated their unique placement within the Japanese culture at large.”
Card removed his subjects from context (the street) and photographed them in front of a white background. Here, their outfits take center stage, an we’re able to focus on all of the incredible details and painstaking effort that goes into crafting these personas. Some of them are dark while others ooze innocence. Card’s series is a refined, delightful look at the intricacies of these subcultures.
With all this outrageous dress, does the line between personality and appearance ever become blurry? You have to ask yourself, what kind of person wears a full-sized teddy bear as a necklace? Card insists that his subjects know that people are staring, and they have a sense of humor about it. In an interview with Slate, he explains, “Everything from the names they choose for themselves to the particular arrangement of items and accessories and clothing often reflects a particular sense of humor. One woman’s name translates to ‘Barbecue.’ The humor of that is not lost on her.” (Via Fast Company)
Lisa Alonzo’s sugary technique obscures a dark symbolic core. The images are beautiful and the technique is divine. In fact, the technique is a refinement of one of the high points of Modern painting, Pointillism, and Alonzo adds another, almost hysterical layer to Seurat’s Le Grande Jatte, by combining the beauty of Pointillism’s ballet of color with the designer frosting florets of a confectioner. According to the press release from Claire Oliver Gallery, that excess of beauty, when compared with the otherwise violent or mundane subjects, a hand grenade, a gun, a beer can, is a critique aimed at consumer desire. As a painter who has often struggled with acrylic painting, I was really impressed by the freshness of these paintings. You can see Lisa Alonzo’s new work at Claire Oliver until April 26th. Photos courtesy of Claire Oliver Gallery.
Most people know Jeremy Mora via his gallery space POV Evolving but Jeremy is also an amazing sculptor. He recently headed to Lisboa, Portugal for a “larger than life” show at Zaum Projects featuring hundreds of sculptures.
Jeremy primarily works in sculpture creating miniature worlds out of everyday debris. Each piece is like a small planet, inhabiting tiny people going about their everyday life in a world built out of styrofoam, paint, and wood.
Congrats on a great show Jeremy! Wish I could have seen it in person.
Designer Raphaël Pluvinage has designed an innovative way for you to play two things you were taught not to: food and electricity. His prototype “game” is appropriately named Noisy Jelly. “Players” first mold jelly using various provided molds and colors. The jelly is then placed on a board that is connected to a computer. Touching the jelly produces a fun array of sounds. Different tones are produced depending on the size and shape of the jelly, the salt content of each mold (determined by the color), as well as where and how the jelly is touched. Check out the video to hear the noisy jelly.
Kit Webster challenges the conventional use of space in a gallery with his installation, Enigmatica. Using light to create an illusion of mass, Kit breaks up the room and reconfigures the environment with this digital sculpture. I’d definitely like to see this in person.