Alex Valentine is an artist, DJ, teacher, all around awesome guy, and a master of the offset printing medium. Offset printing is a traditionally commercial process somewhere in between digital printing and lithography that uses ink on rubber blankets to transfer images to paper, and is how magazines, cereal boxes, and Red Stripe bottles are produced. Using this process, Valentine creates layered, painterly abstractions that are intuitive and crisp, showcasing his command of color, form and transparency. His recent solo show at Devening Projects + Exhibitions in Chicago, ‘Blonder Tongue Audio Baton,’ borrowed its title from a 1950’s analog graphic equalizer and the title of a Swirlies album. And it makes sense: there’s something about Valentine’s work that indicates a stringent belief in the analog, recalling early 90s record cover design.
Carved carefully into the delicate surfaces of shells, Gregory Halili’s magnificent human skulls look like forgotten human fossils, discovered long after the extinction of our species. The New Jersey-based artist draws inspiration from the wild plant and animal life the Philippines, where he lived into his teenage years; his medium, black-lip and gold-lip mother of pearl, are gathered from the shores of the island country. The artist’s shimmering skulls are complex bas-reliefs, and his technique, which includes detailed oil painting, is evocative of ancient coins; in the place of hard metal lies a soft partially organic material, and portraits of kings are replaced with ominous skulls.
Halili’s skulls are poignantly fragile, far less durable than human bone. A single slip of a tool, and the tender piece is ruined. The shape of the shell lends itself to the humanoid form; encased within its circular bounds, the skull appears like a child in the womb. The shell material that once protected a gastropod with maternal determination, softly frames Halili’s expert carving. In this way, the artist forces a collision between birth, the “mother” of pearl, and death, represented here with the skull. Like relics washed ashore, these masterful pieces serve as a memento mori, reminding us of our own mortality, our creation and our inevitable demise. Take a look.
At first glance, it looks like these embroideries by artist Sula Fay pair thread with your average stitching techniques to depict body parts, words, and ancient sculptures on circular vintage Victorian-era doilies. That fact alone makes them unconventional in the traditional sense of the craft. But, the artist adds one more special touch to make these works all her own – strands of her hair. Fay threads a needle with her locks and passes it through the aged fabric. She describes her reasons and process:
As an adolescent, I struggled with my hair. Being of half African and Puerto Rican descent I inherited very naturally curly hair. Alongside my white skinned, long straight haired friends, I felt different and unattractive. I went through many gruelling hours brushing, combing, and straightening. That process was very difficult and tedious, just like the process of my embroideries. To embroider with my hair I have to straighten each piece separately. (Via Booooooom)
America, it’s time! Time for you to save your hard earned American dollars and take advantage of our special 50% off sale that we’re offering to celebrate Fourth Of July. Since we consider ourselves citizens of the world we’re also extending this sale to all our international shoppers. Save on all our Books, Magazines and Apparel on our shop today through July 11th 2013. Just enter the discount code “AMERICAN50” during checkout, save big and add some creative inspiration to your life!
The Montreal based photographer, an avid cataloguer of trans and queer communities since early 2000’s, creates Alone Time, a series of photographs in which he recreates typical domestic environments that play around with the idea of gender stereotypes. For this project he uses one model only; the one model is to play both the male and female characters in the image. The result, Levine said, “challenges the normative idea that gender presentation is stable or constant. Rather, gender expression can be fluid and multiple.”
“work is emerging at a moment when people are starting to talk more about gender and sexuality in the public sphere, which allows more space for queer cultural production and representation in the mainstream.”The thought-provoking work gives us the chance to become vulnerable and empathetic towards
The thought-provoking work not only give us, the viewer (of any gender,) the possibility to become vulnerable and empathetic, but also the ability to imagine ourselves in this specific situation. What would it be like to be a member of the opposite sexes? Do I, in anyway, resemble some of all the male/female/transgender characteristics?
Levine, a trans and queer man, uses his sexuality, gender and past experiences in his art in order to reach out to those who are not necessarily familiar with the subject. He intends to expand awareness through creating work that is familiar to all, and not just one gender. He notes that his images “talk about and celebrate marginality from a place of familiarity and self-exploration as opposed to voyeurism.” (via Slate)
The illustrations of a free spirit and a wandering mind. How refreshing. In lieu of the “carnal” nature of these plates, I have to say “well done”! Is that “Cheesy”?
Its “refreshing” to see art on such a cathartic level executed beyond stick figures scratched on a notebook. “Cheers”!