Since the end of 1989, Michal Macku has used his own creative technique which he has named “Gellage” (the ligature of collage and gelatin). The technique consists of transfer the exposed and fixed photographic emulsion from its original base on paper. This transparent and plastic gelatin substance makes it possible to reshape and reform the original images, changing their relationships and endowing them with new meanings during the transfer.
“I use the nude human body (mostly my own) in my pictures. Through the photographic process [of Gellage], this concrete human body is compelled to meet with abstract surroundings and distortions. This connection is most exciting for me and helps me to find new levels of humanness in the resulting work. I am always seeking new means of expression and, step by step, I am discovering almost unlimited possibilities through my work with loosened gelatin. Photographic pictures mean specific touch with concrete reality for me, one captured level of real time. The technique of Gellage which I am using helps me to take one of these “time sheets” and release a figure, a human body, from it, causing it to depend on time again. Its charm is similar to that of cartoon animation, but it is not a trick. It is very important for me to be aware of the history of a picture and to have a sense of direct contact with its reality. My work places “body pictures” in new situations, new contexts, new realities, causing their “authentic” reality to become relative. I am interested in questions of moral and inner freedom. I do what I feel, and only then do I begin to meditate on what the result is. I am often surprised by the new connections I find in it. Naturally, I start out with a concrete intention, but the result is often very different. And there, I believe, lies a hitch. One creates to communicate what can not be expressed in any other way. Then comes the need to describe, to define.” (via)
Matt Lipps’ newest body of work HORIZON/S, flips the traditional mode of institutional curating on its head. In this series, Lipps appropriates content from a late 1950s arts and culture publication that promises to offer a curated selection of international culture that will add a sense of sophistication to anyone’s taste. From these images, Lipps’ playfully explores what happens to the meaning of certain objects and images when you remix them into new systems and catagories – altering both content and context. DailyServing’s founder Seth Curcio, recently spoke to the artist about the physical construction of his mysterious photographs, the ubiquity of images today, and how his own taste emerges from the appropriated pages of Horizon Magazine.
Swiss-Italian photographer Christian Tagliavini’s contemporary antique photos blend fine arts and craftsmanship seamlessly into “1503,” his captivating portrait series. 1503 is the birth year of Agnolo Bronzino, an Italian court painter for the Medici family of Florence, whose realistic paintings had an enormous influence on portraiture.
Though Tagliavini’s photos may appear to be historically based oil paintings, they are more than just a literal translation of antiquated art through new technology. The clothes and body positioning echo Bronzino and the light in these portraits is tender and perfect, but it’s the details of the photos that emphasize the modernity of the work-the stylized outfits, exaggerated necks, translucent skin and clear directness of the models’ gazes. Unlike the bold colors of the paintings, the photographs are printed in pale, unsaturated tones, which work to make them feel more contemporary.
“Christian Tagliavini loves designing stories with open endings (requiring observer’s complicity) on unexplored themes or unusual concepts, featuring uncommon people with their lives and their thoughts made visible. This rich and exciting collision of circumstances results in photos as a final product.”
Tagliavini is impressively skilled-not only is he the photographer, he is also the costume designer, set builder, and casting director. He says, “I’m fascinated by the fact that I don’t simply release the shutter, but that the real fun for me is before I take the pictures. I say that I’m not really a photographer, but a workman of photography.”
When I think of Julian Schnabel I think of many things but inspiring artist mentor is not what comes to mind. However after watching this half hour documentary I just may have changed my mind. Created by HBO and non-profit YoungArts, this video documents a day of intimate mentorship with the notorious painter and filmmaker where he discusses his working process, various bodies of work, and how his flims and paintings inform one another. One of the most memorable parts of the documentary comes towards the end when Schnabel tells the teenage artists “If you’re scared, You’re fucked.” This piece of advice may seem a bit harsh but I have to admit that I’ve warmed up to Schnabel after seeing how generous he is with his advice and time without sugarcoating the harsh realities of being an artist. The students walked away from the experience excited about creating and experimenting and I think I may have as well. Watch the full documentary posted above and remember whatever you do… don’t be scared!
Martin Eder combines two common subjects in his oil paintings and comes up with something surprisingly seductive, erotic, even perverse. Painting naked girls mostly in domestic scenes, accompanied by over sized fluffy cats, his work has a surreal kitschy feel, like some sort of illustrative pornographic fairy tale book. Eder places these women in a magical dreamlike setting, with the cats either looking on disdainfully, or not interested at all in the situation happening around them.
Quite often the girls are in some sort of intimate activity – perhaps in a sorority room during down time. Surrounded by these adorable cats it seems as if the ladies have a special bond with their pets, there’s something quite secretive happening. They seem to mimic each other, or at least share an understanding of one another.
Eder manages to paint in a cute and sexually suggestive way at the same time, and this has confused some people, even created a bit of controversy. He is surprised about some reactions people have to his art:
“I don’t know what’s provocative about my work. I’m painting things that are absolutely ordinary, like a naked human or a house pet. Where’s the problem? What’s provocative about these things? If I were painting a bunch of hanged people, people wouldn’t be interested. But a pet, yes a pet, is apparently provocative.”
Also working with the same subject in watercolors, Eder has quite the impressive fascination with girls, cats, girls and cats, and cats and girls.
Marco Mazzoni’s work softly drips with an exquisite ease of darkness. From blooming faces where birds gather to a rabbit draining with butterfly wings, each image surrealistically depicts folklore infused with spiritual healing properties that twist and twirl with our own imaginative connections to nature.
To elaborate, Jonathan Levine Gallery notes, “Mazzoni’s imagery references herbalist traditions and Sardinian folklore of mystical seductresses who enchant, curse and cure. His body of work is a tribute to the legacy of female healers throughout history. These women held an important role in medieval communities yet their ancient knowledge of the natural healing properties of medicinal plants was widely feared by the Church, viewed as witchcraft and cause for persecution.”
In Jenine Shereos’ series Leaf the intricacies of a leaf’s veining are recreated by wrapping, stitching, and knotting together strands of human hair. Inspired by the delicate and detailed venation of a leaf, Shereos began stitching individual strands of hair by hand into a water- soluble backing material. At each point where one strand of hair intersected another, she stitched a tiny knot, so that when the backing was dissolved, the entire piece was able to hold its form.
The complex network of lines present in this work mimics the organic patterns found in nature and speaks to the natural systems of transformation, growth and decay. Allusions to the vascular tissue of plants, as well as the vascular system of the human body, exist simultaneously; the delicate trace of a hair falling silently, imperceptibly, from one’s head becoming the veins of a leaf as it falls from a tree leaving its indelible imprint on the ground below. (via oddity central )