Jennifer Celio’s delicately rendered landscapes manipulate perception, creating fantastical iterations in which artificial and natural imagery fuse to become newly impossible sites. Working in graphite pencil on paper, she creates obsessively detailed scenes inspired by urban environment. Hinting at the contemporary threat of environmental degradation, Jennifer’s drawings depict seemingly mundane spaces that have been artificially altered or supercharged. The artificiality of our natural environment as well as our quest for it is questioned. See Jennifer’s work in person until April 21st in Los Angeles at Katherine Cone Gallery.
Lana Dumitru is a Romanian fashion designer who creates surreal futuristic clothing. There are classic references to Dali and O’Keeffe but the majority of her work adresses the hyper saturated digital age of information. Things get meta with garments made up of repeated images of her models wearing pieces she designed. Seen elsewhere are giant zippers that are printed and non functional. Her collections combine the stunning and the absurd as a way to revitalize. Lana’s models are wearing her influences on their sleeves and helping to push the boundaries of the fashion world.
It was a relaxing way to start my day off with some of Rachel Wolfe’s photography. Her work reminds me of some of my favorite Sigur Rós songs, it starts off quiet, serene, but loud in the vibrations of either storytelling or sense of nostalgia. Some of my favorites of her work are Liminal Metanoia and Eleven Winter.
It’s been a while since we last looked at the work of Belgian Illustrator Brecht Vandenbroucke. Imbued with awesome pop culture and comics flavors, his work never disappoints. There’s so much going on in these paintings that I can’t always tell the difference between references to Adventure Time, and social commentary. But who says the two don’t mix?
San Francisco-based photographer has a few different ongoing projects, but the one I like the best is the tentatively named “The Inhabited West.” The series consists of aerial photographs parts of the American landscape: “pursuing themes of mapping, vertigo, human impact on the land, geology, and various aspects of the sublime.” Some interesting points on how we’ve constructed our world around nature, and how the two interact.
Sydney based photographer Petrina Hicks produces large scale, hyper-real, glossy images reminiscent of advertising catalogs or billboards. Simple, graphic and highly stylized, her work is sensual and glamorous. Her latest series called The Hippy And The Snake explores the relationship between women and snakes throughout literature and art, but with a decidedly Australian twist. She has placed women either smoking behind a wall of unnaturally bright foliage, lying in a tropical rainforest, hiding behind dripping wet leaves, or floating on a background of unbelievably bright blue, and scattered snakes throughout. The whole atmosphere of the series is one of a sweet teenager meandering through a sugary dreamworld, but one where there is always danger lurking behind the next leaf. It is a seductive setting and Hicks uses this unease purposefully.
There is a tension between the organic and synthetic. Ambiguity and duality is something I often aim for. On the surface, I use images that have an advertising aesthetic to explore its own language and codes, but it is the subtext in the content that works in opposition. (Source)
Hicks uses her background as a commercial photographer to her advantage. The models have blemish-free perfect skin, not a hair out of place and clean silhouettes. Using simple compositions, minimal props, and no unfussy details, Hicks’ aesthetic is as seductive as the snake is in her narrative.
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work takes viewers on a year long ride with Joan Rivers, the comic legend who broke barrier after barrier for female comedians and paved the way for the likes of Kathy Griffin, Sarah Silverman, and Tina Fey. As the story unravels, Mrs. Rivers talks frankly about how she got into show biz, the ups and downs of the industry, being banned by NBC late night for life, and how she will even do adult diaper & penis enlargement commercials for cold, hard cash. At the young age of 75 it seems that Joan Rivers has the energy and drive of a 25 year old, rarely stopping to catch her breath in between interviews, writing and acting in a play about her life, doing midwest comedy tours, and starring in (and winning) Celebrity Apprentice.
Next time you feel too old, uninspired, or just plain lazy, go watch this documentary for a swift kick in the ass. Joan River’s drive to keep doing what she loves until she drops dead is nothing but awe inspiring. I work harder than the average joe but walking out of the theater I felt like I had to run straight to my studio and go on a painting rampage for the next 6 months. In short Joan Rivers is a rude, crude, ass-kicking comic genius and my new personal hero.