Turkish photographer Yonca Karakas used to want to be a genetic engineer due to her attraction to the idea of cloning. Somewhere along the line she became a photographer instead, but this fascination with mass produced identities is all too present within her work. Her work, which is polished and waxen, features symbols and people styled, and nearly de-stylized, to look mute and plasticine.
Karakas utilizes symmetry to her artistic advantage. She manipulates framing by organizing her props to dramatize the exploitation of whatever symbol: meat, or the cross, she is working with. Her characters are emotionless; colonized by the future, they are clean, well groomed, and the antithesis of squeamish. They wear meat, their religion is sugar coated. When thinking of her work, she recognizes that she is in the business of constructing dreams:
“I don’t like to define every frame I shoot or say ‘that is exactly what I tried to tell’. Once it’s all done that’s when I think why I shot it, I go back and say I might have been influenced by this or that movie. And by going back I can see my concerns and try to solve them. The Box is influenced by Ray Bradbruy’s novel Fahrenheit 451. It’s about a despotic future in an oppressive community where books are burnt by firefighters, televisions broadcasting brainwashing shows. I believe we are more or less facing the same situation now. We are burying ourselves in our tablets and phones, looking at ourselves and making others watch us too. It’s like we really like that, don’t we?”
A couple of weeks ago, we featured Mark Licari on the B/D blog, and the response was so positive that we decided to catch up with the man himself and ask him some questions about his work, squids, and life in LA. Licari’s world is full of sea creatures, crawling bugs, exploding volcanoes, and the degenerative force that turns a clean room into a big fat mess. In addition to his vibrant works on paper, elaborate lithographs, and hilarious sculptures, he also creates dramatic wall drawings that will make you ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ like a little kid. His show at the Monterey Museum of Art is on view through February 14th, so go check it out!
It’s a girl’s world in these scenes of playful mischief created by an eclectic array of delicate materials by Amanda Michelle Smith. Rendering tiny girls full of energy and angst, the artist uses oil paint, golf leaf, and ceramic pieces to construct her highly textured work. Smith’s talents in painting spritely girls are only matches in her ability in ceramics. Her light and airy palette combined with the rich glazes of the ceramic creates incredibly eye-popping aesthetics. The surface texture and detail in each leaf, tree, and flower jump out at you as they are formed from ceramic, creating a relief.
Although Smith’s work is full of little girls in dresses and bows, things are not always giggles and tea parties. Except, when there is actually a tea party, there are strange ghoulish guests dining in front of a black sky. Each scene has a bizarre flare that is both whimsical and somewhat dark. These are places where grumpy girls hide in a house while tons of little people seek to get inside. Proportions are skewed, size doesn’t matter, and little girls have a mind of their own. These feisty young ladies get into peculiar situations that are so beautifully and intricately constructed. Smith’s use of clay is flawlessly blended into her painting style, creating finished pieces that are begging to be touched. This California based artists creates three dimensional ceramic pieces as well, make sure to check them out on her website!
(via The Jealous Curator)
Libby Black‘s sculptures are delicately pieced together paper, hot glue, and acrylic paint. In this way she recreates everyday objects as designer products. Though Black’s sculptures are constructed with care, each is clearly playful. Rather than use a heavy-handed sarcasm, she seems careful to be at once ironic and earnest, critical and in praise of materialism. Her sculptures effectively investigate a complex love/hate relationship with a name brand life.
Appropriately, Libby Black’s enviable ‘luxury’ sculptures are featured in the “Seven Deadly Sins” themed Beautiful/Decay Book: 9. Be sure to check out Black and many other amazing artists, illustrators, designers, and writers also featured in the book.
Fernanda Veron believes it’s important to sometimes have your head in the clouds, and belong to the past and future while simultaneously remaining in the present. Every moment is fleeting, but Veron is there to document every passing emotion. She asserts that, despite the fact her works seem to resist an existence in a single time frame, they are autobiographical, and perhaps a testimony to her refusal to live solely in the present.
British artist Sophie Derrick paints directly onto her skin and adds colorful layers of swirling pigment to her face and neck. Once she’s completed it, she’ll photograph the result and then paint onto that image. The result is a multi-layered, textured portrait that gives the viewer an incredible sense of depth. Derrick’s painting style is abstract – focusing on bright pinks, blues, oranges, and more – and she’ll vary how the paint is applied. It often looks like she uses a palette knife to make thick, frosting-like strokes, but she’ll also use the paint tube to draw lines on the skin.
“I have a great interest in the materiality and substance of paint, and execute this interest through photography, creating a juxtaposition of the two mediums,” Derrick writes. “My body becomes the canvas for the paint, questioning the traditional concept of painting and portraiture, and the barriers between painting and photography. The body becomes both object and subject in the work.” (Via Art Fucks Me)