It may be more accurate to title the post Fine Art as Lawn Chairs. These sculptures from artist Patrick McDonough only resemble the outdoor furniture. They may contain familiar hardware and components such as a hinge or stray armrest. However, they are carefully constructed sculptures. As much as they resemble outdoor furniture, McDonough also seems to be referencing abstract painting. Chair frames mirror canvas frames, and the grid patterns that usually support our weight resemble Hard-edge Painting. The one thing both lawn chairs and fine art seem to hint at is the idea of leisure and a leisure class.
Scottish-born, London-based visual artist Robert Montgomery loves to write in fire. Montgomery’s epic statement pieces are constructed from gigantic letters attached to a wooden platform, ready to be torched. The words aflame, his ideas come alive, sparked by their prophetic tone. The poems appear like floating fortunes, hovering in bold typeface, spelling out tales of ghosts and temporality, horses and palaces, situations seeped in apprehensive futures. The destructions of comfort, foreshadowing the obliteration of power structures and the rise of beauty. The act of setting them on fire is also, whether intentional or not, a nod to the finite nature of art and installation work. It echoes the premise of destruction as the highest form of creation.
Montgomery has also shown many of the same pieces in “recycled sunlight,” or through batteries charged via solar panels, illuminating at night. This electric voice speaking softly within the crowded streets adds a beautiful dimension to the art. Some of his pieces, put up as billboards around London’s east end, look like advertising at first glance. It is this interplay that is exactly what draws Montgomery to anonymous installation as his primary method of display:
“I’m definitely interested in hijacking advertising space for a different kind of conversation. I think it’s really interesting to use that space for a sort of interior voice. A voice in the private sphere. When I started putting my art on billboards, people told me, “You can’t put a hundred words on a billboard. No one will read that.” (Source)
Well, he certainly has our attention now.
Last week we had a contest where you were asked to write a clever sentence using our sponsors name “Sticker Robot.” We got a lot of fun entries but after going through all of them we picked this lucky winner: Hey Sticker Robot, I’m a stickler for stickers and know how to pick um, and unlike stamps there’s no need to lick um. Bam!
Congrats to Felisha Gonzales who will be getting a massive grab bag with copies of Beautiful/Decay Book 2, Book 3, and Book 4, 3 Beautiful/Decay t-shirts, and a limited edition Fudge Factory Comics sticker pack by Travis Millard!
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The work of Alejandro Almanza Pereda is colored with a dark sort of humor. While his installations are typically built of ordinary objects and materials, they are arranged with a near morbid wit. In a way, Pereda’s work gives boringly safe everyday situations a sense of impending danger. For example the last piece featured in this post is composed of what appears to be a section of the side of the ubiquitous high-rise building. They’re the heavy price tagged windows of a luxury loft sans room or even people to enjoy the view. The piece is aptly titled No Room With a View.
CCA grad Kara Joslyn is based in Oakland. Joslyn works mostly in black and white and mixed media to create stark, quietly emotional paintings. There’s a lot of hardened dignity in the artist’s work. The black and white depictions here of crumbling stone, ancient pottery, and dried parcels of wood can’t help but lend a resolute seriousness to each painting. This (and their stunning visual qualities) allows them to be taken in with purpose, as though something very special is captured and any time spent with the work is not wasted. By rendering material which was once strong and hard in a state of brokenness and neglect, Joslyn brings us to considerations of the inevitable effects of neglect and time, and the realization that hardly anything remains prominent forever.
I’m really shocked by how life-like (and well-dressed!) these plaster figures are– what a great art and fashion combo. He also balanced a taxidermied elephant on her trunk, proving something that seems outside the realm of possibility by what we think we know about gravity.
(Photo courtesy Neotorama)
Alright, that’s it for taxidermy! I’ve maxxxed out!
Based in Maryland, Adam Ferriss works as both a photographer and web designer. I like to think his series, Illusion, is titled for the optical trickery that gives these images a real sense of depth. Like looking through a kaleidoscope, it seems each image contains it’s own infinite universe primed for exploration.