Tim Noble And Sue Webster make art that directly addresses the waste and aesthetic vulgarity of advanced consumerism and repositions the litter and gaudiness as a powerful visual allegory of human mortality, love and hope. The duo’s recent monograph British Rubbish, showcases their work from 1996 to present day in all its meticulously crafted glory— including the die cut book cover itself revealing the portraits of the artists.
Extravagant, irreverent, and always sharply clever, British Rubbish is both a paean to and sly denunciation of conspicuous consumption.
Jehad Nga’s photographs of Somali and Kenyan café patrons offer a rare and personal look at those ravaged by years of drought and poverty. Using only a single ray of sun beaming through the café doorway, Nga’s photographs highlight the individuals themselves by naturally removing them from their surroundings. The hardened and weathered faces of the old are revealed, in contrast with the fear, but glimmer of hope found in the eyes of the young.
Matthew Nicholson makes a wide variety of thing from photographs of bananas in his pants to paper security cameras. No matter what he’s doing he makes sure to have fun. That fun comes out in his work and is passed on to the viewer. Lucky you…
Idan Friedman creates portraits of everyday people embossed by hand on disposable tin trays. However this series reminds me of stories you hear about someone seeing the popes image on a moldy slice of bread.
I’m loving these beautiful miniature maquets by German artist Jens Reinert. My favorite pieces are his Tunnel pieces (pictured above). They remind me of my youth, when I would spend hours hanging out in tunnels and storm drains painting graffiti and generally being up to no good.
Langdon Graves is all about the mystery of deception and illumination. Her drawings utilize two contradicting devices, photo-realistic rendering and surrealist narrative, all to create trompe l’oeil images that astound and leave you wanting more. Each drawing has elements that are immediately recognizable, but the second you think you know what is going on, you realize something is amiss. Some drawings are easier to decode, while others have a ‘wait a minute…’ quality that would make M.C. Escher proud. Unlike Escher, Graves saturates her drawings with a folk-like narrative that evokes the feeling that we should be learning some kind of lesson. As if we are seeing just a glimpse of a much larger, more complex story, and are hungry for more.
There is a delicate sense of instability that disrupts the calm in each drawing. Whether it’s Grave’s beautifully subtle use of color, or the quiet violence implied in many of the images, we are not looking into a world of sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. Instead, Graves creates a world where a dark cloud hangs over each perfectly coiffed head. The combination of innately feminine symbols with clandestine actions produces a tension that lures you in like a moth to a flame. Yet, like any successful illusionist, Graves is careful to not reveal too much, leaving us in a state of expectation similar to the feeling of anticipation when opening a present. You know something special is inside but you only have a few clues to guess what it is.
A few months back one of the busiest freeways in Los Angeles was closed down so that a bridge could be taken down. The entire city was in a panic dubbing the weekend of closed freeway access Carmageddon. Luckily the traffic wasn’t too bad but I always wished I could see the process of taking down such a large bridge in just a few days. Filmmaker James Miller recently heard about a similar situation in the UK and jumped on the chance to videotape the process. Shot in gorgeous time lapse you can now witness what it’s like to take down a major bridge in just 24 hours. Watch James’ video after the jump.