There’s a lot to look at in Stephanie Kunze‘s illustrations. Minnesota-based Kunze draws with pencil and colors with Photoshop for an overall style that is contoured and slightly textured. The compositions are feminine and detailed and should feel busy, but the dream-like subjects still seem rested and calm. Worth a look is Kunze’s personal blog for a clearer picture into her thought and execution processes.
With a somewhat brutal realness, artist (and YBA member) Tracey Emin confronts her viewers with work that is provocative, personal—and stakes claim to a sizeable piece of feminist-advised contemporary art landscape. She works in a variety of media, choosing to work in a combination of sculpture, painting and installation.
Her most recent body of work hinges on ideas of self-discovery, reflection and vulnerability. An installation of quiet, pleading text-based sculptures rest on tables surrounded by raw, harshly expressionist gouache drawings. It feels as though the work overall serves as some kind of confession, because it possesses a strange openness, even as the concepts float from neon to paper to projection.
I Followed You To The Sun is on view at Lehmann Maupin through June 30.
An amazing photography project by Tiina Itkonen about his trips to Greenland. Here is a description of the project in the artist’s own words: Since the beginning of the 1990s, I have been searching for my own Ultima Thule, my place in the Far North. I was enchanted by the story of the Mother of the Sea and, in 1995, it inspired me to set off for the place where the story originated in Greenland. The lack of haste, the friendliness of the people and the silence of the glaciers compelled me to return to Greenland in 1998, 2002, 2005 and 2006.
Will Hutnick is a Brooklyn-based artist who works in painting, sculpture and installation. Incorporating acrylic, oil, ink, spray paint, tape and found objects into his work Hutnick creates works on paper that oscillate between being two dimensional and three dimensional. Using conventional materials in unconventional ways Hutnick changes the rules of painting. Using tape as his paint and paint as his sculpture, Hutnick manages to muddy materials while maintaining brilliance in color. Indeed, Hutnick has an amazing eye for color. And he uses it to generate narritive. With titles like, Marble Madness, Not So Secret Garden, and What Do You Call Those Things With The Wooden Beads And The Crazy Tracks?, Hutnick’s explosions of color become stories, emotions and sensations.
There is a fun to Hutnick’s works as well. The paintings are bright and beautiful, but there is a sense of humor to his work. His “balancing works,” involve late night sessions at the studio stacking any found object to the point of instability. Eventually, the ephemeral sculptures topple to the ground. Often, Hutnick was the only one to witness their existence at all.
Jack Ramunni is a graduating senior at the Columbus College of Art and Design, a school with a sclerotic curriculum geared toward producing graphic designers for local corporations, a place where “fine art” tends to begin and end at object-based art-making for commercial galleries. Ramunni, using this restrictive background as a catalyst, instigated an array of projects aimed at redefining what contemporary art is and what we should expect it to do.
Ramunni and Nikki Skrinak have coined the term “Social Heat” to describe the intent of his artwork. Social Heat is:
“…the spontaneous transfer of energy from one body, group of individuals, or larger social system to another due to a multiplicity of connections and modes of communication.”
Ramunni uses a variety of methods to achieve this goal. In Sweater Shoppe, he reworked the logic of the market system by co-founding a trade-based pop-up “store” replete with its own currency; with Late Lunch Live, a weekly USTREAM cooking show, Ramunni turned the banal activity of making lunch into free community entertainment; in EX-PDF Library, he exchanged lithographed bookmarks for PDF files from the public, which he printed out and made available in a public library; in Benches Gallery, Ramunni created a portable gallery for showcasing artwork in public spaces, excising commercial concerns from the gallery experience.
Reva Castillenti is a Brooklyn-based artist who creates gruesome textile sculptures that focus on the gritty, physical side life. “Visceral” is a word that’s often over-used within the lexicon of art-speak, but I think Castillenti’s work merits the description. We’ve all experimented with stuffed stocking figures before, but I’m not sure we’re all as wonderfully twisted as she seems to be. Castillenti is currently showing a small number of works at Illuminated Metropolis Gallery in New York. That show, entitled Mercy, is up until the 29th, and features minimalist drawings and gouache works in addition to the artist’s singular sculpture.
busybuilding reeks of talent– talent to combine different mediums and make it work. Sure, lots of design firms can pull that off, but would you guess that busybuilding, with their impeccable English and streetwise ways would be centered in Athens, Greece? Taking from pop, punk, eco-friendliness, minimalist, EVERYTHING, busybuilding’s collection makes it impossible to right-mouse-click-save-as an adequate selection to represent just what they can create.
The Unknown Fields Division is a traveling design research studio (directed by Liam Young and Kate Davies) that has sculpted traditional Ming vases out of mud taken from a radioactive lake in Inner Mongolia. This “lake” is a noxious swamp made of debris created in the production of some of our most desired (and idealized) technology items. In an effort to explore the transnational origin of these items — and, indeed, explore the dark underbelly of their creation — Unknown Fields has made each vase proportionate to the amount of waste produced by the following objects: “a smartphone, a featherweight laptop, and the cell of a smart car battery” (Source). The result is a trio of apocalyptic-like earthenware vessels. Their grim, blackened surfaces are covered in a glistening “glaze” that was created when heavy metals contained in the mud melted in the pottery kiln. The vase materials were so toxic that the sculptors had to wear full-body protection at each stage of production, from on-site collection to creation in their London workshop.
These vases are part of Unknown Fields’ greater project to follow an international supply chain of “rare earth” elements (which are used in the creation of electronics) back to their place of origin: the toxic lake in Mongolia. Kate Davies explains the metaphorical purpose of the vases in this investigative journey:
“The vases are a way to talk about ideas around luxury and desire. How both are culturally constructed collective sets of values that are fleeting and particular to our time. These three ‘rare earthenware’ vessels are the physical embodiment of a contemporary global supply network that displaces earth and weaves matter across the planet.” (Source)
When we hold our cellphones and laptops in our hands, we rarely think about their origins. As Liam Young insightfully points out, “terms like ‘cloud’ of ‘Macbook Air’ imply that our gadgets are just ephemeral objects — and this is the story we all want to believe” (Source). We must not forget that such technologies, despite their polish and glamor, derive from earthly materials processed in factories and shipped across the world. Just as Ming vases were once subjected to an international demand based on their beauty and associations with wealth, Unknown Fields’ creations remind us of how such systems of consumer culture are continuing. “The three vases are presented as objects of desire, but their elevated radiation levels and toxicity make them objects we would not want to possess,” Davies explained. “They represent the undesirable consequences of our materials desires” (Source).
The vases will be on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum “What is Luxury?” exhibition, which runs April 25th to September 27th. Accompanying the exhibition is a film by Toby Smith, which documents Unknown Fields’ journey from container ships to factories to the radioactive lake (the trailer can be viewed above). Visit the Unknown Feilds’ website for more explorations of remote landscapes with surprising (and unsettling) intersections with our daily lives. (Via Fast Co.Create)