With funny fake titles that satirize the real thing, Harland Miller paints a colorful collection of paperbacks which function as a shrine for predictable literary personalities from Waugh to Hemingway . . . and he doesn’t stop there. He also gets personal, implicating his own self-titles into the mix, adding a whole other autobiographical subtext that is both playfully light and familiarly bold.
Bill Durgin‘s “Figure Studies” explores the human torso as an abstract form. He often takes inspiration from dance and other performers to capture images of the human body, (sans limbs and heads), as if their skeletons had lost their rigidity and become part of their skin, fat, and flesh. Durgin would demonstrate different poses he took away from performances and ask his models to imitate them – a lot of these guys must be yoga ninjas.
Huma Bhabha is not unlike a medieval alchemist, transmuting discarded materials into works of art—morphing civilization’s dusty detritus into works of stunning beauty. They freely collapse ideological mores, the annals of history, contemporary art, yet transcend concretized fact or fiction. Instead, they resurrect their charred faces, standing as relics from a near distant future, or war-ravaged effigies to a post-apocalyptic past. This practice of temporal and physical shape-shifting seems to be both esoteric and playful at once—Bhabha notes that “turning lead into gold, or at least trying…is more interesting than just using gold.” Her visceral effigies are perhaps best described as “anti-monuments;” her works, in their materiality, do not desire permanence—rather, Bhabha formalizes their very transience through her use of ephemeral, corruptible and humble materials.
To keep up my Stockholm-based artists thread, I’m posting the work of Anders Krisar, who has a show up at Union Gallery currently. The top image, “Sonja,” is fabricated from the clothing of a woman who kept every garment from infancy to old age. It’s sort of a strange, corporeal look at time & identity, like the rings of a tree. The second, “Bomb Suit,” depicts an industrial strength bomb suit that has exploded from the inside, the rips of fabric referencing the violence of spilling guts in an uncannily silent & still way. Brings to mind the nature of external/internal turmoil & danger and which poses the biggest threat? Love both these works.
As 2013 draws to a close, it becomes easier to see the trends in art, design and visual storytelling that attracted especially popular interest over the year. Among them were the use of superheroes, which only decades ago were confined to a mythology only ‘nerds’ spoke of. But with superheroes becoming ever-more popular and Geek culture no longer a source of shame, comic book and science fiction heroes have become instantly recognizable forms of pop symbolism for many. Beautiful/Decay featured the work of Andreas Englund’s aging superhero paintings, Alex Lukas’ referential superhero screenprints and Antonio Strafella’s comic heroes as saints, all who took these mythologies and blended them with updated styles, forms, perspectives and techniques.
Josh Lane (Ln) took the same cues with his perfectly titled Hero-Glyphics series, combining a variety of classic comic book (the X-men, Spiderman, the Avengers) and sci-fi (Star Trek) heroes, and re-imagining them in the style of Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Ln expands on the classic heroes as well, also casting 90’s nostalgia (in the form of the Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) as well as newer comic and movie characters (Kick-Ass).
Prints available here, “excavated and restored by artist and adventurer Josh Ln”.
Beccy Ridsdel, a UK based ceramicists makes an interesting and truthful (to some) statement:
I know we all have our own opinions, but I think craft is technical and art is meaningful (or a reason for being made, beyond the thing itself). Overly simplistic? Probably, but for ceramicists this can be a big issue as ceramics is almost universally seen as craft regardless.
Ridsdel poses an interesting question here, one that not many contemporary artists are asking themselves simply because we are living in a world were art, for the most part, is conceptual. But what happens when someone like Ridsdel, who has the ability to make pottery, or plates, in this case, wants to make her craft both functional and a conceptual art piece?
I chose to make a series of definitely craft objects – bone china plates, mugs, jugs – and ‘dissect’ them.
Here, Ridsdel presents to us an interesting series of ceramic pieces that shows both her craftsmanship but also her creative thinking process. These endearing and fun plate and tea cup sets allude to something more than just eating and drinking. While still remaining functional, the cups and plates work as a signifier that brings to mind ideas of surgery and cosmetic alterations. This concept is ingeniously embedded within the multi-layers plates, and the surgical tools placed near them. (via Colossal)
Michael Mapes Boxed collages house thousands of individual specimens consisting of dissected photographs and biographical DNA in the form of such things as hair, finger nails, scent, eye lashes, fingerprints, food, botanical elements, fabric swatches, makeup, dirt, handwriting samples and breath. The human specimens reflect the artist’s interest in the role of creative science as lab threatens to supplant studio in his own work. Representations of the specimen are dissected and then reconstructed through artistic interpretation invoking entomological, forensic and artistic methods. (via)
I’m loving russian artist Eibatova Karina’s cosmically psychedelic drawings. The mushroom spiral shown above is amazing!