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Miracle Paintings: Wild Child Dan Colen Gets (Kind Of) Sober

Dan Colen - Painting Dan Colen - Painting Dan Colen - Painting Dan Colen - Painting

Dan Colen has been dubbed in the past one of Warhol’s Children, a famous or notorious – depending on which critic you’re asking – New York post-pop prince. His earlier work was made of gum and simulation bird droppings, and although his artwork received heavy criticism for imitating or ridiculing artists and the high-art community, he continued to be successful and his career flourished. It seems there’s always a place for the unaffected artist-rock-star character type.

Recently, Colen has taken a more subdued approach to his practice. In light of the death of his good friend and artist contemporary Dash Snow, who died of an overdose in 2009, Colen has tried to curb his own lifestyle choices. This slow down is reflected in his artwork, namely his current exhibition at Gagosian: Miracle Paintings. Perhaps in the context of another artist, paintings of star streams and neon explosions would be a bold subject, but in comparison to his whoopee cushion installation Blowin in the wind, the medium is much more conventional and less provoking.

The feeling in the paintings is of excitement and solemnity. They’re easier to digest but still pack a visual punch. There’s life, death, and tranquility. It’s probably a pivotal moment in Colen’s career. Will he be able to remain successful without the contrarian stunts he is known for? It should also be considered that these paintings are much more pleasant to consume: Is he riding the comfort of his position in the New York art community, or pushing new personal boundaries? Personally I enjoy this series, but could also see how some of his fans might be disappointed in the relatively understated nature of the works.

Miracle Paintings is on at Gagosian until October 18th.

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Interview: Neil Powell

Artist Neil Powell recently opened the show, “Down By The Side Of The Road” at 222 Gallery on July 10th. The exhibition featured a selection of works on paper and sculptures. Powell’s work evokes a whimsical, yet graphic approach—appearing as indexical maps of personal narrative or scatological documentations. His illustrative worlds are littered with idiosyncratic characters, situations and translations. Neil Powell’s show will be up at 222 Gallery until August 1st. 

 

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Artorialust



While the majority of gallery goers attend openings under the pretense of pretending to look at the art, we all know what we go for.

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Awesome Video Of The Day: Origin Of The Beginning

Levi Van Veluw’s eerie Origin Of The Beginning installation draws from his own childhood memories to thematically and narratively develop his own brand of self-portraiture. Creating 3 “rooms” covered with more than 30,000 wooden blocks, balls and slats the spaces feel both like wooden prison cells and as metaphosr for the artists darkest memories. Watch a video of the installation after the jump.

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Feminist Photographs Show The Dark Side Of Beauty

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In a startling critique of the ways in which images of women’s bodies are consumed, the artist Jessica Ledwich presents “The Fanciful, Monstrous Feminine,” a collection of surreal photographs documenting the psychological consequences of contemporary beauty standards and practices. For Ledwich, female sexuality is viewed as “threatening” and is therefore oppressed; here, she exaggerates the femme fatale image, showing her red-lipped, square-nailed protagonist engaging in violence with her own body.

The female form, shiny and lacquered, appears like a hybrid, part human and part domestic cyborg; her youthful flesh is overtaken by the mechanics of beauty. In one image, severed and still-wriggling fingers are replaced with tweezers, and in another, she uses a vacuum cleaner to suction fat from her thighs, injecting it into her lips.

Improvements to the home and domestic realm take a literal toll on the female body and self; after awkwardly sculpting a just-budding lemon tree, a matriarch forces her own natural body into an hourglass with restrictive garments. The monotony of the daily grooming routine turns brutal and dehumanizing, and with each ritual, our subject sacrifices a bit of her identity until, like slabs of lifeless meat, her limbs, brains, and heart are sold off at a butcher shop cleverly referred to as “Limbsons.”

Tied to this endless pursuit of female perfection is the idea of motherhood, presented without an ounce of warmth or sentimentality. A C-section yields only an endless stream of identical plastic dolls, each removed with the same sterile, unfeeling determination that we see with the surgical implantation of breasts. The mother, robbed of her sexuality, is shown inserting biohazards material into a cooked egg, an uncomfortable action we might presume to represent her own impregnation. This bleak, unromantic portrayal of female beauty and fertility serves to remind us of the physically and psychologically painful demands placed on modern women’s bodies, leaving viewers yearning for a more humane world. (via Lost at E Minor and Design Taxi)

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Ryan Seaman

Ryan Seaman, Design

Combining elements of illustration, drawing, and digital media, Ryan Seaman‘s work has a lot movement and a lot of layers. Inspired by photography, painting and drawing, his design contains many elements of grunge, that he successfully combines with other media to create dynamic designs.

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Bordeaux Artist Collective

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Damien Arnaud (graphic designer) and fellow artists Florent Berthaut, a.k.a Hitmuri (artist)  Claire Soubrier (photographer), and Max Boufathal (artist) collaborate on various projects, bringing their individual sensibilities and specialties together to create a multimedia dynamic that entices all the senses.

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The Art of Fashion

Sandra Backlund, Ink Blot Test

Sandra Backlund, Ink Blot Test

Lady Gaga may be all the rage right now, but fashion designers have been creating insane masterpieces, (and often sheer madness), for years, probably since the conception of the fashion industry. Despite what many think, fashion is not – and never has been – centered around functionality, (if that were the case, then I’d say no clothes for hot days and snuggies for cold ones), but instead serves as an outlet for creative expression, just as the paintbrush does the painter and the stage the dancer. The only difference between these art pieces and more traditional ones is you can wear them… sometimes.

Here are some B/D picks for amazing apparel design.

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