Randy Grskovic rearranges family photographs. He slices found photographs into geometric abstractions. What were once cherished images of memories are now emptied of their sentimental meaning. Grskovic’s collages draw attention to the process of photographing ourselves – making images of ourselves for posterity. While photographs are often considered true and trusted documents of past events, Grskovic’s work encourages viewers to be skeptical of the idea of their objective nature. He says:
“The memory has changed and so has the document. The photograph as well as any other document is never an accurate depiction of truth.” [via]
Romanian artist Bogdan Rata’s highly psychological sculptures contort and mold the human body. Using polyester, synthetic resin, paint, and metal, he forms hybrid realism in his mutated versions of our anatomy. Where skin usually holds a warm glow, his work exhibits a pale, lifeless aura. Limbs sit detached from the body, or even more disturbing, emerge from an unnatural place, like the face. Both unsettling and intriguing, Rata’s sculptures twist and contort, making us feel uncomfortable and suddenly very aware of our own bodies.
The sculptor’s deformed misfits reflect on the imperfection felt about our own bodies and appearances. Our own insecurities are met and reflected in Rata’s psychologically surreal artwork. His work is not only hard to look at due to their grotesque qualities, but the positions many of the sculptures are in appear painful and awkward. Each piece seems to be uncomfortable in its own skin, uncertain of its own body and what to do with it. This is a feeling we can often relate to, as becoming confident in our bodies is often a difficult part of life. Rata hints at the confusion and difficulties brought on by self-identity issues in such works as his bust of a man with no face. His distorted figures are lost, looking for acceptance. Although they at first seem misshapen and horrifying, a strange beauty and compassion can be found in Rata’s fascinating work.
Beautiful/Decay was recently reviewed in the monthly arts and culture magazine, THE. We got a glowing review for our retrospective art show, “Beautiful/Decay A to Z” at Kopeikin Gallery. In case you missed it, we celebrated the culmination of our complete alphabetic run in a traditional magazine format by compiling an all-star list of 26 of our favorite past featured artists (one for each issue of the magazine & letter of the alphabet). A great excerpt from the review: “The art was executed with dignity and evident pride, imparting substance without calling attention to its own intelligence.”
Fall down the rabbit hole and take a walk on the wild side in Olafur Eliasson’s world of psychaledic prisms and dreams. An “Alice in Wonderland” fantasized-like experience of kaleiscope and colorful imagination, testing all your senses. A magical sight of both light and darkness.
His carefully constructed umbrella of mirrors resemble a mysterious and complicated visual spider’s web. A beautiful complexity hard to resist visiting and walking through. Face forward and step. Look up, look down, to your sides and digest the vivid dream that surrounds you. Relax your eyes and allow light to enter your pupils. The tunnels he creates are made out of various pieces and sizes of glass. Walking through must be something like sitting on a rainbow.
Turning around sends you back into the depths of black, as the glass pieces lose their color—showcasing another dimension…. onyx city. His work encourages you to walk through to the other side. Standing dead center might feel like a cross road. A contemplation. A decision. Should I stay? Should I go? Should I continue forward? Should I go back? A moment of mindful reflection stirring up emotion.
You could say artist Aganetha Dyck creates her sculptures as much as she fascilitates them. Dyck uses honeybees to decorate these figurines. The bees create graceful lines and countours that seem compliment the existing shapes of the figures. Their honeycomb patterns don’t seem like strange additions but rather enhancements. Dyck begins her process with figurines, often broken or damaged in some way. Then collaborating with beekeepers and scientists, bees are allowed to add their distinctive pattern to each small statue. Dyck describes her process:
“To begin a collaborative project with the honeybees, I choose a slightly broken object or damaged material from a second hand market place. I choose damaged objects because honeybees are meticulous beings, they continuously mend anything around them and they do pay attention to detail. To encourage the honeybees to communicate, I strategically add wax or honey, propolis or hand-made honeycomb patterns to the objects prior to placing them into their hives. At least I like to think my methods are strategic. The honeybees often think otherwise and respond to what is placed within their hive in ways that make my mind reel.”
Thordis Adalsteinsdottir‘s paintings combine pattern filled rooms with bizarre narrative scenes that will leave you thinking “what the hell is going on in this guys head?” Out of all the bizarre elements in Thordis’s work my favorite would have to be the hair. It looks like a blindfolded barber took a razor blade to the heads and only left 8 strands.
Street art has become especially exciting and unpredictable over the last several years. However, the last place many would expect to find it is on the water. The New York based street artist SWOON designed three sea vessels built from salvaged material. The “flotilla” sailed from the coast of Slovenia to Venice, Italy. Though, definitely not the street SWOON effectively brings an urban aesthetic to sea. Photographer Tod Seelie was along for the ride to document the trip. The photographs and wild journey are as amazing as the vessels themselves. The raucous mash up of materials perfectly match the crew and set the atmosphere for what was certainly a wild ride.