Kentucky-born, SCAD-educated photographer Dana Goldstein’s work is comprised of candid, documentary photos depicting (among other things) youth culture in the late 00s. At times reminiscent of Nan Goldin, the images showcase both the innocence/fun and lack thereof of growing up nowadays. I particularly enjoy the photos of gutter punks.
Nicole Peterson and Adam Ramirez work together and separately to create gothic fairytale-esque photos. The pair, who are based in Chicago, use interesting fashion items like updated plague masks and pea coats, which allow them to transform a camping site covered in snow into what looks like a still from the sequel to The Hunger Games. And their eye for the perfect moment doesn’t just apply to people, since they even have a whole series of photos from various zoos that make it seem like they’re travelling all over the world. Nicole, also has an ETSY shop where she sells buttons that fit within her artistic aesthetic and say things like “Adopt A Dire Wolf” and “What Would Dobby Do.”
Hasn’t everyone wanted to be a superhero at one point or another? If you have, then be jealous of Sandra Chevrier’s skillful paintings of stunning women covered in superhero. These women she depicts may not be superheroes themselves, but they are covered in iconic imagery of our favorite heroic superhero characters. The French artist creates these incredibly realistic women with paint and vintage comic book pages collaged over sections of their bodies and faces. Some of the women sport clothing made out of these comic book scraps, others display superhero stories across their faces, covering their eyes or mouth. Familiar icons can be seen sprawling all over Chevrier’s work, with images of Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman morphing into one mega narrative. The images seem to multiply, creating an almost overwhelming mash of pop-culture, swallowing up each woman’s body.
Chevrier often uses specific story lines and series associated with specific characters to convey a message of social perception. She explains that the imagery is a comment on the high expectations society gives us to surpass even that of a superhero. One comic series included is The Death of Superman, which reveals the weakness of the world’s ultimate hero. This revelation of failed expectations explores the imperfect nature all humans have. Even the artist’s immaculate and beautiful women are often missing facial features due to the comic book pages transforming their features. Although Chevrier’s women exhibit astonishing beauty, they communicate an important message of living up to your own expectations.
Jamie Vasta’s masterfully accomplished paintings may look like traditional chiaroscuro but they are in fact covered in shiny, shimmering glitter. Vasta has taken the painterly arts to new altitudes with her paintings in glitter. Her insouciant medium is fine-tuned to accentuate narrative.
Here series After Caravaggio, a contemporary reframing of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio‘s historic paintings in homage to the great master on the 400th anniversary of his death, (1573 – 1610). Vasta gathers friends and colleagues as muse for her ambitious recasting of Caravaggio’s famous paintings. In rethinking such paintings as Giuditte e Oloferne, 1599, and Deposizione, 1602, Vasta composed her coterie with the props of today, turning gender, dress, and environment on end. The intention of the original comes forward, no heraldry of aristocracy, but an emancipation of the peasantry, under hot theater lights of course.
Using themes of life and growth in nature, artist Myeongbeom Kim constructs stunning installations of surreal situations. His work often conveys a state of transition between two strange pairs, like he has stumbled upon bizarre metamorphoses frozen in time. Certain imagery is often repeated in Kim’s work, like deer, antlers, trees, and balloons. In one installation, a beautiful, still deer is acting as a trunk of a tree, with its antlers turning into tree branches. In another installation, it is an inanimate object like rope or a bed that is transforming into a plant. Kim’s use of balloons is rather different than his typical nature infused environment that he creates. Balloons act in fantastical, irrational ways in the artist’s work. They hold up a three-legged chair, a noose, and even a woman’s hair. Kim’s work revolving around themes of life and nature, organic elements can also be found included with his shiny, latex objects. In an incredible piece of Kim’s, a cloud of bright, red balloons float while a tree trunk and roots miraculously come forth from its cluster. This displacement of nature found in his work creates a dialogue with the viewer, evoking questions of life, death, and nature’s place in our lives.
Originally hailing from South Korea, the currently works between Seoul, South Korea and Chicago. He has exhibited all over the world and has installed his pieces in a variety of innovative spaces.
Good buddy and painter extraordinaire Alison Blickle turned me onto the work of Christoph Ruckhäberle the other day and my mind was immediately blown.These paintings are completely bizarre and incredibly beautiful. Everything from the choice of color, the abstraction of the human body, and the strange vintage imagery sets it aside from work that you see on most gallery walls!
Denise Kupferschmidt lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. We have featured her collage pieces here in the past. Her new body of work consists of sumi ink and acrylic paintings as well as concrete sculpture. These are explorations into what she calls “Crude Idols”. Using a monochromatic palette she presents the viewer with anonymous objects and artifacts of manufactured significance.