Bubi Canal was born in Spain and currently lives in New York City. His lavish photographs are inhabited by whimsical beings free of inhibitions. Surreal childlike notions are presented against stark land and cityscapes. In his own words Canal wishes to highlight “…wishes, dreams, magic and love.” His youthful optimism shines as his striking imagery transports the viewer to a marvelous world all his own. Canal has just opened a solo exhibition entitled Special Moment that runs through March 10th at Munch Gallery NY.
The indie-feminist rock-artist Jessicka Addams marries the gothic with the whimsical, creating heartbreaking portraits of innocence lost. In her wonderfully sweet yet disturbing paintings and sculptures, the artist builds a candy-coated dreamscape ripe with sexuality, drug use, and metamorphosis. Her pale, virginal subjects look much like babydolls possessed, embodiments of mythical female mischief and corruption. These works, in some ways, serve as testaments to the pains and labors of the biblical Eve, the mythological Medusa.
Addams’s work is elegantly imbued with an uncomfortable anxiety that arises from the tension between icons of innocence and the suggestion of impurity. Rabbits, used in early Christian art, symbolize the coming of spring, the resurrection, and the rebirth of innocence. Here, this iconographical connotation is poignantly subverted; alongside images of bleeding nostrils, suggestive of cocaine use, these white rabbits could easily find themselves in the drug-induced Alice in Wonderland of Jefferson Airplane. Addams’s rabbits cry bloody pink tears and sprout sea witch limbs.
The cat, an animal both adorable and foreboding, also figures prominently in Addams’s pieces, often in the form of hybrid human or ghost. Addams’s aesthetic is distinctly modern, characterized by thick, dripping brushstrokes and somewhat taboo subject matter. Like those of the modernist trailblazer Goya, her cats seem to represent sin as it creeps in upon the untainted child; a burlap sack, with embroidered feline ears, envelops the face of a pale babe, who weeps as if mourning a lost childhood.
Addams’s exquisite works are charming and unsettling in equal measure, inspiring pity and empathy for our own former innocence. Here, human beings—especially women— are neither madonnas nor whores; instead, the human soul is a complexly woven tapestry, colored with surprising and miraculous shades of gray. Addams’s work is currently on view at The Cotton Candy Machine. (via BUST)
Photographer and designer Andy Callahan hails from Leeds/Brighton. He’s also one part of duo MOUNT MILK, who for the exciting stuff I feel like they may be working on, still has nothing on their website- may this be incentive to change that! I’m really interested in this kind of design work recently that places a large emphasis on photography and laying out of the design in the composition of the shot.
Jess Douglas is in her last year at the University of Plymouth, UK, where she studies Illustration. In her About Me section, she states the following: “Everything I discover around me has potential… urban detritus, peeling paint and filthy concrete structures. I find the ugly and mundane to be beautiful, its character and stories inspiring.” These are photos mainly of her screen prints and drawings from her sketchbook. I feel they definitely capture the beauty in the mundane in the way that they isolate the objects and structures, translating them into solid lines and eliminating the daily clutter that usually surrounds them.
British artist Mitch Griffiths‘ work is inspired by the light and the composition of the Old Masters, but his context and content depict issues that concern modern culture. In his work, Griffiths addresses the disposable nature of contemporary culture by immortalizing this transience with the perceived permanence of the painting medium. His figurative portraits are dark and foreboding and often turbulent. The drama depicted in his paintings, though contemporary, feels universal, historical, and personal. Though many of his images resonate with religious iconography, the “symbolism reflects a modern quest for redemption from the overriding self-obsession and consumerism of contemporary society, with its vanity and greed, addictions and needless suffering.”
Joseph Cruz constructs incredibly narrative, and romantic sculptures that which stem from his inspiration of the production and reception of information. They are physical representations of the intuitive questions of himself, and the world around him.
In 1888, Vincent van Gogh severed his left ear with a razor blade—an act that would solidify his reputation in art history as a tortured genius. Last year, in a grim-but-fascinating project titled Sugababe, Dutch artist Diemut Strebe recreated the lost “artifact” as a living replica. She created it using 3D printing and genetic material derived from Lieuwe van Gogh, the great-great-grandson of Vincent’s brother Theo. The ear has been sustained in a nutrient solution, and remarkably, it can hear you; using a microphone, visitors can speak to it, and the sound is processed by a computer that simulates real-time nerve impulses.
The purpose of the project is part science, part literature, part theory. It is an investigation into human replication—can the artist’s essence be reborn, or replaced? Drawing on the Theseus paradox from Plutarch, the ear invokes questions about bioengineering and authenticity. The project’s description on Strebe’s website goes into more detail:
“In the late 1st century Plutarch asked in The Life of Theseus whether a ship, which was restored by replacing all its parts, remained the same ship. In the course of time, many variations of the principle have been described. One of these variations refers to the title of the project. The famous paradox is carried out with biological material making a particular form of human replication, from historical or synthesized material, a central focus of this project. The ear is one of a series of a limited edition, made of different scientific components referring in various ways to the same principle of replacement.” (Source)
Visitors wishing to view this curiosity and “speak” to the deceased artist will be able to see it at the Ronald Feldman Fine Arts’ show Free Radicals, which runs November 7th-December 5th, 2015. (Via The Creators Project)
Browsing through Keith Allen Phillips’ website, I found many sexy portraits of nude women, but with his series Messy, he takes his photography in a different direction. Phillips covers his models with a variety of foods from chocolate to Cheetos to sprinkles and icing sugar, and the results are pretty unexpected. Although some are still quite sexual, like when the model looks out at you from below a layer of creamy and chocolate while licking a finger, most don’t have that ‘food sex’ kind of vibe. By the time I reached the ones with a pink marshmallow mohawk, I realized I was barely processing the food as food, anymore.
Recently I wrote an article about Will Cotton, and Phillips feels like the anti-Cotton. Whereas Cotton’s world of food and women is soft, beautiful, and delectable, Messy has a harder edge, and one that I find more appealing. Once again, I’m drawn to the marshmallow mohawk woman, this time screaming out. She looks like a very intimidating alien. I find that although I have some difficulty with the idea of Phillips smearing food all over these women, the women rock it with a powerful presence, which is more than I can say of Cotton’s work. Each artist is experimenting with food, and beauty and sexuality in women. Phillips takes the viewer somewhere they didn’t expect to go. (Via Lost at E Minor)