Caterina Rossato creates 3D layered landscapes out of old postcards. She seeks to evoke both the familiar and the alien, the specific and the general. “I create landscapes made through a collage of other landscapes, combining images in which the sense of recognition of reality slips from one level to another and it is never clearly identified,” Rossato says in an artist’s statement.
The series, named “Deja Vu” plays with the idea of recognition and the sensation of recognition. Rossato explains:
“The déjà vu is a psychic phenomenon which is part of the forms of alteration of memories (paramnesie): it consists in the erroneous sensation of having seen an image or of having lived previously an event or a situation that is occurring. Although improperly, it is also called ‘false recognition.'”
It’s interesting that she chose to use postcards, which often enable us to live vicariously through friends and family who are traveling abroad. In a sense, we’ve heard about the locations and they are familiar to us in name and description; however, we often haven’t traveled to those distant lands, not enough to know them personally or to have seen them up close. In a way, Rossato’s work brings up the question of how we can truly know something — or know that we know something. (via I Need a Guide)
Christopher David White has the ability to freeze living elements. He offers the possibility for the viewer toendlessly admire and contemplate at any given time the details of a piece of wood. In this series, he blends a camel, chocolate color scheme with grey and concrete tones. The artist uses symbols to express underlying feelings about life and death. “Neither good nor bad, decay is simply a natural process of our world that at times can produce deeply moving and beautiful effects”.
Two symmetric hands reaching out to each other, linked by an unsteady, disappearing bridge. A twisted root punching through a wall, struggling for its life. A human face looking at the sky and what seems like back blood spreading from its head and its open mouth.
The sculptures create mixed feelings of empathy and serenity. Wood is mystical and symbolic. It represents a tree’s strength, wisdom and eternal life. What we see in Christopher David White’s ceramic sculptures are the reflection of what will eventually happen to us. Eventually we will die too, and sitting next to a deteriorating piece of wood that once belonged to a majestic and awe-inspiring tree is less frightening. “Through the use of trompe l’oeil, we look closer; we rediscover the amazement, joy, and tranquility that come from our environment. At the same time, we witness our impermanence by evenhandedly dialing in on decay”. (via TRENF)
We normally think of the Playboy Bunnies as busty blondes with smiles on their faces. Taylor Marie Prendergast, however, shatters that stereotype in her pen and ink drawings that feature the women in a much different light. The models that she depicts, while still in “sexy” poses, aren’t glowing. Instead we see every brush stroke that’s paired with muddy, dirty-yellow hair and a blank expression on their faces. While Prendergast has handled the media well and demonstrates a variety of techniques, we can’t escape the fact that these women wouldn’t be the “Playboy type.” And, according the artist, that’s the point. From her statement:
I’m challenging the contemporary zeitgeist by incorporating historically loaded images and abstracted figurations. The juxtaposition of the glamorous and the repulsive are necessary tools in order to create this reaction in the audience. At first the piece entices the viewer with aesthetically pleasing elements, and as the viewers settles into the work they’re confronted with disturbing details.
While the ink is still wet, Prendergast loads the drawing with more pigment and allows it to bleed onto the paper. It creates a dripping effect that’s both beautiful but in the context of a figure, a little gruesome. This allows the artist to subvert popular culture, and as she explains, “They [the viewer] are invited to re-consider the cultural state of both themselves and humanity. As the viewer inhales the work, there is a subtle yet significant revolting shock.”
Nicola Ókin Frioli’s award winning series of photographs documenting “Muxes”, Mexico’s transgendered community that is celebrated as a symbol of good luck.
“They drink beer, they are part of local governement and they are symbol of good luck for their family: they are Muxes, homosexuals of the “pueblo oaxacaqueno de Juchitan”, more than 3000 homosexuals who enjoy respect and admiration in all the country.
Los Muxes (in zapotec language means homosexual)are considered as a blessing in Juchitan and you can count almost 3000 of them.
According to a taxi-driver, there is a homosexual in every family and Muxes themselves assert to be “fallen fron a broken pocket of San Vicente Ferrer” the patron saint of Juchitan,during his holy walk over the town (a local expression to say they are lucky, chosen people).
It is a luck for a homosexual to be born in Juchitan, where in a population of 160.000 people, the most of them feel respect for Muxes, while they walk proudly in the streets, dressed as women with huipiles and enaguas, typical dress of the Tehuantepec Isthmus.
The homosexuals of Juchitan have gained a place in economical and political activities, normally reserved to men.
They are ownersof shops,they work in hospitals, they are successful stylists of the typical local dresses and owners of beauty salons.
A resident in Juchitan says ”Thanks to God, we have one of them in every family… they are like women, they work as a man, but they wash, cook, clean the house and when the other sons will get married and leave, they will stay and look after their old parents”.
“A lady living here, has accepted a son muxes… and then she has winned the lottery.. it is a real blessing. .everybody shoul accept them as they are.. in every place they are”.
Carlos Lopez Toledo, municipal concellor, explains that when a family relizes that a child has a bent for homosexuality, they treat him as a lucky charme, because Muxes are good producers.
“A lot of us are in this way, because our parents have converted us and treated as female “says Felina, a 36 years old Muxes, owner of an Estetica (beauty salon). ”I’m not a man.. I’m not a woman.. I’m a Muxes and there is place for everyboby in the Vineyard of Lord “.
Mistica, 27 years old, makes traditional dresses “When I was a child, I used to play with my sisters,I dressed as a woman and Imade myself up… my mother was happy and used to say she would like a son muxes… My father didn’t accept immediately and decided to bring me to to the farm with my brothers… but once arrived… I run to pick up flowers…- Nicola Ókin Frioli (via feature shoot)
Artist Randy Ortiz has been tantalizing the eyes of illustration fans for years, illuminating concert and movie posters both professionally and as creative tasks for a great imagination. While past work emphasized ink line work and detailed black and white charcoal drawings, recent work has become more colorful, with flat background colors which perhaps surprisingly emphasize the darker thematic weight in the mystical figures and composition.
The self-taught Canadian artist uses evolved techniques to illicit a near-Surrealistic response from his often-human figures, draped in masterfully rendered drapery and fabrics. Despite the often serious undertones immediately noticeable in his work, the obvious sense of humor is evident (mutant visual remixes of Drake’s oft-mocked album cover seen below for example). In other works hooded figures clamor over each other, all reaching for a disembodied hand holding a small heart talisman representing love, or mystical-triangle-eyed cats eye floating balls of string. With Ortiz’s visual narratives and painting style evolving at a rapid pace, he is definitely ahead of other illustrator/artist to watch.
Award winning photographer Blake Little completely transforms the classic nude figure into a sleek, sticky, sculptural entity in his series Preservation. Little, known for his skills as a portrait photographer, captures each of his subjects after he pours gallons of honey onto their nude bodies. With its use of honey, this seductive and sticky-sweet series has a unifying element that breaks down the differences in the subjects. Little’s models are extremely diverse with a wide range of body types. However, the honey breaks down the unique and personal details of the person and allows them to become a more universal, timeless figure. They all adopt an ageless beauty that one might see in classic, Greek sculpture.
It is no coincidence that Little has chosen the title Preservationfor a series that takes contemporary subjects and gives them a more classic and traditional look. By transforming a unique body into an archetypal figure, they can withstand the test of time. They are now one of the unforgettable figures in art history such as Venus of Willendorf. Not only does this amazingly transformative honey preserve the importance of the figure, but also it allows the figures to look as if they have been literally preserved as they are encased in honey, not unlike the citizens of Pompeii preserved in ash.
The dripping, glossy texture is palpable in this incredibly intimate and tangible series. Preservation were on view at the Kopeinkin Gallery in Los Angeles from March 7th to April 18th, where the photographer is represented. Blake Little’s book Preservation, containing sixty-eight photographs of his honey-filled nudes, is also available. Here is an excerpt from the Forward of Little’s book, written by Kenneth Lapatin, Associate Curator of Antiquities at the Getty Museum.
Since its invention in the 1800s, photography has been employed as a key tool of archaelogy, caputuring images of not only finds, but also the very processes of recovery. Its capacity to record the details of perishable objects – to preserve them – is evident in historical photographs of now degraded artifacts and of excavation sties, many substantially transformed by the very act of digging them and scarcely recognizable today. But today we are also well aware that photography can be far from objective; that it can be manipulated; that it can create something entirely new, original, and surprising.
If you were ever a fan of Powell Peralta in the 80’s and 90’s then you know that Rodney Mullen was the king of freestyle skating. Hands down he was one of the most skilled skaters inventing tricks that left viewers scratching there heads in disbelief. Freestyle skating doesn’t get much hype these days but Kilian Martin is taking the torch and bringing freestyle back with a vengence. I don’t even know if there are names for half the tricks in the above vid! Amazing.
ps. I put Rodney’s part from Questionable after the jump for all you old schoolers. I