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Maija Luutonen, photography hide-and-seek

 

Please let's pretend, color photographs, 2006-2008

"Please let's pretend", color photographs, 2006-2008

I think I have a thing for photographs like Maija Luutonen’s lately and maybe that’s a reflection of my own need for indulgent escapism? I don’t know.

 

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Joris Kuipers’ Visceral Installations Inspired By MRI Scans

mri scans

mri scans

mri scans

Joris Kuipers - Installation

Joris Kuipers‘ installations are meant to be experienced viscerally. Inspired by bodily cross-sections from MRI scans, CT scans, and even botany, Kuipers’ artwork is alien yet immediately familiar. We are intimately familiar with the vascular bends and twists of his pieces, as well as the palette of reds and purples and blues.

Blown up to the size of huge wall reliefs, these biological artforms are also a little unsettling, particularly because they’ve been deconstructed, unmade, and re-formed into startling configurations. Organic deconstruction, after all, is just a hop skip away from decomposition. Of these twin concepts, Kuipers says: “Loveliness and morbidity; both Eros and Thanatos flow through my red lines.”

In some collections, Kuipers steps away from the blatantly macabre. “Letting Go” contains a brightly colored installation that looks like dreamy clouds or floating alien flowers. Other pieces in the collection involve splashes of color amidst a staid black background and plays with light, flashing and blinking at the touch of a switch. This too recalls the cathode ray tubes and autopsy scans of Kuipers’ other work, but from a subtler angle.

Subtler or not, Kuipers work is, as always, intended to be evocative. “I hope that my work will initially be experienced ‘from the abdomen’,” Kuipers says in an artist’s statement, “to gradually make itself felt in the mind of the visitor.”

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Endangered Animals Projected On St. Peter’s Basilica To Raise Environmental Awareness

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In collaboration with the Vatican, a coalition of artists and humanitarians from the documentary Racing Extinction projected a stunning light show on the edifice of St. Peter’s Basilica. The videos display endangered animals and ecological crises from around the word, including whales, pandas, imperilled rainforests, and melting icebergs. As pointed out on My Modern Met, this demonstration follows a letter released from Pope Francis that makes clear the role humans play in the destruction of natural environments and non-human species. The goal of the light show was to foster awareness from the public, and on a political level, to encourage other influential figures and world leaders to acknowledge the loss and devastation.

Helmed by Oscar-winner Louie Psihoyos (director of The Cove), Racing Extinction features never-before-seen images that explore endangered species and the threat of mass extinction. Much like the light show—which is part of an ongoing (and vital) campaign to provoke action—Racing Extinction seeks to change the way we view the planet and the global beauty and vitality we will lose in the pursuit of our unsustainable practices. Such projects remind us that no matter where we are situated, even in our urban, human-centered habitats, we are always responsible and capable of changing the world’s grim outlook. (Via My Modern Met)

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Lauren Pelc McArthur’s Painting Turned Into Collage Turned Into digital art

Lauren Pelc McArthur  is a multi-disiplinary artist from Toronto,Ontario currently attending the Ontario College of Art and Design. Through a back and forth process of collage, painting and digital art she explores the inter-connectivity of modern media and technology along with science fiction influenced concepts of the assimilation of technology, pop culture and the human form.

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Annie Farrar’s The Space Between

Annie Farrar’s work explores the gray area between painting and sculpture, the territory between picture-plane and object, and delves into themes of entropy, decay, time, blackness, the abyss, the infinite, death and regeneration, loss and renewal.

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Neil Morley

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Mask-Origins

Hailing grom London, artist Neil Morley creates his multi-layered works using college techniques. Morley is influenced by artists like Sigmar Polke, and uses reproductions of nineteenth century reportage etchings from the London Illustrated News and satirical magazines such as Punch. His work is a reflection on his research on travel, tourism, colonialism, and post-colonialism. The paintings create parallels between nineteenth century colonialism and twenty-first century tourism: “Tourism is one of the largest industries in the world and has arguably had the most influence on First World perceptions of utopia such as white, sandy beaches, clear blue sea, simplicity and adventure couched in luxury.  Tourism has the propensity to mask realities such as poverty, poor infrastructure, and dictatorship. The all–inclusive resort and the heavily structured guided tour itineraries cherry pick and conceal these realities.” Packing a very heavy/important message makes his work that much more interesting.

 

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Painter Santiago Salvador Ascui Creates Colorful Figurative Patterns Mimicking Conformity

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Chilean artist Santiago Salvador Ascui paints melodic, colorful arrays of pattern-like assembled people. His careful lines, bright use of color, and charmingly hand painted perfection is reminiscent of work from the Mission School movement, specifically the paintings of Margaret Kilgallen and Chris Johanson. While having the playfulness of the “new folk” work of the 1990s, his work is also informed by a strict systematic structure. His pieces function almost as color studies, guiding the eye through the placement of hue, rather than, as most figurative paintings would, narrative. As he falls in and out of saturation, his work sometimes seems to mimic the cycle of the moon. He arranges his figures in sequences, perhaps forming the aesthetic of Josef Frank meets Josef Albers.

Though the work is aesthetically joyful and decorative, his use of repetition and unification through tonality also speaks to a certain aspect of conformity and monotony. He speaks about the work as a pictorial representation of consumer culture. During the digestion of each piece, the viewer cannot help but to see every figure as the same. The patterned pieces create a true sense of identity-less beings; as if to say that everyone is within the same cycle, drawn into the same pattern (if you will), and unlinked to any sense of individuality. However, Santiago Salvador Ascui’s work also draws an important question; when does the need to be different begin to silence the need to be the same? Despite the burden of a plastic society, perhaps the unification of all figures is actually, in a sense, a positive message. (Via The Jealous Curator and Artishock)

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