Danny Quirk creates elaborate and accurate anatomical paintings using the human body as a canvas or the subject of canvas paintings. After the frustration of facing rejections from multiple medical schools, Quirk decided to combine three things he loves – anatomy, art, and education – using this very direct approach. He seeks to change the creepy or morbid perception of the body’s anatomy by revealing its delicate beauty. “Having spent time working with cadavers and creating illustrations for medical publications, I got to experience first hand just how complex yet delicate the body is, wonderfully illustrating beauty is more than skin deep.”
Earlier this week, a sold out capacity crowd saw Chet Faker aka Nicholas Murphy take the stage for his first US performance at the Echo in Los Angeles. He released his debut EP, “Thinking In Textures” early last year and has been working non stop ever since. Fellow Aussie Flume had him sing, “Left Alone” on his debut and the Swedish/Australian group Say Lou Lou featured him on their b-side, “Fool of Me“, but it was his cover of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” that he released a couple of years ago that started it all.
“This songs about sex”, quipped Nick as they played my personal favorite, “Love & Feeling” midway through his short, but very sweet set. Other stand out songs included the opener, “Archangel”, “Terms & Conditions”, “I’m into You”, and of course ending the set with “No Diggity”. The crowd while talkative, sang along to every word. Taking a break from his keyboard for the encore, Chet played his new single, “Melt” sans singer Kilo Kish, but still a very nice ending to a fantastic first show.
Chet Faker is currently on a North American tour that will take him across the country including an upcoming show at New York’s Webster Hall with recent collaborator Flume on September 11th. He’ll also be joining Bonobo on their tour starting October 31st at the Complex in Salt Lake City. Check him out now before he moves on to bigger venues like I know he will.
Ronit Baranga is an Israeli artist known for her bizarre sculptural works, which include a series of ceramic tablewares hybridized with human body parts: open mouths, protruding tongues, and gouging fingers. These strange, anatomical additions are incredibly detailed, so much so you can make out the the glistening taste buds and knuckle creases. While these pieces are both creepy and attention-grabbing, from a critical standpoint, their meaning may seem a bit elusive; our reactions to them are initially visceral. Speaking to this, Baranga writes:
“I would like that anyone who sees my work feels something – what they feel is not relevant to me, as long as they feel. I hope that the emerging feelings will cause the viewers to think about the ideas behind my work… The combination of ceramic cups with ceramic fingers represent an idea in which the still creates a will of its own, enabling a cup to decide whether to stay or leave the situation it is in.” (Source)
Baranga’s designs, then, grant inanimate objects a form of agency: the plates desire to eat, the finger-walking teacups seek to wander, and their self-awareness challenges the way we think about and interact with such objects. What they also explore is the way eros is incorporated into unexpected things. The parted lips and probing fingers — both of which are erogenous body parts used in sexual exploration — elicit erotic associations. However, there is also an element of revulsion: imagine a stranger’s hands digging through your food, recognize that the hungry mouths emerging on your plate are the receptacles for the unglamorous digestive process. Baranga’s works may arouse you, but they will also suppress your appetite.
While teaching at the Ansel Adams Workshops in Yosemite National Park in the 1970s Roger Minick began photographing sightseers. Interested in this American activity Minick wanted to capture the “cacophony of clicking shutters” and waves of tourists seeking photographic proof that they had made it to a famous vista.
Minick’s photographs portray unique narratives of what is mainly America’s middle-class. Poignant and humorous all at once, the images show varied individuals with intriguing and sometimes seemingly strange stories. What is interesting is that, so far as a viewer can tell, all the subjects have only one thing in common: their desire to be in famous places in nature. Sometimes stereotyped Minick’s images successfully portray the American tourist as being wholly distinct.
Moreover, set against iconic backdrops the images become more than just portraits. They demonstrate a juxtaposition of nature and culture. As David Pagel wrote in the LA Times in 1997, “these supple works use the discomfort most people feel when confronted by nature’s inhuman scale as a metaphor for the precariousness of culture in a democratic society. Awkward and uncertain, sometimes fun and at other times frightening, this quiet anxiety is a big part of these pictures’ power.”
American artist Robert Wechsler is a bit of a trickster. He takes everyday objects and transforms them into unexpected oddities and puzzling sights. He alters things and spaces, changing our understanding of the most understated and mundane item/place. His latest ‘practical joke’ Money was commissioned by The New Yorker and involves him cutting notches into different coins and slotting them together to look like atoms or complex cube shapes.
He has a fine sense of humor, and has practiced it extensively through previous projects. He has welded nine bikes together to create a giant carousel, re-plumbed a public drinking fountain that fooled thirsty members of the public, and instead of quenching their own thirst, watered nearby plants. Wechsler has also worked with currency before – he has cast a penny 30,000 times it’s size and replaced a manhole cover with it. He explains his motivations:
My focus is necessarily on the familiar. Comfortably accustomed to everyday objects and spaces, we are blind to their unseen beauty and elegance. Who looks at a shopping cart or a toaster for the object itself? This state of static expectations is fertile ground for surprise. It is a conscious re-examination of my subjects that re-instates the novel back into the familiar. This is the moment of surprise, the moment we discover what is unseen in what is always seen. In reverence for what initially appears modest we get a small glimpse of the boundless elegance of our world. (Source)
A nice mix of sculpture and painting on Ryan Lauterio’s portfolio site. My favorite piece is the above monorail. It looks like an ancient ruin from Disney Land.
We have images of PJ Richardson‘s submission for the Diesel x Keystone Design Union (KDU) “Only The Brave” Exhibition, which opened on April 30th in NYC. I love how he juxtaposes gentle greens, salmon pinks, and loud reds with equally vibrant, downright playful monsters and type. All of these visual elements make this piece particularly mesmerizing!
It’s difficult to discern whether Lisa Kellner‘s silk installations are natural or intrusive, peaceful or menacing. Her delicate fabric structures resemble jellyfish or coral as much as something cancerous or viral. Kellner’s work intentionally inhabits this duality. Each installation is made out of silk – a medium that is at once organic but also extremely strong. Her sculptures illustrate the curious path of growth organic matter can take. Lisa Kellner says of her artwork:
“The quickest path from point a to point b is a straight line. But nature is filled with curves and crevices. And human nature always seems to prefer a more circuitous path. Whatever means are chosen, the journey one takes presents a perfect painting problem: what is the essence of a moment that took everything to get there?.”