Iconic and lovely Louise Bourgeois once said, “The feminists took me as a role model, as a mother. It bothers me. I am not interested in being a mother. I am still a girl trying to understand myself.”
Likewise, one might suggest that the soft and silicone rubber sculptures of Michelle Carla Handel, collected here, are conceptually doing something similar, but with a splash of Claes Oldenburg’s wit and color pop.
Each piece feels intriguingly pubescent: exploring the grotesque softness of bodies and gender through seemingly pliable forms that physically confuse or bend out of shape, emotionally heaving with discovery and wear.
Henrietta Harris is an Auckland-based artist and illustrator working with watercolour, biro and gouache. Although her work uses traditional techniques, her beautiful portraits retain a modern subject matter and style, and have been used by numerous publications and companies worldwide.
Niyoko Ikuta sculpts with glass, creating elegant layered shapes that seem at once severe and inviting. There’s a glacial quality to Ikuta’s sculptures, imparted by both the ocean blue palette of soft blues and marine greens as well as the brittle edges of each layer of glass.
In an interview with V&A, she says, “In creating my pieces it is like imagining an architectural space when viewing blueprints, deciding on an image by reading into the intentions of the architect, or imbuing a space with dynamic energy to bring it to life.”
Her sculptures do seem almost like three-dimensional blueprints. They could be compared to a wire model, implying the way a shape might take up space or giving us a sense of motion without actual movement. The result is ethereal: delicate curves and swirls that seem like they could evaporate at any moment.
Ikuta says of her work,
“My motifs are derived from feelings of gentleness and harshness, fear, limitless expansion experienced through contact with nature, images from music, ethnic conflict, the heart affected by joy and anger, and prayer.” (via This Is Colossal)
Reality and fantasy. Two concepts depicted in Shohei Otomo’s ballpoint drawings. Black and white illustrations blending traditions and the punk spirit of Japanese culture. Through the eyes of the artist, we are taken to the center of the effervescence, Tokyo.
Shohei Otomo unfolds the contradictions and the touching face of Tokyo to the rest of the world. He plays the role of a middle man, channeling key information to both parties, highlighting Japan as an isolated and singular country. He claims people have this clean image of Japanese people owning a calm and patient temper at work and in their personal lives. He is proving that reality is otherwise. His work is targeted to a global crowd. Yet the symbols he uses are meant to report the actuality to foreigners and to act as a satire for his Japanese audience.
His drawings consist of simple characters wearing traditional versus pop items. A girl is posing wearing a kimono with men and women gender symbols. She is wearing a wig decorated with a rose, a love sign, condoms and a mask. A policeman is smoking a joint through a bong. The drawings are hyper-realistic, hand drawn with a ball point. This simple method reveals the talent of the young artist who is also the son of Katsuhri Otomo, creator of Akira, the renown animated cyberpunk thriller movie. (via Booooooom).
At first glance I thought these clever byomorphic and hybrid characters by Overunder were painted directly on the wall but upon closer inspection I realized that these pieces were painted in the artists studio with spray paint on paper and then cut out as giant posters. Although this isn’t a completely unique idea Overunder does a great job of creating a Trompe-l’œil effect with this technique giving his pieces a spontaneous feel while still being labored over and well planned in the comfort of his studio. I’ve posted some images of his work in a gallery setting after the jump so you can see how they are cut.
Jason Rhoades, who lived and worked in Los Angeles up until his death in 2006, created amazing, over-the-top, often overwhelming, generally disorienting installations. Using neon, plastic buckets, power tools, snaking wires, figurines, sound and other odds and ends Rhoades created work that is engaging, witty and visually spectacular.
Known as “scatter art,” Rhoades’ environments combine a multiplicity of ideas. In works like The Creation Myth, originally installed in 1998, and now re-created for his retrospective at the ICA in Philadelphia, Rhoades created sculptural forms representing how humanity processes information, forms memories and produces things like art. The work often contains biographical, sexual and sometimes outright vulgar elements that require a viewer’s patience and open-mindedness. Seemingly arbitrary, each artifact has its purpose within Rhoades’ installations.
Overloading a viewer with information and visual content replete with metaphors and symbols, Rhoades purposefully creates his installations to avoid finite conclusions. In many ways Rhoades’ works mirror human thought—they layer information and content in seemingly incoherent ways forming multiple, usually incomplete notions and assumptions.
Rhoades’ retrospective will be on view at the Philadelphia ICA through December 29.