This is the first in a series where each week we’ll gather some of our favorite street that you definitely won’t want to miss. This week we have a mural from Blu that, like much of his work, utilized features of the building. You’ll also find one in a series by Herr Nilsson of some fiendishly violent princesses, a smart wheat paste piece from Peter Drew, as well as new pieces from INTI, Seth, and Ever. Finally, we have Lego block interventions from Jan Vormann, European historical figures with the heads of Olmec statues by Mata Ruda, and a kitty piece from Jesse Olwen. Enjoy!
Through the tradition of collage Alexander Korzer Robinson pursues his personal obsession in creating miniature narrative scenes. The use of antique books, he believes, makes his work at once an exploration and a deconstruction of nostalgia. Alexander is interested in the idea of how we construct our own memories of the past from fragments of reality. He sees memory as a process that combines the willful aspects of remembering and forgetting with the coincidental and unconscious.
Before Alexander begins to work on a new piece certain boundaries are predetermined through the literature in which he uses. Through his process he aims to transform the meaning of this preexisting material. The encyclopaedia becomes a window into an alternate world, much like lived reality becomes its alternate in remembered experience. These books, having been stripped of their utilitarian value by the passage of time, regain new purpose. They are no longer tools to learn about the world, but rather Alexander sees them as a means to gain insight into our memory process.
Alexander’s book sculptures are made by working through a book, page by page, cutting around some of the illustrations while removing others. The images seen in the finished work, are left standing in their original place.
Chicago-based photographer Carrie Schneider has done some lovely work. She often incorporates sculptural/made pieces into a photograph, creating clearly staged moments that carry a lot of emotional resonance. I’m particularly fond of her use of dazzle camouflage, having experimented with it in my own work as well.
Jason Willome uses a diverse array of materials: acrylic, glitter, rayon flocking, archival pigment transfers, and cement, to expose ephemeral palpitations we, as humans, emote from personal experience, art history, or popular culture.
His portraits, for instance, take inspiration from a tabloid shot of glitter bombed Lindsay Lohan. Willome explains, “It was really beautiful because there was this atmosphere of glitter all around the space of the image, and there were these great cast shadows being projected through the glitter onto Lindsay Lohan, by paparazzi flash bulbs. I thought this would be a wonderful way to create a connection between an image and the surface, to kind of soften the painted illusion, but play into it at the same time.”
Likewise, on a similar note, his “Technology Series” (second, above) further investigates “the atmosphere of the glitter bomb and interpreting atmosphere as paint material.”
For both, what emerges is an airy quote lifted from mainstream media, translated with imagery that avoids the weight of celebrity by embracing another more elusive aura: how everyday abstraction beautifully haunts these spaces we build or share together.
Born in Paris and trained in London, visual artist Charlotte Cornaton combines two unlikely platforms—the ancient craft of ceramics and the modern medium of video art—to create multi-faceted, socially-charged pieces. For Insomnio, her latest series, Cornaton focuses heavily on the ceramic side of her practice, creating 21 delicately crafted and hauntingly illuminated porcelain books.
Stunningly handmade and intrinsically dreamy, Insomnio presents and explores the paradoxal nature of clay’s transformation from a heavy, solid medium to a fragile, paper-thin representation of the contents of a book. Created during the artist’s residency in Jingdezhen, China, the pieces—comprised of porcelain and illuminated by hidden LEDS—are directly influenced by ancient techniques and rooted heavily in Chinese culture:
Insomnio is a complication of porcelain sculptural books which explain the symbolism of my nightmares using Jung dream interpretation. The oneiric world is true cerebral storm and the fear of the unconscious is here materialized through the cracks and imperfections of the porcelain . . . I used the three main ancestral Chinese techniques of incised porcelain: carving celadon, cobalt painting and cloisonné glaze. Insomnio thus uses oriental know-how to express western form of thought, incarnating the exchange and symbiosis of cultures.
Adorned with designs and inscribed with text, each book presents the artist’s acquired sense of a culture’s aesthetic and, through both a literal use of light and enlightening symbolism, results in an exhibit based prominently in illumination—literally.
Shepard Fairey’s work goes beyond traditional methods of appropriation and referencing. Some of these are exact replicas of previous works, with just a subtle color change. It wouldn’t be an issue if this work only existed in the streets as a form of political guerilla art. However Shepard profits greatly through museum shows,a multi-million dollar apparel line, and inflated art sales as the result of this decade long art project. More and more this seems like a genius marketing plan aimed at angry teenagers rather than creating a body of original artwork that opens up a dialogue about politics. Read this in-depth article by Mark Vallens and decide for yourself.
Christina Bothwell, an American artist, is creator of all things weird. These fantastic yet strange beings (Bothwell’s sculptures) are both creepy but inevitably inspiring. Bothwell’s intriguing sculptures invite the viewer to imagine fantastical worlds; ones where these weird creatures could potentially exist in.
Most often made from cast glass and clay, her made-up creatures are sometimes fitted out with found objects that serve as limbs and other body parts. The glass allows for a more ethereal, surreal feel; it also allows for a soft light to radiate through the figure, simultaneously revealing beauty yet the imperfections found within the glass. This aspect of the work is representative of Bothwell’s interest in notions of vulnerability and childhood innocence. Christina states that her ideas are in many ways autobiographical; the pieces certainly arise from what is going on in her current adult life, or what has gone on in her early childhood. (via Feather of Me)