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Tristan Pigott’s Paintings Capture Social Awkwardness And The Male Gaze

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The painter Tristan Pigott heightens the drama of everyday awkward interactions by imagining the mundane in dreamlike ways; altering proportion and shape to express his subjects’ self-conscious anxiety, he constructs an uncomfortable world dominated by the uncertainty of twenty-something men and women. As they form their adult identities, Pigott’s subjects fret over their appearance and public behavior.

Alcohol, hip clothing, makeup, and grooming products cease to be superficial or incidental and are transformed into poignant markers of inner dialogues. Two female subjects abandon words, opting instead to communicate through their own physical presentation; one applies mascara in her skivvies, while the other furrows her brow at a magazine advertisement. An attractive persona is of the utmost importance; a seductive lip tattoo becomes the subject of another painting, and similarly, a lady is shown carefully eating a hamburger that perfectly coordinates to her outfit, sure not to spill on her blouse.

Further heightening the psychological importance of public surroundings and everyday objects, the artist plays with perception, placing an out-of-context wine glass here, a gravity-defying newspaper there. Similarly, a see-through table alters the hue of the legs below as harsh brushstrokes break the illusion of realism, and a man peers at his watch, his anxiety seemingly circumventing the laws of physics and allowing his body to float above ground.

In this world where identities are malleable and uncertain, the male gaze is uncomfortably prominent. Where a man is shown to watch himself in the mirror, the women are seen with a subtle degree of voyeurism. In mixed company, women peer thoughtfully, even fretfully, at the viewer, where men seem to please only themselves, remaining blissfully unaware of onlookers. When the male subject is nude, his back and face are turned away, but breasts and glances of the unclothed female are directed outwards. Dominated by familiar social anxieties and uncomfortable sexual politics, Pigott’s imaginative public space is perhaps not as surreal as it might seem. (via iGNANT)

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Erin Loree’s Vibrant Abstract Paintings Seem To Glow From Within

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Canadian artist Erin Loree crafts luscious abstract paintings that have an incredible sense of light. The vibrant pictures feature incredible blues, magentas, yellows, and many more spread over a canvas. Loree varies her approach to texture, with some areas of smoothly-applied paint and others with short, thick brush strokes. They work together and form alluring artworks that resemble portraits and at times, landscapes.

Considering the scale of Loree’s strokes, the subjects that she’s painted seem to be captured at a close range. Large, sweeping lines form vague outlines of heads and shoulders, and with names like Energy body, it’s hard not to associate them with that. But, instead of giving us the an idea of what this physical body looks like, Loree uses gesture and intense hues to communicate an inner spirit or feeling. Some of her works appear as if they’re glowing from within – the essence of an intrinsic light that exists inside living beings.

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Paul Cherwick

Paul Cherwick approaches his subtractive wooden sculptures with the spontaneity of drawings, treating them as quick, multi-sided one-offs. Employing a carving technique, he chooses an art that runs the gamut, unchanged between folk art material, and the stuff of priceless antiquities. Cherwick creates his figures as allegories, each with an absurd background story; they show the classical grace of the commoner, rather than his or her banality. His cast of personal folklores draws from Classical Greek mythology, in which individuals serve as tropes, created to personify human qualities in ways that are often very literal. Though he is drawn to wood for its classical nature and inherent morality, his translations of the material often verge on Pop.

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Sorry I’m Late

A stop motion short film shot with a stills camera in the ceiling pointing straight at the floor. By Tomas Mankovsky

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Chris Gentile

Chris Gentile currently has a show of fantastic photos up at Jeff Bailey Gallery. The show is up until March 12th so if you are in the NYC area make sure to stop by and check it out.

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Pedro Varela’s Paintings Pour Onto The Walls And Spill To The Floor

Pedro Varela’s tightly packed paintings and installations leave no part of a room safe with paint on canvas, walls, floors and even ceilings.The imagery is clearly based on dense landscapes that one might find in a busy metropolitan area with massive skyscrapers sitting next to old art deco structures  that leave little space to build except up into the sky. Like a new city that is just taking shape Varela’s scattered yet dense city systems pour onto every surface acknowledging the galleries architectural structure yet denying to stop just because the wall ends and the floor begins. (via)

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Nicholas Nyland’s Colorful Abstractions

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Nicholas Nyland is a Washington-based artist who creates paintings, sculptures and installations.  Stating that his work is “driven by a fascination with the life of form, the nature of creation and the will to decorate,” Nyland makes works that are abstract, but contain references to history and traditional craft sources.  Embracing abstraction because as he says, “it is generous and capacious, able to absorb and then release a multitude of references,” Nyland does in fact draw from a myriad of sources.  For his most recent solo show in Seattle, Physical Speculations on a Future State, Nyland incorporated inspiration from Chinese scholar’s stones, Japanese gardens, Early American decorative traditions and 1970s design.  Despite such wide-ranging influences, Nyland manages to create works that are at once formally engaging and conceptually inquisitive.  Nyland leaves room for a viewer to consider material, gesture and form, but enigmatic historical references also provide inquiry into the way we define and identify objects.

There is lightheartedness to Nyland’s work that borders on humorous.  A viewer can tell that Nyland enjoyed making whatever object she is observing.  The lack of seriousness involved in Nyland’s works further promotes active questioning about material, influence and formal choice.  Moreover, the tactile quality of Nyland’s work makes it all the more engaging.  Bordering on craft with some of his works, Nyland’s pieces are all distinctly handmade.  There is a purposeful clumsiness to them that is charming and endearing.

Recent winner of a Contemporary Northwest Art Award, Nyland’s work will be on view at the Portland Art Museum through January 12, 2014.

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Artist Collaborates With Bees to Cover Sculptures With Honeycomb

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You could say artist Aganetha Dyck creates her sculptures as much as she fascilitates them.  Dyck uses honeybees to decorate these figurines.  The bees create graceful lines and countours that seem compliment the existing shapes of the figures.  Their honeycomb patterns don’t seem like strange additions but rather enhancements.  Dyck begins her process with figurines, often broken or damaged in some way.  Then collaborating with beekeepers and scientists, bees are allowed to add their distinctive pattern to each small statue.  Dyck describes her process:

“To begin a collaborative project with the honeybees, I choose a slightly broken object or damaged material from a second hand market place. I choose damaged objects because honeybees are meticulous beings, they continuously mend anything around them and they do pay attention to detail. To encourage the honeybees to communicate, I strategically add wax or honey, propolis or hand-made honeycomb patterns to the objects prior to placing them into their hives. At least I like to think my methods are strategic. The honeybees often think otherwise and respond to what is placed within their hive in ways that make my mind reel.”

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