French artist Marc Giai-Miniet packs hidden tales into small, elaborate dioramas, a craft he has been pursuing since the 90s. This month his work is on display in New York’s Jonathan LeVine Gallery in a show titled “Theatre of Memory.” His work explores remains; of libraries, laboratories, waiting rooms, dungeons, prisons, hospitals, interrogation rooms, all places with signs of evident use, but all completely absent of people.
“Every room in Giai-Miniet’s boxes are dismally packed with hoards of books and machinery. Influenced by childhood visits to the garage his father worked in as a mechanic, the utilitarian organization of objects has long been a theme of interest to the artist. This aesthetic was also greatly impacted by his exposure to images of the Holocaust at a young age, specifically how the Nazi regime systematically seized and cataloged the personal belongings of concentration camp victims.
Giai-Miniet views his boxes as a metaphor for the human condition, which is comprised of biological functions, as well as a desire to achieve intellectual and spiritual enlightenment. This duality is represented by the presence of machinery in the works, symbolizing the physical side of human nature, while literature suggests the logical side. The artist states, ‘From the whiteness of books to the darkness of sewers, there is a never-ending to and fro between the two main poles of humanity: bestiality and transcendence, human fragility and inaccessible divinity.'”(Excerpt from Source)
Life becomes very difficult for me when I do not understand more than several words in French, and these awesome artists and photographers refuse to give me any information in anything other than French, but what the hell, I’ll try my best to feature them regardless, and their work speaks clearly (yay for VISUALS!). He has a series called “Hyper” that some of you may have seen, with the same content but in grocery stores. These photos here are from a series entitled “La Chute” (not too hard to translate) from Denis Darzacq. I’m suckered into their trickery because they remind me of my lucid dreaming capabilities when I could fly every night… “La Chute” is what a whole episode of Heroes should have looked like when the Petrellis discovered they could fly. Seriously, they didn’t need any practice? Ugh, television.
Japanese-born Hiroyuki Nakamura is a painter of displaced imagery. His paintings are constructs of old-meets-new at the ironic seam where east-meets-west. Although visually, these constructs are voices of the artist’s imagination, he’s managed to capture something very tangible about life in the western desert – a lifestyle where one makes do, where routine is determined by the landscape, and where one makes a life by piecing together the randomness of what one finds, which are often the leftovers of passersby.
Argentine based photographer Mariela Sancari‘s series Moisés, acts as an ode to the traditional type of portrait takenof men in their 70’s, the age her deceased father would have been if he were still alive today. After her father’s death, the artist and her twin sister we denied the chance to see his body. She was never sure if it “was because he committed suicide or because of Jewish religious beliefs or both.” In the artist’s statement, she refers to a concept in thanatology (the study of death and practices associated with it) which asserts that when one does not encounter the dead body of a loved one, the lack of visual association prevents the ability to accept their death. Hence, not having the definitive proof of said death aids denial, one of the most complicated stages of grief. Referring to the Baudrillard quote “photography is our exorcism,” Mariela Sancari uses her photographs to play out the fantasy of her attached denial — she uses her portraits to create a fictionalized version of her father. She states;
“I once read that fiction´s primary task is to favor evolution, forcing us to acknowledge and become the otherness around us. I think fiction can help us depict the endless reservoir of the unconscious, allowing us to represent our desires and fantasies.”
Germany based Kuin Heuff paints portraits on paper which she then cuts up from the layers of paint into ornate lace-like structures. These intricate cuttings create a complex web of patterns that reference everything from anatomical drawings to woodcut prints. (via)
Michael Shapcott is an emerging artist from Connecticut. His paintings and illustrations take traditional portraiture and add elements of folklore and dream imagery, his main source of inspiration. His work is nothing less than powerful, inspiring, and emotional.
Montreal-born Magalie Guerin currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. With machine-like precision, she uses ballpoint ink on paper to create incredibly detailed pieces reminiscent of the visual texture of dollar bills. Her art reminds me of a cross between the elegance of Civil War portraits and the distortion of carnival funhouses.