For over 25 years, Woods Davy has worked with natural materials (primarily stone) as his medium of choice. In an incredible balancing act, he places the stones in fascinating formations that intrigue the mind. With his work with stones, he became one of the first “green” Postmodern artists. Even artists go green! You can catch Woods Davy’s exhibit at the Craig Krull Gallery in Bergamot Station, Santa Monica, CA until October 9th.
Tom Sanford had me over to his spacious basement studio in Tribeca this past Saturday. I became aware of Sanford’s work in 2008 when I saw his show “Mr. Hangover” at Leo Koenig, Inc. Tom’s main project is capturing our rapid-fire digital culture in the slow language of painting. If it’s in the news – it’s likely fodder for his paintings. When we watch TV, a pop star’s recent public tantrum is covered with the same attention as the death count in a war zone. Tom doesn’t try to adjust the playing field between pop culture and world events – he conflates them. But when that happens in a painting the dissonance is in your face in a way that it isn’t on TV. For instance, in a new large-scale painting, Bill Murray (as a red capped Steve Zissou from The Life Aquatic) is being held at gun point by pirates off the coast of Somalia. It’s inexplicably poignant – maybe because I care about the character from a movie? Sanford speaks eloquently about how painting is slow media, and how we’re all enmeshed in fast media – he has a sign up in his studio that sums it up as “The worse the better.”
Originally from Niagara Falls, Canada, Jon Klassen currently resides in Los Angeles. In addition to showcasing artwork with The Ebeling Group, The Wurst Gallery, and Gallery Nucleus, Jon has worked on visual development and drawings of sets and props for the lovely, stop-motion animated film, Coraline. The colors and shapes he employs are muted and earthy, organic and geometric. I love his simple, folksy patterns and hand drawn text.
Robots is a new London-based artist collective specializing in site specific public art. Their gigantic sculptures are composed of really just trash. Reclaimed and recycled wood, old furniture people throw away – really taking the phrase, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” to heart. The New York Times even wrote an article about them. If you would like to learn more about Robot, check out their short documentary where the film follow this group during their build at the 2010 Secret Garden Party Festival.
San Francisco-based artist David Berezin creates still lifes by manipulating low-res stock photos, often found on Google Images, and Photoshopping the disparate parts into coherent collages that mimic commercial photography. Berezin’s use of “new media” methods of making produces an ironic contrast between contemporary, post-internet life and all that cultural baggage left by the Twentieth century’s top-down, capitalist media. These digital assemblages make the ha-has by reconstructing the out-moded logic of genre narratives through the use of culturally-loaded objects that rely on vocabularies of cliché developed in pop forms like B-movies and boilerplate novels.
Caleb Larsen must be one of those really smart people that thinks really really hard all the time. His piece “A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter” is a sculpture that is programmed to reauction itself off on eBay every 7 days, and if you buy it, you are required to immediately put it back up for auction again, so the cycle keeps on repeating. Any attempt by me to explain this work in a paragraph or less is going to fail miserably – check out this excellent interview with the artist after the jump to get a better idea of what is really going on. If you are in Seattle, go see for yourself at Lawrimore Projects, Larsen’s show “Everything All The Time Right Now” is up until February 13th.
I came across this John Galliano couture collection from 2006 and couldn’t help but laugh. I’ve been thinking about the great question of war & peace ever since hearing snippets from a rare house debate on the subject on NPR the other day. I don’t really have any answers on the state of the nation….apart from presenting Galliano’s bedraggled mud-slang revolutionary rockers doused in oil make-up, flip-flops, Galliano branded life vests (?), Michael Jackson-inspired spike shoulder pads and fake beards. Is Galliano lampooning the ridiculously luxe couture high-fashion world? Or our mythological idealizations of fighting desperados? Perhaps Mad Max is upon us.