LA based photographer Ryan Schude knows how to tell a full story with just his lens. His elaborately structured photographs form a world all their own. Sometimes crass, sometimes out of control, his work hearkens to that complex visual zone inhabited by artists like fellow photographer Gregory Crewdson, director Wes Anderson, and we should probably mention David Lynch as well, just to cover the bases. Dense with intricate details, diverse characters, and everything somehow happening all at once, Schude’s photographs never look the same twice.
There is a story being told, and the image comes off as that of a film still; yet we are seeing a flash of an in between, we are neither here nor there but just in the middle enough to not be able to articulate what is going or why. Schude exhibits a playfulness within his settings that keep the scenes fun and adventurous, but many have that same alienated, nearly possessed, quality that Crewdson was so good at nailing. And that defiant divorce of logic within narrative that Lynch also adores employing in his films. Although everything looks the same as it would in the real world, the laws of the universe are clearly different within the realm of the photographed subjects, and that is what makes them so intriguing.
See Ryan’s work next month at bG Gallery in Los Angeles, CA.
R. Crumb’s Underground
Curated by Todd Hignite
July 11-August 16, 2009
July 11th launches Grand Central Art Center‘s opening reception for the Yerba Buena’s Center for the Arts traveling exhibit, “R.Crumb’s Underground.” This exhibition salutes San Francisco treasure Robert Crumb with an eclectic mix of early work, collaborations, and the world premiere of his “spool” drawings. Universally acknowledged as the founder of the underground comic scene, Crumb gained cult popularity for his pioneering Zap Comix and stardom with the Terry Zwigoff documentary, Crumb. The YBCA traveling exhibit also shows how his work has blossomed in philosophical complexity, highlighting his collaborative work, including intimate confessions produced with wife Aline Kominsky-Crumb.
Have you ever been sharing a beer with a friend and in the feel-good haze that happens after the third beer, utter to them, “What if we went to the airport right now and just picked a random place to go?” The feeling of going anywhere in the world, that with one credit card swipe you could wake up in a new place, is so thrilling, so invigorating and so freeing.
Well Heineken challenged airport goers to open up their worlds by giving them the chance to do just that. Heineken’s Departure Roulette concept takes this fantasy and makes it a reality by parking a board loaded with random destinations in a busy airport. Travelers are challenged to take the plunge, push the button, and abandon whatever their plans were for that day. If they accept the challenge they could be flying anywhere from Portugal to Laos and they have to leave right then and there.
So the next time you’re walking through the airport doors, day dreaming about where you could be going instead of where you should be going, keep an eye out for Heineken’s Departure Roulette and you could end up half way around the world instead of at your high school reunion.
Jacob Foran‘s latest series, “Headspace” celebrates exploration and fantasy. The diving helmets represent a sort of creative sanctuary just as real armor-like diving helmets protect the wearer from the dangers of underwater pressure, (and sea creatures). Foran returns to the creative fairytale worlds of childhood, this time as an adult, with more mature musings about the “pressure-filled” world we live in.
Matt Irie is an extremely promising and unfairly slept-on artist from Chicago. In the past five years, I’ve seen Irie produce thoughtful and rewarding works in every medium imaginable and the pace isn’t slowing one bit. After the jump you’ll find a glimpse into Irie’s body of work and some information provided by the man himself.
Raunchy, suggestive illustrations with strange pseudo-human characters leave viewers unnerved, but at the same time, engaged in a conversation of questions. What is going on and why?? Melissa Stekbauer‘s works can place the viewer in a vulnerable, almost submissive, state, allowing her characters some authority. Her works present interesting narratives, especially because they are paired with a softer painting technique, which can feel more inviting and friendly than the actual content of the work. Maybe that’s why it’s “seductive”?
Through elegantly beautiful works, Vandana Jain uses corporate logos and symbols, to study the effects of institutionalized repression. Her metaphor, an illusory philanthropy implies how corporations subliminally demoralize and enslave cultures. Her depiction manifests most commonly in an architectural setting, and through icons of religious nature including mandalas and totems. These logos are beautifully manipulated by Jain into mesmerizing works, that distract from the symbol’s intended purpose. Mostly working in installation, Jain engages all media in this format including drawing, sewing, painting and video. Her most recent project, “Dazzle” is the result of her residency at Brooklyn’s Smack Mellon. For the project, Jain created a series of murals, inspired by naval camouflage used during world war l. Before sonar, brightly colored lines were painted on warships in various patterns. These were used to confuse the enemy of a ship’s size, speed and direction. Jain applied the same technique to the huge interior walls of Smack Mellon. In colored artist’s tape, her familiar corporate logos are masked behind camouflage, which continues her conversation with the corrupt and exploitive nature of corporate brands. Her training as a textile designer comes through in the pattern making ability needed to make the walls come alive. The dazzling lines recall circus tents and opt art made in the 60’s and 70’s.