Amy Boone-McCreesh’s sculptures and 2-D mixed-media works are both self-referential and highlight a larger aesthetic idea, which is the visual aspect of celebrations. For years, she’s explored the way in which different cultures commemorate events in their lives, particularly how they express it with decoration and objects. Now, with a new body of work, Boone-McCreesh goes beyond this initial inspiration and uses things she’s previously created as raw material for new pieces. They debuted at a recent two-person exhibition with artist Sarah Knobel entitled Anything Sacred at Hamiltonian Gallery in Washington, DC.
Anything Sacred is a birth of new from the old. Through digital manipulation, collage, printing, and reworking, I allow visual elements from an extant body of work to become new imagery printed on vinyl, paper, and custom fabric. The complex layering, stripping, and blending of the digital with the handmade gives birth to a new visual language.
In sampling my own imagery and re-contextualizing it in an immersive visual experience that is both cyclical and unifying, I am challenging traditional notions about value and pushing for a more complex, dynamic personal aesthetic. Simultaneously, my work in Anything Sacred continues to examine the use and meaning of decoration through formal arrangement and design.
You can view Anything Sacred now at Hamiltonian Gallery in Washington, DC until June 21 of this year. More shots of the candy-colored walls and lively work after the jump.
This seminal volume on the indigenous African Dinka group is a landmark documentation of a vanishing people in war-torn Sudan. World-renowned photographers Angela Fisher and Carol Beckwith have devoted their lives to documenting the rapidly disappearing ceremonies and cultures of the indigenous people of Africa. In breathtakingly poignant images, they present a story that started with their first visit to the Dinka thirty years ago. Living in harmony with their cattle, the Dinka have survived years of war only to find their culture on the brink of vanishing forever. Where the White Nile River reaches Dinka country, it spills over 11,000 square miles of flood plain to form the Sudd, the largest swamp in the world. In the dry season, it provides abundant pasture for cattle, and this is where the Dinka set up their camps. The men dust their bodies and faces with gray ash—protection against flies and lethal malarial mosquitoes, but also considered a mark of beauty. Covered with this ash and up to 7’ 6″ tall, the Dinka were referred to as “gentle” or “ghostly” giants by the early explorers. The Dinka call themselves “jieng” and “mony-jang,” which means “men of men.”
Angela Fisher and Carol Beckwith have spent a lifetime studying the peoples of the Horn of Africa, and have published their photography in a series of acclaimed books as well as major magazine features in Time, Life, Vogue, Marie Claire, and Elle. They exhibit and lecture widely at prestigious venues such as the American Museum of Natural History, The Smithsonian Institution, and the Royal Geographical Society in London.
Where I See Fashion is a blog created by Milan-based fashion design student Bianca, who pairs fashion photography with related images that correspond to the aesthetic found in the fashion image. The corresponding images depict anything from landscapes to architecture to fine and conceptual art. She began the project this past summer, inspired by the multitude of beautiful photographs found on Tumblr. Her juxtapositions illustrate the inspiration to be found in fashion and the world around us.
“Sometimes a fashion picture reminds me instantly of something and I go look for it, sometimes it’s a random picture that makes me think of an outfit or editorial. Occasionally it happens that by chance I see two pictures near each other on my dashboard or in a random blog that perfectly go together. Also I have A LOT of photos that I saved on my computer because I found them interesting, it’s like my personal archive and I use it a lot to make matches.” (via we the urban)
If you think your jackhammer and motorcycle make you look tough, just take a look at Theresa Honeywell’s knit accessories! What says “macho” better than tools and guns made out of knit fabric? This Washington D.C. native takes traditionally masculine objects, and gives them a feminine edge by creating them with knit and embroidery. By using methods that have previously been labeled a “feminine craft,” she sparks a dialogue on the masculine and feminine and what it means to align objects with these social constructs. Studying sculpture at university, she combines her talents in three-dimensional art with her interest in combining art and craft. The dichotomy between feminine and masculinity paired with art and craft challenges our pre-conceived notions of these themes.
It is interesting that knitting and embroidery have traditionally been perceived as feminine, when masculinity is often associated with labor-intensive tasks. These two techniques are in fact incredibly time consuming and require a lot of labor and skill. You can see the astonishing details includes in Honeywell’s work while examining every stitch and bead in her work. The artist even included the brand name of the jackhammer, and the pink and purple motorcycle is actually life size! Her intricate, delicate sculptures really show us the softer side of these “masculine” objects.
Light, shadow, and the human figure feature prominently in the recent works of photographer Dusdin Condren. Whether looking at an arm amputated by shadows or a woman posing Lee Miller-like in the striated light of a nearby window, there is a certain surreal, but serene viewing experience to be had with these photographs. The sometime use of black-and-white certainly increases this special effect.
T.I.M. (tracking interactive mechanism) is a kinetic installation by artist/robot builder Danny Bertner. Using the open source development environment, Arduino along with Processing, Danny uses an OpenCV library (open computer vision ) to track faces of the viewer. The mechanisms behavior is interactive, yet random when the audience “provokes” it (i.e. stepping within range of a photocells value spectrum). Interested in our association with movement and how physical behaviors can provoke our innate behaviors, Danny is aesthetically inspired by early 90’s sci-fi animatronics and horror. Watch a video of the installation in action after the jump.
Swiss artist Daniele Buetti’s light box constructions feature punctured holes that emit light from beneath the surface of the image creating a glowing highlight to the images of the distressed models and adding poetic text and musings to her provocative works.
Have you ever wondered what your favorite cartoon character would look like as a bad guy/girl? French artist Pez has taken on this challenge and recreated sinister versions of popular animated icons. Using a technique which recalls r. crumb he renders evil versions of Tweety, SpongeBob, Snoopy, Homer, Mario and more. These give a glimpse into the character’s darkside which is all done in the name of fun. What does Tweety think about when he’s in a bad mood? Or is Mario and Buzz Lightyear covered in tattoos underneath their bulky uniforms.
The prevailing theme on the newly redone figures seems to be actual graffiti. Snoopy’s doghouse looks like an old tenement building on New York’s Lower East Side covered in bones. While SpongeBob has turned from a sponge to a building in tags. Either way the playfulness of Pez’ work is bound to attract those who look for a pop culture alternative. It also makes you realize that no matter how overly saturated these characters are future generations will continue to identify with them. (via escapekit)