It is hard to summarize what Ben Jones does. One, overly broad, way to describe his work is that Jones creates genre defying art in a wide range of media, and within his oeuvre there are a lot of nooks and crannies, each of which has its own special ideas and charm. His creative work has been enthusiastically followed by artists since the late 1990s through zines, underground animations, painting and sculpture. I remember seeing something called Paper Rad on the internet around 2003 or 4, and being mesmerized by the bold drawing and color, and, not to be cheesy, but there was also a contagious sense of joy. The imagery remixed pop culture with high cultural stuff like abstract painting. A few years later, towards 2007, the broader popular culture became aware of Jones through his animated television series Problem Solverz, and more recently his new series entitled Stone Quackers. All of the work seems to hover half in the subconscious, placing seemingly real and present iconological formations alongside impossible or wonderful subconscious riffs. In Jones’s work it feels like half the colors are colors, the other half are memories.
Jones has a new exhibition opening Saturday July 11th at Ace Gallery in L.A from 7 to 9pm, and you can see the show until September. This is a major show that is going to transform the gallery. You will be immersed in both high-tech painting and the ladder sculptures we discuss in the interview. His televison show, Stone Quackers, has recently aired new episodes on FXX in the Animation Domination block, and you can see his animations all over the internet and on Hulu.
Choreographer, Willi Dorner, brought together a group of artists in New York to participate in his performance piece, Bodies in Urban Space. The artists go around to different parts of Manhattan to confine themselves together into architecturally specific shapes, conveying the idea of the restrictions we face physically, emotionally, and spiritually living in such a structure dominant space.
Primarily concerned with the various taxonomic functions of history, Amanda Nedham’s works on paper exhibit a technical proficiency and enamoured exploration of natural history’s complex and overlapping structures. Through a process of abstraction based on the collaging of drawings, largely from television and internet sources, she attempts to focus on those moments that create tension as they challenge the governing voice of history.
Artist Nastasja Duthois creates large installations and small-scale embroidered artworks that explore aspects of shadow and negative space. Though composed of thousands of straight sewn lines reminiscent of crosshatching, the final pieces are generally organic in form from the silhouettes of dogs and animals to more complex landscapes.
“My work is done ellipses, gaps and assembled fragments that attempt to re-transcribe experiences and encounters. It restores daily annotations that one way or another have caused me a surprise, empathy, an indistinct disorder, rebellion or indignation choked. I contemplated steps, stopped movements, noted the words of anonymous … I approached … I immersed myself until disappearing collecting many snapshots of collective life that my readings were converted. Cross existences are mixed with reminiscences and personal obsessions, while retaining their opacity and mystery. They reactivated real memory and imagination. What thoughts and feelings aroused places, objects and people became especially experiences of encounter with oneself. I want to watch the world with the attention of the traveler who discovers a country; I’m looking for simple and fleeting wonders.”
Check out some amazing aerial shots of Iceland’s volcanic countryside from Russian photographer Andre Ermolaev. The intense heat from the volcanoes produces some really unique visuals. And Ermolaev’s bird’s eye view forces us to recall how majestic our planet really is. Not to get all preachy, but if we want to preserve visuals like these, we may have to alter our actions a little. (via)
Petra Zlonoga is an artist living in Zagreb, Croatia. This is her first hand drawn animated film. Pretty impressive, right? This glorious video reminds me of cartoon shorts I adored as a kind. Good ole’ hand drawn animations. Makes me want to see more! Besides being an animator, she is also a very talented illustrator. You can check out here work on her blog that she updates 3 times a week.
The creative geniuses at Architectural Elements (AE) have created a torturous-looking metal cage that will give its “prisoners” a taste of near-death. Known as a Faraday cage, the device is used in conjunction with Tesla coils to channel 4 million volts of electricity. Locked in the trap, participants are forced to stand still while the glowing current strikes the barrier inches away from their face. The stamped steel mesh allows the electricity to flow harmlessly around the cage. Even though the device is engineered to be safe, such a close encounter with a lethal force is sure to spike the adrenaline.
Several celebrity magicians — such as David Blaine, Chris Angel, and Penn & Teller — have used Faraday cages in their suspense-filled performances. AE, however, has put their own creative spin on the apparatus, invoking the gothic, “mad scientist” aesthetic of Frankenstein: complete with gears, leather, and aged-looking metal, the cage looks cold and sinister. Below is a further description of the imagination that went into this creepy creation:
“Solid head rivets, accurate involute gear tooth geometry, 3D printed bronze logo and specifically designed brass details, manually distressed reclaimed fir, sculpted hexagonal mesh, expert patination, hand crafted leather work and a thousand other details went into the creation of this masterpiece. These details taken individually are insignificant but as a package turn heads and demand distinction in any setting.
‘It was great to have a project where our staff was able to flex their design and fabrication muscles and make it exactly the way we wanted it,’ said AE owner Joe Clark.” (Source)
The video above shows the construction of the cage, concluding with a brief visual of the electric bolt. It is scheduled for installation at the Spark Museum of Electrical Invention located in Bellingham, Washington, so be sure to check it out. Read more about AE’s Faraday cage here.
Being an only child I’ve always been jealous of talented siblings who can team up to take over the world. So it is with great saddness and extreme envy that I post the work of the talented Michael C. Hsiung, brother of Pearl C. Hsiung who graced the pages of Issue: V with her brilliantly disgusting yet pretty paintings.