These may look like photographs of abandoned buildings but in fact they are photographs of meticulously made dioramas by Lori Nix. Each image is painstakingly created by hand, taking into consideration scale and lighting over the course of seven months. The result is an apocalyptic vision of the world where everything has fallen apart, decayed, and is slowly returning back to nature.
If you’re in the SF area, be sure to check out Matt Palladino’s new work at Baer Ridgway, opening from 4-7pm this Saturday. Last month I had the pleasure of visiting his studio (one of the coolest & most conveniently located I’ve ever seen) and watching the artist painting meticulously and chugging down a mountain of Arizona ice teas. No joke, I have pictures to prove it.
Ana Bidart‘s sculptures resemble small geological models. She wears away layers and layers of paper to create each piece. Reminiscent of rolls of receipt paper or even toilet paper, her medium in this series usually has a particularly utilitarian purpose. Her sculptures emphasize the objects’ more poetic characteristics. Though solid and consistent in appearance Bidart exposes the many layers that form the whole. Her work easily lends itself to various metaphors.
Chen-Dao Lee paints highly stylized pop images that are a kind of Taiwanese version of a Quentin Tarantino neo-noir film. Painted in candyfloss pinks, reds and blues, his work borders on anime, or a kind of twisted superhero comic. His subjects are powerful women (and peculiar men) who have a cynicism, sexuality and also a sickly sweetness about them. Posed together, armed with guns and wearing frilly socks and high heels, or engaged in a semi-erotic masked wrestling fight, Lee’s characters are contemporary individuals, expressing the whole spectrum of emotions.
In his recent series, Lee has shifted from depicting a logical scenario in his paintings to focusing on the figures entanglement to describe emotions or relationships which are ambiguous, embarrassing or even helpless. Beautiful young women and fallen heroes frequently appear in Lee’s works as a symbol of the projection of modern people’s inner contradictions. (Source)
With titles like Cat fight – Love Kick, Boss, Not The Hero Type, Valentine, BFF, Lee embraces a kind of feminism with a dark sense of humor. He paints scenarios loaded with sexual innuendo, but instead of them being erotic, or about power plays, he focuses on ennui. The women (and men) show a lack of enthusiasm and engagement, but rather a nonchalance about what ever is going on around them.
His past series have included paintings of women guiltily carrying loads of fast food, indulgent night life scenes with money being tossed around, strange card nights, groups of men eating sushi off a blow-up doll, and overweight men with bad tan lines wearing cute costume masks. Lee is able to blend sarcasm, skepticism and empathy to create instant modern day classics. (Via Illusion Scene)
Photojournalist Anthony Karen has a specific and refined talent. Karen’s website mentions that “his passion for photography began in Haiti, where he documented the various Vodou rituals and pilgrimages throughout the country.” Even with this first series Karen displayed a knack for capturing groups of people, specifically those marginalized from larger society. For his latest book White Power, Karen was granted rare access to photograph Ku Klux Klan groups freely. Rather than portray familiar dramatic images of hate, many of the photographs depict mundane daily life, yet are somehow all the more unsettling. Indeed, much of the series’ disconcerting undertones certainly springs from Karen’s ability to capture people with a certain candidness rare in front of a camera lens. [via]
Anna Sladmann’sLittle Adults series explores what it feels like to grow up as a privileged child in Russia, a country where its radical history still rules the daily life. It is the exploration of the recently growing society of the “Noveau-Riche” in which children have been raised to become the “Elite” and behave like little adults. Photographing Russia’s new generation of children reflects the extreme contrast between social hierarchies, touches on the control of family aspirations, ideas of normality, the loss of childhood and the constant desire for fame.
In his giant installation art / performance Para-Production, artist Ni Haifeng reverses the common global process of production. A massive movement of commodities takes place each day often beginning in the country of Ni Haifeng’s birth – China. Many companies defer production of their goods to the country which are then often exported for consumption in the Western world. In Para-Production, however, a large room is filled with loose garments and sewing machines. Gallery visitors are then invited to work, to sew these items together. In a way, the installation becomes a performance of labor – people that are often the consumer of Chinese-made products instead produce a product for a Chinese artist. [via]