Jonathan Schipper‘s work is slowly self destructing. Very slowly self destructing. In this first series of photos, To Dust, two classical sculptures hang upside down from one mechanism. The mechanism slowly grinds the sculptures together. A pile of fine dust gathers beneath the sculptures as they wear each other away. Over the course of several years the sculptures are expected to eventually destroy each other.
Slow self destruction unfolds in another series pictured in this post, Slow Inevitable Death of American Muscle Slow Motion Car Crash. A head on collision is almost painfully stretched out over six days. Two cars set on a track slowly advance toward each other simulating an ultra-slow car wreck. Schipper transforms destruction that was once dangerous into a harmless act – a perverse spectacle into a near boring and slow non-drama.
Perhaps you may be familiar with your state motto or state bird. However, what about your state amphibian or state grain? America’s fifty states have many official state insignia, some more obscure than others. Artist and designer Julian Montague highlights many of these for all of the states in the union in his new series State of America. While some state insignia may be predictable – Idaho’s official state food is the potato – others are bit stranger such as Georgia’s official state fossil: shark teeth.
Artist Jennifer Presant is a painter with training in figurative realism and a background in graphic design. Her multifaceted works are a combination of indoor and outdoor spaces. Bedrooms look like they’re in a park, statues are on beaches, and French doors open onto ice. “Thematically, my paintings address the complexity of memory, by blurring the lines between recollection, projection, and reality,” Presant writes in an artist statement. “Each painting becomes a psychological landscape or waking dream, reinforcing the fluid relationships between time, memory and place.”
The contemporary media has a huge impact on the content of Presant’s images. She says:
By merging both real and fictitious images in these painted fictional documentaries, I explore the conflation of our media-saturated lives and our lived reality; we live among images and in many ways as images. Our memories of events have become distorted. With media today, we have grown accustomed to watching ourselves and living from a voyeuristic standpoint. With these paintings, the viewer’s imagination plays an important role in the piece, while also being implicated in the voyeurism depicted. (Via Feather of Me)
It’s always a good thing when a painter reaches into the toolbox and pulls out an unexpected medium or technique to mix into their bag of tricks. Such is the case with German painter Alexander Esters who uses linocuts to create the flat textured effects that pop up here and there in his paintings. This simple use of linocuts adds an unfamiliar depth to his painting technique that makes it stand out from the crowd.
Australian artist Ben Frost creates image mashups that combine fast food, pills, and iconic figures of popular culture. He paints these celebrities on things like McDonald’s french fry sleeves and boxes for prescription drugs. We see Superman, Popeye, Mr. T, and even Snoopy the Dog all painted on objects that symbolize excess and gluttony.
Frost finds inspiration for his work from graffiti, collage, photo-realism, and sign writing. It’s not a surprise, as he tags things much like a graffiti artist would. His work is subversive and doesn’t hold back any punches. I’ve included stuff here that’s generally safe for work, but if you check out his website, you’ll see a lot of hyper-sexualized manga-inspired characters. But even with these relatively tame images, you can still sense the scathing critique of the mainstream. Greasy meals, too many pills, and processed foods are rotting our health in a similar fashion that television, media, and politics are rotting our brain.
I’ve known Drew Liverman longer than most other people in my life. Since the age of 14 we’ve gotten into all sorts of trouble together. At times we’ve lost touch for a year here or there but I feel a special connection to him that only happens when you spend your formative teenage years skateboarding and getting in trouble for graffiti together. One thing has been made clear over the last two decades of friendship with Drew. This guy is a creative super talent. I’ve always admired Drew’s creative abilities with anything that he takes on, whether it be our teenage graffiti shenanigans or his raw ability to jump from design, illustration, or painting with ease. With that said it’s no wonder that Young Sons, Drew’s latest collaborative project with Michael Ricioppo is also a visual feast.
Young Sons takes the concept of collaborative painting to new heights. Mixing a cornucopia of visual references from abstract expressionism to saturday morning cartoons, Ricioppo and Liverman work back and forth in unison and with intuitive speed canceling out, editing, and adding to one another’s marks. The result is a controlled chaos of line and form that is a bold mix of stream of consciousness and disciplined control.
See the work of Young Sons at Mass Gallery in Austin Texas through November 24th 2013 and read Andrew Bourne’s interview with them on Bomb.
Pennsylvania-based Charles Huettner is a 2D animator who crafts symbiotic relationships between doughy eyed pudges, shapely humanoids, and anything with a blank stare and bulbous limbs. His animations employ seamless transformations and an athletic flow that quickly cuts and softly glides at all the right moments. The blankness and mushiness of the figures make them capable of anything, making them perfect vessels for experimentation with form and motion.
His 2013 short entitled The Jump, is a beautiful glimpse at a spirit world where two teenagers dabble in visionary experimentation with suddenly tragic results. With a sophisticated Akira-esque score, we watch as these teens’ innocent curiosity leads to a dark tragedy, all the while a red ghost stares empty and indifferent. The Jump was a standout in “Ghost Stories”, a recent release from Late Night Work Club. Along with many other animators he contributes to the Late Night Work Club, “a loose, rotating collective of indie animators”, which has been shown to put out some of the most impressive shorts in the online animation community.