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Brian Vu’s Eternal World

Brian Vu’s collages of  life + death, love + hate, religion = afterlife = Awesome!

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Maurizio Bongiovanni

Maurizio Bongiovanni’s paintings walk the fine line between abstraction and figuration to great effect.

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PATRICIA PICCININI: THE WELCOME GUEST

Conner Contemporary Art is very pleased to present Patricia Piccinin’s first solo exhibition in Washington, DC: “The Welcome Guest.” The selection of works ranges in date from 1997 to the present, including video and small- to large-scale sculptures (made of silicone, fiberglass, human and animal hair, taxidermied peacocks, polyester, nylon, wool, plastic and bronze). Using natural and artificial media to create realistic and grotesque forms, the world renowned Australian artist visualizes humanity’s challenges in navigating between nature and biotechnology.

The exhibition title comes from its signature piece, “The Welcome Guest” (2011), Piccinini’s most recent creation, which recalls Goethe’s statement, ‘Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest.’ The artist explains that this work “reflects on the beauty and strangeness of nature.” In this compelling sculptural grouping, a fleshy mutant creature embraces a cute little girl as a graceful peacock looks on from atop an icy perch. Here Piccinini asks: Who will we become as technology refashions the relationship between people and the natural world? Other works in the exhibition elaborate on what kinds of emotional connections could emerge between us and the strange yet vulnerable life forms our science may yet create.  See the show from November 5th – December 7th, 2011 at Conner Contemporary Art.

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Todd Knopke

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ToddKnopke

Todd Knopke weaves strange and wonderful quilts with heavy  titles like “A Powerful Force,” “Stoner,” and “Conservation and Revelation (A Certain Solidity).” What?!  I love the top image, of shrouded woodland mystics proffering ancient staffs and unknown orbs in the midst of whitelight/white heat/energy. I want to wrap my (technically) unborn black metal son in it while I sing him Sabbath to sleep! Who says quilting bees are just for fussy old ladies! Knopke’s sewn tableuxs shred! (Literally!)

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Olivia Locher

Olivia Locher might just be 21 years old but her photography has a level of sophistication that you don’t often see at such a young age. Creating layered and complex narratives Olivia takes us on a surreal journey where young girls are stacked in corners like dolls, marshmallows are stuffed down your pants, and pretty girls and pretty flowers are wrapped in plastic to keep them beautiful for eternity.

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Silviu & Irina Székely

Surreal collages and montages by creative duo Silviu & Irina Székely.

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Katerina Kamprani’s Uncomfortably-Designed Objects Make Your Life Worse, Not Better

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Good design is supposed to make life easier. Ideally, it’s beautiful, intuitive, and useful. This can be said for things like Apple products, for instance, but the same doesn’t apply to Katerina Kamprani’s The Uncomfortable project. The architect has applied the exact opposite principles to objects such as forks, watering cans, and rain boots.  Instead of helping improve our lives, they make it harder but being oddly contorted, ill-placed, and out of the wrong materials. This includes hairy dishes, a cement umbrella, and steps that lead to nowhere (paired with a door you can’t enter).

Kamprani (also known as KK) ponders if these designs are vindictive, or perhaps a helpful study of everyday objects. Her goal was to make them uncomfortable (hence the name) but technically usable and to maintain the essence of the original item. While they aren’t totally unusable, they certainly won’t improve your life. (Via La Monda)

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Daniel Kornrumpf’s Stitched Reality

Daniel Kornrumpf doesn’t use or acrylic or oil to paint his photo realistic portraits but rather wields thread and needle to create these richly layered and brilliantly colored portraits. Daniel doesn’t miss a beat capturing every line, curve, shadow, and hair one stitch at a time.

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