Los Angeles naive Andrew Hem paints epic, supernatural scenes that use color and movement to create moments of the otherworldly. His paintings are utterly breathtaking and feature a true knowledge of color theory and master a saturation that runs similar to the impressionist works of 19th century Europe. His treatment of flesh and rounded rendering of the human body is reminiscent of an Eastern aesthetic — creating ties with his Cambodian heritage. His vibrant figurative work holds similar notes to the powerful paintings of Dana Schutz; both painters using a pastiche of painterly traditions to create works that are undoubtedly contemporary and unmistakeable their own — their paintings hold no boundaries due to the sheer talent they hold as painters. Hem’s work is alluring and demanding. He brings his viewer around the world, creating works that depict scenes from Asia, South America and the United States. Each piece captures a moment of pause and perhaps, even enlightenment. There is a true essence of ethereal energy within these works. For example, his pieces such as Igloolik, Close to the Edge, Lost and Found and Civic show bodies in motion, unnatural flotation. There is a fairytale like element in his work — like each painting is a new scene within a story about Hem’s fantastical life. Experiencing the work of Hem is like peering into the unknown, maybe witnessing something sacred and hidden from the common eye.
It’s pretty fun discovering the fetus shapes in each of these sangria colored pieces of wrinkled fabric. I know, that probably sounds weird but Canan Cengel really deserves all praises for her eye on detail, creating the perfect positioning and shadowing for her aptly titled project: f. Check the rest below.
Swedish artist Michael Johansson is the Tetris master of art. His brilliant assemblages of found objects such as books, luggage and other everyday materials into tight geometric shapes is absolutely brilliant. Filling empty spaces in buildings, between shipping containers and entrances, Johansson transforms voids into color coordinated shapes of wonder. (via)
I kind of love Edwin Rostron’s animated short, Morris and the Other. It reminds me of a more horrifying version of The Origin of Love, which I may or may not have played on repeat in my dorm room way back when. Anyway, I have no idea how to explain this video but the artist describes it as, “a hypnotic tale of frustration and desire, lovingly drawn in 2B pencil.” Works for me. Also: which one is Morris? I feel like the Other might be the ethereal floating diamond/kite. Maybe.
Another animation by Rostron after the cut.
Our dear friend Jeff over at Booooooom recently launched a cool new interactive project for all his readers- he will be making a viral music video for the band Choir of Young Believers, comprised ENTIRELY of footage submitted by YOU! Get all the details on how to enter here.
I’m pretty into his “idea checklist”:
A-Z Idea Checklist – Feel free to use all or none of these ideas:
a) interpretive dance (i hope some of you go this direction)
b) costumes (elaborate or subtle)
c) sunrise, sunset
d) face paint
e) an open field (corn or otherwise)
g) find all the instruments and perform the song correctly
h) fake everything
i) cinéma vérité (move the camera! go wild!)
j) build elaborate sets (or film it all under a blanket on your bed)
l) literal or magical
m) perform on a rooftop (a building not a car… well its up to you)
n) paper mache
o) temporary tattoos
q) cardboard and duct tape
t) in the mall food court
v) beautiful people or ugly people
w) smoke machine
y) lens flares
I have to say my favorites would have to be a, b, d, l, r, and, quite obviously (everyone knows my penchant for facial hair here), Z!
Berlin-based artist Ivan Prieto sculpts colorful figures whose very existence seems to be burdened by their own body. In his 2014 exhibition titled Icarus, a cast of characters pepper the gallery, each with their own affliction. One lean figure has an intrusive rock growing from its skull. Another is armless and has its torso wrapped in large red coils. As a whole, the group is beautiful yet tragic.
The name of the exhibition could give us some clue about these character. It refers to the Greek mythological story about Icarus, the son of Daedalus who dared to fly too near to the sun on wings of feathers and wax. Before takeoff, his father warns of him of having hubris and requested that he not fly too low or high because the sea’s dampness would clog his wings while the sun’s heat would melt them. Since he flew too near, his wings melted and he fell into the sea.
Like their namesake, there’s a sense of these characters suffering physical consequences for their choices, be them foolish or misguided. You feel for Prietro’s sculptures, because they could be any of us.
All photos by Justyna Fedec.
Benoit Paillé has been attending Rainbow Family Gatherings for seven years, allowing him incredible access to communities that traditionally do not permit photography. Paillé’s extensive chronicles span continents and offer a softly lit view of gatherings in Canada, Spain and Mexico. Each photo captures relaxed — and quite beautiful — subjects in a world we wouldn’t ordinarily see.
Portland-based artist Matt Hall creates mixed media assemblages and large-scale ink on paper drawings. He explores the connections between historic perceptions and our sense of wonder with the natural world. As a child, Hall was fascinated with the ability of birds to fly, fish to breathe underwater and other amazing animal abilities. Hall’s work incorporates animal parts with other found objects, sketches and notes in an attempt to re-create, analyze, and pay homage to the seemingly magical powers of animals.
There is also a keen interest in death in Hall’s work. A piece with a snake and a mouse is most obviously about predator and pretty. The title, however, Mithraicism, refers to the practice of inoculating a person against poison by administering non-lethal amounts. The piece becomes a metaphor, or sorts, whereby you can’t be immune to death.
As written in Ampersand Gallery’s press release about their last exhibition with Hall, “[his] finely detailed assemblages bring to mind the dioramas & curiosity cabinets of natural history museums, yet on a deeper level they allude to the ritualistic strangeness of reliquaries, thereby serving as an intersection where notions of religion, science, folklore & quackery collide with the artist’s imagination.” Exquisitely detailed, the animal parts in Hall’s assemblages have been broken and put back together. Hall uses found road kill as the basis for his works. Evoking the spiritual practices of animalistic religious whereby interaction with animal parts was thought to transfer magical and totemic powers, Hall is creating both object and mythology.