Never were there lovelier tortured souls. Wisconsin-born and University of Wisconsin at Madison-trained artist Melissa Cooke works primarily in powdered graphite and often casts herself as the subject of her drawn musings. Striking in both subject matter and detail, her creations explore themes of violence, sexuality, and identity. The nuances of story and emotion evoked are powerful, often unsettling. All of this is made by the artist’s skillful hand, guiding her dry brush across thin layers of graphite on sizeable pieces of paper.
I love these installations by New York based artist Heide Fasnacht. Fasacht captures the beauty in catastrophe with her intricate, freeze-frame sculptures. They’re so detailed that I think I must be looking at a movie still, rather than something three-dimensional, something I can hold in my hands.
Whoa, seriously psychedelic work from artist Tofer Chin. I’m not always the biggest fan of all things Op-Art, but I really like the way Tofer pushes the boundaries of a somewhat tired act. In particular, his “Discus Thrower” caught my eye as being an especially impressive and imaginative reinterpretation of both a traditional piece of art, and an avant-garde style of painting. His show “Alex” closes tomorrow at Fecal Face in San Francisco, so go quickly before it’s too late!!
Through the tradition of collage Alexander Korzer Robinson pursues his personal obsession in creating miniature narrative scenes. The use of antique books, he believes, makes his work at once an exploration and a deconstruction of nostalgia. Alexander is interested in the idea of how we construct our own memories of the past from fragments of reality. He sees memory as a process that combines the willful aspects of remembering and forgetting with the coincidental and unconscious.
Before Alexander begins to work on a new piece certain boundaries are predetermined through the literature in which he uses. Through his process he aims to transform the meaning of this preexisting material. The encyclopaedia becomes a window into an alternate world, much like lived reality becomes its alternate in remembered experience. These books, having been stripped of their utilitarian value by the passage of time, regain new purpose. They are no longer tools to learn about the world, but rather Alexander sees them as a means to gain insight into our memory process.
Alexander’s book sculptures are made by working through a book, page by page, cutting around some of the illustrations while removing others. The images seen in the finished work, are left standing in their original place.
Years ago, the American automotive industry was an unparalleled success not only in productivity, but also in the quality of their beautiful car designs. Unbeknownst to these automotive designers, they were also creating something beautiful that would last long after the processes they pioneered went extinct. Fordite (or Motor Agate, or Detroit Agate) as it has become known, was created by the process of hand-spraying cars with enamel-paint. A byproduct of the process, paint slag called “rough” was baked in the ovens, which hardened the automotive paint, creating layered slabs which crafty autoworkers realized could easily be polished, much like the naturally occurring agates they so resembled. Since this process has long been , these remaining stones have found a particular following, as they can never be created again.
Johnny Strategy, who documented much of the story for Colossal,writes, “Old car factories had a harmful impact on the environment, releasing toxic chemicals into the air, land and water. But it wasn’t all ugly. Oddly enough, one of the by-products of car production was Fordite, also known as Detroit agate. The colorful layered objects take their name from agate stones for their visual resemblance. But instead of forming from microscopically crystallized silica over millions of years, Fordite was formed from layers of paint over several tens of years. Back in the day, old automobile paint would drip onto the metal racks that transported cars through the paint shop and into the oven. The paint was hardened to a rock-like state thanks to high heats from the baking process. As the urban legend goes, plant workers would take pieces home in their lunch pails as a souvenir for their wife or kids.” (via mymodernmet, fordite.com, colossal)
These bizarre photographs by British artist James Ostrer feature himself and others covered in thick, sticky-looking layers of candy, frosting, and other junk food. Decadent edibles look hardened and become a strange replacement for conventional masks and armor.
Candy and sweets are often associated with joy, but looking at Ostrer’s work its hard to feel that way. They aren’t delightful, but are visceral. Frosting is slathered on haphazardly with licorice used to create outlines. Sometimes, the lines are droopy and it appears that the entire piece is melting. The result is a peculiar and unsettling group of photographs that speaks to the sickening amount of junk food we have available as well as a reinterpretation of the self portrait.
These photos are currently on display in his exhibition Wotsit All About at the Gazelli Art House in London through September 11th of this year.
Personally, if I had a name that sounded as much like a wizards as Merijn Hos, (here I am thinking of the grand Myrrdin Wyltt) I would never foresake it for an alias! Though, Bfree is also a righteous sentiment. Merijn can do no wrong! I love these playful, long-legged freckled characters that reminds me of 70’s scractch ‘n’ snuff stickers and Mr. Men. Straight from Utrecht, yo!
New York-based designer/illustrator/art director/what have you Mario Hugo is a talented guy. Working mostly in print, he creates work that utilizes his painting skills in a way that feels very sophisticated and contemporary. Mr. Hugo is also the co-owner of an artist management firm called Hugo & Marie.