Sculptor Beth Cavener Stichter carves dramatic, expressive human-size animals from clay which exhibit the extremes of human characteristics and emotions. She has goats, wolves, lambs, snakes and rabbits display acts of greed, betrayal and jealousy. Using the malleable nature of clay, Stichter produces wonderfully sensitive pieces loaded with drama and theatricality.
In her latest series Four Humors, she takes a theory developed by the Ancient Greeks which describes what a psychologically healthy human body should look like. The Four Humors were black bile, yellow bile, phlegm and blood. If a body had too much of any of these substances, then that would correspond to a personality deficiency. Stichter says she was intrigued that people could be evaluated solely by the amount of liquid they contained in their bodies. Stichter explores multiple base theories and ideas in her work. She goes on to say:
There are primitive animal instincts in our own depths, waiting for the chance to slide past a conscious moment. The sculptures I create focus on human psychology, stripped of context and rationalization, and articulated through animal and human forms. On the surface, these figures are simply feral and domestic individuals suspended in a moment of tension. Beneath the surface they embody the impacts of aggression, territorial desires, isolation, and pack mentality. (Source)
See if you can recognize yourself in more of her sculptures after the jump. (Via Art Fucks Me)
Christophe Gilbert is a photography magician if not a full on Sorcerer. From sewing lips onto little kids to creating evening gowns with buckets of paint there isn’t much Christophe can’t pull off without a camera and a little help from our friend the computer.
Photographer Claire Rosen uses self portraiture as a way to transport the viewers into a world of fairytales. Through her aptly named series Fairy Tales and other Stories, she creates fantastical worlds where the isolated subjects surround themselves with scenes of nature, piles of books, and more. Often, their faces are obscured in the darker, more introspective version of these classic stories.
Rosen’s work mirrors her unconscious, and she explains in her artist statement:
Inside my dreams, I am someone else. I create characters, like alter egos, presented as recognizable archetypes. The figure inside the image often looks away from the viewer, the face hidden by the turn of the body or by a mask. I hope that the viewer will imagine themselves inside fairytale, and interpret the narrative of the image as one might interpret a fairytale, searching for hidden meeting inside the story.
This series speaks to living in the 21st Century, a time when we are constantly bombarded with noise, information and moving images. Still imagery, by contrast, allows us to shut out the noise and hear ourselves. I use photography to both escape and convey the overwhelming nature of our modern reality.
The pastoral setting of this work recalls a simpler time, while reminding us of humanity’s attempt to conquer the enormity of nature. I draw on themes in classic fairytales – beauty, chastity, and passivity – not as a comment on post-feminism, but as an expression of a more universal experience. My aim with the use of folklore is to suggest the continuity of the human condition: outside, the physical world changes with dizzying speed; inside, our cerebral world remains timeless.
Brazilian artist Rodrigo Torres creates intricate collages by combining bank notes collected from around the world. Beautiful and painstakingly detailed, they are visually arresting and require a closer look. The ones I find most interesting single out common themes found within a variety of notes, such as crowds, portraits, and buildings/architecture, and showcase unexpected similarities between multiple countries’ approaches to currency design. In Rodrigo’s portrait collage, he positions heads to the right or left, with those silhouettes facing directly to the side seated at each respective end. The majority of head positions are in varying degrees of ¾ perspective; very few bank note portraits seem to face directly forward. Most notes are monochromatic, but differ on the single color used; this in turn creates an aesthetically pleasing rainbow effect. It’s uncanny to see a multiplicity of notes side by side in this constructed context. Despite countless cultural, historical, and environmental differences in nations around the world, their money appears strikingly similar.
Torres’s has been selected by Art Basel Switzerland to be featured in the month’s Art Feature sector in Switzerland, which runs June 14 – June 17.
Shaun Berke is one of the most skilled artists I’ve ever met. And when I saw a Rembrandt master-copy he created for a group show, I instinctively knew that he must have had some really insane pieces hiding out in his studio. So, I took the trip out to his place, where he pulled out one amazing print after another. He had woodcuts that were as masterful as anything by Albert Dürer as well as an entire book he made for his thesis project at Art Center that was full of pop culture references you wouldn’t realize he was initially inspired by. The fact that he can execute everything from a classical painting to graphic design work is kind of unheard of. There are those who can do one or the other, but very rarely anyone who can do it all, and do it all remarkably well. In particular though, I really wish Shaun continues to make some more woodcuts, since I haven’t seen an artist do anything close to what he’s doing with the medium due to his level of detail and depth of narrative. I mean, some of his pieces have entire books that go along with them featuring mythologies he’s created based upon heavy research.
A couple of weeks ago, we featured Mark Licari on the B/D blog, and the response was so positive that we decided to catch up with the man himself and ask him some questions about his work, squids, and life in LA. Licari’s world is full of sea creatures, crawling bugs, exploding volcanoes, and the degenerative force that turns a clean room into a big fat mess. In addition to his vibrant works on paper, elaborate lithographs, and hilarious sculptures, he also creates dramatic wall drawings that will make you ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ like a little kid. His show at the Monterey Museum of Art is on view through February 14th, so go check it out!
Multimedia artist Gavin Worth uses steel wire and rods to sculpt beautifully minimal forms and figures that look like they were sketched in the air. 3D representations of 2D conceptual drawings, each of Worth’s sculptures portray human forms and silhouettes, with careful attention paid to the details of these “illustrations.” His large scale portraits of faces that depict thirsty visages are perhaps his most detailed and deliberate constructions. For these, Worth sought to convey an emotional anxiety through the sculpted faces. Of his work, Worth writes,
By bending black wire into something of freestanding line drawings, I create sculptures that engage the viewer by involving them in their subtle changes. When the light in the room shifts, so does the mood of the piece. A breeze might softly move an arm. My wire sculptures tell stories of simple human moments: a woman adjusting her hair, a face gazing from behind tightly wrapped arms, a mother gently cradling her baby. The honest, unguarded moments are the ones that I find to be the most beautiful.
No this image was not computer generated. The rainbow was manually made with 5,000 Pantone color chips glued onto wood boards. The project focused on promoting Pantone color guide books to art college students and faculty, and to convince them that Pantone has the most color selection for their printing guidance. To grab their attention, they re-created a rainbow (8 meter in length and height of 4.5 meters) consisting of Pantone color chips in the middle of college’s park. Pretty rad.