Kashiwa Sato’s identity system for Fuji Kindergarten is probably the cutest AND awesome-est piece of branding I have seen for a while… but maybe that could be the heart-melting candid photos of the totally adorable toddlers running around. Who knows, if I had begun my educational journey here instead, maybe I would have turned out to be a whole different human being… I think this kindergarten is the equivalent of the High School #9 for the Visual and Performing Arts by architect firm Coop Himmelblau because of the complete wholeness the design + architecture. Just looking at it makes me want to learn (!!)
Tomorrow night Guerrero Gallery opens their 7th show with a solo presentation of long time BD favorite Aaron Noble, and a project space offering from tinkerer of texts, Greg Lamarche. More images and proper info below.
Photographer Kenji Shibata‘s latest exhibit, “Locked in the ether,” is full of contradictions. The flowers he photographs are dead but their last breaths are immortalized in ice. They’re floating in limbo, lost somewhere ineffable, blushing still with color and life.
Shibata arranges them carefully within their icy tombs, with as much care as any botanist would. Choreographed by an expert hand, the flowers become more than themselves: alien landscapes, abstract smears of color, stunning centerpieces veiled by frost.
Yet as tenderly as he gave them new life, Shibata also lets the ice thaw. He photographs the blossoms’ descent, depicting them as vulnerable, exposed, dying once more. It’s elegant but also a little tragic. It’s gorgeous maybe because it’s ephemeral — the transition from vibrant summer to autumn to a long, quiet winter.
Robbie Augspurger’s halo-framed, serious soft lit yearbook style photos of meta-mockingly universal avant-garde hipsters kind of look like every kid I went to art school with. Alone, meditative, satirically pleased in their undulous Alanis Morisette-induced irony, they hold symbols of their trade. Cheap beer, American Apparel headbands, bushy beards, outmoded key-tars, bad/good sunglasses (including post-op laser eye surgery senior citizen style & your weird Uncle’s shades) and Bill Cosby sweaters. You know the type. I can’t explain why simple headshots of people who look like extras in a Miranda July/Michael Cera movie, done in tasteful/tasteless late 80’s/early 90’s Kodachrome, are so endlessly amusing. But they are. Robie also does wedding portraiture. Fitting though, right?
Sybille Paulsen is a fiber artisan and designer who crafts beautiful and symbolic artifacts from human hair. As she writes on her website, “Hair is a unique and enchanting material that evokes a lot of sentiment” (Source) — as part of our physical identities, it is integral to the way we see and understand ourselves, and as it grows it signifies both personal change and transformation.
The loss of one’s hair as a result of chemotherapy is a devastating change, representative of the emotional and physical trauma of the disease. To try and help people understand this loss, Sybille has embarked on a project to turn the hair of cancer patients into beautiful necklaces. The project is called Tangible Truths, plural because it refers to the diverse experiences of each woman enduring illness and treatment, “tangible” as it transforms abstract pain — the loss of hair — into a touchable, wearable art piece imbued with sentiment and hope. As Sybille writes:
“The loss creates something new and the helplessness is juxtaposed against a tangible artefact. This object can be the introduction to an exchange of difficult feelings that are otherwise hard to communicate.” (Source)
Lisa Alonzo’s sugary technique obscures a dark symbolic core. The images are beautiful and the technique is divine. In fact, the technique is a refinement of one of the high points of Modern painting, Pointillism, and Alonzo adds another, almost hysterical layer to Seurat’s Le Grande Jatte, by combining the beauty of Pointillism’s ballet of color with the designer frosting florets of a confectioner. According to the press release from Claire Oliver Gallery, that excess of beauty, when compared with the otherwise violent or mundane subjects, a hand grenade, a gun, a beer can, is a critique aimed at consumer desire. As a painter who has often struggled with acrylic painting, I was really impressed by the freshness of these paintings. You can see Lisa Alonzo’s new work at Claire Oliver until April 26th. Photos courtesy of Claire Oliver Gallery.