At first glance at London-based Benedict Radcliffe’s work, I thought, “Oh, a computer generated drawing of a car…okay.” Then I immediately realize it is not as boring as I had first assumed! No! These are, full scale, actual wire-frame representations of a Lamborghini, Subaru, etc.
Charlie Roberts recent exhibition at Richard Heller showcased a contemporary double-take on old European salon style exhibitions. His subject matter sifts through the sheer availability and prevalence of, signs, symbols and iconographies present in today’s visual landscape. Roberts notes, “the groups of things isolated on blank pages started as a sort of excercise or study to ween my hand and eyes off using photographs to paint figures from in my paintings, and over time they became a end in themselves, a way to make a painting with out.” Organized in loose, self-devised groupings, in a pseudo-scientific faux-taxonomical manner Linnaeus would be proud of, Roberts draws parallels between hundreds of gestures and ideas. The result are images that look like they could be pulled straight from vintage Audobon Society botanical illustrations. Yet with titles and conglomerations of groups such as “NYC Hip Hop,” “Gang Bangin’,” and themes such as obsessive object collecting and Scientology, Roberts depicts not the wildlife of geographic and biological discovery, but bravely explores our digital, information-soaked New World.
Thordis Adalsteinsdottir‘s paintings combine pattern filled rooms with bizarre narrative scenes that will leave you thinking “what the hell is going on in this guys head?” Out of all the bizarre elements in Thordis’s work my favorite would have to be the hair. It looks like a blindfolded barber took a razor blade to the heads and only left 8 strands.
Often working within the realm of fairy-tales and folk-lore, artist Su Blackwell cuts out images from books to create three-dimensional dioramas. Her material is important to her. Interested in both the fragility and the strength of paper, as well as the conceptual depth of old books, Blackwell finds something both accessible and precarious in her method. Believing in the power of imagination (an avid reader herself) Blackwell transforms description into a version of enchanted reality—the story becomes another translation of the story.
She says of her works, “I tend to lean towards young-girl characters, placing them in haunting, fragile settings, expressing the vulnerability of childhood, while also conveying a sense of childhood anxiety and wonder. There is a quiet melancholy in the work, depicted in the material used, and the choice of subtle colour.”
A scene caught in time, presented as if it grew out of the book itself, Blackwell’s sculptures are fantasy turned reality, which still manage to feel like fantasy. There is precision, attention to detail and a feeling of diligence present in Blackwell’s pieces each functioning to further both the illusion and the veracity. Inciting wonder, curiosity and imagination all at once, Blackwell’s sculptures are like fantastic little worlds all unto themselves that a viewer feels lucky enough to catch a glimpse of.
In Rituals, the photographer Noorann Matties catalogs the strange, mystical moments between woman and mirror, capturing young ladies in private moments of self-preparation and styling. As her subjects stand barefaced before public and private mirrors, work in eyebrow pencil, lipgloss, and mascara, seemingly memorized by and in poignant discovery of their own features.
Shooting many of the women from behind so as to capture the self in dialogue her reflection, Matties seemingly preserves the innocence of the experience, allowing the girls to engage with themselves undisturbed and unaware of onlookers. These sacred rituals, haloed in early morning sunlight and fluorescent lightbulbs, celebrate the quiet moments before the start of the day. In the instant before her subjects present their faces to the public, Matties stops the clock, preserving the beautiful self-absorption afforded by secrecy.
The inconsistent, accidental lighting serves only to heighten the sensuality of individual skin and hair tones, textures, and shapes; a towel hangs, left over from the night before, and reflections distort serendipitously in still-wet shower doors, affording the photographs deeper psychological meanings.
The repetition of these rituals is expressed through careful self-examination and knowledge; these women have seemingly memorized the curves of their brows, the textures of their skin, the movement of hair moved effortlessly and invisibly into a bun. The poignancy of these photographs, then, lies in part in the efficiency of the grooming activities; to the voyeuristic viewer, these intimate seconds are precious; to the girls, they’re routine, automatic, forgotten until the next morning. Take a look at the series, originally published in Inconnu Magazine, below. (via BUST and Inconnu)
For the past five years, NYC based Akira Horikawa has been working on the “1000 Drawing Project.” In pocket size sketchbooks, he draws and reinterpret images that come into his mind, happenings, dreams, and any and all unusual events. Akira welcome the nonsense of the world with awe and documents it for all of us to enjoy. So head over to his blog and follow along as Akira makes drawing look easy and works towards his goal of 1000 drawings!