I don’t neccassirily associate Italy with Communism, so I was shocked to find so many hammer and sickle logos and graffiti in every single city that I traveled in. The above plaque is actually part of a Communist bulletin board that I ran into in a small town called Montepulciano in Tuscany. For those of you uber nerds New Moon was filmed there. The entire country was covered with political graffiti, stencils, and posters. It’s interesting because you don’t find too much of that in the states. Sure you’ll run into an occasional “stop the war” bumper sticker on a minivan but seeing so many hammer and sickle’s and anti-government slogans spray painted on thousand year old buildings gave Italy a surprising twist. Here’s a collection of some of my favorite finds.
I am really enjoying Jane Benson’s work. One series in particular of hers I find to be quite intriguing; The Chronicles of Narcissim. Its narrative takes a closer look at people’s preoccupation with material and identity transformation as well as the tension that exists between both the natural and the artificial form of beauty. Benson was born in Thornbury, England and lives in both London and New York.
We are enjoying some of New York based artist Austin Power’s recent work. His focus on the human expression, and his interest in wanting to fully understand another human being has us interact with his work by filling us up with empathy.
I have always enjoyed Kansas-based Chinese artist Hong Chun Zhang’s work, as I am also obsessed with hair. But her recent series of non-representational portraiture between Hong Chun Zhang and her twin sister is what I believe to be her best work so far. Charcoal drawings on long paper scrolls to accentuate the length and feel of their most noticeable characteristic.
Sean Fader’s background in performance had a heavy hand on the focus of his photography. His consistently conceptually strong pieces of work usually deal with the identity of his self, and the self perceived by those around him. What originally drew me into his work was his series, I Want To Put You On, where he explores the idea of becoming the people he personally admires.
Polish artist Pawel Althamer explores the fragility of the body through his sculptures, videos, and performances. His latest installment is called the Brondo People in which he portrays his rendition of Auguste Rodin’s The Burghers of Calais (circa 1889). His life sized sculptures represent himself and his family members. Althamer constructed Brondo People from hair, straw, intestine, and cloth-visceral materials. He is currently showing at the Gwangju Biennale.
If you noticed that I haven’t been blogging much it’s because I spent the last 2 weeks on vacation in Italy. Wifi was not always available so instead of blogging I spent my days snapping photos of various things of interest in a country that has some of the most amazing art and historical sites on earth. I’m still going through all the photos but in the meantime here’s a small collection of textures, surfaces, and dilapidated walls, doors and buildings from Rome, Florence, Tuscany, and Venice.
Eric Hibit’s work has often been described as being a breed of “New American Folk Baroque.” Hibit has a strong understanding of color and texture and this is evident in his collection of hand made and found objects. His work can be seen at the Eric Hibit: Picture Cohesion exhibit located in Washington, DC at the Curator’s Office.