If you didn’t make it out to Erik Yahnker’s show at Seattle’s Ambach&Rice gallery make sure to visit the galleries site for some images from the show. Erik’s latest body of work does not disappoint mixing his trademark mastery of drawing with his hilarious and gruesome sense of humor. My favorite piece has to be Helen Keller Joke #4. More images after the jump.
Through the use of bright color, spray paint, and clever distortions, Atlanta based artist Christina West’s work puts a fun, humorous and contemporary spin on a classical aesthetic. West sculpts busts and full figures that begin as traditional looking white ceramic pieces, yet are matched with moments of almost ice cream cake or jawbreaker like slices. Her process begins as the classic method of creating a casted sculpture does; she creates her portraits based on a desire for likeness. However, once the piece comes out of the mold, West gives herself a freedom to play and likeness no longer becomes her purpose. Instead, she aims to, as stated in the gallery statement for her upcoming show at CG2 gallery in Nashville, TN, “highlight the alienation that I inevitably feel with others because their thoughts and feelings are inaccessible; I can never be in another head as completely as i am in my own” (source). Her work tends to highlight poses and facial expressions of distress or discomfort, allowing her work to, as she states, nod to an existential notion of being, of confusion, isolation and, perhaps more simply, just being human. However, it is her parings of neons and day glows that take the heaviness and maybe overtly dramatized nature of sculptures such as these, and transform these works into something relatable. It is their absurdity that makes them more human, more relevant. West’s works takes a traditional type of sculpture and truly makes it fun and beautiful, but perhaps more importantly, absolutely her own. (via Juxtapoz)
Chau Har Lee. “Blade Heel,” 2010. Perspex, stainless steel, leather. Courtesy of Chau Har Lee. Photo: Jay Zukerkorn
Noritaka Tatehana. “Atom,” 2012–13. Faux leather. Courtesy of Noritaka Tatehana. Photo: Jay Zukerkorn
Winde Rienstra. “Bamboo Heel,” 2012. Bamboo, glue, plastic cable ties. Courtesy of Winde Rienstra. Photo: Jay Zukerkorn
Iris van Herpen X United Nude. “Beyond Wilderness,” 2013. Courtesy of United Nude. Photo: Jay Zukerkorn
“Killer Heels,” a new exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, traverses the decades from the 17th century up to now, displaying iconic shoes such as Marilyn Monroe’s stilettos alongside modern 3D-printed heels by designer Iris van Herpen. Needless to say, these heels put the “haute” in “haute couture,” one of them featuring 8-inch stilettos that forces the wearer on her toes. Another, a pair of Manchu platform shoes, look almost like jeweled music boxes set on pedestals.
Over the years, high heels have become a complex and controversial symbol, by turns fetishized and reviled. To explore this complexity, the 160 pairs in the exhibit are diverse. On the classical end of the spectrum, French shoes from the late 17th century are modest, with muted colors and crafted from silk and leather. Some heels are more whimsical, like the bright red “Eamz” by Rem D. Koolhaas, which brings to mind the plush vinyl of stools at a soda fountain. The Block Heel from Balenciaga strikes a more classic pose, looking infinitely wearable next to the elegant but tortured lines of Walter Steiger’s “Unicorn Tayss.”
According to Lisa Small, who organized and curated the exhibit, the heels are “difficult aesthetically or meant to be making different kinds of statements rather than the prototypical sexy stiletto.”
Killer Heels elevates the high heel to something more than an accessory. Museum-goers will contemplate its cultural identity, form, and function. They will marvel at the various incarnations from pump to peeptoe. And, upon leaving the exhibit, they will breathe a sigh of relief and thank the powers that be for the invention of the humble sneaker.
The exhibit will be on display until February 15, 2015. Visit the Brooklyn Museum online for directions and details regarding admission and museum hours.
Can video games be art? If you ask me, I’d say “Yep,” and I’m sure you would be hard-pressed to find anyone under 30 who would say “Nope”. I just asked because you still have people like this, but he also thought this, so he’s not very credible now is he. Anyway, we’ve got a couple of games (BNPJ.exe and Mansion) created by the versatile Tabor Robak available for free download.
Mansion (2010) didn’t really do much for me, and it seems like a warm-up for Tabor. BNPJ.exe (2011), on the other hand, is certainly more developed, but still a bit too linear. He does insure that BNPJ.exe will be viewed as an attempt at art simply because he wraps most of these strange worlds in famous paintings. Frankly, I am not fond of this tendency in contemporary art to reference itself as a safety net, but I don’t believe it is a primary aspect of the game. I admit it is hard to judge, because the criteria for games is far different than the criteria for art, but sometimes you should just have a good time and resist assessing the shit out of something. BNPJ.exe is not without its moments of beauty though, and when I came upon this image directly below I was insured of a promising future (I did come upon this in a non-linear fashion, and it took me multiple tries to find it). I don’t know of any similar types of “art games”, and I think Tabor Robak could really create something powerful with his next game. I know I’ll being waiting in anticipation to see where he takes these “art games”, and I’m curious to hear what you dudes think about these interactive experiments.
Cuban-American artist Cesar Santos thoughtfully blends disparate styles and elements in a series he calls “Syncretism.” Santos’ amalgamations present representations from Renaissance, Modern, Classic, and Contemporary work, all blended together to create a pastiche of imagery. While combining genres, forms, and time periods is not a necessarily unique approach, it is Santos’ execution that is most impressive. Skilled technically in multiple painting styles, Santos is able to render images that appear uncannily similar to their references. Recontextualizing these images demonstrates the evolution of painting techniques while maintaining the universality and persistence of particular themes.
“I develop a painting by first working on an idea in a sketchbook, a simple drawing. Then I go to Photoshop and start composing the painting. In a way it’s [how] a classical artist would do it: constructing a color study. Once I have everything composed, tweaking the colors, it will almost look like the final piece. Using oils on linen, I go about painting that image. During the process things change. When I start applying the colors, I start with a raw umber underpainting, and block it in with local color. Even though I’m using modern tools, the process is very classical.” (via juxtapoz)