Through elegantly beautiful works, Vandana Jain uses corporate logos and symbols, to study the effects of institutionalized repression. Her metaphor, an illusory philanthropy implies how corporations subliminally demoralize and enslave cultures. Her depiction manifests most commonly in an architectural setting, and through icons of religious nature including mandalas and totems. These logos are beautifully manipulated by Jain into mesmerizing works, that distract from the symbol’s intended purpose. Mostly working in installation, Jain engages all media in this format including drawing, sewing, painting and video. Her most recent project, “Dazzle” is the result of her residency at Brooklyn’s Smack Mellon. For the project, Jain created a series of murals, inspired by naval camouflage used during world war l. Before sonar, brightly colored lines were painted on warships in various patterns. These were used to confuse the enemy of a ship’s size, speed and direction. Jain applied the same technique to the huge interior walls of Smack Mellon. In colored artist’s tape, her familiar corporate logos are masked behind camouflage, which continues her conversation with the corrupt and exploitive nature of corporate brands. Her training as a textile designer comes through in the pattern making ability needed to make the walls come alive. The dazzling lines recall circus tents and opt art made in the 60’s and 70’s.
I’m guessing that most readers of this blog are familiar with New York-based artist Cory Arcangel. He is, as far as I can tell, one of the more famous artists currently creating work in that bizarre intersection of technology, low-brow Internet culture, and art. And while I’m a fan of his work in general, I also realize his stuff can be rather hit or miss. So I was happy when I recently revisited his site and discovered his most recent work: Drei Klavierstücke op. 11, which I rather like. The piece is a recreation of Arnold Schoenberg’s composition of the same name, entirely constructed from amateur YouTube clips of cats playing piano.
On Arcangel’s page documenting the project, you can read more about his technical process (it involved audio analyzing software and custom perl scripts), as well as listen to a comparison of an original recording of the piece by Glenn Gould alongside Arcangel’s result. The second two parts of the video are after the jump.
Belgian photographer Helmut Stallaerts transforms the mundane by selecting just one lonely specimen of out of the masses, turning it into his subject.
The space in Claudia Cortinez’s work is so convincing that it’s easy to imagine air whistling through the latticed forms. I can’t decide if these are space stations or awesome backyards, but either way I want to hang out there.
Matthias Männer was born in 1976 in Mitterteich, Germany. His organic-like figures are based on simple geometrical forms and are mostly prototypes or models for hypothetical monumental sculptures. On account of their dimensions, true execution would be utopian.
Lee Stoetzel carves fast food, life-size VW buses, vintage Mac computers, and even fine art from wood, recalling iconic objects, and ironically, examining worn-out symbols or ideas in contemporary art, initially cultivated from the likes of Chuck Close, Rube Goldberg, and Claes Oldenburg.
Whether its mesquite or cypress, each renewable resource favors sinewy flaws or wood marks that, according to Stoetzel, feel comparable to brush strokes, providing another layer of texture and pop of craftsmanship.
Check out the video of Stoetzel discussing his work in his studio and see a few more stills after the jump.
If you had a sad childhood and wanted to make art about it look no further. Urusla Sokolowska has already done it for you. Taking child-sized mannequins and projecting images of her young face onto to them she explores the displacement and alienation she felt as a kid immigrating to the US from her native Poland. In her series The Constructed Family her messages are subtly and darkly humorous. By placing the figure in locations which do not hold cheerful memories for Sokolowska, we are reminded that art does indeed have cathartic powers and is a positive way to confront our demons. Her locations speak for themselves; a basement, a lonely street corner, a neighbor’s house, an alleyway, a bed. These domestic scenes which provoke unhappy memories are powerfully done from the perspective of an innocent child. Displacement is a serious feeling and perhaps even worse for a child who doesn’t have much control over their situation.
In moody dim lit photos, Sokolowska projects what she remembers from that time. Titles give hints but to the observer it’s clearly obvious what she’s thinking. We always hear about happy childhoods or outright abusive childhoods. Rarely do we hear about sad childhoods caused by normal occurrences that happen to families every day. Sokolowska brings this new dynamic to life with her powerful thought provoking images.
Hong Kong based Kurt Lam’s site says that he is a fashion illustrator but his portfolio is full of illustrations that reference art nouveau, art deco, japanese scroll painting, and various modes of abstraction that defy traditional fashion illustration tropes and push the boundaries of the genre.