Channeling the ghost of Jackson Pollock’s organically composed (not composted!) abstractions, French artist Frédéric Delangle creates densley layered abstract photographs of the insides of compost bins. Part hippie chic and part ab-ex, Delangle’s images take the eco-friendly and the familiar and transform it into piles of abstract goodness!
Conceptual artist Can Pedekmir creates digital portraits of imaginary creatures. According to the bio on his website, he works on the “deformation of human and animal body using various methodologies,” one of which he lists as applying “mathematical equations.” Other methodologies seem to include using hair. Lots of hair.
Pekdemir’s portraits are in stark black and white and appear like artifacts from an alternate dimension. His subjects are creatures with no distinguishable features; instead, their faces and entire heads are coiffed, tangled masses of hair and other biomatter. The result looks something like Where the Wild Things Are by way of Edward Gorey. Alternatively, it’s as though an entire forest undergrowth developed sentience and decided to pose for some erstwhile photographer.
Pekdemir’s work was featured most recently at the Unseen Photo Fair in Amsterdam, which ended late last month. He’s listed as a photographer, which only serves to highlight the eerie surreal quality of his art. Part photography and part elaborate fiction, his work blurs the lines between what is and what could be. (via Hi-Fructose)
The costliest natural disaster ($285 billion) ever recorded by the world bank, an earthquake called Tokohu and Tsunami in the northeastern prefecture of Japan, is the inspiration behind the behemouth watercolor paintings of Hiroshige Kagawa. Spanning 54 feet across and 17 feet high, the artist began devoting his time and energy four years ago to making these works and remembering that fateful day March 11th, 2011. Prior, Kagawa had spent his time creating large scale canvases of solar systems and enchanted forests. After the disaster he had a clearer vision of where he wanted to go and for the last several years worked on three large scale Tokohu memorial paintings featuring affected areas.
“Fukushima” depicts the now abandoned structure of the Tedco nuclear reactor. Done in an eerily twisted metal hue it peers inside the demolished building. What we don’t see is the meltdown of nuclear waste leaking into the ocean. A solution which has yet to be solved. Next in Kagawa’s series is the skeletal remains of a building in Minamisanriku Miyagi Prefecture a town that got wiped out. The building currently only a metal shell appears to be in an abandoned wheat field where people once lived and worked. Illuminated by an orange hue it eventually turns into something else which might appear on a hot imaginary planet near the sun.
A snowy scene of ruins accounts for the third piece. The part of Japan hit by the disaster is known for long brutal winters and Kagawa’s painting metaphorically references nuclear or atomic winter. The term is usually associated with nuclear warfare, where the fall out from bombs turns into a radioactive soot affecting the stratosphere and sun’s ability to promote the healthy growth of plants. When the earthquake struck the whole island moved 8 feet and the earth itself was moved off its axis by a few centimeters. There is still debris from the Tsunami floating onto US waters today four years later. (via Spoon & Tamago)
I may be a little late on the band-wagon, but I couldn’t not post about Keith Tyson’s solo exhibition at the Blum & Poe gallery, it’s way too good. The buildings large brick structure and Tyson’s sizable work are the perfect combination. The height and natural lighting in the gallery space is awe-inspiring.
This exhibition includes three bodies of Tysons work: Nature Paintings, Operator Paintings and Studio Wall Drawings. All three projects explore the “paradoxes about the nature of being” and touch upon the overwhelming link between humans and the complex systems that are constantly surrounding us. My personal favorite is Tyson’s Operator Paintings. For this project he utilizes mathematical theories and cosmological systems as a basis for his illustration, calling attention to the limitations and differences between two disparate forms of communication: math and art.
In her series, Real American Beauty, photographer and filmmaker Liza Mandelup invites us to follow her on a challenge to define the word Beauty. Throughout the series, we travel with Mandelup to different regions of the country where she exposes each place for its own unique glamor.
The first episode takes us to Mr @ Ms Hair Studio in South Central, LA. Here we meet a group of women who speak about their time spent getting dolled up as therapeutic revival. The second episode brings us to a prom focused suburb in Long Island, New York. There we meet a town of mothers obsessed with their daughters’ ability to fit in. In the third, most recent episode, we are introduced to a boxing community of young Cuban men in Miami, FL. The members yearn to look tough and to stand out (and believe they can do so with the perfect hair cut).
Through her short documentary series, Mandelup stimulates us to question if there is such thing as a singular beauty. Her work hints that the notion of beauty is in no way universal. Her series conveys to us that, possibly, our perceptions of beauty are ingrained in us no differently than our senses of right and wrong. Maybe our aesthetic prerogatives are just as complicated as any other set of ideologies. Here we see that the concept of style is just as vastly extensive as identity itself. Perhaps Liza Mandelup is showing us that the word “beauty” has itself become obsolete.
There is a place between here and there that exists, but doesn’t prefer being pointed to on a map; that is where Birgit Dieker exists. Each piece talks about humans and their well-being, while telling us that none of this is real. The world is falling apart, and, because of Dieker’s work, we understand the value of the crumbs and sheddings.
In the Mexican city of Monterrey, where the over development of newly built suburbs affect peoples daily lives and customs, there is a large bridge spanning Highway 85. On that bridge Alejandro Cartagena pointed his camera down at the morning traffic. He was seeking and peeking into the backs of open trucks, where construction workers often pile together on their way to earn a living. Like commuters everywhere, they sleep, eat, read and talk on their way to work. Often they look up, and maybe they notice someone taking their picture.
The shape of the tall, narrow pictures mimics a long stretch of highway, and conjures up the journey’s forward motion. Lined up in rows, each pictures a different vehicle, a different load of human cargo, and truck after truck; they suggest the relentless drive to stay alive.