The series Genetic Portraits almost works as a casual study. Quebec based photographer Ulric Collette seamlessly blends the faces of two relatives to create one portrait that is hard to look away from. The resulting photographs highlight the differences an emphasize the similarities between siblings, children, parents, and cousins. It is nearly as if the images are a visualization of the genetic traits traveling between generations. Genetic Portraits is also an absorbing record of time’s effect on physical appearance. Eye s, for example, appear to be near exact copies between father and son, separated only by the wear of thirty years.
Margie Livingston’s work articulates the interaction between the architectural grid and the natural, organic world. Based on three–dimensional models that she builds in the studio, her paintings directly translate the phenomena of space, light, color and gravity upon these hybrid structures into lines and bands of color that hang seemingly suspended in space. Now, letting accident and discovery meet invention and experimentation, Livingston reverses her usual process, using paint to construct objects. Her new paint objects—built entirely from dots, strips, and skins of dried acrylic pigment investigate the properties of paint pushed into three dimensions and offer a compelling view into how the medium of paint can be used sculpturally. The sculpture featured above contains 62 layers of poured color going from dark to light.
I love the work of Laura Splan. She uses a combined knowledge of biological sciences and fine art to re-invent patterns and forms created by the human body. Because her work is closely linked to the biology of the human condition, it evokes an inherent discomfort. For me, this is most prevalent in “Purse #1”, a delicate evening bag constructed with remnant facial peels from her breast.
Photographer Eolo Perfido’s series Clownville is a place where nightmares are real. In this series, Perfido photographs a hodgepodge group of bloody, cackling, and all together demented-looking clowns. What makes this set of clowns so horrifying is the incredible attention to detail the photographer has taken into account when developing such a dark, desolate atmosphere. We are able to see each crusty hair on the clown’s body, every white, chalky flake of skin. They have become just as grotesque as they are unwanted. The clown, who can be thought about in a cheery, amusing way, is often a subject that many people fear. Among all of the classic, cult horror films lies the infamous and terrifying clown. It has been appropriated to suit every child’s nightmare. Still, there is something incredibly sad about the clown, even in some of the characters in Clownville. Although frightening, many of Perfido’s clown seem worn out and used, as if they are just misunderstood and unfortunate. This sense of hopelessness can be seen in the photograph exhibiting a fairly large-sized clown smoking on a couch. Another representation of this is found in the face of the big, teary-eyed clown staring straight into the viewer, with no smile. The entertainers are perhaps tired of entertaining us.
Eolo Perfido’s heavily stylized approach to photography is very apparent in his series Clownville. Many of his photos have a very staged look, almost like a play, while at the same time feeling genuine. Others have an old, classic flavor due to their grainy quality and black and white tones. There is something different that can be found in each clown as their creative make up and poses reveal bits of their character. As unnerving as this series may be, we cannot look away from these unforgettable, chilling faces.
Hilary Harnischfeger’s relief paintings and sculptures make me think of ancient topographic maps with a dab of Richard Diebenkorn tossed into the mix for good measure.
Abu-Bakarr Mansaray creates futuristic images using an aesthetic similar to blueprints. Engineering plays a large role in these works that lay out a design for space-like machines and hybrid alien-robot figures. His works are intricately constructed with scientific precision and laboring detail combining image and text. While these futuristic prototypes draft the structure of machines and figures, they also reveal an inner narrative of conflict, war, and turmoil. Blueprints are highly neat and organized, yet Mansaray chose to subvert this aesthetic and portray his vision as chaotic, powerful, and in motion as though they have a life of their own.
Chris Maynard‘s tools of trade include a scalpel, forceps, and a love for the literal art of flight. With a deft hand, he etches delicate shapes and patterns into shed feathers, transforming them into more than just a part of a whole. In doing so, he coaxes out the secret lives of birds.
“My work with feathers gives me a satisfying perch from which to view the world,” Maynard says in his artist’s bio.
Maynard’s art is nothing short of celebratory at times: Six feathers arranged with miniature songbirds in mid-flight. Others are a peek into the everyday life, such as a bisected feather yielding the tiny form of a robin working industriously on catching the early worm.
With the kind of precision needed for such minute knifework, each piece could have easily been sterile and dispassionate. Instead, they are each joyful in their own way, from the flurry of movement of a flock of birds circling a roost to the burst of sapphire blue on a peacock’s plume.
Though the feathers were discarded, shed, or forgotten by their previous owners, Maynard has given them new flight. (via This Is Colossal)
Combining photography, sheets of plastic, and sewing, French artist Cyril Le Van reproduces life-size three-dimensional objects. They include small things, like a Polaroid camera, and large things, like a car. Le Van photographs his subjects from all angles then pieces them together using a blanket stitch. The result is something that’s a deflated, vaguely real version of something that already exists.
A portion of Le Van’s work focuses on consumerism. He reproduces expensive Nike shoes, Rolex watches, leather jackets, and more. These things are a status symbol for those who own and wear them, and his uncanny duplicates take power away from its branding.
Another facet of the artist’s sculptures are based on economic and cultural exclusion. Le Van photographed shanty towns and installed them in a gallery setting. His intention is that it challenges the viewer’s awareness of issues like poverty, and forces them to ask questions like, “what are these, and who uses them?” This, along with a car buried in luggage and a motorcycle weighed down by belongings, shows the transient nature of not having a permanent place to live.