There is a reason why Amy Bennett‘s paintings look like dioramas. In fact, it is part of her process to build miniature dioramas of various scenarios before the painting process begins. When completed, these miniature constructions are used as models for the pieces you see here. The paintings, she says, are “glimpses of a scene or fragments of a narrative. Similar to a memory, they are fictional constructions of significant moments meant to elicit specific feelings.”
This arduous process is perhaps a way to reconstruct the process of memory making itself. When we construct memories, we are feeling and living that specific moment. When we are trying to reenact or recall that memory, it all feels distant, blurry, and small. In this case, the painter’s initial construction (the physical building of the diorama) and re-constrution of it (trough painting) mirrors this process.
I am interested in storytelling over time through repeated depictions of the same house or car or person, seasonal changes, and shifting vantage points. Like the disturbing difficulty of trying to put rolls of film in order several years after the pictures have been taken, my aim is for the collective images to suggest a known past that is just beyond reach.
Robbie Augspurger’s halo-framed, serious soft lit yearbook style photos of meta-mockingly universal avant-garde hipsters kind of look like every kid I went to art school with. Alone, meditative, satirically pleased in their undulous Alanis Morisette-induced irony, they hold symbols of their trade. Cheap beer, American Apparel headbands, bushy beards, outmoded key-tars, bad/good sunglasses (including post-op laser eye surgery senior citizen style & your weird Uncle’s shades) and Bill Cosby sweaters. You know the type. I can’t explain why simple headshots of people who look like extras in a Miranda July/Michael Cera movie, done in tasteful/tasteless late 80’s/early 90’s Kodachrome, are so endlessly amusing. But they are. Robie also does wedding portraiture. Fitting though, right?
The drawings of Sasha Zivkovic present office workers existing in strange, dystopian universes. He uses various art historical styles and sources to create allegorical transformations. Everyday working life is presented within frameworks such as religious symbolism, zoological observation, and ethnographic documentation. Detailed pencil drawings create zoological mini-habitats with strange medieval perspectives that feel at once displaced and at home in their cubicles and board rooms.
Italian fashion photographer Lucia Giacani’s series Under My Skin shows just what kind of editorial liberties are taken in this interesting-yet-bizarre photoshoot. Originally shot for Vogue Italy, the colorful images feature a high-fashion model clothed in gorgeous garments while she dons unconventionally-colored makeup. It complements the props used in the photo; surrounding her are medical anatomy of the animal kingdom. Rabbits, goats, and chickens are all halved so we can see their insides.
Giacani’s photographic style is very clear and visual. Nothing is hidden in obscurity, and we see a lot of interesting details in the spotlight. The juxtaposition of the two main elements – the woman and the anatomy – creates a strange narrative. It makes us ask ourselves questions, like, who is this person? How do the two seemingly disparate subjects relate to one another? It’s this ambiguity that makes for a compelling and ultimately unforgettable image. (Via Illusion)
In Japanese artist Erika Yamashiro paintings and drawings pretty angelic girls live in a fantasy world full of small cuddly critters and magical mushrooms. These worlds are where young girls go to escape reality and find the place that they inhabit in their sleep.
Inspired by singularities, LHC and other high science, Ryan Wallace creates complex abstract images based on visual data. Nerdy? Yes. Completely beautiful? Also, Yes. Keep an eye out on this young New Yorker. Upcoming projects include a group show @ Cinders, a solo exhibitions @ Morgan Lehman, and a curatorial endeavor @ Raid Projects LA.