Danielle Julian Norton’s art is slightly horrifying and absolutely fascinating in all its strangeness. Whether it’s a creepy Kubrick-like collaborative performance with fellow artist Tarrah Krajnak or a multi-tiered suspended installation created entirely of rice, glue, and monofilament, Norton’s style elegantly exposes the dark underbelly of weird as something quite shockingly recognizable and hypnotic. Her fantasy is not about the dream. It’s about us. How we are stuck in a twisted understanding of what an animal is or should be: the cruel psychology of our own distance from reality. The need for it. The ego of it. The horror of both.
When I think of New York City I imagine rough and tough grandma’s cussing you out and not taking shit from anyone. Other cities just don’t produce in your face, loud mouth senior citizens. This can get annoying in most situations but not when it comes to amazing Sister Helen Travis. In Sister Helen you’ll find one of the most unanimously acclaimed documentaries in recent years and winner of the coveted Sundance Film Festival Directing Award. A recovering alcoholic who lost her husband and sons to substance abuse Sister Helen fights the South Bronx’s drug wars one person at a time with more off-the-top catch phrases than a 1990’s rap song.
Sister Helen is an inspiring documentary filled with an equal dose of comedy and drama. The love/hate relationship between this tough-as-nails nun and the men who both fear her and rely on her to help them battle their own inner demons is unreal. Inspired by Sinatra’s “my-way-or-the-highway” mantra, Sister Helen runs a tight ship in which everyone must obey her rules and the hand that writes them. For the residents who wish to permanently kick the habit, this sobering dose of tough love may be their last and only hope.
Self-taught artist from Santiago, Chile, Alejandra Villasmil creates visually stimulating collages. Her work questions the notions of desire, beauty, sexuality, as well as gender binaries.
Toronto’s Niall McClelland uses what works. Utilizing spray paint, graphite, ink cartridges, photocopies, roaches, and lighters as his mark-making media, Niall’s work maintains a tactile and uncompromising quality unrivaled by his fellow contemporaries.
Friday night is gonna be quite a night for art, folks. I am very excited to see Paul Chatem’s “The Death of Bighead” at Cave Gallery. Not only does Paul have an awesome style, but he makes interactive paintings! You can turn the gears and crank his artwork to your heart’s content. It’s hard to think of anything more fun than that. After the jump, you can watch some videos of his multimedia madness in motion. I’ll see you at the opening tomorrow evening!
Eddie Martinez is hands down one of the best artists working today. I’m not even going to qualify it by saying he’s one of my favorite artists, he’s a lot of artists’ favorite artist. For visual people, being in front of Martinez’s work is like sitting down to a dinner where the food is so delicious you forget to say anything to each other. If you count visual as a sense, it’s sensual. I was very happy to get to visit his studio and report back to Beautiful/Decay with the goods. Eddie had a big stack of drawings which had not been photographed before. As I flipped through that rich pile of drawings my brain melted and the hair on my arms stood up. So take a moment, picture your spirit animal, relax and enjoy this. I feel like Morpheus, and you’re Neo, in that scene from the Matrix where Neo has to choose between the red pill and the blue pill. Once you’ve seen things through Eddie’s eyes you can’t go back.