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Made With Color Presents: Kent Michael Smith’s Paintings Of Ambiguous Representation

Kent Michael Smith Painting

Kent Michael Smith Painting

Kent Michael Smith Painting

This week we’re bringing you another talented artist as part of our partnership with premiere website building platform Made With Color. Each week we bring you some of the most exciting artists and designers working today who are using Made With Color to create clean and sleek websites. Made With Color sites aren’t just easy on the eyes but feature powerful yet simple backend which allows anyone to create a professional site with just a few clicks.This week we are excited to share the layered and resin coated paintings of Kansas based painter Kent Michael Smith.

Composed of hovering masses of suspended geometric forms which produce both faux and literal shadows onto each other as well as onto the autonomous backgrounds; Kent Michael Smith’s paintings thrive within a realm of ambiguous representation. Likewise, the productions of the works are of equal conflict. On one hand they attempt to prescribe to a historical notion of painting that utilizes rendering properties of tinting and tone, while simultaneously producing a colored flatness of cut-paper collage…all floating on top of an often organic background.

Clearly, a conflict is at play.

The tonal nature of the conflict that is taking place within these paintings, is similar to the territorial passion that community members display when something moves into their neighborhood that is seemingly unsavory, or unwelcome. Whether the new entity produces an end result that is of catastrophic Armageddon-like consequences, or somehow complementary to the ubiquitous status quo; it makes no difference. While it isn’t difficult to imagine these progressively intruding forms as symbols of development and urban sprawl, Smith’s desire is for the implied conflict to be the first, and lasting, impression.

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Safwat Saleem’s Bunch Of Crock

Safwat Saleem’s Bunch of Crock project is a response to the current public discourse and the political landscape in the US. Being a Pakistani immigrant living in Arizona, Safwat has been inspired by both by his location and his experiences as an immigrant. His body of work includes beautifully designed prints, video installations, audio installations, and a game (aptly titled Fling Some Shit Game) . For more info visit his site and help him raise awarness about the absurdities of the political system and the unfortunate role of minorities.

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New Paintings by Adam Friedman Challenge Perspective, Glorifying the Mystery in Nature

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Adam Friedman celebrates the unchanging mystery of nature in his surreal, hybrid paintings that dissect landscapes from the real world. His newest body of work is bold in color and line, as he portrays scenes of glorious mountains and unwavering glaciers. His unique style depicts scenes of tremendous natural beauty, transformed them into something even more stunning. Plates of the earth seem to shift and glaciers are mirrored in a reversed world that Friedman so skillfully creates. The artist experiments and warps perspective in his paintings, like an M.C. Escher drawing toying with our mind. Sections of mountains are divided and manipulated into geometric patterns and shape that make you question exactly what it is you are looking at. Friedman describes his artwork’s intent.

“Millions of years are compacted into a single instant and rocks become fluid. I strive to present a moment that defies human intervention in the landscape, and pays homage to the potential in the inexplicable.”

Friedman explains that his work celebrates the unknown that the natural world possesses. Society attempts to explain, examine, and make sense of our environment, but there are some things we cannot understand. The beauty in the unknown can be felt in Friedman’s powerful series that radiates with intensity. Mirus Gallery in San Francisco, California currently has a solo exhibition of Friedman’s work on view until July 11th. If you have the chance to see this exhibition, titled Into the Aether, make sure to check out his compelling paintings in person.

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Liz Maw Paints Friends And Celebrities As Kitschy Glowing Deities

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Raised a Catholic, and using obvious religious iconography, Liz Maw like to paint other-worldly and sublime beings. By combining the faces of celebrities or people she knows and admires with pseudo-mystical relics she glorifies them. Maw draws on many different periods and styles, mixing contemporary symbols with techniques from the Old Dutch masters, her subjects in poses akin to many Renaissance works. It is this mix of old and new; mundane and divine; hyper-realism and fantasy; sacred and profane that makes her work at once beautiful and comical. As one critic said:

“Her sleek paintwork resembles air brushing in its precision, offering a surrealism somewhere between Salvador Dali and the kind of hot-rod paintings which stretch across panel vans. Liz’s paintings are drenched with a sense of desire, beauty and power.” (source)

Her “Colleen” painting features a beautiful naked woman perched on a cloud surrounded by floating seashells and in a glowing sky illuminated by lightning. Intentionally referring to The Immaculate Conception painting, Maw manages to rework something old and accepted with a kitschy, slightly erotic spin. Talking about what is “distasteful” and what isn’t, Maw likes to challenge people’s standards. She says she doesn’t understand why some people will accept a painting of a figure with one breast covered, and others would think it to be inappropriate.

“I think that female sexuality is a very mystical thing… I don’t think that romance goes seamlessly into sex for women really. Maybe it can, maybe it can’t. A lot of women disconnect romance from sex. I don’t know why that is. “

She wants to paint to encourage more warmth and softness, and less judgement. And I think one painting at a time she will.

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Died Young Stayed Pretty

I gotta admit that I was really excited to see Died Young Stayed Pretty, a new full length documentary focusing on the DIY rock poster (see gigposters.com) movement that has brewing in the US and beyond for the the last decade. The doc has hundreds of interviews with big names (many of whom you’ve never heard of) within the close knit rock poster scene,who discuss personal taste, poster philosophies, and what role money,drugs, and 70’s&80’s porn plays in rock posters. Many of the artists interviewed are amazingly talented (i.e. Tyler Stout & Brian Chippendale) and interesting, sharing with the viewer a small glimpse of their creative process.

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Don Lucho’s Extraordinary Installations Simulate Everyday Life Using Found Cardboard

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Chilean artist Don Lucho creates installations from found cardboard that simulate extraordinary scenes from everyday life. During a street fair in Santiago, Chile, Don Lucho crafted a fruit and vegetable stand, titled “El Puesto de Don Lucho,” stocked fully with items made of paper. He stayed there the entirety of the fair, acting just like another ordinary fruit stand.

“I sold a lot of cardboard fruits. The…reactions were different, some were angry because the fruit was fake, others thought it was a hidden camera show, other people laughed. A lot of people asked many questions like what is this fruit for or if there was real fruit inside the cardboard fruit? The real fruit sellers got very angry and started shouting: Stop buying cardboard fruit! It’s not real fruit!” (source)

Another one of his installations, “Casa de Carton,” depicts an entire apartment, kitchen, toilet and all, completely made of cardboard. With a skateboard leaning against the wall, clothes thrown about, and an unmade bed, the apartment, despite its paper construct, perfectly mimics a truly lived in environment. He has also created various installations that reproduce accidents. On the streets of Santiago, Chile, Lucho, along with collaborator Quillo, created a cardboard car crash, as well as a small air craft that looks as if it has fallen from the sky.

Don Lucho’s work aims to question materiality both is an artistic sense as well as a monetary one. Through imitating the real, using materials found on the street, Don Lucho provokes the viewer to assess what value truly is —  what does it mean for an object to be worth something? His work falls in line with the postmodern notion of simulating the real, which in turn, become “signs” of the real. If his work can provoke emotions and thoughts just as the genuine objects could, then, what is the true difference? Does Lucho’s work prove that the simulated can be just as powerful as the authentic? Or, does it prove that the authentic no longer has such a individualized meaning, as the simulated actually deflates meaning of the real? (think Andy Warhol’s Death and Disaster Series). Lucho states, “the confusion people feel when they first encounter the scene makes them doubt what is real and what impact it should have one them.” (source)

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Architectural 70’s Wonder by William Hirsch

 

I absolutely love this house, designed by William Hirsch for art director John Holmes, (no, not that John Holmes!) most famous for his original cover art for “Jaws.” Their home is comprised entirely of salvaged, hodge podge reclaimed building materials, making it a sort of living, breathing, thrift store turned frankenstein-like architectural collage. Ah, the free-wheeling spirit of the 70s that kicks modernism’s dutch-minimalist-eames-clean line-stainless steel-white cube’s ass!

 

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Hijacked Billboards Used For Political Street Art

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fauxreel street art7

The Billbored series of artist Dan Bergeron (also known as fauxreel)  undermines the all to common visual language of advertising.  His hijacked billboards, particularly his series featuring Carl the Plastic Baby, challenges passers-by to consider what they see more deeply.  Like much of his work, Billbored investigates identity, consumerism, and the places they intersect.   Carl the Plastic Baby, for example, playfully offers an an easy alternative to actual children.  A website accompanying the billboard offers visitors the opportunity to buy a “child” of their own – their very own Carl delivered to their home.

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