Beth Livensperger’s painterly canvases are full of confusingly convincing visual miscues. Fluorescent lighting, mirrors, and expanses of reflective glass complicate vision by blinding, doubling, and flipping what we see. Livensperger uses these illusions in ways which prompt the question “what exactly am I looking at?” She makes us pay attention to places we would normally ignore, like store fronts, wood shops and laundry rooms. In the process bringing us into a one on one confrontation with our sense of sight.
Sculptor Claire Curneen works with everything from porcelain to terracotta, creating figurines that are cathartic and vaguely surreal. Her humanoid sculptures are faceless yet somehow expressive, posed in beseechingly though it would be up to interpretation just what they are looking for.
According to her artist’s statement, Curneen aims to “explore grand themes about the body and the human condition.” This sometimes manifests itself viscerally in her works where human bodies are pierced with thorns or otherwise immobilized. Other pieces are subtler, the figures lost in a shroud of apparent existential angst.
Curneen’s artist statement also says:
“Referencing Roman Catholic imagery and ideology and early Italian Renaissance paintings such as Piero Della Francesca’s ‘Baptism of Christ’, these figures bear bold narratives of saints, martyrs and rites of passage punctuated by often delicate yet dramatic totems to death, re-birth and the sublime.” (via Dark Silence in Suburbia)
Photographer David Chancellor‘s series Hunter documents South African big game Hunting. Chancellor explains that while hunting safari’s were once particularly fashionable among the leisure class, the activity has since undergone some changes. Land that had once been dedicated to farming and livestock now serve as big game ranches – a place professional hunters can once again kill for sport. Chancellor captures the complex relationship between hunter and hunted, which is rendered even more complex by modernization. He says that the series is “a long term project documenting human/wildlife conflict in all it’s forms, Hunters explores the complex relationship that exists between man and animal, the hunter and the hunted, as both struggle to adapt to our changing environments.”
Jason Middlebrook‘s work incorporates lines onto wood planks found in New York State, as the artist forms abstract ‘landscape’ painting that play with colour. The artist’s painterly abstracted forms create a hypnotic quality to the work, as the ordered lines subvert patterns of trees to seek a re-engagement in our relationship with nature itself.
Barcelona based Hey Studio makes really graphically strong work that is both socially and aesthetically aware. Check our their work after the jump, especially their branding project for Intermón Oxfam. The aim was to renew the image of Oxfam and create an emotional link between the association and its young target. To create a more visual language, the letters are converted into illustrations, which increases the signification of words and create a own graphical personality, direct and reinvidicative. Titles are reduced to one single word to communicate quicker and more directly. The all identity is based on one single black colour printed on different colour papers, to facilitate the production and lower costs.
Toronto-based creator Alex Fischer seems to prefer images laden with layers. Each image screams with a smashing of cultures and a tearing of borders. Fischer questions ownership in a similar manner to Richard Prince. Each image shows patience with a strident attention to detail, as each pressing of images goes further and further into a world all its own.
It’s been over 45 years since the iconic Woodstock Festival first took place. In 1969, nearly half a million music lovers made their way to the Catskills for the event that offered peace, love, and rock’n’roll. Thirty-two bands performed at there, including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and The Who. Two LIFE photographers named Bill Eppridge and John Dominis capture not only the music, but of the crowds, muddy fields, and lush woods where young people celebrated their youth.
The epic festival was originally supposed to be a ticketed affair, with booths set up to charge the $24 admission. But, they were never installed thanks to the unexpected surge of music fans, and the surrounding fences were torn down. This act declared that Woodstock was a free event. Over the course of just a few days, these documentary-style photos tell us a lot. They depict the communal living and the aftermath of a five-inch rainfall that turned everything into a giant mud pit. Concert-goers are seen receiving medical care, bathing nude in the streams, and standing as one giant mass with lighters in the air.
John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival recalls a 3:30AM start time (delayed because of rain), and how incredible the experience was:
We were ready to rock out and we waited and waited and finally it was our turn … there were a half million people asleep. These people were out. It was sort of like a painting of a Dante scene, just bodies from hell, all intertwined and asleep, covered with mud.
And this is the moment I will never forget as long as I live: A quarter mile away in the darkness, on the other edge of this bowl, there was some guy flicking his Bic, and in the night I hear, ‘Don’t worry about it, John. We’re with you.’ I played the rest of the show for that guy.