Bjorn Veno was nice enough recently to send me a bunch of unreleased, unviewed new works that are under way right now- and he’s given me permission to unveil a little “teaser” for what is to come. The above image may form part of a new triptych series- but will not be unveiled for the next year or so. I’ve been a long time fan of Bjorn’s quixotically expansive photography that taps into the mostly unexplored genre of masculine psychic spaces within self-portraiture. Often set within Edvard Munch-like Scandinavian emotionally charged landscapes, Veno’s photography is at once enigmatic, seductive, and playful. He was recently the only man to win the Xto Nude Image Awards! Prior works after the jump!
“Some Pigeons are More Equal than Others” is a collaborative project from Berlin artists Julian Charriere (recent graduate of UDK in Berlin) and Julius von Bismarck (not-so-recent graduate of UDK in Berlin). The goal of the “Some Pigeons” project was to spray 35 pigeons with colorful dye using a “pigeon apparatus” that would not harm the birds. Well, they’ve accomplished their goal, and they’ve released a batch of unequal pigeons into various plazas in Copenhagen and, now, surrounding the current Venice Biennale. The pigeons almost look like rare, tropical birds, a nice switch-up from the usual. Check out more shots of the birds in action, below. (via)
There is a special feeling associated with winter, evoked by the likes of The Polar Express, time with friends and family, and adventures in snow-covered nature. The below artists have all created work that, for me at least, brings to mind that magical winter spirit.
Italian artist Walter Niedemayr’s photographs are winter scenes presenting images of startling beauty. Upon further study, his works invite contemplation about man’s evolving relationship to the environment.
Though his work is largely about nature and human’s relationship to it, Toronto-based artist Kim Dorland’s phantasmagoric woodland-scapes often have a spiritual feeling about them. With the right amount of imagination, they evoke the sense of silence and feeling of peace a wintery landscape can inspire.
The miniature worlds created by Walter Martin and his partner, Paloma Muñoz, are surreal little stories encapsulated in a photograph or a snow globe. Some of the works have a darker feeling to them, possessing a strangeness that inspires a sense of winter wonder—the idea for the work seemingly coming from a bizarre Christmas fairy tale.
Based on memories, Mark Thompson’s paintings are snapshots of times and spaces that became rooted in his mind. First making a viewer feel an icy chill while imagining herself transplanted into Thompson’s paintings, we then might imagine it being the view while looking out from a cozy cabin, a fire blazing.
Each of these artists carefully constructs a narrative, evoking feelings associated with winter and all its beauty, danger, mystery and magic.
Usually I try to not post things that are um, over 400 years old considering we are a contemporary art publication. However, I was looking at Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s works this morning and was marveling at how fresh they seem, even today. It’s like that childhood tendency to make vegetable heads taken to a bizarre and grotesque extreme. Be sure to check out “The Admiral” portrait after the jump- made entirely of unknowing fish! In fact I think this kind of playful/derangement continues to be a source of inspiration and lines of exploration for artists even today. What do you guys think?
Edrem, (merde backwards), is a collaborative sketchblog from three French/Belgian designer-illustrators: Sébastien Paquereau, David Zazurca, and Steven Burke. The concept of the project, as is instantly evident to the viewer, is based in achieving volume. Paquereau, Zazurca, and Burke just want to get as many whimsical, stream-of-consciousness graphics out into the world as possible. In Burke’s words:
“We like not to say who we are when we talk about Edrem, because this is not the point of the blog. We try to get…massive numbers of experimentations and funny things [onto the blog], but we don’t care if the drawing is well done or not, it just has to be understandable…”
We all have a tendency to get heavily involved in our various projects, exerting microscopic levels of control on our output. Edrem reminds us that pulling off the reigns a little bit can yield many fruitful results. The Edrem crew staged an exhibition in Spring of 2010 at Michard Ardillier in Bordeaux entitled, “La Palissade”.
Anita Fontaine has created a brand new iPhone app that lets you unlock secret narratives as you travel through gardens. As you walk through the Fairyland-like map your iPhone displays, you can travel to specific destinations, that, when you succesfully arrive uncover the next part of a hidden story. It’s like a video game treasure map for adults- and I love the concept of layering another reality over the existing one, creating a brand new history that complicates our understandings of space, time and truth. Video after the jump explaining it more in depth!
Katya Grokhovsky‘s series Untitled Heroic is deeply complex and familiarly conflicted. For the series Grokhovsky makes use any medium necessary – photography, performance, video, and even a cardboard cut-out installation. The artist seems to attract and repel. The series is at once confrontational, seductive, and wonderfully volatile. By way of her statement, Grokhovsky says that Untitled Heroic is, “A series of performances for photography and video, culminating in a large-scale cutboard cutout installation, whereby a female artist is dealing with frustrating desire to both attract and reject the notion of a male gaze.” Grokohovsky’s work is also the subject of an upcoming solo exhibit at New York’s Galerie Protégé.
It’s a girl’s world in these scenes of playful mischief created by an eclectic array of delicate materials by Amanda Michelle Smith. Rendering tiny girls full of energy and angst, the artist uses oil paint, golf leaf, and ceramic pieces to construct her highly textured work. Smith’s talents in painting spritely girls are only matches in her ability in ceramics. Her light and airy palette combined with the rich glazes of the ceramic creates incredibly eye-popping aesthetics. The surface texture and detail in each leaf, tree, and flower jump out at you as they are formed from ceramic, creating a relief.
Although Smith’s work is full of little girls in dresses and bows, things are not always giggles and tea parties. Except, when there is actually a tea party, there are strange ghoulish guests dining in front of a black sky. Each scene has a bizarre flare that is both whimsical and somewhat dark. These are places where grumpy girls hide in a house while tons of little people seek to get inside. Proportions are skewed, size doesn’t matter, and little girls have a mind of their own. These feisty young ladies get into peculiar situations that are so beautifully and intricately constructed. Smith’s use of clay is flawlessly blended into her painting style, creating finished pieces that are begging to be touched. This California based artists creates three dimensional ceramic pieces as well, make sure to check them out on her website!
(via The Jealous Curator)