For award-winning photographer Oliver Grunewald, the medium of capturing images offers the ability to document, share, and investigate the natural forces which shape our world. Grunewald, along with his partner, journalist Bernadette Gilbertas, travel the globe, focusing on natural wonder, which for the French photographer offers, “…a pretext for immersing himself in the world as it was in the early days of its creation, and his patient quest for the magical, ephemeral light that best underscores the wild primitive side of nature pays off.”
As part of a massive body of work focused on volcanic activity around the world, Serfdom of Sulphur Night, offers some of the more intense photographs taken at the Kawah Ijen Volcano in Indonesia. Grunewald explains the genesis of the series, “For over 40 years, miners have been extracting sulfur from the crater of Kawah Ijen in Indonesia. To double their meager income, the hardiest of these men work nights, by the electric blue light of the sulfuric acid exhaled by the volcano before climbing up to the top of the volcano with their heavy charge.” (via myampgoesto11)
The human relationship with the natural world is a complex one that doesn’t seem to untangle anytime soon. With animal life increasingly being abused and habitats encroached upon anxiety is understandably mounting. Artist Chris Musina address these issues in painting and also sculpture. Musina depicts the uglier side of the human/animal relationship. Rather than highlight idyllic scenes of nature, he draws gruesome imagery of animal mistreatment to the forefront. Animal carcasses are often kept as trophies, dead souvenirs of a once living creature. Painting’s tradition of depicting killed animals is extensive – the fox hunt alone, for example, an entire genre. Appropriately, then, Musina’s animal carcasses are not there to be admired but act as animals condemning the viewer. They seem to be holding an accounting for their present condition in the painting as well as in a larger abstract sense. They act as a tool to deconstruct disassociation. Musina further explains his use of painting in addressing ecological and animal issues:
“Dealing directly with our increasingly volatile and uneasy relationship to the natural world, I draw from contemporary animal thought and a deep phylogeny of cultural cues. My work dismantles how we look at animals via “nature morte” painters, philosophy, hunting, museum dioramas, and the like. Manifested in life size compositions full of dark humor and bright color, I am addressing the animal as neither symbol nor object, but as subject, a subject aware of his or her own powerful symbolic nature. Painting represents the bulk of my practice precisely due to its place in the forefront of a history of representing animals. My paintings are populated with animal protagonists who stare back at the viewer in an uneasy gaze; aware of that place in our cultural history– asking for compassion, mercy, or simply to be put out of their misery.”
Marci Washington is an artist, based in Northern California. Her lightly rendered gouache and watercolor paintings depict the interiors and exteriors of creepy houses, reed-bordered pitch swamps, forbidden correspondence, and nocturnal, aristocratic cannibals who always seem to maintain a certain measure of grace amidst unsavory conditions and elements. To me, it’s always appeared as if such figures are pausing for her to paint their portrait while the world crumbles around them. A macabre fashion shoot staged amidst the apocalyptic environs of a world without sunrises, Washington’s delicate, detailed work is a rich stroke of contrast between dark and light; brutality and delicacy. I caught up with Marci in-between her various travels and projects and, in keeping with her reputation for graciousness, she answered some questions and brought us up to speed with her career. (Images courtesy of Rena Bransten Gallery.)
Vered Sivan‘s installations combine sculpture and performance but they don’t seem alive — they seem lived in. Her use of synthetic thread and dental floss reads as dusty cobweb thriving in the space. Her crocheted steel wool has been cast on the floor. Sivan’s pieces exist in a state where objects don’t change but surfaces do.
William Edmonds is one of three artists that are a part of London’s prolific Nous Vous art collective. On top of his precise attention to detail and color, Edmonds also has an unconventional perspective that shines through within every single one of his illustrations.
Calling Robin Rhode a ‘street artist’ is a bit misleading. It just so happens that most of his art is made in the street, but this multidisciplinary artist makes his mark in a variety of ways. Much of his work is performance based, not in the traditional sense, but rather through a process in which he acts in a 3D space and at the same time utilizes the illusion of a drawn object… and then the entire process is photographed, leaving the viewer with a consolidated mixture of mediums, spaces, forms and ideas.