fauxreel’s most recent site-specific street art called, “Face of the City“, focuses on portrait-based works that embraces the charm found in the urban jungles we live in. Finding a relation between the landscape and culture of the city, these portraits embody the intimate traits of the city, personifying them into one identifiable character.
I’m usually into very loud and boisturous paintings but there is something extremely rewarding in the quiet and subtle portraits by Shauna Born. Each modestly sized painting features a sitter looking blankly into the viewer. The sitters don’t do much in the paintings but the piercing looks in their eyes warn you of a hurricane of emotions that is to come.
Langdon Graves is all about the mystery of deception and illumination. Her drawings utilize two contradicting devices, photo-realistic rendering and surrealist narrative, all to create trompe l’oeil images that astound and leave you wanting more. Each drawing has elements that are immediately recognizable, but the second you think you know what is going on, you realize something is amiss. Some drawings are easier to decode, while others have a ‘wait a minute…’ quality that would make M.C. Escher proud. Unlike Escher, Graves saturates her drawings with a folk-like narrative that evokes the feeling that we should be learning some kind of lesson. As if we are seeing just a glimpse of a much larger, more complex story, and are hungry for more.
There is a delicate sense of instability that disrupts the calm in each drawing. Whether it’s Grave’s beautifully subtle use of color, or the quiet violence implied in many of the images, we are not looking into a world of sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. Instead, Graves creates a world where a dark cloud hangs over each perfectly coiffed head. The combination of innately feminine symbols with clandestine actions produces a tension that lures you in like a moth to a flame. Yet, like any successful illusionist, Graves is careful to not reveal too much, leaving us in a state of expectation similar to the feeling of anticipation when opening a present. You know something special is inside but you only have a few clues to guess what it is.
Size matters. Anamophic artist Jonty Hurwitz’s new sculpture series recreates the smallest human form ever at 20x80x100 microns, or roughly the scale of a human sperm. According to Hurwitz’s website, the size of these sculptures approximately equals the amount your fingernails grow every 5 or 6 hours. These tiny art works are too small to be seen by the naked eye!
We’ve previously covered Hurwitz’s warped sculptures on beautiful/decay, which also used physics to challenge human perception. These new nano sculptures, “Trust”, “Cupid and Psyche: The First Kiss”, and “Intensity”, explore the idea of science vs. legend, myth vs. reality. Created with a ground-breaking 3D printing technology, the work is ultimately created using two photon absorption—art made with Quantum Physics.
“As technology starts to evolve faster than our human perception is able to handle, the line between science and myth becomes blurred.
We live in an era where the impossible has finally come to pass. We have, in our own little way we have become demigods of creation in our physical world…. The nano works that I present to you here represent more that just a feat of science though. They represent the moment in history that we ourselves are able to create a full human form at the same scale as the sperm that creates us in order to facilitate the creation.”
Despite their microscopic size, these are detailed sculptures, with individual feathers in Cupid’s wings and tiny fingers, belly-buttons, and ears. It’s almost impossible to imagine that these realistic, emotive human figures are much smaller than an ant’s eye.
“The absolute fact is this: the human eye is unable to see these sculptures. In your hand all you see is a small mirror with … nothing on it. The only way to perceive these works is on the screen of powerful scanning electron microscope. Can you be sure of its existence if your basic senses are telling you that nothing is there?”
These sculptures were created in collaboration with The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the Weitzmann Institute of Science and involved over 10 people as a working team over several months.
Milano Chow‘s drawings are subtle and contemplative. One of the most striking elements in the work is the indelible sadness of human figures and the seemingly neglected objects that surround them. Plants and flowers reoccur but they are often wilted. The people inhabiting these snap shots mirror their belongings. They remain cluttered, isolated and damaged.
Black Thorns in the White Cube is a group show that presents work by eight contemporary artists influenced by the “mystic obscurity” of Black Metal music. The exhibitors “explore haunted Germanic forests, descents into the void, visual translations of sonic experiences, ontologies of Black Metal band logos, and barren western landscapes.” Curator Amelia Ishmael is a Black Metal scholar – a mix of curator, art historian, and artist who specializes in the thorny intersections between Black Metal music and contemporary art. She is also the co-editor of Helvete, a journal of Black Metal Theory. The exhibition lands at the Chicago gallery space Western Exhibitions from Kansas City this Friday.