Orwell fans may be familiar with the term “Newspeak,” a sort of simplified English that the totalitarian government used to constrict freedom. “Newspeak” works by removing words associated with freedom & rebellion entirely from the language. Graphic artist Mark McGinnis has aimed to remove as many words as possible from his imagery for another reason: to express what our own government often obscures from us through icons. This art book is the first in a series of artist profiles from Front Forty Press.
If you ever wondered what it would be like to occupy the same room as the sun, try Nasa’s Solarium. Currently making stops throughout the U.S. the show produced by a division of the space agency known as Solar Dynamics Observatory or SDO, is actually a spacecraft that has been taking pictures of the sun for the past five years. It brings findings using photographs taken over the past year, into an intimate space documenting the blistering star’s movement per second. The material collected is the first of its kind and splices together incredible footage into a series of HD gifs and stills giving you an idea of what it might feel like landing at the gates of hell.
Not surprisingly, most of the photographs portray a round star with several thousand fires burning at once. Constant explosions accompany the flames making you wonder how planets in the solar system don’t disintegrate immediately by her immense power. Other interesting shots capture the mother star in a dormant state depicting a series of smoldering smokestacks. In another unexpected and humorous portrayal, the sweltering star looks like a flame-grinning jack o lantern. Very cool, (or hot) indeed.
The sun is at the center of our solar system and approximately 130 times larger than earth in size and 330 times larger in Mass. It’s mostly made up of hydrogen and helium. Without the sun, all planets in the solar system including earth would die. Despite what might appear to the naked eye, the sun is actually white not yellow or orange in color. The reason for the false hue is atmospheric scattering. This is when molecules are diffused by the solar beam into the earth’s atmosphere changing the sky’s color. (via citylab)
Jalal Abuthina is a photographer with a history as varied as his work. He was born in Dublin but grew up all over the world, drifting between Libya, Greece, Tasmania, Australia, and Dubai. His jet-setting youth and current day job as a real estate consultant in Dubai have obviously informed his culturally charged imagery as well as his interest in clean, architectural lines.
Tue Greenfort is a Swedish artist who questions the changing nature of….nature. Sort of the timeless question of the human within this strange biosphere-sphere we call earth. I like the above piece, “enclosed biosphere” for its simplicity- reminds me of the mosquito-attracting never-clean the fishbowl “experiments” I did as a kid, much to the chagrin of my parents. I really love the “bio-morphic sausage” strata encased in glass, after the jump- sort of a delicious Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living riff? Anyways, be sure to check out the link, many of his works kind of require deeper explanation as far as exactly what’s going on (yellow tape sweetened with sugar water that leads armies of ants through a museum, a Coca-Cola condensation cube, a contraption that uses frozen fruit juice to cool water brought up from the point from the gallery’s infrastructure where it enters…..)
Alexandra Levasseur’s complex paintings are filled with emotion and beauty. With heavy brushstrokes dripping with color, she creates scenes of tormented women in a strange world filled with golden halos, burning asteroids, and melting faces. These faces depict a deathly pale beauty that is often transformed and altered by thick globs of color or all encompassing flora. Levasseur explores themes of love and fear, anguish and unsatisfied desire in her body of work.
I am interested in depicting both the solitude and the bipolarity of the existence of the human being, through the representation of memories. I question the relationship between physical comfort and peace of mind, and how the environment around us can affect this state of mind.
Her women are set in scenes of rolling hills of flowers and palpable paint amongst other wilderness. However picturesque the setting may seem, there is a sense of distress and loss. Some of the women lie in a lush, colorful sea of flowers, but still have a look of distress on their face. There is repeatedly a flaming asteroid in the background, implying an impending doom. Levasseur beautifully portrays these women full of emotion, with an inevitable tragedy behind their eyes, if they even have eyes at all. Many of the faces have eyes hiding behind strokes of color, or holes where their eyes used to be. Each woman, beautiful in their own right, is lost and being engulfed in her equally as beautiful surroundings. All of the seeping colors, crushing flora, and heartbreaking women become meshed together in Levaseur’s paintings. She represents this world as a single organism, blending color and form.
Alexandra Levasseur’s solo exhibition Body of Land is on view now at Mirus Gallery in San Francisco.
Las fall street artists MOMO and El Tono were invited collaborate on a project for the Bien Urbain festival in France. Both artists often work with an abstract painted style. For their collaboration, though, the artists added a third dimension. Using pieces of wood, the artists filled gaps in walls and windows throughout the city. Instead of being unused negative space, the gaps were transformed into a framing device for these abstract compositions. Simple but elegant, the series is illustrative of innovative trends in street on new approaches to interacting with the urban environment.