Amii Stewart, disco legend, and starring in possibly one of the most decadent music videos I’ve seen. I’m not sure what the pinnacle of video technology dictated in the late-late 70s but digital media artists like John Whitney were already starting to make fairly advanced films out of just graphics programming as early as the ’60s. “Knock on Wood” lyrics are after the jump if you were so inclined to watch the video and sing along…
Sculptor Beth Cavener Stichter carves dramatic, expressive human-size animals from clay which exhibit the extremes of human characteristics and emotions. She has goats, wolves, lambs, snakes and rabbits display acts of greed, betrayal and jealousy. Using the malleable nature of clay, Stichter produces wonderfully sensitive pieces loaded with drama and theatricality.
In her latest series Four Humors, she takes a theory developed by the Ancient Greeks which describes what a psychologically healthy human body should look like. The Four Humors were black bile, yellow bile, phlegm and blood. If a body had too much of any of these substances, then that would correspond to a personality deficiency. Stichter says she was intrigued that people could be evaluated solely by the amount of liquid they contained in their bodies. Stichter explores multiple base theories and ideas in her work. She goes on to say:
There are primitive animal instincts in our own depths, waiting for the chance to slide past a conscious moment. The sculptures I create focus on human psychology, stripped of context and rationalization, and articulated through animal and human forms. On the surface, these figures are simply feral and domestic individuals suspended in a moment of tension. Beneath the surface they embody the impacts of aggression, territorial desires, isolation, and pack mentality. (Source)
See if you can recognize yourself in more of her sculptures after the jump. (Via Art Fucks Me)
Michael Grab creates his own version of land art by balancing rocks in seemingly impossible ways. Using a learned technique involving patience and a sense of balance Grab finds the process therapeutic and meditative. Grab refers to the work as “gravity glue” and says of the work, “Through witnessing what this art has done for me personally over years of practice, my vision grows more and more to encourage others to seek their own “still-point” or inner silence…This art allows one to freely be themselves, manifesting their own particular vibration into a 3D world.”
Grab believes that stone balancing teaches the practitioner lessons through silence. Using language that describes the benefits of self-realization through meditation Grab discusses stone balancing as a spiritual experience. He describes how the fundamental element in balancing is finding a kind of “tripod” for the rock to stand on. Explaining how each rock requires examination to discover the point of balance, Grab says that the biggest challenge is overcoming doubt. Both honoring nature and the importance of time spent by himself Grab believes that the ephemeral nature of the balance encourages contemplations of non-attachment, beauty and even death.
Grab is available for workshops and live performances. Check his website for any upcoming exhibitions so that you can see his process live.
Eddie Martinez and José Lerma have a two person show up at Halsey Mckay Gallery in East Hampton NY. It’s only up until this Wednesday, August the 29th, I know it’s just two days to get there, but these are two of the best drawing/fabric/paintslingers of our generation. The colors in Martinez’s paintings can’t be replicated in a photograph because the paint is physical, like a thick smear of deep red oil paint that looks like martian roofing slate, or maybe a crack inside an antediluvian sea cliff containing some strange fossil reminding us of how old thinking is, and how we are only here for a little while so we should be kind to each other. Yes, red paint can say all that. Lerma’s pirate-like-figuration feels musical, and reminds me of the Clancy Brothers singing a sea shanty “Way haul away, haul away Jose.” History comes up to us and then recedes like the tide in Lerma’s work, you recognize something and then it is and isn’t what you thought. This is a good summer trip, like the first time you went to a water slide park after noticing girls/boys for the first time, an expanse of wave pools lapping lazily against a big breasted life guard and tower slides of pure unadulterated joy.
Raymond Lemstra is an artist whose work reflects a deep appreciation for both primitive art and the subconscious workings of the inner mind. He has a very distorted and humorous output of big-headed people with over-emphasized features, full of wonder and turmoil. We recently got a chance to catch up with Raymond to ask him what he is up to.
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New York based artist Mindo Cikanavicius photographs portraits of men with foam “facial hair.” Within this series, titled Bubbleissimo, (perhaps making a play on the word “machismo”), the artist distorts the notion of masculinity through a comedic display of the growing obsession with groomed facial hair. His work aims to speak about the fragility and absurdity of what “manliness” means, depicting it as being just as allusive and indefinite as the bubbles meant to represent it. These works portray the sitters in a sort of kitschy, glamor portrait style, engulfed in one side of sky blue and one side of bubble gum pink, the colors used to denote gendered objects. His series mocks the need to define and portray what it means to be masculine, and, through what seems at first glance to be an overtly serious series, successfully, upon further inspection, invites in a air of making fun of itself. Once it becomes clear that this facial hair is in fact made of bubbles, the work switches from being a strange cataloging of men, to a witty depiction of gender norms. His artist statement notes that “Mindo is focused creating story based unexpected moments with touch of cinematic drama, humor and mystery. His work is a blend of ideas, imagination, observations, experiences and emotions into making intriguing constructed reality photographs.”
Let’s face it, in this day and age, it’s difficult to be original. Tory Fair carves out her own niche in the art world with her series of semi abstract figurative sculptures. They speak volumes on the relationship between humans and their environment.