Rebecca Manson sent me a text message not too long ago with an image of a unicycle she had just sculpted and an accompanying message that read, “Here’s a sneak peek, his name is Peter.” It was adorable and part of an exhibit she had created at CSULB. But then moments later my phone rang, “Daniel” she said in horror, “the main sculpture in my exhibit just broke.”
Adam Ekberg’s photographic interventions remind me of those special moments that you occasionally experience like walking down the street and seeing a rainbow for a split second or witnessing a meteor shower while camping by yourself.
It’s not everyday that we post an artist who works with yarn but Jo Hamilton’s crochet portraits are really interesting. I’m really happy that Jo decided to not over finish these and left them without a background and with the yarn hanging down. Sort of looks like paint drips and adds another dimension to the work that you don’t see often in crochet.
Jacek Yerka is a Polish painter whose work melts pastoral beauty into worlds of fantasy and psychedelic dreams. Featured here is the series 4siders, wherein the four “walls” of each scene have been staged and fused together to create multidimensional spaces; rotate the images, and a different room (or landscape) appears. In “Budoir,” for example, the furnishings of an entire house loop dizzyingly around each other; in “Four Seasons,” a lonely bungalow slides from winter’s chill to spring’s awakening while the eye is drawn to the uniting, empty sky beyond. Both logical and disorienting, the 4siders paintings demonstrate how slight shifts in perspective can alter our notions of the rational world.
Blending the classically creative styles of Bosch and Bruegel with reality-bending contemporary art, it is no surprise that Yerka has achieved much recognition in the world of fantasy art — fantasy, after all, derives from a melding of history with the outer edges of the imagination. Some of Yerka’s genre-related accomplishments include collaborating with fantasy author Harlan Ellison in the compositions of Mind Fields (a collection thirty short stories accompanied by Yerka’s surrealistic paintings), as well as the notable reception of the World Fantasy Award for best artist in 1995.
Yerka currently lives in rural Poland with his family, where he paints his immersive dreamscapes in the shade of an “old and mysterious” apple tree (Source). You can learn more about his work on his website, Facebook, and Twitter. (Via Fubiz)
In a series of black-and-white photographs taken between the years of 1973 and 1975, Ave Pildas provides a fascinating glimpse into how, over the span of four decades, the streets and people of Hollywood Boulevard have both changed and remained curiously the same. Pildas moved from Ohio to Los Angeles in 1971, when Capitol Records hired him to design album covers and take pictures of talent. After 6 months, Pildas left to begin his own design company called Plug In and embark on his Hollywood Boulevard project.
“This place is incredible,” Pildas said when we spoke over the phone. “People escaping the winter [and] US tourists lean towards the west — and all the nuts roll towards the west as well, stopping short of the ocean in Hollywood.” Intrigued by these people who came seeking adventure (and perhaps fame in movies and music), Pildas began to collect their portraits. “My style is to interact with people,” he said, explaining his approach. He would wait until an unknown person would walk into the light, engage with them, and then request to take their picture. Some people would pose and smile, and others would hold up their hands in rejection. “For the most part, I was treated well,” Pildas said in good humor.
Among the images you will see a whole cast of characters posing excitedly (or reluctantly) for the camera. There are apathetic teenagers at the bus stop, suave fashionistas, a chef, and, rather controversially, two people dressed up as KKK members for Halloween. In comparison to present-day street photography, which favors strong contrasts, Pildas would minimize shadows by shooting on overcast days. The result is a collection of images that are nostalgic as well as beautifully muted and almost surreal in appearance.
While some of the images look a bit dated (such as the cavalier and inappropriate attitudes of the KKK Halloween-goers), they also show how some things haven’t changed. “The costumes have changed,” Pildas observed, referring to how the fashion has inevitably shifted over the decades — but many things persist. He talked about what could still be seen: the Broadway Building, as well as the variety of restaurants, head shops, trashy lingerie stores, Scientologists, and street people hanging out. What has remained fundamentally the same is the adventurous and eclectic spirit that characterizes Hollywood Boulevard.
In an exhibition titled Hollywood Boulevard: The 70s— which opened at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) on July 1st and runs until September 13th — Pildas has compiled an exciting collection of 51 photographs from the series. The images are made from scans of the original negatives, some of which hadn’t been seen in forty years and required repair. By opening the images to the public, Pildas offers a delightful journey into the lively history of Hollywood Boulevard and its people. Check out his website and Facebook page to learn more.