There is something unsettling in many of the paintings of Alexis Rockman. His work typically depicts the natural world – wildlife of different sorts in locales as varied. The scenes are surreal as strange groupings of animals converge on a single canvas. However, some sort of order appears to be breaking down and a chaos not often found in nature seems to be gaining ground. Rockman’s paintings illustrate a wider ecological anxiety over our troubled world. In a way he uses his paintings as a form of protest. The work becomes a powerful expression of deep concern that is easy to feel.
Francesca Pastine’s Artforum Excavations Is a beautiful series of works where the artist cuts away at various issues of art forum literally excavating the art away and rearranging the pages and layers of the iconic art publication. Lets hope she tears apart a copy of Beautiful/Decay one of these days!
“I began using ARTFORUM magazines as a medium for my work in 2008. I noticed that they were familiar fixtures in my friends’ homes. Apparently, because of their glossy nature, nobody wanted to throw them away. I was intrigued by their square format, particularly when the bloated art market was reflected in their one-inch thickness and I began asking my friends for their unwanted magazines. Starting with the covers, I cut, bend, manipulate, pull, and dig my way through them, revealing a visceral topography of art trends. The finished worked becomes an unsolicited collaboration with the magazine and the cover artist. Maintaining a strong connection to the physicality of drawing, my X-acto blade mimics a pencil, subtracting rather than adding. I eschew glue or other manipulations that change the inherent character of the magazines. In this way, they retain their association to what they are, carriers of information that have been handled, earmarked and scuffed over time. Through physically intervening with these familiar icons of the art establishment, I suffuse the inanimate with emotional power, creating a palpable complexity of form and information.”
A while back we posted a great studio visit with NYC painter Brendan Cass. While combing vimeo I stumbled across these 2 videos of Brendan both in the studio and giving a walk through of his show at Lars Bohman gallery in Stockholm. Both videos give an insiders look into Brendan’s techniques, references, and thought process. I appreciated Brendan’s openness and sincerity about his work.
I’ve always loved hearing artists speak about how the create their work. There is so much thought that goes into making a painting that the viewer doesn’t see with a quick glance. This made me think about my own studio practice and all the dots that I try to connect in my head as I’m making work. There are many times when i try out new things in my paintings not knowing if viewers will pick up on it. I guess that’s just how it goes. You’ll never know what the outcome will be if you don’t take that first step and try.
Earlier this week I posted the Nephicide video featuring little kids projectile vomiting blood complete with black metal face paint. To round things out on the hip-hop side of things I present Yonkers by Tyler, The Creator. Watch Tyler play with giant insects, roll his eyes in the back of his head, have random nose bleeds, and most importantly vomit. If you’re not familiar with Tyler make sure to look him up. He’s part of ODD FUTURE WOLF GANG KILL THEM ALL (OFWGKTA), an LA hip-hop collective that has been getting some much deserved attention as of late. Watch the full video after the jump.
In the age of the internet, we are used to seeing cats, cat videos, and cat-related memes permeating our social media. But delve into the archives of art history and you’ll see that people have always been a little obsessed with cats (it was no secret in ancient Egypt). In a show held at Manhattan’s Japan Society last spring, over 120 artworks—consisting largely of ukiyo-e prints from the Edo period—were exhibited that explored Japan’s own infatuation with their feline companions. Most of the pieces were on loan from the Hiraki Ukiyo-e Foundation and the rest were gathered from collections around the US.
The show was divided into five sections: “Cats and People,” “Cats as People,” “Cats versus People,” “Cats Transformed,” and “Cats and Play.” The animals were represented in a variety of ways—sometimes in the cute, domesticated contexts we recognize from the internet, and sometimes in courtly (and even eroticized) scenarios. Many are anthropomorphized to partake in human activities, from argumentative social gatherings to traditional dances. In other prints, they take on a more sinister appearance, conjured as muses for cryptic samurai duals. Coupled with nude or reclining women, cats take on a sensual symbolism.
Rick Darge is a new pal of the blog, a talented and funny fellow and we love his new video- a love story about a girl and her bike. Watch the full video after the jump.
Los Angeles’ own He’s My Brother She’s My Sister recently released their debut LP, Nobody Dances in this Town on Park The Van Records. They also just played their first ever sold out hometown show at the Troubadour to a very enthusiastic crowd, myself included.
Their energetic live performance is really something to see… it’s hard to not dance to this band which makes me laugh at the title of their new record. The band consists of brother and sister Rob and Rachel Kolar on vocals and guitar, Oliver Newell on upright bass, Aaron Robinson on slide guitar, and then there’s Lauren Brown who plays drums. Well, she’s not just a drummer, but a tap dancing drummer. She actually stands on top of the bass drum and tap dances on it while keeping the beat, it’s pretty fun to watch. If you like Neko Case and Rilo Kiley, with a little sprinkle of John Doe and X thrown in, you’ll love this band!
They are currently touring across the country with stops at the Independent in San Francisco on Feb. 2nd, One Eyed Jacks in New Orleans on Feb. 24th, Miami’s the Vagabond on March 2nd, as well as SXSW in Austin from March 13-18th along with many dates in between and after. Check them out if you want to see a great live performance and definitely pick up a copy of their new album so you don’t feel alone when everyone else is singing along.
Eric Shaw creates fractal-filled cosmic psychedelic drawings and paintings that takes both abstraction and figuration to strange, surreal new levels. We’ve actually had the pleasure of doing an in-depth interview with him on the B/D site last year, so it was great to catch up with him! Just a few days away ’til “Art Works Every Time,” and we can’t wait!