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Jan Fabre is an innovative visual artist whose works explore the realms of psychology, anatomy, and metamorphosis. Throughout his career, Fabre has been particularly fascinated by the human brain—the seat of cognition, and arguably, the spirit—and the way neurobiology intersects with the heart. He studied the brain for over ten years, working in dialogue with neurobiologist Giacomo Rizzolatti. Wondering about the brain’s role in the experience of emotion and empathy, Fabre asks himself and his viewers, “Do we feel with our brains and think with our heart?”
Featured here is a series of Fabre’s Carrara marble brain sculptures, each one bearing surprising elements; insects crawl across the veined surfaces, and scissors and corkscrews protrude in a macabre flare of the surgeon’s table. Fabre experienced being in a coma twice in his life, which caused him to explore the brain as an eerie, post-mortem state (Source). As a result, death is present throughout these works; the brains stand as white monuments not only to our mortality, but to our statuses as both individuals and interconnected human beings. Following this theme, Fabre has also sculpted marble bodies resting on tombs, similarly adorned with insects, which represent the transmutation of the physical and spiritual, life and decay.
Fabre’s work will be exhibited at the Deweer Gallery in Otegem, Belgium, from November 4th–December 20th, 2015. Titled 30 Years / 7 Rooms, the show features Fabre’s decades-long collaboration with Mark Deweer. (Via Hi-Fructose)
DIY Gallery is pleased to present Making War curated by Los Angeles based Cassandra Simon.
Paa Joe’s sculpted coffins blur the line between art and craft. Each work is carefully constructed to reflect the ambition or the trade of the person for whom it was made. They are not dead things but are instead a manifestation of and indeed an affirmation of life. The works are wholly African and are a contemporary embodiment of traditional tribal burial rituals and art practice. They link back to pre-colonial West African sculpture but also recall the pomp and extravagance of ancient Egyptian royal tombs.
Brazilian artist Rafael Silveira’s paintings are a cabinet of curiosities mixed with the worlds weirdest circus side show.
Chilean artist Santiago Salvador Ascui paints melodic, colorful arrays of pattern-like assembled people. His careful lines, bright use of color, and charmingly hand painted perfection is reminiscent of work from the Mission School movement, specifically the paintings of Margaret Kilgallen and Chris Johanson. While having the playfulness of the “new folk” work of the 1990s, his work is also informed by a strict systematic structure. His pieces function almost as color studies, guiding the eye through the placement of hue, rather than, as most figurative paintings would, narrative. As he falls in and out of saturation, his work sometimes seems to mimic the cycle of the moon. He arranges his figures in sequences, perhaps forming the aesthetic of Josef Frank meets Josef Albers.
Though the work is aesthetically joyful and decorative, his use of repetition and unification through tonality also speaks to a certain aspect of conformity and monotony. He speaks about the work as a pictorial representation of consumer culture. During the digestion of each piece, the viewer cannot help but to see every figure as the same. The patterned pieces create a true sense of identity-less beings; as if to say that everyone is within the same cycle, drawn into the same pattern (if you will), and unlinked to any sense of individuality. However, Santiago Salvador Ascui’s work also draws an important question; when does the need to be different begin to silence the need to be the same? Despite the burden of a plastic society, perhaps the unification of all figures is actually, in a sense, a positive message. (Via The Jealous Curator and Artishock)