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Anoka Faruqee, 2014P-07, Acrylic on linen on panel, 22.5 x 22.5″, 2014
Anoka Faruqee, 2014P-21, Acrylic on linen on panel, 22.5 x 22.5″, 2014
Anoka Faruqee, 2014P-06, Acrylic on linen on panel, 22.5 x 22.5″, 2014
When walking towards a painting by Anoka Faruqee your eyes refuse to settle. Turquoise, formed into an elongated triangular band, is pinched between two golden curves. The turquoise is misbehaving. Instead of sitting still it appears to flex and blend into the yellow. As you get closer the painting changes, and at arm’s length another dramatic shift occurs, the previous turquoise and gold bands of color atomizes into narrow, serpentine, overlapping lines with several more colors, no longer just turquoise and gold. Looking across the room your eyes settle on another painting. This square shaped canvas is a warm gray that seems to dance. Upon closer inspection the pleasantly worked surface transforms into a swirling design of forest green and cherry red lines. Faruqee calls this series of paintings the Moiré series, after the illusion with the same name. The history of Modern art is often told as a race towards extremes, but will that be true of 21st century art? Anoka Faruqee’s work seems to place less emphasis on ‘pureness’ than other abstraction. Faruqee’s work suggests that we can be more complex, and where artists over the past sixty years searched for the strongest statement, maybe our searches will lead in different, more nuanced directions.
Texas based photographer William Hundley is really proof that 1) repetition is not a bad idea and 2) practice makes perfect. His project Entopic Phenomenon (“visual effects whose source is within the eye itself”) has gotten a bit of buzz but I also liked his other domestic art experiments with cheeseburgers’ stacking potential and the neatest most efficient ways to store a nude body in the house.
Nothing if not disturbing, Alex Van Gelder’s Meat Portraits portray carcasses, flesh, entrails, organs and other animal parts from an abattoir in Benin. Found and photographed in the marketplace, or carefully staged into contorted compositions, Van Gelder’s photographs are corporeality at its most raw. Thoughtfully describing them as portraits rather than some kind of protest, or statement, Van Gelder is specific about his process. The photographs possess an abstraction that is compelling and unnerving. The artist says of his work, “African butchers don’t use electric saws as Europeans do but cut up the meat by hand which produces a variety of styles.The slaughterhouse was in the open air and in front of it a small market where they would sell the still warm meat. I worked there on and off for one year producing my Meat Portraits. I consider these portraits still lives.”
Appalling and even nauseating in their uncensored savage-ness, there is a strange beauty to the images when one steps back and pretends they’re something other than meat. Surprisingly not a vegetarian, Van Gelder’s images are less about animal rights and more about the emotionally evocative formal qualities the camera can capture.
The art of air collage is similar to air guitar. You emulate an original and make it your own. In Lorenzo Castellini’s case that means taking the faces of famous painters and paintings then collaging them onto modern day figures in contemporary settings. The end result is a humorous take on these iconic images and a look at how they would fare in the present day. Even though the project is supposed to be satirical it succeeds in capturing the viewer’s attention by using almost universally well known paintings and placing them in different contexts.
Some of the lighthearted narratives include Van Gogh in various “ear scenarios” and The Venus de milo placed in a shell gasoline logo. The funny stories that emerge by manipulating these images is that art can be brought into the everyday realm and perhaps reach people on a different level. It also uses a childlike technique which plays on perspective and rearranges found images to make comment on the moment. Castellini will take a photo and superimpose the painted image onto that then take another photo of him holding up the collage.
The faces Castellini chooses are from famous paintings which range from Picasso’s les demoiselles d’Avignon to Hieronymous Bosch. These resemble street paintings where the artist pairs faces taken from found images with appropriate photographic gestures which include upper and lower extremities. Material wise it references copying and printing techniques bringing it up to par with today’s standards and practices. (designboom)
Whether it’s hand painted, collaged, and/or sewn together, Jenny Toth imaginatively entwines colorful drawings of the animal kingdom to meditate on a sometimes humorous, and always surreal study of the female condition.
Of her work, Toth states, “For many years I have been intrigued by the way women artists choose to depict themselves. Like many other artists, my view dramatically differs from a historical approach to the female model. I choose to include elements not traditionally viewed as beautiful—for example, a deformed toe, hairy legs, unkempt hair. However I have no interest in shocking the viewer, but seek to share my honest, uncensored observations. I have always been allergic to pretense and slickness.”
The collaboration came about when Adam who’s released a number of successful solo albums sang back up vocals on Little Joy’s debut record. That led to a supporting slot on their tour in Brazil where he got to know Binki better and the idea blossomed from there, “I really, really liked Binki’s voice – it’s just amazing — and she was the number-one person I wanted to collaborate with.”
The duo is about to embark on a mini West Coast tour starting on January 27th at the Griffin in San Diego and ending on February 2nd at the Chapel in San Francisco. Tickets are also still available for their record release show at Los Angeles’ Bootleg Theatre on January 29th via Ticketfly. Definitely pick up their new album next week as well as a ticket to one of their upcoming shows before they sell out, which should be any day now.