The visual world of Daniel Gordon is complex, colorful, wondrous, and invigorating. He creates rich modern interpretations of still life and portrait oil paintings. Inspired by Matisse and Fauvism, and using modern day technology, he takes compelling photographs of 2D and 3D objects. His practice involves multiple steps to reach these bizarre final images. First he sources different images from the internet, prints them out, rebuilds the object from 2D sheets of paper, crumpling and shaping them to resemble the original object, then finally photographs them using a 8×10-inch view camera. After the scene has been documented, Gordon dismantles the different images and patterned pieces, to use at a later date. His latest show Shadows, Patterns, Pears shows his familiarity with appropriation, reusing and contextualizing images with ease.
He builds compositions from fragmented patterns, colors, perspectives, histories and narratives, resulting in some strange surreal reality. He layers up repeating shapes and silhouettes, creating some sort of modern take on Cubism. Described as a kind of analog Photoshop, Gordon’s work is as equally confusing as it is delightful. Reworking something familiar such as nectarines, oranges, lemons, he turns them into an optical illusion of light where dark should be, shadows on the wrong side of the object, the fruit half blue and half red. He transforms a mundane apple into one from a Dr Seuss land – crumpled, purple, with two stalks.
Calling his work “Screen Selections”, Gordon is alluding to a time of visual over-stimulation in the age of the Internet. Reveling in working with materials so palpable and tactile, Gordon says:
“I’m interested in showing my hand and letting people see the imperfection. “(Source)
Cape Farewell founder David Buckland involves artists to help bring attention to the usually scientific conversation about global warming. Hoping to appeal to the public on a more emotional level regarding the topic U-n-f-o-l-d, a travelling exhibition, presents the work of twenty-five artists who participated in Cape Farewell expeditions from 2007-2009. Capturing and creating images responding to what they saw and felt while venturing to places like the High Arctic and the Andes, the artists created innovative, independent and collective responses to explore the physical, emotional and political dimensions of our changing environment. Working side by side with scientists on the expeditions artists, writers and musicians, such as Rachel Whiteread, Ian McEwan, Gretel Ehrlich, Vicky Long and Heather Ackroyd sought to find ways to discuss the topic of global warming from an artistically minded point of view.
As Buckland says of the subject: “Climate change is a reality. Caused by us all, it is a cultural, social and economic problem and must move beyond scientific debate. Cape Farewell is committed to the notion that artists can engage the public in this issue, through creative insight and vision. The Arctic is an extraordinary place to visit. It is a place in which to be inspired, a place which urges us to face up to what it is we stand to lose.” -David Buckland, 2007 (from capefarewell.com)
Watch the video here, and read more bout the project here.
Have you heard the news? Beautiful/Decay Book 1 is almost sold out! There are only 75 copies of this limited edition bad boy left. After Book 1 sold out on the online shop, we felt sorry for all you readers who didn’t get a chance to snap up your very own copy! So, out of the goodness of our hearts, we put the last 75 copies of Beautiful/Decay left on this earth(!) for sale again! You get a real bang for your buck- at just $20 a pop, you get an original artwork by Kyle Thomas, a one-of-a-kind sticker, and of course, 165 pages of glossy artist interviews and spreads!
Is that a plane? A bird? Or perhaps, a Cursor Kit? Nerd alert! Very little is known about this kite. It seems to be bringing the desktop of your computer outdoors (pfff, finally). Quad-line control, asymmetrical framing, nearly invisible hand-formed stainless fittings, and opposed-bow tensioning for the sail make this incredible kite look digitally pasted right into the sky. Read more to watch a video of it in motion.
The view looking out of a window is often one filled with daydreaming and contemplation. Artist Jim Darling creates abstracted images inspired by the view of looking out of an airplane window. His brilliant, wispy use of color and impressionistic style perfectly breaks down the fleeting shapes and colors seen through the perspective from an airplane. His thick, impasto style depicts the aerial views just as they are seen in real life, swift and in motion. The abstract scenes seem to rush in and out of your view as you get a glimpse of the many wonderful colors lighting up the sky at different types of day.
Created from acrylic paint, aerosol, and woodwork, the artist constructs the frame of each piece to appear just like the window in an airplane would, with the window shade and all. He depicts purple mountains, cool, blue skies, a bustling cityscape, and even a wing of an airplane in his scenes from above. Darling takes us on a journey through the sky through different ecological forms, environments, and cities. Because the scenes are abstracted, we cannot tell exactly where his window views are taking us. Even the city is not specific to one exact location. This allows everyone to insert their own memories of travel into the paintings so that we can feel a connection to his work. Darling evokes strong emotions of nostalgia of travel and adventure, as many of us feel while we are aboard a flight.
Josh Jefferson is a Boston-based artist who paints and draws raw, coarsely layered, and geometric portraits. Viewing the face as the locus of emotion and individuality — as well as a mask we shape to convey our identities — Jefferson’s rough-yet-sophisticated style allows him to represent the structures of the face while simultaneously exploring the symbolic interiority of each portrait; with loose and boldly-colored brush strokes and layered washes of paint, Jefferson gives each portrait a constructed superficiality as well as a deeper, visible core: translucent shapes become thoughts floating around inside a skull, eyes sink into deep vortexes, and mouths smile and grimace all at once. In a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, Jefferson described his style and motivations:
“What really gets me excited is when I see a painting that seems effortless — when an artist has confidence and it appears that the painting came about like one fast whiplash, a slaphappy moment. If I could convey that feeling of loose abandon and control I would be happy. The distortions and geometric interpretations in my drawings and paintings act as structures for me to build on and react to. I kind of need to repeat things to find their meaning, and the structures help with this process.”
Just as our emotions shift, fluctuate, and blend together, Jefferson’s imaginative-yet-structured portraits manifest the complexity of inward experiences — experiences that may seem abstract or unreadable to anyone not enduring them personally. As Jefferson strives for that balance between “abandon and control,” there is a distinct sense of chaos and order, childhood lightness and adult stoicism; shifting between semi-transparent shapes and bold lines, Jefferson’s faces invite and repel us. In showing the imperfections amidst an otherwise bold exterior, the portraits allow us to view identity as a careful construction — a facade — over a complex and vulnerable personal world.
Jefferson’s works will be featured at Head First, an exhibition at the TURN Gallery in New York City running from June 24th until August 16th. The gallery will be hosting the opening reception on the 24th from 6-8pm. Check out Jefferson’s website to see a larger collection of his work.
Artist and illustrator Liam Gerrard is a master of trickery – especially when armed with a piece of charcoal in his hand. He draws meticulous combinations of animals (usually dead), pop stars, cultural icons, and beautiful snippets of nature (mostly flowers), that he describes as ‘Semi-Realistic-Gothic-Awesome-Dark-Magic-Black-Tracing’ (Source). Gerrard builds his complicated compositions from different elements to create a surreal hybrid of modern day life. Specializing in portraiture mostly, his work deals with ideas of beauty, life, death and how humankind deals with those complex issues that we are commonly faced with. Leafa Wilson writes about him in her essay:
He apprehends our desire to ‘perve’ at aesthetically beautiful things and people by giving us a few truths we may struggle to look at; ugliness executed with absolute beauty…..He underpins beauty and death through a marriage of Gothic darkness and pop-icon stellar-brightness that totally munts up the readings of his extensive visual vocabulary. Debbie Harry becomes the poster girl for Satan and Frida Kahlo is set aside with her monkeys in a surreal type vignette. (Source)
Gerrard does choose quite gothic material to focus on, but manages to turn it into something that is beautiful and wondrous. He garnered a lot of attention after drawing a 2.5 m charcoal and acrylic painting of convicted murderer Clayton Weatherston. The subject of the controversy had stabbed his 22 year old victim, Sophie Elliott, 216 times and was sentenced to 18 years in jail, without parole. And even with such a gruesome topic that many people would not care to know more about, he somehow managed to create an object of curiosity and interest. And that is enough proof of his immense talent. See more of it after the jump.