There is no real connections between the center pieces of Thomas Jackson’s pictures and the landscapes in the background. We are seeing tutus, magazines, cups and streamers floating candidly in a scenery of virgin mountains, forests and beaches. The artist is offering a dreamlike visual of what can be perceived as the last moments on earth of these peculiar items.
Each image, part of the emergent behavior series, is an experimental coalition of items placed where they don’t seem to belong. This juxtaposition creates at first a feeling of well being; we foremost notice the swirl and the nature. After a deeper glance at what is really going on there’s a hesitation: are these everyday things really the focus of this beauty? The emphasis is made on industrial versus natural; reality versus imagination. Thomas Jackson’s purpose is to come up with a fresh interpretation of our daily routines. Calling for a distress, if we are brave enough to face it, of what is really going on in our ecosystem.
There has been quite a few inquisition about how the pictures where taken. They were in fact photoshopped and kept as realistic as their originals. Thomas Jackson confesses that he photographed the whole thing and then only removed the prop using photoshop: On the spectrum between “retouched image” and “real time image”, I’ve strived to make it closer to the latter”. When a picture can create such a flow of different kind of emotions, there’s no need to question the retouching. What the artist has created is a hazy fantasy that we wish could appear in real life.
“In my artwork I always use printed matter – discarded books, magazines, and computer printouts; the cultural debris of our information society. The sculptures I create reference Eastern and Western icons and intellectual figures, thereby exploring cultural meanings and concepts. I always use text in my work and the content of the texts are relevant to my sculptures. My finished sculptures often seem to be wood or marble, though they consist of paper. They are constructed in such a way that the various parts fit together in a seamless manner.” – Chen Long-Bin, from Volta NY
Next month, Jay Howell is having a solo show of 25 new works on paper at FFDG in San Francisco (“Enthusiastic Person”, opening February 1st, 6-9pm). Always excited to see what this guy is cooking up. Every new series he does seems to improve on the last without abandoning the sense of freedom and experimentation that makes his work so appealing. This will be Howell’s third solo exhibition with the gallery, and if you’re in the area, I definitely encourage you to check it out. Click past the jump to see more new character-filled work, and keep a look out for the artist’s upcoming animated series with Nickelodeon, “Sanjay and Craig”.
Kamolpan Chotvichai explores the limitations of paper by carefully hand-cutting portraits of herself and rendering an effect of dissolution based on the Buddha’s teaching on anatta (no self). Parts of Chotvichai’s human form appear warped and melted, almost glitchy, as if they are about to disintegrate; the artist’s careful attention to the direction and shape of her cuts produces an elegant illusory effect. Chotvichai explains,
One’s adhering to something can cause the greatest misery in life especially being attached to self-existing. The idea of this self-existing is actually self-formed and leads to variety of emotions. The temper, the mind and the body altogether gradually form the idea of being alive but when putting into consideration, without any substance, it is merely the thought that we think we are existing…The way I create my work is to set consciousness and concentration by slitting and cutting on the portrait of myself which is considered to be the unconditional action of effort and attempt. This action is therefore to destroy and create the emptiness which will lead to the stage of naught.
Chotvichai was born, raised, and educated in Bangkok, where she currently resides. (via my amp goes to 11)
Aquadettes is a fun short documentary that looks at the life of Margo Bouer who is seventy five years old and is part of a senior Synchronized swimming team for over 15 years. Watch the full documentary after the jump.
A tent made out of elephant skin as a large scale art installation. This does sounds like a shocking and provocative piece. Douglas White rips off our hearts and makes us angry before we even realize that he brilliantly fooled us. We are actually looking at an interpretation of what he encountered himself: an elephant’s deflated skin, draped and folded next to its bones like a collapsed tent. “Here was a body become landscape, a body both present and absent in which the distinction between the inner and outer had evaporated in the heat and decay. It was a body you could walk through…” said the artist. “Of all those objects that I ever encountered, this is the one I wanted most to possess…” Douglas White creates shapes, in between figuration and abstraction. Through his sculptures he is looking to get us sensitive on current problems like the environment, mass consumption and industrial products waste.
Ten years after his trip to East Africa and after numerous attempts in his London studio, the artist discovered a new way to work with clay. He conceived a thick and cracked texture close to a pachyderm’s skin. From there he developed a work of art around wood and clay. The result is bluffing: over 2500 lbs of wet clay suspended by a strange system of ropes, pulleys and wooden poles. By collecting thrown away or lost objects, Douglas White prefers to work with used materials to create spectacular and strange sculptures. Carbonized tires, containers, decomposed trees on a metal structure; through his art, Douglas White gives a second life to these abandoned materials.
If we makes analogies and dig into our primal instinct we can clearly see the reference to the structure of a circus big top. And if we dive even more deeper we can allow ourselves to link the song from Disney’s Dumbo soundtrack, “Song of the Roustabouts” to the name of the piece and we would be right to do so.
Announcement! Beautiful/Decay friend Jessica Hische‘s first font, entitled Buttermilk, is now on sale at myfonts.com. The font is good for “magazine headlines, book title type, initial caps, holiday cards, wedding invitations, you name it.” In related news, a shirt Jessica designed for B/D Apparel will be coming out soon!