The Festival Des Architectures Vives, of Montpellier in Southern France, is an annual exhibition showcasing new talent in architectural installation. The Festival is currently in its 7th year. Here are a few images of some of the stuff that’s gone down. Repetition seems to be a popular theme this year, as many of the installations involved in the event feature identical or similar elements multiplied a few times over. The small alcove spaces that contain each piece work really well. They restrict the work just enough to create a slight amount of tension, but don’t distract from or impede any of the installations. See more from the show after the jump. (via)
I’m absolutely loving these photorealistic paintings by Audrey Flack from the 1970’s. The paintings saturated color patterns scream 1970’s with its over the top disco sparkles all over and it’s kitschy psychedelic tendencies.
George Boorujy is a New York-based artist who paints large-scale animal portraits with ink. His subjects are non-human inhabitants of North America, such as bluebirds, lynxes, vultures, and black bears. Each species is incredibly researched, and it shows; after visiting zoos and studying photographs, Boorujy recreates the animals with painstaking detail. Every feather and tuft of fur is accounted for, creating a palpable and almost hyper-realistic sense of texture and animation. Set against a white backdrop, the viewer gets the rare opportunity to study the animals and appreciate their distinctiveness and beauty.
There is no denying that Boorujy’s subjects have a way of demanding our attention; their silent, steady gazes drill into the soul, in a deeply personal encounter. When our eyes meet, the boundaries between “humans” and “animals” fall away into a greater awareness of cross-species consciousness. The following quoted statement from Colossal reveals the emotional and philosophical intent of Boorujy’s works:
“Boorujy challenges the viewer to confront both the animal and their preconceived notions about it. Through their gaze an interaction evolves with the wild that otherwise would have to be sought out or birthed from happenstance. However fleeting our exchanges with the wild are, an impression of their presence marks our memories. There is something mystical at play; a silent exchange that either moves us towards awareness or heightens our fear of the unknown.” (Source)
Titus Kaphar creates new perspectives on art with his deconstructed installations. After painting in the style of classical and Renaissance greats, he begins to change the works, literally peeling them back in some cases. He uses cutouts and silhouettes to recontextualize the paintings in a way seems to lift the curtain and show us another layer of reality. “Open areas become active absences, walls enter into the portraits, stretcher bars are exposed, and structures that are typically invisible underneath, behind, or inside the canvas are laid bare, revealing the interiors of the work,” Kaphar says of his work.
Cipher also experiments with texture, adding thick layers of paint and creating a new dimension of emotion and expressiveness as a result. Some of his pieces are contemplative, but others are playful, like a portrait of a man with the subject peeled from his surroundings and left crumpled before the foot of the frame. Kaphar explains:
“I cut, crumple, shroud, shred, stitch, tar, twist, bind, erase, break, tear, and turn the paintings and sculptures I create, reconfiguring them into works that nod to hidden narratives and begin to reveal unspoken truths about the nature of history. … In so doing, my aim is to perform what I critique, to reveal something of what has been lost, and to investigate the power of a rewritten history.”
Rose-Lynn Fisher – whose anatomical bee photographs we have previously featured – has recently completed a series of images she calls “The Topography of Tears” that represent a study of 100 types of tears photographed through a microscope. During a difficult time that yielded a copious amount of tears, Fisher began to wonder if her grief tears looked the same as onion tears when viewed under a microscope. Using her own and others’ tears, Fisher was able to create a varied landscape of tear structures, demonstrating the diversity to be found within tear types. Fisher’s images almost resemble aerial views, these tear structures fractally resonating with larger scale structures found in the world.
Fisher says, “Tears are the medium of our most primal language in moments as unrelenting as death, as basic as hunger, and as complex as a rite of passage. They are the evidence of our inner life overflowing its boundaries, spilling over into consciousness. Wordless and spontaneous, they release us to the possibility of realignment, reunion, catharsis: shedding tears, shedding old skin. It’s as though each one of our tears carries a microcosm of the collective human experience, like one drop of an ocean.” (via smithsonian mag)
The lovely Catlin Moore of Mark Moore Gallery was so kind as to provide Beautiful/Decay with a sneak-peak at Kiel Johnson’s upcoming exhibition entitled “Publish or Perish.” If you’re unfamiliar with Kiel Johnson’s work, his work, he creates transmorphic drawings, paintings and sculpture that seem to synthesize the ever-expanding media explosion through a kind of personal narrative. Really lovely line work, almost animation-like. Check out tons of amazing studio shots and the artist at work after the jump.
Olivier Blanckart’s works are fashioned using every day materials, such as construction paper, cardboard and tape. These non-confrontational, nostalgic, children’s craft oriented materials, alongside the humorous quality of the works, are effective tools of seduction. Once Blanckart reels the viewer in, with his jovial aesthetic, it becomes clear that a darker, disturbed political commentary underlies, canonizing and raising up figures for inspection and in many cases, subversion. It is this two-pronged attack– drawing in with the a unique pop sensibility, then attacking with sharp-witted critique– that makes Blanckart’s works truly compelling.