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Studio Visit: Brendan Cass

brendan cass top imageWhen first seeing Brendan Cass’s paintings, you’ll know you are looking at the work of someone who is very free.  Color swoops across huge surfaces, tenuously resolving itself into luminous landscapes.  When I dropped by his studio he was freshly back from a trip to Spain.  Brendan was laughing in this pic because Bebe, his cat, kept running in front of the camera.

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Robert Montgomery’s Poems Are Made To Be Set On Fire

Robert Montgomery- Fire poemsRobert Montgomery- Fire poemsRobert Montgomery- Fire poemsRobert Montgomery- Fire poems

Scottish-born, London-based visual artist Robert Montgomery loves to write in fire. Montgomery’s epic statement pieces are constructed from gigantic letters attached to a wooden platform, ready to be torched. The words aflame, his ideas come alive, sparked by their prophetic tone. The poems appear like floating fortunes, hovering in bold typeface, spelling out tales of ghosts and temporality, horses and palaces, situations seeped in apprehensive futures. The destructions of comfort, foreshadowing the obliteration of power structures and the rise of beauty. The act of setting them on fire is also, whether intentional or not, a nod to the finite nature of art and installation work. It echoes the premise of destruction as the highest form of creation.

Montgomery has also shown many of the same pieces in “recycled sunlight,” or through batteries charged via solar panels, illuminating at night. This electric voice speaking softly within the crowded streets adds a beautiful dimension to the art. Some of his pieces, put up as billboards around London’s east end, look like advertising at first glance. It is this interplay that is exactly what draws Montgomery to anonymous installation as his primary method of display:

“I’m definitely interested in hijacking advertising space for a different kind of conversation. I think it’s really interesting to use that space for a sort of interior voice. A voice in the private sphere. When I started putting my art on  billboards, people told me, “You can’t put a hundred words on a billboard. No one will read that.” (Source)

Well, he certainly has our attention now.

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Russ Meyer’s EVE

 

Russ Meyer was the director, play-writer and producer who became famous for his cheaply made and bizzare sexploitation movies such as “Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill” and “Beneath The Valley Of The Ultravixens.” When Russ wasn’t making movies he kept busy taking pin-up photographs of many of the models and actresses he worked with.

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CLICK TO COLLECT- AFFORDABLE ARTIST ORIGINALS PRESENTS: Steve Kim

Supersecretpowwow, 2011
8.5 x 11 inches, colored pencil on paper,  $450

Welcome to this weeks offering of Click To Collect, Beautiful/Decay’s campaign to help art lovers start their collection of original artists works at affordable prices. Our featured artist this week is Steve Kim whose delicately rendred color pencil drawings look like futuristic blue prints for the human body. This is the very first time we’re offering Steve’s original drawings for sale as part of our Click To Collect initiative to bring original works of art to the masses at affordable prices. Read more about Steve’s work, see detail images of these gorgeous drawings, and find out more about Click To Collect after the jump!

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Deitch Home Beautified/Vandalized

I got an anonymous email late last night with the above image. It said “This weekend I found myself at a party at Jeffrey Deitch‘s new home in the hills of Los Angeles. I’m hardly a street artist but I thought it might be nice to add some value to the interior of his “movie star house.”

Who knows if this is actually Jeffrey Deitch‘s house (looks like the bathroom) but I thought it was interesting that he’s getting so much backlash. Who can confirm that this is real?

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Dynamic Artists Join Forces To Create A Hybrid Series Of Disfigured Faces

Derek Albeck and Grady Gordon - Graphite and Monotype Derek Albeck and Grady Gordon - Graphite and Monotype

When two great artists come together with completely different styles, amazing things can happen. Artists Grady Gordon and Derek Albeck have come together to create a collaborative series in which Gordon starts one of their artworks, and Albeck will finish it. Both artists working in graphite, their work fits together naturally. However, there solo work provides a stark contrast to each other’s styles. Gordon often works in monotype, creating his pigment from ground up cow bones. His organic, abstract techniques could not be more different than his collaborator. Albeck’s work is exceptionally detailed, rendering photorealistic drawings with graphite. When you mix these two opposite methods of creating art together, the results are incredibly unique.

When Gordan and Albeck join forces, their work becomes a hybrid series of morphing, deformed faces that are not of this world. These highly expressive faces are missing many parts such as eyes, a nose, or a mouth at some times. Even the hand that is included in this series appears to have contorting fingers and twisted bones. The winding line work confuses our perception until we cannot tell which end is which, or even, which part is the inside or the outside of the head. You can see this captivating series at the exhibition Sometimes I See You Look At Me Like That at The Smoking Nun Gallery in San Francisco, Califonrnia. You don’t want to miss it, as it ends next month on July 17th.

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Morehshin Allahyari Fights The Systematic Looting And Destroying Of Artifacts By ISIS With 3D Printing

Morehshin sculptureMorehshin sculptureMorehshin sculpture

The artist Morehshin Allahyari has made a series called “Material Speculation ISIS” which are replicas of artworks destroyed by the Jihad extremist group. In a coo which recalls Nazi Germany and other Facist regimes ISIS has been systematically looting and destroying precious artifacts in Syria and Iraq.  In response to this, Iranian-born Allahyari has produced a series which stands as a reminder of her culture’s history. Artwork serves as a link to a nation’s past. The ideas reflected in Allahyari’s work include that by taking over a nation you also destroy their history. The act by ISIS shows that art and artifacts are still seen as strong examples of ideas which can sway a nation. ISIS firmly rejects idolatry and is one of the reasons so many statues are being destroyed.
Allahyari’s pieces are produced using a 3D printing technique combined with plastic and each have a usb drive inserted. The usb carries all important information about the original piece and whether it was looted or destroyed. The artist sees this as an attempt at activism combined with archival importance. The pieces are beautiful replicas done with much care and meaning. Most are miniature versions of the original and possess a delicate vulnerability.
3D printing is a relatively new technique which takes a photographic image and prints it according to 3D standards. It is a breakthrough technology for many artists who see it as another way to execute drawings and sculpture effectively.

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Julian Schnabel, Judy Chicago And Other Artists Who Use Dinnerware As Art

Judy Chicago, The Dinner Party

Judy Chicago, The Dinner Party

Julian Schnabel

Julian Schnabel

Molly Hatch

Molly Hatch

Drawn to the material for aesthetic or symbolic reasons, many artists have incorporated glass or dinnerware into their work.  Julian Schnabel is probably the most prominent artist who has incorporated dinnerware into his practice.  He created his famous “plate paintings” in the 1970s/80s and they became some of his best-known work.  Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party is another famous instance, but with a feminist theme.  Chicago depicted place settings for 39 mythical and historical well-known women.  Each setting features symbols relating to a specific woman’s accomplishments.  Josiah McElheny creates finely crafted, handmade glass objects that he uses to make museological displays depicting one’s attempts to learn about historical peoples from their household possessions and objects.  Molly Hatch is an artist and designer who grew up on a dairy farm in Vermont.  She studied ceramics alongside painting, drawing and printmaking and incorporates all of them into her work.  Jason Kraus uses glasses and flatware to generate reiterations of the same setup.  For instance, for his installation at Redling Fine Art Kraus served a nearly identical meal for the first seven nights of his exhibition.  After the meal he would clean the dishes and stack them inside a plywood cabinet, creating remnants of an ephemeral performance. Esther Horchner is an illustrator whose clever teacups depict bathing figures.  Cheryl Pope incorporates dinnerware and other objects in unexpected ways.  Her Balancing Stacks, for instance, was a performance where a woman stacked dishes on a precariously balanced table.  Like the feminization of a ritual like clearing or setting the table, Pope uses her stacks as a symbol for something destined to collapse.

Each of these artists finds symbolic or artistic value in the typically utilitarian objects.  Using these almost universally recognizable items for art and performance enables a kind of storytelling or metaphor that is unique to each artist.

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