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Studio Visit: Mark Schoening

Mark Schoenig painting studio visit

Mark Schoening has been busy in the studio lately working on a brand spanking new series of paintings and a new sculpture for a show opening this weekend at Blythe Projects in Culver City, Ca. He was kind enough to document the process and give you a sneak peak.

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Alva Bernadine Uses Mirrors In The Creation Of Uniquely Provocative Nude Photographs

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Alva Bernadine is a British photographer known for his color-saturated, surrealist style and subversive content. Contained within his oeuvre are several series of unconventional nude photographs; from conjoined torsos to uncanny perspectives to disembodied legs and fetishized footwear, his works are story-filled portraits that engage and entice as often as they confound (or even repulse). Inspired by surrealist artists such as Rene Magritte and photographers Cheyco Leidmann and Guy Bourdin, Bernadine’s works contain elements of absurdity mixed with eroticism, glamour, mystery, and oftentimes humor.

This particular series incorporates mirrors to attain Bernadine’s signature stylistic effect. He was inspired to create these images when he bought six small mirrors in a £1 shop. “I have used mirrors before in my work but never in multiples,” Bernadine explained in a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay. “After initially trying to get as many into an image as possible, I then started thinking up different permutations, finally working my way back down to one mirror […]. As the mirrors were so small, you can only reflect a small portion of the body with one, which led me to try to reconstitute a woman with several.”

The results are provocative, to say the least. From playful self-examinations to fragments of orgasmic bliss, the images entice us with a unique — but not wholly transparent — form of voyeurism. We can see the nude models engaged in acts that hover between private intimacy and exhibitionism, but we are not given the whole picture; we are never truly certain of what is occurring in the room behind the camera. This ambiguity heightens the erotic effect by taking some control away from the viewer/voyeur in their engagement with the photos. Speaking of his work generally, Bernadine expresses how he is consistently trying to “produce a sort of unresolved picture, an inconclusive narrative, that the viewer has to finish for [him]” (Source). Thus, instead of passive consumption, Bernadine’s images stimulate the imagination, engaging us on both cognitive and erotic levels.

Bernadine’s work has become deservedly well-recognized over the years. He worked his way up as a self-taught artist and collaborated with magazines. He eventually won the Vogue Sotheby’s Cecil Beaton Award for young photographers for The Fetish, a series of photographs showing a high-heel shoe in a variety of strange contexts. In 2001, Bernadine published Bernadinism: How to Dominate Men and Subjugate Women, which won him the Erotic Photographer of the Year in Britain (2002). Another book, titled Twisted, recently came out in 2014. Visit Bernadine’s website and Facebook page to follow his fascinating, creative, and unconventional work.

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Northern Lights by Sweden’s Kate Boy

Sweden’s Kate Boy are set to release their debut EP Northern Lights on IAMSOUND Records on January 22, 2013. They have kindly released two songs in advance, one a video for Northern Lights and the other, a b-side called In Your Eyes via SoundCloud. Both songs are infectious and have been on repeat since they landed in my inbox late last week.

With the success of Lykke Li, First Aid Kit, Robyn and more recently Niki & The Dove, Kate Boy is destined to be the next big think out of Sweden!

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Claire Falkenberg’s Eerily Painted Apparitions

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With a toxic mix of oil-based paint, the surfaces of artist Claire Falkenberg‘s large-scale photos are transformed into mysterious and eerie clouds.  The ominous, milky clouds obscure the space directly in front of the photographer, delaying the viewer’s ability to understand what lies just under the surface of each picture plane. This inclusion is generous, because it offers another layer of surface detail to the viewer who is willing to inspect the ghostly swirls of oil paint. The slick, snapshot-style images of trash slowly begin to reveal themselves—vanishing almost entirely at the center, and bringing into question just exactly what Falkenberg has chosen to cover up in her series.

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Art Basel Miami: Day 1

Any attempts to describe the madness that was Art Basel Miami 2010 in a few sentences will undoubtedly fall short. Put succinctly – lots of art, lots of people, lots of sun, lots of fun. People go to Art Basel Miami for many different reasons, but yours truly went in search of the ever-exciting, awe-inspiring, never-before-seen, knock-your-socks-off, kick-ass kind of art that makes me say YES! Did I find what I was looking for? It’s hard to say my friends, so loyal B/D reader you be the judge. Here are some of the highlights from Day 1: Art Basel Miami Beach…

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Germinal Roaux

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I don’t know much about photographer Germinal Roaux because his Wikipedia page is in French, but just the fact that he has a Wikipedia page is good enough for me. Not to mention his lovingly rich black and white photos. They look like I could scoop them up with a butter knife and smooth them over my morning scone. From ballerinas to rock stars, Roaux wraps each of his images in his own special blend of spellbound.

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Daniel Davidson Gets Symmetrical

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Daniel Davidson makes some sweet drawings.  These mirror image eye feasts walk a fine line, and feel like the characters could either be bugging out or eerily still.

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Ryan Wallace

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Inspired by singularities, LHC and other high science, Ryan Wallace creates complex abstract images based on visual data. Nerdy? Yes. Completely beautiful? Also, Yes. Keep an eye out on this young New Yorker. Upcoming projects include a group show @ Cinders, a solo exhibitions @ Morgan Lehman, and a curatorial endeavor @ Raid Projects LA.

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