Ever wondered what your breakfast would look like, naked? Stripped of all its Emporer’s Clothes of cups, pans, saucers, toast racks, and then forced to levitate? Well, look no further- photographer Oliver Schwarzwald has answered your prayers. He’s done just that to a selection of breakfasts from around the world. It’s been 4 years now since I’ve been to England, but ah, seeing the above sure makes me miss a good cup of Grandma’s tea, fried egg, bangers & baked beans…good ol’ fashioned fry-up. Can you tell what countries the other breakfasts belong to?
Shaun Berke is one of the most skilled artists I’ve ever met. And when I saw a Rembrandt master-copy he created for a group show, I instinctively knew that he must have had some really insane pieces hiding out in his studio. So, I took the trip out to his place, where he pulled out one amazing print after another. He had woodcuts that were as masterful as anything by Albert Dürer as well as an entire book he made for his thesis project at Art Center that was full of pop culture references you wouldn’t realize he was initially inspired by. The fact that he can execute everything from a classical painting to graphic design work is kind of unheard of. There are those who can do one or the other, but very rarely anyone who can do it all, and do it all remarkably well. In particular though, I really wish Shaun continues to make some more woodcuts, since I haven’t seen an artist do anything close to what he’s doing with the medium due to his level of detail and depth of narrative. I mean, some of his pieces have entire books that go along with them featuring mythologies he’s created based upon heavy research.
Costa Rican illustrator Vinicio Jimenez has some nutty illustrations full of piles of color, messy coloring, and bizarre figures.
In 2011, photographer Colby Vincent Edwards (in collaboration with William Franevsky and Jarrett Scherff) created The 8th Day, an incredible exhibition that “documents” a post-apocalyptic future. In addition to black and white photography, the artists designed costumes made of leather, cloth, feathers, twine, and bone. Dusty, ripped, and layered, the outfits integrate brilliantly with the wasted environment. The weapons the models carry seem ancient, but upon closer inspection betray the remnants of the present-day world: shattered metal and protruding nails.
The photographs themselves are stark and intimate, composed of “high contrasts with rich blacks, and blank white collodion skies” (Source). We see human figures traversing barren plains, salvaging debris, and collapsing in what could be sorrow, exhaustion, or near-death. With their faces masked, the characters’ physical anonymity makes it possible to imagine oneself in their place, navigating the devastated world. Here, the artists have drawn on the appeal of our childhood fantasies, but have troubled them by infusing such imaginative stories with the tragedy and finality of a cataclysmic event. Step back from the beautiful details and you perceive the vast emptiness of the world.
Even though the exhibition is a few years old, the images are still intensely relevant. Depictions of post-apocalyptic worlds weigh heavily on our social consciousness. In this way, The 8th Day captivates us while making us quietly thankful that such a universe exists only in our imaginations — for now. Visit their Tumblr page for a fuller narrative of these stunning photographs. You can view the rest of Edwards’ work here.
Lola Dupre’s collage visions can make Hilary Clinton look like Jaba the Hutt and Virginia Woolf look like a camel. Dupre cuts and pastes her pieces by hand, stretching or shrinking features of the face and/or body of politicians, celebrities, and anonymous characters. Strange though this may sound, her approach to collage seems so obvious it’s almost surprising no one’s thought of it before. This is what makes her work so strong. A really great idea can often seem familiar because it makes so much sense.
In her most recent work, Dupre has been transforming nude figures into unexpected (and sometimes ‘Human Centipede’-like) forms. Whereas in most of them she multiplies limbs and genitals, she throws you a curveball in Osa Desnuda, where she sticks a the top half of a teddy beat head on a nude woman with an ample drooping breast and strange proportions throughout. This one in particular is reminiscent of Wangechi Mutu’s work. She also creates hybrid forms with women’s bodies: confusingly erotic while also disturbing and unexpected, though Mutu’s work is more extreme than Dupre’s.
Although the images are made manually they don’t escape the digital. They reference (accidentally or intentionally) a computer screen that has frozen up where the user has tried to drag the image across the screen, only to have all the repetitions of the image remain as it is moved along. Though similar imagery could probably be made on photoshop, the handmade aspect is essential. The images would loose the sensual textures of skin achieved in the overlapping paper, and the process itself is more mysterious.
Photographer Jeremy Blincoe works & lives in Melbourne. His series entitled Wander & Wonder is currently featured at the Lindberg Galleries. These fantastic images bring to mind, perhaps, the more innocent side of adult tales such as Alice in Wonderland or Huckleberry Finn – just before that darker something sets in, where pure curiosity still survives with wide eyes.
I’m loving these beautiful miniature maquets by German artist Jens Reinert. My favorite pieces are his Tunnel pieces (pictured above). They remind me of my youth, when I would spend hours hanging out in tunnels and storm drains painting graffiti and generally being up to no good.
Vietnamese painter Nguyen Xuan Huy introduces us to the disruptive effects and ongoing legacy of the Vietnam War. His works carry a rooted sense of grotesque which makes it impossible to stay intact. Huy outlines Vietnam’s grim reality by confronting pop art aesthetics with hints of Socialist iconography and heartbreaking results of Agent Orange warfare.
Huy, who is currently based in Berlin, aggregates many aspects of art history by mimicking famous painter’s artworks. Motifs from Matisse’s Dance, Bosch’s Garden Of Earthly Delights, and even Michelangelo’s Creation Of Adam are taken and distorted to outline the traumatic consequences country’s post-war experiences. Twisted naked bodies, guns and dead animals join in a feast of spite and sorrow.
Agent Orange, a poisonous defoliant, was used by the US military and its counterparts to spray on the Vietnamese countryside hoping it will destroy the food sources and thus, end resistance. Only later it was titled the Chernobyl of Vietnam because of it’s irreversible effects, specifically the crippling birth defects. Chemicals used in Agent Orange caused genotype mutations which are present even three generations later.
“It’s insensitive to imagine that because I was born healthy that I am untouched by this issue. <…> So many people are potential carriers of the altered genotype, this is a problem which could affect each and every citizen of Vietnam.”