Helen Frankenthaler once said, “I don’t start with a color order but find the color as I go. I’d rather risk an ugly surprise then rely on things I know I can do.”
Likewise, we get the sense that LA based artist Caitlin Lonegan’s process is similar. Her color palette (collected here) meditates on the bravery of a spontaneous stark of brightness erupting from the murk. Yet, there is also an overall resonating calm sense of vibrancy that is truly understated, not forced.
As viewers, we can’t help but embrace the comfort and excitement of well laid paint in seemingly simplistic guttural compositions.
The world of dollhouse miniatures is dominated by sweet structures with period-perfect furniture and impossibly tiny accessories. Leanne Eisen subverts all expectations with “Play” her photo series of 1/12th scale brothel, strip club and other sex trade sites. Eisen makes the pieces of these meticulously detailed scenes herself, having found difficulty in sourcing ready-made miniature condoms, porn magazines and sex toys. The spaces have a seedy, disreputable air enhanced by the details—a used washcloth hangs haphazardly over the sink, sequined shoes are abandoned on the strip club stage, and a forest of egg timers sits under posted house rules. Although Eisen had not been in an actual brothel, she researched films, documentaries, books, and photographs to create her voyeuristic spaces.
The photographs in “Play” are enlarged, playing with scale to disorienting effect. Scenes that are rendered in miniature are suddenly life-size again, with no referent of scale in the images. These are realistic spaces but they are also fantastical. No woman will ever spin on the golden pole. The cow clock in the kitchen will always read 10:10. These abandoned rooms tell their stories through their contents. She says:
I am very interested in residential spaces; the artifacts that we accumulate and leave behind, and how they tell our stories in our absence. I also find the idea of a space that is seemingly a workplace as well as a residence intriguing. In these photos, the viewer takes the role of voyeur, and can take the time to analyze the setting at a perhaps more manageable, less intimidating scale.
The series also serves as a commentary of the accepted social roles for women in a residential space. Where a traditional dollhouse might have a domestic mother figure keeping house, these spaces are intended for women as sexual objects. Whether in the sad paneled room with the pink-clad single bed or in the black walled sex chamber with its red X and metal cage, these are spaces intended to commercialize women.
Through detailed conceptualization, deliberate craft and artful photography, “Play” blurs the lines between whimsy and menace, making pointed observations about the place of women in this world.
Kant, in “The End of All Things,” suggested that the imagination is more active in the dark than in the light. The current exhibition at Matthew Bown gallery explores this concept for its current group exhibition. Taking its title from Baudelaire’s description of his Creole lover, “noire et pourtant lumineuse,” (black and yet luminous), Matthew Bown literally “turns the lights off” in the gallery, shrouding it in total darkness, to present a group of artists who explore concepts of lightness/darkness within their work. Alexander Brodsky, above, creates an organ griding machine that plays the Beatles, and encases a lit-up city in the murky depths of an tank aquarium tank. Gunda Forster’s work consists of a wedge of intensely bright light, shining through a crack between the door and the floor- referencing the great divine mystery of that which lies beyond. The exhibition runs until May 25 in Berlin.
Artist always need to make their homes different. We collect designer furniture, find old design treasures at flea markets and estate sales, and go the extra mile to make our homes uniquely ours. Apparently the same goes for the artsy neighborhood of Neustadt Kunsthofpassage in Dresden, Germany. Designed by Christoph Roßner, Annette Paul, and Andre Tempel who all live in the building, the rain gutter house is truly a work of kinetic art bringing together rainfall and a complex system of rain gutters that weave in and out of one another on the buildings facade. The result is a musical symphony of sound everytime it rains, making the house one of the largest instruments and an awesome display of what a bit of creativity can create! Watch a video of the house in action after the jump!
Martin Klimas is no stranger to meticulously timed photography. From his speaker-induced dancing paint splatters to his shattered blooms and vases, Klimas’ work captures moments in time that record a disruption of order. Klimas’ porcelain action figures are dropped from a height of about 10 feet, and it’s the sound of the figurines crashing that triggers the high-speed camera’s shutter release. This methodology results in images that represent a temporary, dynamic moment in time that becomes a permanent, static image through the art of photography. Klimas’ figurines appear to be engaged in aggresive battle, each shattering figure creating a narrative made possible from a singular image. Mid-destruction, these figurines convey a strong power and energy that couldn’t be perceived pre- or post-destruction. (via juxtapoz)
Photographer Alma Haser has often incorporated origami into her work. However, in her series Cosmic Surgery the origami is brought to the forefront. For the Cosmic Surgery Haser photographs a series of portraits. She next makes multiple prints of the portraits and folds them into complex origami objects. The origami pieces are placed back into the portrait and a photograph is taken of the final composition. Haser mixes the meditative nature of origami and transposes it onto the face of her subject, somehow injecting simple portraits with an esoteric atmosphere.
Society has long had a fascination with dolls and the creepy connotations that come along with them, with such horror films as Child’s Play confirming our worst nightmares. Photographer Annie Collinge is no exception. Her own uncomfortable feeling associated with dolls has created a bizarre fascination inspiring her series 5 Inches From Limbo, which includes photographs of dolls with their human counterparts. Collinge find vintage, strange looking dolls in thrift shops and flea markets, and finds a person in the flesh that resembles the doll. She even dresses her humans to mirror their doll, creating a surreal vision of a person alongside their miniature, porcelain self. Eerie as it may sound, her photographs are relentlessly intriguing while still holding an odd beauty.
Originally hailing from London, the artist had traveled to Manhattan when she found her first doll for the series. The inspiration came when she spotted a vintage doll that boar a surprising likeness to her Aunt Yolanda, outfit and all. After this encounter, she searched for interesting, antique dolls or people that look somewhat like dolls themselves to start the next pairing. She will then find a doll to match her subject, or dress a person to fit the part. Either way, each chosen person displays a striking resemblance to each unique doll, with cherub faces and big round eyes. You may be wondering where all of the dolls end up after the photograph is taken. Well, although a little disturbed by them, the artist keeps each and every one. Dolls often seem to hold a life of their own, and with the help of Collinge, her dolls have now transformed into real life human beings, however unnerving it may be. (via Featureshoot)
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