Paa Joe’s sculpted coffins blur the line between art and craft. Each work is carefully constructed to reflect the ambition or the trade of the person for whom it was made. They are not dead things but are instead a manifestation of and indeed an affirmation of life. The works are wholly African and are a contemporary embodiment of traditional tribal burial rituals and art practice. They link back to pre-colonial West African sculpture but also recall the pomp and extravagance of ancient Egyptian royal tombs.
San Francisco artist Matthew Palladino‘s acrylic paintings unveil the dark and unhallowed secrets that are kept under everyday lives.
I wanted to issue an apology for committing the ultimate blogging sin: mixing up two artists’ works (!!). So here is my attempt to correct my error.. the HARMLAND/CHARMGLAND post I made was actually composed of two Flickr accounts’ works: Hardland/Heartland and Portrait Painters. This post is about HL/HL, and the next will be Portrait Painters. Damn, the internet is a tricky business.
This description is taken straight from the horse’s mouth:
“Hardland/Heartland is an amorphous cluster of artists working to create an ongoing visual investigation of our own personal histories, cultural interactions and possible futures. Using intuition and collaboration, we have embraced multiple mediums and methods that allow us to present our findings, not as definite statements, but instead as a more pragmatic communication of ideas that can be built upon and developed over time. These results are pieced together to form a lexicon of personal symbolism that serves as an authentic record of our creative endeavors and interaction.”
Born in Hong Kong, Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung now lives and works in New York. His art is incredibly socially conscious, exploring and excelling in high-definition video animation, video games, net.art, digital graphics, and mixed media installations. Currently in progress is video installation “In GOD We Trust.” He envisions Obama as a reincarnation of seven spiritual leaders and prophets. Far from worshipping Obama, “In GOD We Trust” delves into the hopes and changes the 44th U.S. president promises to deliver–and the obstacles he will encounter along the way.
P.S. The “GOD” in “In God We Trust” is an acronym for “Global Obama Devotion.” Not our national motto!
Truly disturbing (and awesome) portrait collages by David Zsako.
The installations of Peruvian artist Antonio Paucar utilize a rather uncommon material: dead flies. By suspending dead flies from nylon string as well as meticulously placing them on the ground Paucaur painstakingly builds each pieces. The swarm of flies loosely forms the image of a human figure. The hazy form created by the collective flies imply the memory of a person, particularly in relation to the space it inhabitants. Further, the flies seem to suggest the idea of death or decay. The last four photos are taken from a piece installed in Germany’s Sacrow palace, a building dating back to the 17th century. The grounds had been inhabited by Prussian aristocrats, high ranking Nazi officials, as well as communist secret police.
Martin Roth’s installation (untitled), debris, re-creates a site of war-torn Syria. Through scattered debris and rescued animals, he allows the viewer to experience a sense of destruction on a more personal note. He aims to materialize a war that, despite its large spanning presence in the news, is still quite intangible for those in the Western world. The physicality of the installation, absent of the gory images often presented in the media, explore a means to understanding the conflict on a more tangible, yet subtle manner.
When entering the gallery, the viewer is confronted by a visually familiar, but perhaps physically unknown territory. The space has been covered in dirt and rubble directly taken from the border areas of Syria and Turkey. The experience of discomfort is furthered by a reverberating ambient noise; the sound of a siren blaring in the distance. The downstairs room has been flooded in three inches of water, smelling of mold.
However, there is more to this work than just a presentation of the wreckage. Roth has also allowed his installation to become a platform for the living. Within the main installation site, the viewer is greeted with the flight and chirps of small green parakeets that have been rescued from abandoned pet shelters. The downstairs is inhabited by toads that were to be sold in Chinatown to be consumed.
The presence of animals take us out of the realm of the polarized, politicalized war, and bring us into a softer, yet more complicated truth. Here, we see a quieter realm, without images of death. The removal of human reality, somehow, speaks even more frankly about the true human condition; without the complications of ideology, scenes as these would not exist. What do sites of war really mean, free from philosophy, ethics and misunderstanding? (via: The Creators Project)
Kentucky-based Robert Beatty broke out with his cover design, and interior contributions, for the 8th installment of the esteemed Kramers Ergot comics anthology. And this foray was furthered with his recent sequential contribution to Space Face Book’s Rat Hex. His work is surreal. It’s funky. It’s creepy, and strangely erotic at times. It is often rendered with a soft fuzz and a hard edge, which is present in his most distinct work. It fits perfectly into the fields of poster and album design, and looks like a strange relative of the classic Fillmore posters. He also makes music, twittles, and flicks. Watch out.