Taking her football player series and combining it with a product usually reserved for the masses, artist Asja Jung has found a clever, new way to market her work. She has created a limited 40 edition set of calendars featuring tightly drawn renditions of NFL players. Admittedly not a big football fan, Jung first became intrigued with these brutal ballerinas when she patroned a local sports bar in her Queens, NY neighborhood. Images in the following day’s papers of Mark Sanchez, Eli Manning and Geno Smith grabbed her attention and she started incorporating the stills into her narrative. Another series which she had been working on just prior to finding the players, entitled “Neighbors”, placed subjects in an elaborately detailed background similar to a dense, tropical forest. Her thoughtful rendering produced a positive/negative space offset by vibrant color. The figures in these, which have included chimpanzees and reptiles, acted as buffer points to highly imaginative designs. Jung proceeded to use the same aesthetic in staging her football drawings. The dramatic nature of sport provided a rich source of information and the players soon replaced the creatures in “Neighbors”. To arrive at a final draft, dozens of studies were made, showing countless variations of mid-air tackles, high catches, scrimmages and close up personals. The finished drawings feature a nice balance between unique draftsmanship and mainstream accessibility. To date, pieces have been shown in the VIP section of Jets Stadium, and The National Art Museum of Sport.
Sculptor Bruno Walpoth’s specific technique of wood working is a 400-year-old craft that originates from the Italian valley he grew up in. He has used this method, now removed from the religious context it originated within, for decades, in his creation of wooden sculptures of nondescript people, posed naturally. What has emerged is a body of work that is deceivingly realistic. From the photographs alone it is not always easy to tell that you aren’t seeing a real person; the pieces are teeming with life. He has become so masterful with a chisel and file that he can precisely replicate the curve and texture of human skin. When he is done the wood appears so absolutely smooth and soft, it could be mistaken as a model covered in powder. This is not accomplished easily, Walpoth has confided it often takes him two months to finish a life-sized sculpture. Some remarkable photographs have been taking of the sculptures placed in nature. One in particular, of a boy in shorts standing on a dock, gains such a hauntingly cinematic aspect, given the melancholy poise and demeanor of the sculpture. The common theme amongst the works is their meditative air; the pensive nature with which they stand, almost as if considering in which direction to begin moving once they break free from their eternal stillness.
Building the world’s first glass snowboard. Watch more videos like this at HERE.
The series Like Everyday of Iranian photographer Shadi Ghadirian is powerful in its simplicity. She created the images shortly after marrying her husband, and indeed the series explores her concerns associated with being a wife as well as gender roles. In the series figures appear to be veiled in patterned cloth similar to the traditional Iranian Chador. The figure’s face, however, is obscured or replaced with a household item, often one associated with daily chores. Ghadirian says of her subjects, “My series is exactly like a mirror of my life and other women like me — my sisters, my friends, the women who live in this country.” Though the series specifically addresses Iranian women, the photographs capture more universal anxieties concerning gender roles – the anxiety that accompanies building an identity as a woman and a wife, navigating issues of power within a marriage.
I believe we were at Adobe Books on 16th Street in San Francisco when Sonny Smith first told me about his ambitious project 100 Records. It was one of many conversations Sonny was having with other artists; simply asking them if they would make artwork for the record cover of a fictitious band. The exhibit opened a few weeks ago at Gallery 16 and instead of writing more about the project, I would invite you to read Victoria Gannon’s review on Art Practical. I would also suggest that you watch KQED‘s feature with words from Sonny Smith himself. Exhibition closes May 28th. Will travel to other cities this Summer/Fall. Enjoy more images after the jump…
*All images courtesy of Gallery 16 San Francisco
Here at B/D we love funny lighthearted drawings! There’s nothing like seeing a colorful little critter give you a quizzical look to start your day off with a smile. Well friends, if you agree, then you will love the work of London based illustrator Marcus Oakley. His mischievously whimsical creations start with a vibrant palette, and always seem to have furry little creatures running around acting like humans. What’s not to like about that?
In a candid conversation with Art Market Monitor and Artnet News, Famed London gallerist Steve Lazarides discusses his long term involvement in the street art scene. Initially selling works by Banksy out of his car, he officially opened his gallery space in 2006 just as the street art market gained popularity. In this podcast Lazarides discusses a wide range of topics from the street art bubble of 2007 to recently curating “BANKSY: The Unauthorised Retrospective” at Sotheby’s London S|2 gallery space.
Katie Scott is an illustrator and printmaker from England. Her works are equal parts 19th century science illustration and tarot card mysticism. Once you look at them long enough, all plants, and living organisms in general, start looking like inspired sculptures. Check out everything on her website, then go to the park and look at the plants!