Amii Stewart, disco legend, and starring in possibly one of the most decadent music videos I’ve seen. I’m not sure what the pinnacle of video technology dictated in the late-late 70s but digital media artists like John Whitney were already starting to make fairly advanced films out of just graphics programming as early as the ’60s. “Knock on Wood” lyrics are after the jump if you were so inclined to watch the video and sing along…
Funk upon a time, Brian Belott and Jesse Greenberg teamed up to create a two man show for Gallery Loyal in Sweden. I was wondering how to explain the work, but in the press release it says that “Not being able to pin down exactly what these objects are referring to is one of their powers,” so it’s better unexplained. I asked Brian about the power of not knowing and funkiness once, and he explained that working funky meant the difference between drawing inspiration from the sadness of the Blues, or the celebration of George Clinton and Parliment Funkadelic. The work in this show feels like a mash up between the ancient Egyptian religion, which at the time was thought to keep the sun rising, and today’s science fiction; a mythological range from prehistory to the future, it either expands time or contracts it depending on whether you like the Blues or P-Funk.
Turkish photographer Yonca Karakas used to want to be a genetic engineer due to her attraction to the idea of cloning. Somewhere along the line she became a photographer instead, but this fascination with mass produced identities is all too present within her work. Her work, which is polished and waxen, features symbols and people styled, and nearly de-stylized, to look mute and plasticine.
Karakas utilizes symmetry to her artistic advantage. She manipulates framing by organizing her props to dramatize the exploitation of whatever symbol: meat, or the cross, she is working with. Her characters are emotionless; colonized by the future, they are clean, well groomed, and the antithesis of squeamish. They wear meat, their religion is sugar coated. When thinking of her work, she recognizes that she is in the business of constructing dreams:
“I don’t like to define every frame I shoot or say ‘that is exactly what I tried to tell’. Once it’s all done that’s when I think why I shot it, I go back and say I might have been influenced by this or that movie. And by going back I can see my concerns and try to solve them. The Box is influenced by Ray Bradbruy’s novel Fahrenheit 451. It’s about a despotic future in an oppressive community where books are burnt by firefighters, televisions broadcasting brainwashing shows. I believe we are more or less facing the same situation now. We are burying ourselves in our tablets and phones, looking at ourselves and making others watch us too. It’s like we really like that, don’t we?”
(Excerpt from Source)
Pearl C. Hsiung creates really awesome Manga inspired cosmic scenes of fantasy worlds with enamel on canvas. Hsiung was born in Taiwan in 1973 and lives and works in Los Angeles. You can catch some of her work on display at the Steve Turner Contemporary art gallery from October 16-November 13, 2010. Check her out!
Pierre Commoy and Gilles Blanchard – Pierre and Gilles – have made portraits of Madonna, Jean Paul Gaultier, Andy Warhol, and Iggy Pop, just to name a few. The portraits are sexually charged and totally fantastical. Their subjects are placed under water, surrounded by flowers, or in what looks like a McDonalds ball pen (a not so subtle reference, in the tradition of most of their portraiture). Their kitschy and outlandish aesthetic has had them attain international recognition; they’re included in collections like the MoMA’s and have had a major retrospective at the New Museum in 2000.
Not only do they work together professionally, they have also been together as a couple for the duration of their shared career. Pierre is the photographer, and Gilles does the painting afterward. According to a VMagazine interview, the entire process of one portrait takes them about three weeks:
“We do everything from creating the décor to taking the picture to constructing the frame. We are always inspired by the person’s personality.”
Although their sexual orientation is a large part of their public persona, they say they are cautious not to pigeonhole themselves into what they call the “gay ghetto” and for this reason take portraits of a variety of celebrities they admire, while maintaining their own distinct style.
Their aesthetic is whimsical and edgy. Certainly setting a man up fully nude peeing into a garden of flowers is not an image you will see every day. It’s provocative, but not aggressive, probably because of the teasing, over-the-top nature of the accompanying imagery. They find a way to playfully bring the mainstream out of its comfort zone so it seems like every day should be filled with sexy nuns riding bedazzled horses!
Last night I was invited to attend a preview of Exit Through The Gift Shop, the much hyped documentary by the street artist Banksy. By now, you all know that I’m an avid documentary junkie. I’ll watch a documentary about paint drying on a wall if it’s well made. I’ll admit, I went into the screening room expecting to hate it- so was Banksy able to win me over?
Beautiful/Decay Book: 8 is on its way to us from the printers and we just can’t wait to share with you all the amazing artists that we have featured. We’re not ready to announce who made the cut and what the theme is just yet but I thought i’d tease you with just a small portion of the cover. Why don’t you take a guess and see if you can figure out what’s on the cover. It’s one of our best cover images yet and I know it will blow you away. Make sure to reserve your very own copy of Beautiful/Decay Book 8 by subscribing today. We have only printed 1,500 books and once they are sold out they will never be reprinted again!