At just 24 years old, Ontario-born and Brooklyn-based artist Joey L. boasts an impressive portfolio. Renowned for his diverse collection of portraits ranging from well-known celebrities to tribes encountered during his travels in Ethiopia, his work demonstrates “proof of an artist equally comfortable with the familiar and the exotic.” In his annual “Halloween in Brooklyn” series, Joey L. documents the familiar—locals in Bushwick, Brooklyn—as they don their halloween costumes and transform into a different kind of exotic.
Capturing masquerading adults and trick-or-treating children alike, Joey began this series as a way to “view this local annual tradition through the eyes of a foreigner.” Having heavily traveled and, thus, experienced the unfamiliarity of other cultures’ festivals and celebrations, Joey sought to engage with Halloween in a unique way. Shooting each image in dreamy black and white and setting most of his subjects against a solid, black background, the eerie photographs are simultaneously dripping with drama and laced with playfulness—achieving the photograph’s objective to get “lost in a childish sugar rush of both home-made and store-bought pop-culture costumes of the year.”
Heres a chance to meet renowned artist (and B/D fave) Emilio this saturday at Giant Robot2 as well as other great artsts at Giant Robot2 on Sawtelle. He will be presenting his latest works as part of the Year of the Ox show.
Bohyun Yoon has lived in Japan, Korea, and The States. He uses these “diverse social experiences” as a point of reference for his work, which circles around societal restraints and progressive concepts of the body: possible extensions and perils with the advancement of technology/war/culture on a personal and holistic level.
His installation work “Unity” (2009), “Structure of Shadow” (2007), and “Shadow” (2004) casts light on miniature wax body parts which physically dangle aimlessly; however, when illuminated by a light source, these fragmentations create shadows or illusions which illustrate figurative wholeness.
Tethered to our bodies and systems of government, our parts and puppetry, is in essence, our humanness or machinery, or as Yoon explains, what makes us “weak and fragile, spiritless animals under certain rule, certain harsh conditions.” His work also resonates with a sense of devastation felt by veterans returning wounded from battle, physically and spiritually.
Australian born and now London based artist Nick Sheehy illustrates awesome quirky, street art inspired scenes of fantastical hybrid characters. His work marries ideas from both aspects of low and high brow art; the playfulness and sort of dark humor moments of skeletons and overwhelming string that is reminiscent of veins (or, perhaps they are veins that are reminiscent of string?) winks to the aesthetic from both graffiti and comic book culture. Yet, there is a true classic beauty within each drawing, highlighting Sheehy’s talent and admiration for traditionalist draftsmanship. It is clear from his work that his attention to detail and disciplined drawing style has been developed from an intense labour of love, employing master technique and classic methods. Sheehy originally studied bronze sculpture “in the wilds of Tasmania,” (perhaps giving him the inspiration for such inventive animal-creature centered work!). He then “gave up on art only to re-discover his love for drawing whilst living in London.” Each of his pieces is unique to his practice and full of imagination, cleverness, and sophistication. Sheehy‘s work, he notes, “explores the dreamlike, sometimes semi-autobiographical scenes and oddball characters that echo from his childhood imagination.”
Even through a computer screen Tauba Auerbach‘s work is wonderfully confusing. To answer the question that you may likely be asking right now: Yes, these are paintings. Auerbach folds, rolls, crinkles, and otherwise manipulates the canvas prior to stretching it. She then sprays it with various colors of acrylic paint from different angles. The resulting paintings are definitely two-dimensional work. The process, though, produces an extremely realistic three-dimensional effect, as if the painting were indeed folded and wrinkled then lit by colored lights.
Photographer Orlane Lou Paquet’s most recent work includes a number of models in a variety of landscapes. She places her subjects, nude in mythical, dreamlike landscapes and, by doing so, she has created her own magical land. Her dreams as well as notions of vast nature and solitude inspire her work. Her subjects can be seen lying on beaches, rocks and in forests and give a off a sort of atmosphere of silence that can only be found in nature.
She uses cool colors in her photographs in a such a way that they give off an eerie yet comforting energy that explores deeper notions of solitude and the relationship we have with nature. By placing the human body in such settings, she plays with the intertwining of humanity and Mother Earth in such a way that reminds of our place in nature.
She plays with the idea that nature, like solitude can both surround and engulf us in both frightening and beautiful ways. In this, the grandeur of nature is paralleled with the waves of emotion we are sometimes subject to as human beings, Paquet depicts humans as a small part of the greater detail and the mythological energy that fills her photographs is reminiscent of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the ways that is closely studies the power of nature and gives it a magical influence on human life. She focuses on the vastness of human emotion and aligns this vastness with the role nature plays in our lives and, on a greater scale our existence.
A rainbow colored sky as a sole view. This is the dream-like scenery imagined by English artist Liz West. In a room where nothing else can be the attraction other than a multitude of colored neons reflected on mirror covered floor and walls. A place where senses and emotions relay thoughts and worries.
‘An Additive Mix’ installation is part of the group show Light Fantastic: Adventures in the Science of Light at the National Media Museum in Bradford, UK. It is a tremendous piece of art comprised of 250 fluorescent lights and 199 different colors. Aware that she has chosen to express her creativity through a rare medium she is proud to have found her signature in using light and colors. The large scale installation reflects the genuine palette the artist wanted to use in order to design an astonishing environment for the public.
An aesthetic Liz West has been nurturing for a long time. Fascinated by colors, and the way they mix together, releasing beams and streams of perfect white light. She wished the viewer could be amazed, tip toeing before entering and being part of the art itself. The purpose being to place the body into a foreign context, powerful and mysterious.
‘I have designed An Additive Mix to be an overwhelming, intense, immersive experience.’
LA based photographer Ryan Schude knows how to tell a full story with just his lens. His elaborately structured photographs form a world all their own. Sometimes crass, sometimes out of control, his work hearkens to that complex visual zone inhabited by artists like fellow photographer Gregory Crewdson, director Wes Anderson, and we should probably mention David Lynch as well, just to cover the bases. Dense with intricate details, diverse characters, and everything somehow happening all at once, Schude’s photographs never look the same twice.
There is a story being told, and the image comes off as that of a film still; yet we are seeing a flash of an in between, we are neither here nor there but just in the middle enough to not be able to articulate what is going or why. Schude exhibits a playfulness within his settings that keep the scenes fun and adventurous, but many have that same alienated, nearly possessed, quality that Crewdson was so good at nailing. And that defiant divorce of logic within narrative that Lynch also adores employing in his films. Although everything looks the same as it would in the real world, the laws of the universe are clearly different within the realm of the photographed subjects, and that is what makes them so intriguing.
See Ryan’s work next month at bG Gallery in Los Angeles, CA.