Los Angeles-based painter Justin Bower makes portraiture a glitched metaphor, literally and figuratively, to the present and future of a combined human and computer existence. Bower “…paints his subjects as de-stabilized, fractured post-humans in a nexus of interlocking spatial systems. His paintings problematize how we define ourselves in this digital and virtual age while suggesting the impossibility of grasping such a slippery notion.”
Absorbing different movements and styles (visually one could see a connection to the paintings of Francis Bacon, Jenny Saville, Op Art, as well as early 90’s Cyberpunk and post-Millenium Glitch aesthetics), Bower creates large-scale works that seem almost pained, frustrated or weariness, but with a computer-like void of any tangible, specific emotion. This is balanced delicately by the controlled, digital-referencing malfunctioned backgrounds, combined with loose, painterly brush work, affirming the power and communicability of the paint medium.
I’m really enjoying the dreamy, Trapper-Keeper sketchbook-esque fanciful designs by Mexico City-based designer Alejandra Quesada. Loving the layered wide lapels above, they look like construction paper cut-outs held together by glue sticks and secrets!
Fresh amalgamation of styles from UK artist Conor Harrington. A little bit of renaissance influence mixed up with some graff inspired strokes, all executed with a masters touch… what’s not to like? Find more of Conor’s work at Kinsey/Desforges in LA.
Designer Ignacio Canales Aracil has created delicate floral sculptures that recall the garden and home. Aracil doesn’t use any adhesives; he dries and presses the flowers for months at a time and then lightly sprays them with varnish. The resulting works are fragile yet strong enough to stand on their own.
“The flowers of these sculptures have been collected in the private gardens of the most renowned landscape designers of Europe,” Aracil says. He also says that a key part of his work is to “show the plants and flowers which represent the better the spirit of the garden in a different place where you wouldn’t expect to find it.”
Aracil acknowledges the history of the art of pressing flowers. “Tradition is a very important value in my work,” he says. Just as traditional or long-lived as the medium, perhaps, are the themes that Aracil seeks to tackle.
“Working with flowers trying to preserve their beauty, faces directly the fears that we share in the society about time,” Aracil says. “Life and dead are confronted in a piece which celebrates beauty, sexuality and time.”
aka…. (Bong Rips, Magical Potions, Mystical Flora and Avatars) is the pretty amazing title of our very own B/D founder & Creative Director Amir H. Fallah’s upcoming exhibition at Baer Ridgway Exhibitions. In case you couldn’t tell, the show pretty much deals with all things next level stoner awesome, from new age crystals to plants mourning their own existential crises. If you happen to be in SF, the show opens January 9th, 4p-7pm and runs until February 13th.
Art meets commerce in this video directed by the legendary Joe Pytka. Pytka, a cinematographer, director and film maker was so inspired by New York-based artist Nate Lowman’s Just One Eye project with Converse he was inspired to create a short filmed that embodied the spirit of the project.
In the video, the viewer is welcomed into an enigmatic scene with a disembodied eyeball, blood and dimly lit hallways. Something sinister and grim is afoot and then we meet our one-eyed protagonist. It leaves the viewer thinking, just what is going on here? What’s going on is a collaboration between artist Nate Lowman and Converse to make a custom Chuck Taylor shoe. Lowman has cut one of his paintings (depicting a copy of Willem de Kooning’s 1954 portrait of Marilyn Monroe) into as many pairs of unique high-top Chuck Taylors as possible.
The great thing about these collaborations is that it exposes a whole new audience to art and allows them to incorporate it into their every day lives. Lowman’s work has been described by New York Times chief art critic as “down-and-out excursions into collage, graffiti and appropriation.” Lowman’s first critical acclaim came about as a result of a show with P.S.1. He has also collaborated with brands like Supreme to create exclusive products. Each pair of Chuck Taylors from the Just One Eye: Nate Lowman collaboration is a unique piece of art in and of itself, a fragment of a whole. Everyone who owns a pair of this collection will be part of this unique part of Converse history.
New York based painter Brad Kunkle’s luminous paintings of girls floating through a world covered in gold and silver leaf depict a fictitious world where precious stones cover everything and nature rules all.