Brooklyn, NY based painter and sculptor Lisa Beck creates reflective, Rorschach like abstractions that function simultaneously as murals, paintings, sculptures, and installations.
“My work has always been driven by certain preoccupations and obsessions, that can be seen as divided between the particular and the universal. The particular is shorthand for the observable aspects of reality, the stuff around us (the landscape, our bodies). The universal is a shorthand for things that are too vast or too tiny for us to grasp completely ( space, atomic physics)— that necessarily become a kind of abstraction. Those are the things that I think about, with an emphasis on the relationship between those things — the place where they meet or interact, rather than the divide. I’m concerned with where I stand, or where anyone stands, in relation to these aspects of existing reality … the act of observation of the place in between; visual awareness and perception as a way of understanding existence, like a filter.
I tend to be attracted to opposing but related visual phenomena like positive and negative, pattern and randomness, color and grayscale, flatness and depth, representational and abstract imagery. I always want to go in both directions a once and much of my work has involved trying to find ways to integrate these opposites. My most prevalent motif has been the circle in all its forms and references. Atoms, dots, spheres, solids, voids, cells, selves, stars, eternity, emptiness- it’s amazing how much can attach to this form.” (via)
Blood Mirror is a collection of various works of art composed of blood donations from gay, bisexual, and transgender men which have been rejected by the FDA. The mixed media exhibit is made up of a short film by Leo Herrera which traces the story of nine gay men who have chosen to “donate their blood for art” given the FDA ban on donations from MSM( men who have sex with men). Their donations have been placed in a large cube through which light reflects on a panel painted with blood. The exhibit will include a sculpture, “Untitled”, composed of the blood collection tubes and blood bags of the nine men from Herrera’s short film. A “Blood Flag” will also be a part of the exhibit.
Aside from the vastly controversial aspects of using human blood as an artform, Blood Mirror has a strong political stance and strives to generate a dialogue surrounding the FDA’s regulations on blood donations. The use of blood in such an aesthetic manner provides not only strong visuals but also underlines a situation present within the medical world. The merging of the science and art worlds displays the necessity and beauty of elements such as blood give us the chance to think about the importance of speaking about things such as the right to donate.
Blood Mirror will be on display at the American University Museum from September 12th to October 18th.
Anne De Vries is interested in “reducing a staged scene into a two dimensional image and then photographing it. The image becomes further removed from a dominant physical presence and allows the focus to shift more to the codes and spells that these tableaus evoke. These images are meant to exploit the visual and iconographic potential of the common world as a language.” Check out “Constructing Virtual Reality” (in collaboration with art group AIDS 3D– there’s something weird with their site right now, we’re not trying to give you guys computer viruses…) where a semblance of a 80’s/90’s cyber world is created by photographic tricks: long exposures and grid made out of strings with black light.