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Pulse Art Fair 2013 Miami Highlights

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Sculptures by Leandro Asoli – Antena Studio

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Mounir Fatmi, Mecanization No.2, 2011 -Conrads Duesseldorf Gallery

PULSE Art Fair in Miami opened its doors on Dec.5th, 2013. The fifth edition of the fair brings forth an interesting mix of sophisticated, and classic works that offer a critical and progressive edge. Some of the most world-renowned artist are showcasing here, amongst them, William Eggleston, Zanele Muholi, and Robert Mapplethorpe.

Here, I have compiled a short guide of highlights that appeal to the Beautiful/Decay aesthetic:

Guatemalan artist Leandro Asoli creates these decorative, religious icons covered in colorful children’s stickers featuring some of our favorite cartoons and superheros: Superman, Dora the explorer, Spongebob, Lisa Frank, Spiderman, etc. The juxtaposition of these two things, religion and children’s television/book characters, creates interesting parallels between the concepts of idolization, religion, and popular culture.

Next, we have Moroccan artist Mounir Fatmi whom constructs lively collages out of used prayer rugs. This particular work, lends itself to heated controversy, as the usage of said rugs to make artworks is pretty much an atrocity within the Muslim faith. By using prayer rugs as his material of choice, the artist violates the religious object, leaving his audience to be exposed to a deconstruction of religious dogmas and ideologies.

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Kris Scheifele’s Pains On Paint

kris scheifele’s recent work is rooted in process and began with an investigation of paint’s physicality. after thirty to fifty layers of acrylic paint are applied to a support, these slabs are pulled up, sliced, carved, and/or peeled. free of a support and hung directly on the wall, the paint then performs by bending, sagging, and stretching. this elasticity suggests the body and skin while the ‘aestheticised’ decay alludes to the moth-eaten, rot, or fire damage. meant to reflect on cycles in life as well as cycles in art, scheifele’s work rides the line between painting and sculpture. exerpt: kris scheifele among 30 artists to watch in 2012.- NY Arts Mag (via minimal exposition & BH/2)

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Julia Sinelnikova Asks Us if Fairies Are Good Or Bad

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In her exhibition “Black Fairy Egg Nest,” Julia Sinelnikova asks us if fairies are good or bad. Experienced as a ritual site with candles and stones, “Black Fairy Egg Nest” feels like a secret den where winged creatures could emerge at any moment. The primary piece hovering overhead is a nest of hand cut resin light sculptures dripping into the exhibition space. A pregnant mass leaks thin glowing strands and dark stones dangle towards the ground below.

But while there is a medieval and religious feel to the work,  Sinelnikova is more broadly concerned with the distinction between who we are and how we present ourselves to the world. Her use of a fairy as the icon of the work symbolizes the contradictions inherent in our identities. As Sinelnikova points out in her artist statement, fairies are represented as both benevolent creatures who grant wishes and tricksters who can thwart even the most noble of plans. In this way fairies seem to be like us, flying between the light and the dark.

“Black Fairy Nest Egg” is part of Sinelnikova’s larger “Fairy Organs” work and includes sculpture, video and performance. “Conjuring Rebirth,” performed by Sinelnikova aka The Oracle and Xenolith Yolita aka Culttastic uses the glowing, dangling sculptures as a location for mystical curiosity, acquiescence and frustration. “Meditation on Suffering” centers around a glowing square where multiple women decked in shimmering foil move in concert with whispering voices in a neon lit disco. “Sentinel Seraphim” moves the multiplied women out of the geometric world of “Meditation” and into nature where the foil then takes on the likeness of wings.

Julia Sinelnikova is an artist and curator working in New York City. She has had solo exhibitions in Brooklyn, Austin, Houston, Barcelona, and Oulu (Finland). She recently curated “LEMNIVERSE: Vector Gallery at Art Basel” at SELECT Fair, Miami Beach and “Seeking Space 2014” at the Active Space, Brooklyn.

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Harry Roseman Makes Rigid Plywood Look As Though It’s Fabric

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Artist Harry Roseman takes the ubiquitous material known as plywood and with careful cuts and placement, creates the illusion that this rigid material is pliable. The large pieces include “folds” that make them look as though they are textiles. Roseman uses a single piece of wood and mismatches its grain to break up the visual monotony; it fools us into think that there’s a back and a front to this “fabric.” The rigidity is reminiscent of a plastic camping tarp, but it’s still impressive at how, with relatively few cuts, the pieces are believeable as something other than what they’re made of.

These sort of observations and overall sentiment is part of what Roseman is trying to achieve in his sculptures, writing:

The subjects of my work are the bend of a curve, the conjunction of edges, the turn of a fold, the weight and nature of objects, the conjunction of idea and object, the way an idea sits in an object and next to an object and the way surface can obscure and also reveal. One of my aims is to close the distance between thinking, looking and making, to the point where it is hard to tell the difference.

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CANSON WET PAINT GRANT RECIPIENT: Raul Gonzalez

If Raul Gonzalez had a soundtrack to accompany his drawings, it would be a mash up of old Disney movie themes, Death Metal and Mariachi music. It’s a bizarre mix of badass and cute, (cute like a two-year old giving you the finger) all on color splotched and stained pages that make you feel like you’re getting a secret look into Gonzalez’s personal sketch book. You can imagine the free-association process that went into each image, each element building, as if at some point Gonzalez thinks to himself, ‘it would be rad if the chicken was coughing up a human tooth,’ or ‘this guy should have a beat up severed head in one hand and a flaming cigarette in the other.’ And what may look like stains or scribbles reveal themselves to be crucial compositional devices that contribute to the overall success of each illustration. Best of all is the playful freedom: while the characters are often beheaded, impaled, beaten, or in some state of peril, there is always an aspect of humor and joy. Even if it’s the kind of joy some of us got from frying an ant hill with a magnifying glass as kids. Gonzalez brings to mind some of most underappreciated cartoons to hit the glowing screens in American homes, shows like Ren & Stimpy, Beevis and Butthead, and even Itchy & Scratchy on The Simpsons. Shows that are so awesomely gross and hilariously violent they pull at the heart strings of those of us who liked to poke dead things with a stick.

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Ryan Wallace

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Inspired by singularities, LHC and other high science, Ryan Wallace creates complex abstract images based on visual data. Nerdy? Yes. Completely beautiful? Also, Yes. Keep an eye out on this young New Yorker. Upcoming projects include a group show @ Cinders, a solo exhibitions @ Morgan Lehman, and a curatorial endeavor @ Raid Projects LA.

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Scottish Electro-Pop Trio Chvrches

Chvrches’ Lauren Mayberry performing at the Echo on March 12, 2013 – Photo by Raymond Lew

You could have blinked and missed getting tickets to this hotly anticipated show by Glasgow’s Chvrches at the Echo in Los Angeles last week. Opening the show was France’s Isaac Delusion who played very danceable music to the early arrivals and Denmark’s Karen Marie Ørsted aka stirring up the crowd with her karate styled dancing and ponytail flipping… yup, I’m obsessed with her… check out the video for Pilgrim to see for yourself.

With a pumped up and lively crowd waiting, Chvrches took the stage and played a tight set starting with one of my favorites, Lies. Since this was only their second show ever in the US, their first being the night before at San Francisco’s The Independent, the excitement level was pretty high throughout the show. Other standout songs was their new single Recover as well as the very catchy, The Mother We Share that ended their short, but sweet set.

Definitely a band to keep an eye on, even with the buzz, they delivered a knock out performance. Check out the video for Lies and remember to act fast when they come back to town because I’m sure it will be another quick sell out. You can pre-order their EP, Recover from iTunes out on March 26th.

 

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ERICK SWENSON

Erick Swenson started creating lifelike sculptures in varying states of decay to prove that he could. Echoing set design, museum exhibits and model creation, Swenson conjures elaborate scenes with polyurethane resin and occasional elements of taxidermy.

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