The women in Ewa Juszkiewicz‘s portraits have experienced a decapitation of an unusual sort: their heads replaced by a series of inanimate object from plants to mollusks.
“In my paintings I take critical view on the way women have been pictured in history of painting and other visual media up to today,” Juszkiewicz explains in her artist’s statement. “I work mostly in the field of portrait, which I intend to approach from a different angle that avoids focusing on the appearance.”
Her paintings, which are based on real historical portraits, seem to draw on some sort of surreal symbolism, perhaps meaningful partly because of their inscrutability. “I am interested in how the replacement of the face by different forms changes the perception of the human figure,” Juszkiewicz says.
In pursuit of that, she erases the identities of the women she portrays, completing their objectification literally. Her subjects are robbed of any sort of expression, instead gazing out at the viewer with an impassive beetle’s head or a shroud of cloth. (via Artnau)
If you haven’t heard the tale of Dock Ellis throwing a no-hitter under the influence of LSD, then you my friend are about to have your socks blown right off. Story goes, Ellis was visiting friends in Los Angeles under the impression he had the day off and went ahead and dropped some tabs and started to chill. Just so happens that Ellis had slept through an entire day, and luckily a friend told him he had to pitch against the Padres that night, so Ellis boarded a flight back and threw a no-hitter despite not being able to feel the ball or clearly see the batter or catcher. Talk about performance enhancing drugs! Well No Mas and artist James Blagden have teamed up to present an awesome animated retelling of Dock Ellis’ legendary LSD no-hitter. Enjoy!!
Luis Dourado’s Famous and Dreaming series literally made me say “Wow” out loud. My fave from the group is of JFK pictured above. I also included two other images that I liked at the end of the post that are from other projects.
Penny Byrne is a Melbourne-based artist who creates porcelain figurines laden with bold—and often grim—political messages. We featured her earlier work in 2013, which delved into slavery, the war in Iraq, and dolphin slaughter. Her more recent pieces follow along similar themes, unpacking violence through images of militarism and animal cruelty, while also focusing on more specific topics such as the Occupy Movement and the conflict in Syria.
What makes Byrne’s work both shocking and persuasive is the clash of a domestic medium with a charged topic. Wounded, disfigured, masked, or strangely ironic, the figurines embody narratives of pain, suffering, and hypocrisy that resonate with the viewer on uncomfortable and visceral levels. Porcelain dolls are usually treated as the coveted relics of a sensitive, “non-violent” culture, locked away in a glass case as objects of delicacy and curiosity. The fact that they are blooded, armed for war, or marked for plastic surgery creates an incongruity that subversively transforms the figurines’ object-status into social, political critiques.
Byrne’s exhibition list is impressive, including the The Fine Art Society in London and Fehily Contemporary in Melbourne. Her new work “Hurt Locker,” an armored figurine made of Murano glass and mild steel, is currently being shown at the Venice Biennale exhibition GLASSTRESS, which runs until November 22nd, 2015. (Via Sweet Station)
Charlie Roberts recent exhibition at Richard Heller showcased a contemporary double-take on old European salon style exhibitions. His subject matter sifts through the sheer availability and prevalence of, signs, symbols and iconographies present in today’s visual landscape. Roberts notes, “the groups of things isolated on blank pages started as a sort of excercise or study to ween my hand and eyes off using photographs to paint figures from in my paintings, and over time they became a end in themselves, a way to make a painting with out.” Organized in loose, self-devised groupings, in a pseudo-scientific faux-taxonomical manner Linnaeus would be proud of, Roberts draws parallels between hundreds of gestures and ideas. The result are images that look like they could be pulled straight from vintage Audobon Society botanical illustrations. Yet with titles and conglomerations of groups such as “NYC Hip Hop,” “Gang Bangin’,” and themes such as obsessive object collecting and Scientology, Roberts depicts not the wildlife of geographic and biological discovery, but bravely explores our digital, information-soaked New World.
The technicolor world of Tae-Jin Seong rests meticulously on a carved piece of wood. Beneath his brilliant colors are hidden texts, symbols and scratches adding a secret aura to the painted surface. Combining that with a scroll-like comic book effect adds unique ability rarely seen in this day and age. Seong’s work points to the old traditions of woodblock printmaking. Except here, the prints are missing and a picture is permanently rendered onto the surface. There is contextual balance in his narrative combining newspaper funnies, scroll painting and comics which he uses as fertile playing ground to tell everyday stories about love, honor and happiness. His cast melds into old Ssaurabi figures (similar to Samurai) with everyday people and western superheroes. He creates a dual reality which borders on what is and what one perceives it to be.
From certain perspectives, Seong’s paintings explore quilt traditions with their sense of bright color and patchwork due to the under carvings. The tradition of quilt making includes the element of native story telling which Seong does to positive effect honing in on the daily life of small villages in his native Korea. In the end his work becomes a foray of hope turning vibrant eye candy into humorously thought provoking commodity. (via thecreator’sproject)
Munich, Germany based Cory Stevens shoots architectural photography in a peculiar way. He abstracts the architecture by photographing a segment of a building and reflecting it in various ways. In some photos the reflection is duplicated, and in others its repeated many times as if in a kaleidoscope. All of the reflections merge seamlessly, though, as if it were one floating structure. The strange symmetry gives the buildings an almost organic quality as if it were about to divide and multiply on its own. In a way, they resemble viruses made of steel, cement, and glass.
I don’t know why I think Rachel Harrison’s sculptures are so funny- they’re such simple sculptures. Joke shop faux-appendage (silver wig, plastic nose), mundane commercial element (cardboard box, ladder) and rough-hewn painted (polystyrene?) form.