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Linda Ford’s Somatic therapies BDSM Masks

Linda Ford’s drawings and collages were informed by hear early experiences of visiting the Worcester Insane Asylum where her father worked.

“My recent work is informed by Somatic therapies and BDSM practices. as well as other turn-the-century pseudosciences such as Phrenology. Early experiences of visiting the “Worcester Insane Asylum” (as it was called in the 1800’s) where my father worked during my childhood, as well as my own employment as a mental health counselor have had lasting affects on my preoccupation with bodies that transgress boundaries. Experiences with somatic therapies, which focus on mining bodily sensation in order to “release” traumatic experience, led me to research the early innovations of Wilhelm Reich. Reich proposed that mental states have a corresponding “physical attitude” that is expressed in the body as muscular rigidity or “body armor”. In his view, a response that begins in childhood as a defense against overwhelming anxiety or trauma can become an “emotional and physical straightjacket” in adulthood. By drawing on these disciplines, I am accessing the body as a sculptural object whose meaning and content is manifested in its skin, muscle and bone.

This work reconfigures the unified portrait, to investigate the fragmented nature of identity and self-knowledge. In the “Self-Discipline” charcoal drawings and their digitally dismantled and refashioned collages, I correlate female desire, monstrosity and excess. The family portrait collages, juxtapose turn-of-the-century photographs with hand-rendered self-portraiture elements, to merge contexts and time periods and explore the constricted body language of subjects uncomfortable in front of the camera and perhaps within their own skins. By creating “Composite Portraits” like those invented in 1881 by Francis Galton (the founder of eugenics) for the purpose of identifying physical, mental, and social deviance, I seek to excavate somatic inheritance as a tool for self-understanding. The play of outer and inner; surface and depth; what is hidden and what is revealed – is at the heart of my use of animal tissue as covering (armor/clothing/skin). The “Body Armor” series of altered fetish-wear, sutured from hog gut, identifies psychological/somatic accumulation in the body and fantasizes the ways in which internalized control, trauma and marginalization may be recuperated.”

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The Dark Yet Luminous World Of Lauren Fensterstock And Her Enthralling Garden Installations

Lauren Fensterstock- Installation

garden installation

Lauren Fensterstock- Installation

garden installation

Sculptor Lauren Fensterstock crafts dark, supernatural worlds of monochromatic nature scenes, often fashioned in all black, that contain a deep sense of tranquility and serenity. Completed with paper and Plexiglass, these intricate scenes show flowers, grass and ponds. With thousands of flowers and blades of grass, all carefully placed, the work is dense and lush, taking over the room it inhabits. Fensterstock’s work breathes life into the space. Showing a landscape that is distilled into a single color illuminates the beauty and the texture of each individual component. Fensterstock’s work was recently published in a beautiful, hardcover book titled Radical Sentimentalism, with analytical essays and an in-depth catalogue of her installation work.

The details of her work as written on a representative gallery’s site:

“Fensterstock’s. site-specific installation work and wall pieces depict nature by incorporating meticulously cut and curled paper, charcoal, and Plexiglass to create floral and garden scenes. Fensterstock’s work and practice references French and English garden design of the 1500s to 1700s, the 18th century practice of ‘quilling’—sculpting paper by wrapping around a quill—along with a nod to, and reflection upon, 20th century American earth art and the work of Robert Smithson.”(Excerpt from Source)

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Desire Obtain Cherish’s Sculptures Explore Our Obsession With Consumerism, Fame, And Luxury

DOC

DOC

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“Ideas win today in our society. […] I ingest, then digest. Art is really just a mirror of ourselves.”

A truthful quote that Desire Obtain Cherish  (DOC) aka Jonathan Paul takes into account while conceptualizing his body of work. The pop sculptor, obviously influenced by Jeff Koons and Andy Warhol, combines street, pop, conceptual and appropriation art in order to create sculptural pieces that explore contemporary society’s ever-growing obsessions:  sex, gender, drugs, commerce, media and fame.

Desire’s kitschy, yet critical work exposes “society’s inability to control itself as it examines the commercial promise of fulfillment and happiness that ends in dependency.” DOC employs an exaggerated and sarcastic outlook that might come off as cleaver but pretentious and judgmental, but never in a bad way. New Yorker art critic Benjamin Genocchio characterized DOC’s work as “not malicious [..] He is more like our social conscience, delivering up uncomfortable and unpleasant truths wrapped in the most beautiful and seductive of packages.”

Although a conventional artist in paper, DOC deviates from the stereotypical standards of “good taste” in art as his ideas are more in line with contemporary commerce and marketing methods rather than traditional artisan methods. (via ARTNAU)

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Kelly Shimoda

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I guess you don’t want to talk to me anymore is the name of an ongoing project by photographer Kelly Shimoda. The project, published as a blog, consists of photographs of text messages captured on the phones they were received on. In these photos, we get a voyeuristic look into the lives of the sender and recipient, and are led to question the ramifications of this (fairly) new method of communication, in which the message is inevitably boiled down to its essence due to the 160 character length of an SMS. These photographs are a bit hard to read when shrunken down, so you can click them to view full size or check out the blog, linked at the beginning of this post.

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Sacha Goldberger’s “Super Flemish” Portrays 17th Century Superheroes

Sacha Goldberger - Photography Sacha Goldberger - PhotographySacha Goldberger - Photography Sacha Goldberger - Photography

Sacha Goldberger‘s done it again, capturing the spark of magic realism in a world similar to his Super Grandma series. This time, his photographs look like snapshots from an alternate super-history: one where Captain America poses for a 17th Flemish painter, the Hulk is super fancy, and Wolverine struggles mightily to dress himself in the morning. The series, called “Super Flemish,” shows a softer side of iconic childhood heroes and villains. Rather than valiant, Batman strikes a contemplative pose; beside him is a stoically dignified Robin. Alice of Wonderland fame seems grown up and wiser, perhaps having taken some of her own advice. Hands folded modestly, Wonderwoman looks almost docile.

“The collection demonstrates the use of 17 century techniques counterpointing light and shadow to illustrate nobility and fragility of the super powerful of all times,” reads the artist’s statement. “… The superheroes often live their lives cloaked in anonymity. These portraits give them a chance to ‘fix’ their narcissism denied.”

Goldberger’s photo series reframes modern heroes in a way that’s almost mundane but still removed enough by a handful of centuries so as to seem magical. Instead of fighting world-eaters and galactic villains, one could imagines them instead taking tea in the garden and brooding over their eighth praline — or whatever it is that’s hip in the county of Flanders.

He also pulls back the mask to show something undeniably human. “As science fiction meets history of art,” Goldberger says, “time meets an inexhaustible desire for mythology which is within each of us.”

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Pantone Café, Where You Can Devour A Delicious Palette For Your Palate

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Are you always in search of the perfect color palette? Well, Pantone Café has not only given you just that, but their brilliant hues are available now on a platter. Finally, food that is worth snapping a picture of! Now, the food you eat can match your mood or even your outfit. Each serving tray, cup, napkin, slushy, and food item has been matched with its Pantone color equivalent. Even the espresso machines hold incredible, eye-catching colors that are impossible to ignore. The menu at the Pantone Café is a masterpiece in itself, with the food and beverage choices being grouped in palettes that are to die for.

This minimalistic café provides an incredibly modern, aesthetically pleasing atmosphere down to the last napkin. Each colorful edible has its appropriate Pantone color name, with delicious hues such as pistachio green, canal blue, strawberry pink, and dazzling blue. Each meal contains such amazing color that it is almost too beautiful to eat. The café is a perfect little Pantone universe where color and design meets culinary beauty. This is a place where you can truly taste color and create delicious palettes for your own palate. This pop-up restaurant is located at the Grimaldi Forum and will be open only until September 9th. (via The Creators Project)

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Brad Spencer Uses Bricks For More Than Building

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Brad Spencer doesn’t just build things out of bricks, he also sculpts them into existence. Much of his work is large-scale and features human figures or elements that appear to emerge naturally and seamlessly from this solid medium. Bricks are normally used architecturally to build structures with 90 degree angles. Spencer challenges this conception by creating fluid shapes from this recognizable form. He uses a relief technique – starting with unfired clay, he sculpts the walls and figures into a brickwork pattern. He then fires the pieces separately, and assembles the entire piece on the day it’s set to display. Spencer says,

“Brick sculpture can be dated back to ancient Babylon but remains a fresh and interesting enhancement to any building, wall or environment.

Projects may include bas (low) relief, high relief, full dimension free standing and often a combination. The brick medium has all the same characteristics of durability and low maintenance as a brick building, blends well in settings where other brick construction is present, looks good with landscaping and has a familiarity which is comforting to people. Brick sculpture adds intrigue and interest to a commonly understood material as viewers try to figure out the techniques by which it was created.” (via my modern met)

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Brandi Strickland’s Inner Space Collages

Brandi Strickland - Mixed Media

 

Brandi Strickland - Mixed Media

Brandi Strickland - Mixed Media

Brandi Strickland’s collages are a mixture of photographs, painting, and drawing. Exploring different themes, Strickland fills her compositions with people and textures, utilizing a lot of old, faded papers, and National Geographic-like magazines. Inner Space is a series about the galaxy and our world, examining topics such as overcrowding, our relationship to our planet, and our perception of space.

Strickland combines a dizzying amount of black and gray tones, playing with scale of stars and fractured light. Each work in Inner Space seems to illustrate a different aspect of space. In one work, The Duat, (directly above) the artist has included pair of eyes, signifying fear of intergalactic exploration. In that same piece, Strickland has a woman diving, as if you say we should embrace these fears.

The piece titled Inner Space (below) focuses more specifically on Earth. It is a visual magpie; Strickland has collected shiny, colorful, manmade, and natural imagery to represent a world that’s focused less on the great unknown and more about ourselves. The sphere takes up most of the composition, too – it’s just all about Earth. Amulet (also below) has the same thematic considerations that Inner Space does, but it recognizes that we are just a very small but valuable part to the greater universe. Scale-wise, the Earth that was so large in Inner Space is significantly smaller by comparison. An amulet’s most important characteristic is its alleged power to protect from evil, so the title suggests that we are either in need of one or we are one.

Strickland describes her work, stating, “For me, collage begins with collecting, saving, acquiring, searching; then, as if they were memories, I meticulously sort, separate and organize them into something new, something that is both happily accidental and tediously arranged.” The series demonstrates a meditation on this theme, and I’d be curious to know what conclusions she drew.

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