Photographer Mark Dorf‘s photoseries //_Path is an exploration of how technology and encroaching singularity affect our relationship and place in the natural world. The Brooklyn-based artist notes “…there is barely a single situation that is not influenced by digital technology and communication through the World Wide Web – the Internet and digital technology has been integrated into nearly every part of our lives and will only continue to become more and more present in our daily routines.”
//_Path seeks to explore this integration in its most visual form; combining bucolic and lush photography with images from collage, digital photographs and renderings, and early 3D scanning techniques. These symbolically-loaded, technologically-sourced alterations serve to represent a “…synthetic form to contrast against the landscape in which they are manifested; a comparison of language.”
Though Dorf is certainly not the only artist working with juxtapositions of technology and the natural world, his work specifically calls attention to the psychological and sociological damage our dependence on the tools we depend on, which once served us and now control us. Acknowledging that this dilemma too is human nature, Dorf seems to call for a combination of understanding: an existence both within the frameworks of our digital lives, and within our natural environment. Dorf explains, “It is no longer about logging on or off, but rather living within and creating harmony with the realms and constructs of the internet for our newest generation of inhabitants.”
There’s nothing better than starting your morning with a nice cup of coffee and a little photograph of Robert Plant in a Speedo, playing soccer, casually, in Encino. I mean, am I right? At least, this is how I feel about Brad Elterman’s vintage paparazzi photography.
Taken when he was a teenager in the 1970s, long before roaming candids overwhelmingly lined our checkout shelves and powered ad revenue for various websites, Elterman brings a wild naivety to these specific shots that are, strangely, almost endearing. This softness might be relative to time + distance, but I don’t know. I also like to think that it’s more so reflective of the person behind the camera: a teenage youth excited to relate and investigate not just icons, but also the heart of his beloved city: Los Angeles.
For instance, the most striking aspect of Elterman’s Joan Jett portraits is not her fame nor her coolness, but instead, it’s an understanding that the photographer has with Jett’s charming desire to dwell at the Tropicana and slum amongst LA’s Rock N’ Roll finest. There’s something very optimistic and lovely about identity and everyday social performance that is examined. Scroll down after the jump to see what I mean, and while you’re there, check out a perfect shot of super casual Rod Stewart mingling after a random soccer match in Coldwater Canyon, dragging a pint of beer and chatting up some pretty dog walker. In each image, we are not wowed by hot nightclubs nor couture culture. No. We’re impressed by Los Angeles and it’s rich variety of eccentric yet absolutely charismatic artists figuring out how to be seen and be in the world as they are, at the same time.
Adrianne Techasith’s work brings on a smile! This Los Angeles based photographer combines the small with the big, the real with the pretend, to prompt narratives that only an imagination could tell… or re-tell.
Natalie Frank‘s paintings are worlds in which both form and formality have been melted away. Faces have been disintegrated into their constituent parts, held together by goopy swathes of color; subjects are diving into free love, violent and vulnerable states. One thing you might notice when looking at her work is that however distended every other part of a body may be, at least one eye is always in sharp focus. This may or may not have to do with the fact that until this last summer, Natalie could only receive optical sensation from her left eye, causing her to see a two dimensional world. How you theorize about that information in relation her work is up to you, but if you want to do it in person, she has a show up at Fredericks & Freiser until November 3. Check it out!
David Thompson, the artist behind Monsieur Cabinet is hilarious. His quirky and sometimes shocking sense of humor is paired well with his simple and almost childlike illustrations. Thompson is a master of visual humor.