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Chris Musina’s “Volatile Relationship” With Nature

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Chris Musina painting1

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The human relationship with the natural world is a complex one that doesn’t seem to untangle anytime soon.  With animal life increasingly being abused and habitats encroached upon anxiety is understandably mounting.  Artist Chris Musina address these issues in painting and also sculpture.  Musina depicts the uglier side of the human/animal relationship.  Rather than highlight idyllic scenes of nature, he draws gruesome imagery of animal mistreatment to the forefront.  Animal carcasses are often kept as trophies, dead souvenirs of a once living creature.  Painting’s tradition of depicting killed animals is extensive – the fox hunt alone, for example, an entire genre.  Appropriately, then, Musina’s animal carcasses are not there to be admired but act as animals condemning the viewer.  They seem to be holding an accounting for their present condition in the painting as well as in a larger abstract sense. They act as a tool to deconstruct disassociation. Musina further explains his use of painting in addressing ecological and animal issues:

“Dealing directly with our increasingly volatile and uneasy relationship to the natural world, I draw from contemporary animal thought and a deep phylogeny of cultural cues. My work dismantles how we look at animals via “nature morte” painters, philosophy, hunting, museum dioramas, and the like. Manifested in life size compositions full of dark humor and bright color, I am addressing the animal as neither symbol nor object, but as subject, a subject aware of his or her own powerful symbolic nature. Painting represents the bulk of my practice precisely due to its place in the forefront of a history of representing animals. My paintings are populated with animal protagonists who stare back at the viewer in an uneasy gaze; aware of that place in our cultural history– asking for compassion, mercy, or simply to be put out of their misery.”

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Peggy Kouroumalos

Peggy Kouroumalos

 

Peggy Kouroumalos, a Scorpio from Canada, has a penchant for painting people (mostly women) in quite unique surroundings and circumstances. In her “Animal Head” series, Peggy has oil painted these women with animals for hair. It takes one a second to comprehend what they are looking at, for of course we are all going to look at the woman’s body before we glance at her raccoon-hair. It’s interesting we should post this today, as our stoic intern Harrison has decided to wear his very own raccoon-hat to work today.

 

 

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Amy Feldman’s Mostly Black And White Abstractions

Sometimes simplicity is key such as in the paired down color schemes and minimal compositions of Amy Feldman’s paintings. Through subtle color shifts and iconic geometric imagery Feldman gets us  to look a little bit closer at all the variations in the color black and the beautiful imperfections of the human hand.

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B/D Apparel at Agenda Tradeshow January 22nd-24th

Twice a year the entire streetwear/action sports community converges in San Diego for the ASR trade show. Each year ASR becomes more water downed than the next attracting cheesy corporate lines created to make a quick buck and outdated swim suit lines.

Fortunately the Agenda trade show has been making headway in San Diego over the last 5 years, growing its impressive line up of brands with each show. Championing the independent, DIY spirit of the brands which the action sport/streetwear community was built on, a diverse group of brands such as Incase, The Hundreds, Imaginary Foundation, 10 Deep and of course Beautiful/Decay will be exhibiting.

Agenda will once again take place at the San Diego Concourse from January 22nd-24th.
Stop by our booth and get a preview of our Spring and Summer 09 line.

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Noriko Ambe’s Sublime Traces

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I know I’ve seen the book on the left circulating on all sorts of blogs, I had been wondering who’s work it was. Now I share the wisdom.

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Alluring Bridal Photography Gorgeously Crushes Marital Norms

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The Bride With Crown Of Thorns & Cross, 2008

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The Blue Yoruba Bride, Nigeria, 2005

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The Mao Bride (Red Guard Blue holding the Little Red Book), 2010

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The Torero Bride With A Black Suit Of Lights, remembering Picasso, 2006

While we can probably all imagine what typical bridal photography looks like (maybe you’ve even been apart of it), artist Kimiko Yoshida turns this martial norm on its head. Her series Something Blue is named for the antiquated 19th century axiom that a bride should have “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, and Something Blue” on her wedding day. The portraits feature Yoshida in various costumes that are tinged with the hue, but not how you’d expect. They look like high-fashion photographs that feature elaborate headdresses, mirrors, and even a black-light suit.

These subversive images are a form of role playing for the artist as she disconnects herself through them. The M.I.A. Gallery in Seattle, who’s currently displaying Yoshida’s work, describes it as:

…she [Yoshida] borrows an identity, tells a new story and plunges the viewer into a ceremony, where the bride keeps appearing and disappearing unexpectedly. The artist recaptures time, transfigures herself into queens, muses, warriors, and uses the shadow to illuminate the mystery and hybrid nature her ceremonial attires.

Using monochromatic, as the gallery observed, has the effect of disappearance. Yoshida is here but she’s not, showing us that when we’re painted in only one color, we become a symbol rather than person.

You can view Something Blue at the M.I.A. Gallery until August 30th of this year. (Via Huffington Post)

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anitabling.

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Here’s some hand-crafted whimsy for your Wednesday from artist anitabling.  from Uruguay.  Relief and countour give these geographic, multi-media sculptures a topographical view of a quirky, colorful world.  Check out more work on her photo stream.

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Reid Peppard

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Yes, that is a guinea pig comb/head piece. It was created by Reid Peppard, a British taxidermist. Her pieces take animals commonly perceived as vile pests and turns them into fashion items. Peppard says, “…when they become sculptural headpieces, necklaces and cuff-links, the specimens cease to be waste and become objects to behold. RP/ENCORE makes use of the city’s leftovers.” Would you be comfortable wearing this stuff?

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