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Through A Looking Glass: The Seductive Muses Of Jessica Lichtenstein

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In the sculptural works of Jessica Lichtenstein, the idealized female form is presented in a highly, sexually, charged way. Appropriated from Japanese porno anime known as “Manga”, she reverses the original intent and renders a suggestive study of freedom and empowerment. In lighthearted narratives, her perfect muses flutter amongst a pile of designer bags, sip Starbucks, or work au naturel in the painting studio. These happy go lucky motifs were actually an escape for Lichtenstein’s own depression. Even though trained as an artist, she worked as a lawyer for many years. The daily grind got her down and she would escape through art projects. After creating her first successful exhibit featuring the girls, she listened to her inner voice, and quit law for good to pursue art full time. Not wanting to repeat herself, she decided to pursue another direction for her follow up. Instead of using dolls, she created pictorial likenesses of the girls which were scanned onto three dimensional word sculptures. These solid pieces constructed on aluminum and acrylic, depict scenes ranging from a war on words to sexual liberation. Technically hung on a wall, the different base materials give the pieces depth and become a solid looking glass into a host of childlike indulgences. Seasons, came next and stepped her into more introspective territory. The different times of year are portrayed through seasonal trees whose leaves are entirely composed of Manga figures. Its optical illusion triggers a highly emotional response from the viewer stemming from the clever placement of the artist’s nubile subjects.

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Stephen Wilkes’ Cleverly Captures The Transition From Day To Night In One Photograph

Presidential Inauguration, Washington, D.C.

Presidential Inauguration, Washington, D.C.

Wrigley Field, Chicago

Wrigley Field, Chicago

Santa Monica Pier, California

Santa Monica Pier, California

Western Wall, Jerusalem

Western Wall, Jerusalem

Stephen Wilkes‘ “Day to Night” series captures the day-to-night transitions that occur in familiar cityscapes. Each image represents a collection of moments, not just a singular moment in time. About 50 photographs out of around 1,500 shots taken over the course of 12-15 hours comprise each single resulting photograph. During his shoots, Wilkes doesn’t allow himself bathroom breaks and when he eats, he eats meals brought to him in a bucket because it’s imperative that the photographer pay careful attention to the emptiness or potential overlaps of each shot. Wilkes’ composite photographs document movements within the same space from sunrise to sunset, each image capturing the transitions these spaces undergo on a daily basis.

For Time, Wilkes offers a descriptive caption of many images. Of his Wrigley Field photograph he explains, “This photograph was taken during the course of a Day/Night double header, a rare occurrence these days in major league baseball. Wrigley Field is the Grand Temple of baseball parks. It will change dramatically within the next year, as large jumbotrons will be installed into the stadium, forever changing this view. While the morning was sunny and clear, the afternoon made for a real challenge photographically. We had rain showers on and off throughout the day, and into the evening.”

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Studio Visit: Aaron Johnson

aaron sitting in front of 2 new paintings Aaron Johnson’s sunny Brooklyn studio is full of riotous, colorfully undulating, larger-than-life monsters.   He’s getting ready for a show that opens next week.  Luckily, he had some paintings in progress so we can see how he puts his paint on.  Known for making paintings that are both incredibly gorgeous and politically aggressive, Johnson continues to develop and has upped the ante with his new work.  Now he’s including Old-Master appropriations, political satire, religious abominations, gender-benders, and personal references, all played out in monstrous iconography. 

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Lauren Napolitano’s Shrines To Love And Loss

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“At age 17, I lost every possession I had accumulated in my short life span; ever since I have been a collector. My mission is to document and observe the world around me as if I have never seen it before. I take notes. Collect things I find during my travels. Document my findings. Notice patterns, Copy. Trace. Focus on one thing at a time. Record and follow what I am drawn to. It brings me immense joy to create space for what has been left behind. To preserve the history of others.”

Oakland-based illustrator and installation artist Lauren Napolitano works with found materials: wood scraps, old bottles, paper torn from old books, tattered lace and dried flowers amass in her subtle shrines, which are layered with the tiny, intricate painting style she has honed over the last decade. Entirely self-taught, Napolitano uses her thin, fragile, art-deco-inspired linework to coat forgotten relics of the everyday with new meanings, and new life. Her recent traveling project with street artist Shrine, called the “Reckless In Love Shack,” has been set up at Symbiosis and Lightning In A Bottle, and she continues to fill spaces with her lovely, lightly aged drawings and paintings, most recently at White Walls in SF and Old Crow in Oakland.

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Jeff Sonhouse

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Jeff Sonhouse creates the most tripped out jester-saint psychedelic pimps who are all standing on the verge of getting it on. Fly tinted shades, canary top hats, tight pin stripes, righteous afros, bow ties, fox pelt stoles…you get the idea!

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Bizarre Musical Parody Featuring Shia LeBeouf Turns Into A Full Scale Production

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Shia LaBeouf has our attention once again, but this time he is only a placeholder in an enormous and masterful creative production. While the video is a parody of sorts of Labeouf’s celebrity status, the real focus is on just how incredible all of the different elements come together. A mixture of music, comedy, dance, narrative and performance, the stage piece is definitely a spectacle. You just need to look at the credits on the Youtube page to see how many people were actually involved in making this strange idea come to life.

The actual song, and score was written by Rob Cantor, and was made a reality with the help of The Gay Men’s Choir of Los Angeles, The West Los Angeles Children’s Choir and The Argus Quartet. Not only did he write the song, and draw up a complex and riveting narrative of what happens to our star character, but Cantor also oversaw the construction of Shia LaBeouf heads for the dancers to wear; he stood in on the choreographed dance rehearsals, and co-ordinated a behind-the-scenes video log.

You can see just how intensive this project was, and the lengthy process it took to get the musical to the final stages. If you are still left wanting more Shia LeBeouf after watching the musical number, visit Cantor’s Facebook page for many more interesting videos on how exactly this bizarre masterpiece came to fruition.

Photo by Zach Callahan

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TONK

Collaborative unit created by two photographers in Germany. 

Moment of truth (eminem), part 2

Moment of truth (eminem), part 2

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Outmane Amahou’s Minimalist Art Movement Posters

DADAISM POP-ART

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Designer Outmane Amahou‘s posters seem to need very few words accompanying them.  This series is appropriately called Minimalist Art Movement Posters.  Amahou glides through art history with a minimalist design style.  Icons of art history’s various movements and schools stand elegantly alone at the center of each poster.  Warhol’s soup can, Magrite’s pipe, Duchamp’s urinal all act as familiar symbols of their respective styles.

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