Pierluigi Fracassi is a multidisciplinary Italian artist. He works in everything from photography to sculpture. In his installation work, Fracassi uses mirrors, bones, and thread to great effect. He also uses a lot of text in his works, like the mirrored piece, “Verresti al ballo con me?” (will you go to prom with me?). Cold and humane at the same time, definitely some interesting stuff going on. Click through to see more from the artist.
Zachari Logan is a Saskatoon-based artist who creates stunningly detailed drawings, installations, and ceramic works that explore representations of masculinity and queer identities. Proliferating throughout his works are thick amalgams of nature; beards and hair sprout into lush habitats for various animals (see the “Wild-Man” series); ceramic petals cluster together like piles of delicate, bleached bones (“Fountain 1”); and elsewhere, a mythological body composed entirely of flora and fauna melds with the surrounding forest (“Leshy 2”). Interestingly, the plants depicted are of diverse origins, sourced from images collected by Logan in North America and Europe. These beautifully-woven hybrid landscapes represent the liminal spaces inhabited by queer identities — that is, those vital spaces between “here” and “there” that unsettle the restrictive binaries of heteronormative gender and sexuality.
Many of these works are interpretative self-portraits of Logan, created in the exploration of his own body, memories, and sense of place. However, in his more recent works, Logan has portrayed the body more as a “catalyst,” thereby allowing him to “re-wild his body as a queer embodiment of nature” (Source). One of his most spectacular and ongoing works, the Eunuch Tapestry Series, exemplifies this shift from self-portraiture to a more objective exploration of identity, both corporeal and incorporeal. Based on the fourteenth-century Flemish Unicorn Tapestries, the Eunuch Tapestries feature camouflaged bodies (self-representations of Logan) crouching and searching amidst walls of dense, dark foliage. The newest work, “Tapestry 5” (shown above), features a nude, shadowy figure moving quietly through the hybridized forest. Whereas the Unicorn Tapestries represent a search for a mythical creature, Logan’s works metaphorically explore the liminal terrain of queerness, discovering new bodily narratives infused with history, myth, and presence.
Always investigating and expanding the boundaries between the physical and metaphysical, Logan’s ceramic works draw these two realms together. “Fountain 1,” for example, is a time-based installation whose bone-like flowers accumulate every time it is shown, proliferating like a living thing despite its sterile, ceramic composition. The Root Series also represents a philosophical blending of physical body and metaphysical time, place, and memory; detached body parts surrealistically sprout flourishing weeds. In these works, the body is both the adornment and the catalyst, the tangible and intangible vessel through which we derive personal meaning and identity.
Logan is currently attending the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) in Brooklyn (ending this month). His “Eunuch Tapestry 5” is on display at the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art until Tuesday, June 23rd. He is currently exhibiting at Paul Petro Contemporary Art in Toronto until July 11th, and is also featured this month at Western Project in Los Angeles. Keep an eye out for Logan’s upcoming projects in in Atlanta, Seattle, Regina (Canada), and Verona, and visit his website and Facebook page to see more beautiful and exploratory works.
“My most recent sculptural installations are constructed with discarded electronic materials: computer, telephone and electric cables, thousands of burnt-out bulbs, meters of videotape, old slot machines, celluloid, DVDs, etc. The installations explore the short life expectancy of the technologies we cast off and their relationship to organic mortality.
These installations also seek to reanimate the lifeless. Light animations projected onto the installations appear to free the energy stored in the electronic waste, awakening in it memories of its past.
Through my work I try to bring dead materials back to life, reveal their secrets, revive the collective memory they contain to construct an accurate portrait of a society and an age.” – Daniel Canogar.
A straight acid trip. Broken Fingaz Crew has captured the eye with their vibrant, colorful, in your face artwork. Infused with artful humor, I chuckled at some pieces as my eyes were immersed in this cauldron of comic book style color. “Our dreams are your nightmares”; a tagline that speaks volumes about their work.
Juan Travieso‘s work is a sort of contemporary nature painting. His paintings of monkeys, bears, birds, seem to be falling apart into garbled digital information. Travieso appears to be capturing the animals a moment before they degenerate into unintelligible pixels of color. This could reflect an environment that is falling apart despite (or perhaps because of) constant technological progress. Travieso captures a sense of urgency in the paintings, an irretrievable moment soon to pass.
The Singh Project is a wonderful, celebratory look at a modern, multicultural Britain and features members of the Sikh community. British photographers Amit and Naroop are exhibiting 35 very different portraits as a visual exploration of faith, style and identity. These intimate images highlight two very important symbols of the Sikh lifestyle – the beard and the turban (Dahar). The turban in particular is a representation of honor, self-respect, courage, spirituality, and piety. Sikh men (and women) wear the turban to cover their long, uncut hair (kesh), and are also seen in this series brandishing a traditional Sikh sword (kirpan).
Originating in South Asia – primarily in India, Singh was a popular middle name or surname for lords and warriors. Meaning Lion (from the Sanskrit word Simha/Sinha), it was later adopted by the Sikh religion, and today is compulsory for all baptized Sikh males. The sense of pride connected with the history of the name Singh is evident on the faces of these men. They obviously are very proud of being Sikh and enjoy their religion outwardly.
“Many religions determine the way their followers look, but none have such a dramatic and definite ‘look’ as Sikhism. And yet, with 30 million Sikhs in the world, there are almost as many ways to wear the turban and beard as there are Sikhs…The men who feature in this project are businessmen, boxers, IT professionals, doctors, fashion stylists, temple volunteers, magicians and a host of other occupations all adapting and interpreting the Sikh traditions in their own way.” (Source)
The appeal of the beard is still proving popular – after successfully raising 10,000 pounds through Kickstarter (see video here), Amit and Naroop are hosting a free exhibition of the prints opening at The Framers Gallery in Central London from 3rd-15th November.
Erika Sanada is a Tokyo-born, San Franscico-based sculptor whose supernatural animal creations traverse the boundary between dream and nightmare. In many ways, her creatures seem soft and gentle — the colors are pale, the textures soft. However, many are riddled with terrifying bodily anomalies: dogs with several rows of fangs, others writhing in agony and tearing at their own skin, and mutant birds bursting out of torsos and faces. The blank, dead eyes of the animals further add to their moral ambivalence; without the pupil — that center of consciousness — their eyes could be those of a gentle, all-seeing spirit, or of the soulless undead.
Whether it is their eyes, human-like skin, or abnormalities (some of the animals appear to be painfully conjoined to others), Sanada’s creations rattle with uneasiness; they are both endearing and unsettling in their suffering and strangeness. In her Artist Statement, Sanada identifies her own experiences with anxiety as the source of her inspiration. “I worry about everything, even tiny things,” she writes. “Anxiety drags my mind to the dark side, which is more powerful and intense than my bright side.” Instead of being paralyzed by such fears, Sanada decided to confront them by molding them into beautiful, hideous life; it is her way of gaining control over her anxiety — and indeed, in embracing her own darkness and transforming it into art.
Sanada recently exhibited at Antler Gallery in Portland, Oregon, and will be showing again at the Flower Pepper Gallery in Pasadena, California, this Februrary. Check out Sanada’s website for a stunning gallery of her beautiful and tortured dream-creatures. (Via Design Faves)
The therapeutic effects of art can reveal itself in wonderful and mysterious ways. It can also be a sarcastic “f” you given the proper creator. Photographer Statia Grossman, who fits into the second category, has just released her first book on Amazon, entitled “Sh*t You Left Behind”, a series of pictures taken with her ex-lover’s items. Judging by the pix and comments, it wasn’t a happy breakup. No, this was definitely filled with much drama and Grossman appears as a woman scorned. It’s an interesting study into what drives people and what they hold dear to them. Since Grossman is a photographer, her sensitivity to the visual image is at a high level and each of the photographs hold a memory or hurt hitting home not only to the creator but viewer. Like love, art is universal and things people think important in various situations doesn’t differ much. In this case, sex was probably a big part of the relationship and most of the images shows her in objectified positions with one of his items. We also learn a little bit about him. He was a musician who liked taking pills and didn’t express much emotion. He was also allergic to Grossman’s cat, which she resented. The project does a good job at revealing compromises we make in the name of love and how we can better serve ourselves next time around. (via artnet)