Fountain is a sculpture made by Letha Wilson using drywall and wood reclaimed from art gallery walls, and an artist’s studio walls. In this piece the form of a classical water fountain is invoked, typically present in a garden or entryway as a symbol of the utopian ideal. Walls and building materials previously used to house artworks, complete with paint stains and remnants of their past life, are re-newed into this functional water fountain. The drywall materials will gradually deteriorate away over the course of the exhibition as the paper and rock-based materials are worn down by constantly moving water.
Yesterday we lost one of the best and most important living painters, Lucian Freud. Leading contemporary figure painting for his generation, Freud was known best for his thickly impasted portrait and figure paintings which have been shown and collected in every major museum around the world. His works are noted for their psychological penetration, and for their often discomfiting examination of the relationship between artist and model.
Hope you’re hanging out with Andy, Pablo, Jean Michel in art heaven Lucian. You will be missed!
Chinese artist Li Hongbo’s sculptures are quite bizarre. Walking up to them you may think that they are made out of delicate porcelain but as you examine it further you’ll see that it in fact is made out of thousands of sheets of paper manually glued together. As you pull the paper apart the figures twists, turns, bends and abstracts creating stretched out imagery that is at once horrifying and exquisite. (via)
Bethany Taylor’s spiraling and flowing threads create ethereal drawing installations that hold a keen eye to the shocking truth of our increasing water pollution issues. Each fiber-based drawing is formed by shaping and manipulating thread from woven tapestry. What makes Taylor’s installations so captivating is the fact that each “drawing” of hers is created from one single line. This line creates an energetic movement throughout the installation. The viewer can see where the thread begins and ends, as it appears to drip down the wall. Each image of a skull, snake, and algae seems to be unraveling.
Taylor’s installations in this series use motifs such as skeletons of sea life, skulls, and green and blue algae. These represent the effect chemical pollution in our lakes and rivers having on our environment. The artist is Assistant Professor of Drawing at the University of Florida. Because the ecosystem that surrounds Taylor is so prevalent with rivers and ocean, it deeply influences her work. Toxic blue-green algae have formed because of the incredible pollution, which in turn is severely harming, or “unraveling,” the balance of our ecological system. Her work shows the consequences of the pollution by creating delicate drawing installation that seem as fragile as their counterparts that are unraveling at the seems. Taylor explains in detail the intention behind her work.
Like many other places in the world, Florida’s water is threatened each year by the poison runoff from pollution caused by inadequately treated sewage, pesticides, manure and fertilizer. The toxic algae created by these unchecked industrial and agricultural practices, is literally choking our waterways, creating dead zones in our ecology that are harmful to both humans and wildlife.
Jordan Westre (Living Couch) is a Canadian artist who creates beautiful and critically engaging collages from amalgams of modern and vintage print media. While Westre’s works are all highly unique and nuanced, many of them share recurring imagery, including landscapes, space travel, war, and the feminine body. From a broader aesthetic perspective, her collages are seamless and evocative; Westre has a brilliant ability to weave together seemingly disparate images in a holistic way. The more you look, however, the more a deep — and often dark, or disconcerting — social commentary emerges, one that examines cross-generational anxieties regarding the state of society and its relationship to human sexuality.
Westre’s artistic process begins with a self-impelled assembly of aesthetically-pleasing images. As she explains: “I don’t set out with a definite vision, I just flip through magazines […] or books with vintage photographs or illustrations, [and] pull out anything that might serve as a good subject, background, or element.” From there, she lays everything down and seeks compelling combinations — “and that’s where the inspiration comes about.” Currently, she uses liquid glazes on canvas or canvas board, but is planning on experimenting with hot and cold-pressed papers and spray adhesives.
When it comes to the meaning behind her work, Westre says that most of it unconsciously materializes as “anxiety-riddled observation[s]” of society. The collages depict the world in an oscillating utopic/dystopic state; or indeed, as an oft-idealized place that is festering at its center. In Westre’s words: “[My work is] grappling with the awareness that a lot of our society and the path we’re on is utterly fucked — for lack of a better phrase — while we’re all smiling and laughing and consuming […]. Polish & the rot beneath.”
Westre also brings human sexuality into these critiques, exploring what she identifies as the “ultimate vulnerability and ultimate power” of sex. Desire — which is represented here by eroticized images of the female body — vacillates between states of seduction, submission, and destruction. It is unpredictable; hence why it might contribute to Westre’s fear of a world slipping into chaos. Check out Living Couch for more of her incredible work.
Reva Castillenti is a Brooklyn-based artist who creates gruesome textile sculptures that focus on the gritty, physical side life. “Visceral” is a word that’s often over-used within the lexicon of art-speak, but I think Castillenti’s work merits the description. We’ve all experimented with stuffed stocking figures before, but I’m not sure we’re all as wonderfully twisted as she seems to be. Castillenti is currently showing a small number of works at Illuminated Metropolis Gallery in New York. That show, entitled Mercy, is up until the 29th, and features minimalist drawings and gouache works in addition to the artist’s singular sculpture.
Satan as a headless-masquerade holding ghost on an abandoned island floating in the deep, dark void of space creating life from clay and striking them down, all in front of tiny children. Yes! Amazing excerpt from a stop motion version of Mark Twain’s Mysterious Stranger, by Will Vinton. Censored from many TV stations. Yes!
Heidi Whitman’s Invisible Cities consists of a series of floating paper cutouts mapping real, ancient, and fictitious city routes and passages. Seeing the outlines of cities from this perspective makes you question how our cities are built and how truly organic and ever-changing the concrete and stone roads, streets, and passages that we take are. Heidi’s work can be seen this month at Christopher Henry Gallery in NYC from March 25th-April 23rd.