Noah Scalin lives and works in Richmond Virginia. His work consists of various skulls created from mundane objects such as wine corks, bed sheets, and tea bags to name a few. His daily creations culminated in the Skull-A-Day art project and blog in which Noah created and photographed one skull a day for a year. His latest skull creation is entitled “Dead Media”. Made from 497 VHS videocassettes, the installation comments on materials that were once considered cutting edge. Scalin’s clever variations on the skull remind us of fragility while inspiring us to see mundane objects as opportunities to playfully manipulate.
Photographer Stacy Kranitz captures a segment of society which is rarely seen by the public eye; the hang out rituals of young, post pubescent males at Skatopia Skate Park in the backwoods of Ohio. Her relationship with a young man named Jerimy, allowed her to document his daily life in these rural parts. Through three mediums: photography, video documentary and ‘zine, Kranitz explores this brutal and interesting world. Her angle is definitely from a woman’s perspective, as she knows how to capture the vulnerability in these faceless people, sometimes engaged in crude acts, that might not be so much in life but definitely is true on film.
The rural environment sets the tone for a road warrior type setting where rough skating, sexual innuendo and violence is suggested. There’s a lot of blood, spit and urine. The photos have a war documentary type vibe, meaning everything is up close and personal. It adds to the car crash scenario of wanting to look away but instead looking closer, allowing your curiosity to take over. Part of Kranitz’ intention is to study the catharsis in violence. Others are capturing youth’s raw vitality. She accomplishes both with these studies.
On Skatopia’s website there’s a section listed as ‘anarchy’. It defines the word from the Greek preface meaning “without rulers; without masters”. It fits in well with the tone of these pictures as the subjects do engage in rituals of freedom. Skate culture has always been associated with rebellion and is a part of society that still perks people’s interest today.
CCA grad Kara Joslyn is based in Oakland. Joslyn works mostly in black and white and mixed media to create stark, quietly emotional paintings. There’s a lot of hardened dignity in the artist’s work. The black and white depictions here of crumbling stone, ancient pottery, and dried parcels of wood can’t help but lend a resolute seriousness to each painting. This (and their stunning visual qualities) allows them to be taken in with purpose, as though something very special is captured and any time spent with the work is not wasted. By rendering material which was once strong and hard in a state of brokenness and neglect, Joslyn brings us to considerations of the inevitable effects of neglect and time, and the realization that hardly anything remains prominent forever.
Monica Rohan paints realistic self-portraits where she is covered, buried, and engulfed in fabric. Although we see the artist portrayed in many different setting in her paintings, we can never see her face. Each of her subjects, all being representations of herself, hide their face in the mass of textiles. Rohan beautifully depicts different types of fabric, vivid in color and pattern. She is a master at bringing to life vibrant hues on different thread. Sometimes, there is no fabric in her paintings, but instead a sheet of grass or a plethora of flowers that stretch over the figure. Each sheet or quilt wraps around the figures, surrounding them as it moves across the composition. Although Rohan’s work appears lighthearted and playful at first, with frolicking and mischievous women, there is a level of anxiety present in her work. Each figures seems to be frantically attempting to hide their identity, almost desperately trying to hide. Mountains of patched fabric and colorful silk are swallowing up the artist’s likeness, sometimes consuming two figures at a time.
Monica Rohan, originally from Australia, is inspired by her upbringing in the remote countryside of Queensland. A sense of isolation can be felt in her paintings, as the only person present in her work is the artist herself. You can feel the artist’s emotions about to burst out of the many folds of the fabric as they create a powerful vortex of movement around her own self. (via Hi-Fructose)