In December, New Zealand’s Antarctic Heritage Trust released their discovery and restoration of photographic cellulose nitrate negatives that were clumped together in a box and found in expedition photographer Herbert Ponting’s darkroom in Captain Scott’s last expedition at Cape Evans. As part of the Ross Sea Heritage Restoration Project, the trust recovered 22 images from Ernest Shackleton’s 1914-1917 Ross Sea Party, including a striking image of Alexander Stevens, Shackleton’s Chief Scientist, standing aboard the Aurora, the expedition’s ship. Though many of the photographs are damaged and the identity of the photographer is unknown, landmarks around McMurdo Sound were recognizable to the Antarctic Heritage Trust.
So far, more than 10,000 objects have been conserved at Captain Scott’s Cape Evans hut. Four years ago, the same conservation group discovered 3 crates of whiskey and 2 crates of brandy under Shackleton’s 1908 base. (via npr)
Nick Blinko is considered an outsider artist. He also leads the relic punk band Rudimentary Peni. No one knows much about him other than a few smapshots of him and a few documents recording the time he spent in a psychiatric ward as a youth. subsequently, he believes that the anti-psychotics prescribed to him obstruct his creative impulses and spends long periods off of his medication, recording and creating detailed compositions of faces, coffins, figures, handwritten notes. I think appreciating his work helps if you are familiar with his music too. Surprise! he never made a website either.
New York-based German artist Markus Linnenbrink has created an enchanting installation which envelops visitors in a disorienting colorful pattern. Although not exactly in a ROYGBIV formation, this rainbow room, made of bold hues of acrylic paint covered in epoxy on resin, creates a unique experience for viewers. The piece above is named “WASSERSCHEIDE(DESIREALLPUTTOGETHER)” and is currently up in Germany at the art center Kunsthalle Nuernberg until October 12th.
Linnenbrink has worked within this use of line work and colors for much of his artistic career. While some of his shows have featured conventional paint on canvas work, he often utilizes the space to its maximum effect. Linnenbrink composes a piece of art one walks into, is a part of, and can see from all vantage points. One really intriguing work of his, shown below, features colored line paintings hung on walls that are doused in lines of grey and black.
The artist toys with color and boundaries of separation. The colors bleed into one another, drip lines form from gravity, and each layer is pulled into subsequent layers. Despite the rigidity of the lined patterns, there is always this aspect of chaos and an unwillingness to be contained. Boundary breaking, inside of the canvas and outside of it, stretching his vision across whatever parameters may be set architecturally. The dramatized effect of this work becomes atmospheric; how one relates to the space then changes, as the lines and contours of walls are abstracted, nearly dissolved, through the blanket of pattern. The piece is primarily dictated by the space it is shown in, but ultimately the space is taken over by the artwork, creating an interested and entirely unique interaction between the two within each and every installation.
Street art has undergone some interesting developments of late. While not entirely forsaking its aerosol heritage, street art has definitely become more adventuresome in terms of medium in the past few years. Artist MRtoll exemplifies this well. While MRtoll’s aesthetic may resemble that of a stencil or poster artist, his medium is a bit more peculiar: clay. MRtoll works the clay into various images or texts then installs them on walls throughout Brooklyn. He often uses his clay in a nearly painterly manner creating impressive two dimensional work. Other times, his work is text based, seemingly a text or a tweet, playful much like its medium.
Some of you long time B/D fans know that I originally started the magazine in 1996 while growing up in the suburbs of Northern Virginia. Although there is a lot of talented artists in the region I wouldn’t say that the local community is very supportive of underground magazines, the arts, or creativity in general. Most people are wrapped up in the politics of D.C. and could care less about art. So it was a a great surprise to get a call from Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) asking me to come to my hometown and give a talk about B/D. Needless to say I jumped at the chance.I’ve always wanted to go back to where it all started in hopes of inspiring the next wave of Viriginia artists to give the middle finger to mediocrity and make things happen. Not only are the fine folks at NOVA flying out yours truly but they have an entire week of events including a public mural program, workshops on stenciling and wheatpasting, and a batch of other talks to get your creative juices flowing. This event is completely free and open to the public. If you’re in the Washington D.C., Virginia, Maryland area come by and say hello. It should be a good time!
Korean artist Kyuin Shim creates work that your pupils will interpret as a straight up science fiction novel. One body of work in particular, “Black Black,” is a series of gruesome depictions of black mannequin bodies gone haywire. As a digital artist and sculptor, he works compiling 3D renderings of real images. These sculptures, with the glossy stature of high fashion, the black mannequins are enrobed in large blisters. In varying states of vulnerability, his sculptures are suffering implosion and meltdown; a person who has ripped his head off gives himself fellatio, another is on his hands and knees, expelling their entire insides. Shim’s creatures come across as gross exaggerations of real emotional states, and it is not always easy to interpret how they are intended, but it is evident that they are referential to the individual struggle that we all face.
Another series of his, featuring only white mannequins, is titled “Small Place,” and references interpersonal relationships and the implied metaphors within them. The white series emanates an atmosphere of tranquility and calm. Mannequin lovers with bowls for heads pour water between one another, while others sit pensively. There is not the searing prospect of suffering that “Black Black” encompasses. “Small Place” is meditative and inviting. Although parts of Shim’s series have been cited as representing dysfunctional relationships, there is no real hostility in the work. It is interesting to look at both series of his work side to side and to take note of the drastic shift in tone.
Grégoire Alexandre‘s photographs are full of drama and whimsy. Each piece looks like a snapshot from an insanely epic, Michel Gondry-directed dream. And who wouldn’t want a photo shoot with a life-size origami unicorn?!
Charise Isis‘ Grace”, a series featuring portraits of women who are breast cancer survivors and have experienced Mastectomy Surgery, is a stunning compilation of images that simultaneously reinvents feminine beauty and inspires courage in women with similar experiences. The project’s process and presentation allows both subject and viewer to access a place of acceptance and beauty.
The photographic project is influenced by Hellenic sculpture (Greek). Its influence serves as a visual reference for the portraits; the draped cloths and the poses the women are photographed in are very indicative of the feminine portrayal in these hellenic sculptures (i.e “Venus De Milo” and “Nike of Samathrace”). According to the artist statement, the reference is also to implicate notions of the survival, adoration, beauty of old ‘artifacts’.
Furthermore, “Grace” is a continuation of the artist’s ongoing exploration of the feminine body and its perception of beauty in contemporary culture.