Reservations are now being accepted for limited edition flu shots; each shot comes with corresponding certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.
-That phrase is taken from the press release for Get the Flu, Mark Benson‘s current exhibition at Ever Gold Gallery in San Francisco. A registered nurse was on site during the opening to administer real flu shots as part of a symbolic gesture to accompany the show, which focuses on themes surrounding the human need for control. It’s too hot?- turn on the air conditioner. Don’t want to get sick?- here, have a flu shot. Benson’s ability to present his commentary in such a unique, but direct way is really impressive.
Find some images from Get the Flu (on view til the 27th), below. And if you’re hankering for a further dose from the artist, you can still pick up a copy of Beautiful/Decay Book 7 right herewhich features a spread by him.
Currently showing at our favorite nearby art gallery/Japanese-maid-themed-cafe/store, Royal T in Culver City, CA, is “I Can’t Feel My Face,” curated by New York artist KAWS. As the website says, “I Can’t Feel My Face shares its title with a painting by KAWS and is a centerpiece of the exhibition, which explores the theme of contemporary portraiture as a vehicle of inherent emotive expression.” The show features work from over 25 artists, including Carol Dunham, Misaki Kawai, Hideaki Kawashima, Ted Mineo, and Takashi Murakami.
Have you ever wondered what a modern day Bacchus would look like? Or where Hercules and Hera would make out if they lived in a city? Well now you get to visualize it thanks to the imagination and talent of Ukrainian art director Alexey Kondakov. In his series The Daily Life Of Gods, he has photoshopped different classical gods, nymphs, angels and cherubs into various settings and locations we are all familiar with in our age.
We see Romans who sit in the middle of subway stations wearing laurel wreaths and playing the harp, like it is just another ordinary day. A forlorn damsel sits in diner pining over a lost lover, drinking a hot cup of coffee. A scantily clad couple make out on a sidewalk, in the dim street lamp light, surrounded by nosy cherubs. The different scenarios Kondakov has created are oddly surreal. Although they are far fetched, the scenes are not too unfamiliar. The figures, who would appear graceful and ethereal in Renaissance paintings, are, in their new settings, distasteful or tacky. The groups of these mythical figures are almost like drunken party tourists in any modern metropolis; looking like they are causing trouble and up to no good after a Friday night pub crawl.
Kondakov talks about his project a bit more:
….Then I thought, ‘What if I invite these [gods] into our reality and imagine they are on streets of modern Kiev?’ Then I wanted to transform a noisy company of cheerful kids who gathered to spend time together in the city or go to the movies. And in these heroes I saw the work of other artists. ….My project is about life. I really want to avoid talking about the social commentary. (Source)
But however they may seem, Kondakov’s fictional scenarios are definitely amusing, entertaining, and perhaps let us see the street dwellers of our own cities in a different light. (Via We The Urban)
A wall patterned with vibrant colorful real insects. Jennifer Angus is arranging the species she appreciates the most on a hot-pink background. The opening of the Renwick Gallery across from the White House in Washington DC has welcomed artists to use different kind of mediums to surprise their future viewers.
The series of in situ installations is called ‘Wonder’. From room to room the curator wants the viewer to be amazed. The different styles ornating the gallery are brought together in a way that the viewer can’t recognize what he is admiring until he comes closer and immerses himself into the decor.
Jennifer Angus’s room revolves around patterns. From far, the general aspect imitates a wall paper. The artist, a former textile designer, knows how to play with the motifs. She is inspired by patterns ‘to which repetition is inherent’. 5000 insects, weevils and small beetles were handpicked and displayed by the artist mainly in the shape of skulls. This symbol of mortality combined with the insects meet her purpose, which is to highlight the fragile features of human kind. Her installation is called ‘In the Midnight Garden’. A reference to the glow created by the iridescent blues, greens and lilac tones.
The disclaimer on the artist website indicates the insects were all collected from Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand and Malaysia. She does not alter their original colors and she is reusing each one of them for each exhibition, carefully putting them away in boxes.
Chiharu Shiota‘s installations have the power to generate a surreal and almost dreamlike environment. Using a combination of items, the artist has created works that range from floating beds and a window tower to objects prisoners in a nest of thread.
Jamie Vasta’s masterfully accomplished paintings may look like traditional chiaroscuro but they are in fact covered in shiny, shimmering glitter. Vasta has taken the painterly arts to new altitudes with her paintings in glitter. Her insouciant medium is fine-tuned to accentuate narrative.
Here series After Caravaggio, a contemporary reframing of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio‘s historic paintings in homage to the great master on the 400th anniversary of his death, (1573 – 1610). Vasta gathers friends and colleagues as muse for her ambitious recasting of Caravaggio’s famous paintings. In rethinking such paintings as Giuditte e Oloferne, 1599, and Deposizione, 1602, Vasta composed her coterie with the props of today, turning gender, dress, and environment on end. The intention of the original comes forward, no heraldry of aristocracy, but an emancipation of the peasantry, under hot theater lights of course.
Dreamcatchers, cowboy hats, flannel shirts and nostalgia are all present in Theo Gosselin’s vagabondish journey through forgotten and mystical America. In 2012, this young photographer took a road trip from Harlem to Venice beach and truly captured the essence of free spirits running wild.
“My favorite subjects are the uninhibited young people who are my friends, photos taken from the inside, in the privacy of our travels together, our adventures, our evolution in this strange world. Love, friendships, and our appropriation of nature and the urban world. Young, free and immortal.”
Gosselin started his journey with two friends and used social networks to meet new people and find places to stay. According to him, it was an incredible experience on a human level as he got to meet very different people: from students to squatters and hippies.
Because of his untamable energy and carefree attitude which he brings to his work, Gosselin quickly became a true hit on Facebook with more than 80k followers. In the times of posing and retouching, Theo Gosselin’s photos stand out due to their purity, sincerity and capability to take viewers on board.