I don’t normally go in for crafty stuff, or faux-vintage design, or, um, purses, but I have to say I am really digging these embroidered purses from Olympia Le-Tan. They may appear to be books, but as style.com reports “The ‘books’ in question are actually rectangular box clutches that feature hand-knit copies of the covers of some favorite reads.” These make me wish I carried a purse, err, “rectangular box clutch.” Maybe she can make some laptop bags or something? Or some actual book covers? Come on Penguin, commission this woman!
“My name is Joshua Abelow. It feels great to write my name. I love the way it looks in print. I like the way the “A” at the end of Joshua lines up with the “A” at the beginning of Abelow. Like This: JOSHUA ABELOW” – Joshua Abelow writes about admiring his own name and his preference to use “Joshua” over “Josh”. Abelow writes often. He makes art, and most importantly lives life often. His works are dark, yet whimsical. Part autobiographical and occasionally asserting historical references, Abelow explores the process of making art and living with the pressures to perform as an artist, a friend and a lover. Works often make fun of themselves and thrive on the failure of existing as beautiful hallmarks for all of art history’s future. If his essay “I Don’t Want To Name Name’s” is in fact honest, he started to make art for the right reasons, and will continue to do so for a long time. Another recommended read would be “DOINGDEKOONING” where he asserts the relevance of Paul McCarthy’s “Painter“. The importance of viewing both Abelow’s writings and visual works lies in understanding Abelow’s humble, honest and somewhat naturally naive philosophy on life and the depth that exists within works far more involved than the headlines they announce.
Adrian Ghenie‘s paintings play with texture by distorting the works’ figures as an allegory for the abuses of power. By drawing on figures from history – such as Marcel Duchamp and Holocaust doctor Dr Josef Mengele – Ghenie scrapes and washes away their features to explore the brutality at the core of human nature. More after the jump.
Ever wonder what it actually looks like when you’re making out – really going at it – tongue and all? One photographer took it upon himself to shoot couples doing just that. Often tongue on tongue action can be kind of grotesque, and rarely are we given the chance to examine it closely. Participating is always a good time, but witnessing from a relatively objective perspective – as someone not really invested – is kind of odd, and definitely uncomfortable if you linger too long watching. In film, if you’re lucky, you see a big juicy tongue slide its way in between hungry lips, but just for a second then it’s gone. Whether in public or in document, it’s hard to get up close and personal with a kiss when you’re not one of the ones doing it.
Rankin, a publisher, director, and commercial photographer living in London, set out for closer inspection of the French kiss in his series Snog. The most compelling of the images is one where you barely see the faces of the couple, just a hint of nose, some stubble around the mouth, and some foundation overtop the occasional blemish. You can feel the intensity of the kiss, as one lip lifts the other to reveal a bit of tooth, and the tong in front veers right as the other presses against it.
What Rankin achieves that others don’t is a balance between staging and reality. He maintains an appealing aesthetic while still staying true to the sentiment of french kissing. The funniest is the older couple both staring back at the camera. It looks on the one hand totally unnatural, but then it also seems to be something so appropriate for the character of the couple. It looks like their tongues are holding hands. (via Feature Shoot)
Crystal Wagner’s installations are a combination of printmaking, cut paper, and cheap, dollar store objects. Her work has a very organic feel to it, as if we are about to walk through a luscious forest or happen upon a moss patch. This isn’t surprising, as Wagner has spent a lot of time immersed in nature, spending extended periods in Yellowstone National Park and Joshua Tree National Park. The large, site specific works convey the awe-inspiring beauty we experience in places like Old Faithful.
Using items like police caution tape, chicken wire and table cloths, the artist crafts multi-layered and complex forms that occupy walls, floors, and everyday spaces. I’m reminded of green wall technology, in which moss grows decoratively on walls and gardens. It is not only good for the environment, but visually dazzles. This is much like Wagner’s work, which uses what already exists in our world to create a calming, tranquil environment.
Wagner has a formal education in printmaking, and this training works to her advantage. She is able to refine her installations by adding intricate prints of forms that look like vines and petals. It contrasts nicely with her construction, which focuses more on structure and building volume. These are the heart of Wagner’s installation, and tell us the most about the essence of her work.
Years before the project Miradors became reality, photographer Erwan Fichou saw a man standing in a tree that looked like a UFO. This image stuck with him and he eventually turned his memory into a reality, working with gardeners to design topiaries of varying shapes and sizes. Afterwards, he invited people off the street to climb those trees and photographed them at the top.This strange and light-hearted series illustrates the interesting progression of what happens when we have a memory. Often times we see things as we walk down the street, file them in our brain, and move on. So, it’s refreshing to see that Fichou returned to this moment and developed something completely new from it. He touches on this idea in a short statement about his work:
What’s interesting about pictures isn’t their function, to represent reality, but their dynamic potential, their ability to spark and build projections, interactions, narrative frameworksmechanisms that structure reality[ …]an image is the result of movements that are temporarily sedimentary or crystallized in it[ …] Beyond metaphors, we must understand that, paradoxically, our contemporary sensitivity predisposes us to prophesy, not history. We live in a world of images that precede reality; we’re not looking to see, unless it’s déjà-vu. (Via This is Paper)
Dexter Fernandez bravely experiments with images culled from adult magazines and puts a new spin on them by adding layers of mixed media on the repainted images. Thus, he only hints at their original context, as he turns them into nearly abstract configurations, especially when viewed from a distance. Fernandez is not afraid to say, “Art is porn, and porn is art,” not drawing a line between what is acceptable and what is taboo. To him, both aim to entertain and satisfy the senses.