Jim Callahan is a multi-talented creative who lends his bold pop-icon vibrant graphic style to a potty-mouthed vision of vulgar humor and the macabre. His humorously outlandish take on his subjects disarms their gritty gore visuals of exploding skull & brains, guts and the spray of blood. James Callahan also runs his own fledgling deck company: Nowhere Skateboards, and has illustrated comics, such as Strange Detective Tales and Rotting In Dirtville. He is also responsible for the DVD covers to the daybyday films, among art for piles of records, CD’s, shirts, toys, posters, and beyond.. James was interviewed in issue: D of Beautiful/Decay magazine and designed the three-dimensional stunner “Barf 3d” for Beautiful/Decay Apparel- which featured, of course, a three-dimensional skull puking a cacophony of vile beasts. Most recently he contributed the mind-blowing (no pun intended) graphic “Kersplat” that shows someone’s brain literally exploding from reading B/D!
Chinn Wang creates an eye-catching brand of pop art. Primarily working in screenprinting, she’s executed these piece directly on wood. The work retains a charming flatness associated with screen printing while adding depth by printing on wood. Her mix of new and old imagery and contrasting colors makes her art hard to pull away from. Her Heraldry series is an excellent example. Just as medieval heraldry made use of complex symbolism, Wang crests likewise make use of modern imagery.
Anya Gallaccio‘s installation Red on Green may leave elicit a different reaction depending on when you catch the show. Gallaccio plucked the heads of 10,000 roses and arranged them into large neat rectangle. At first the installation may resemble a grand romantic gesture. However, Gallaccio’s interest is piqued by what the installation becomes. In a way Red on Green turns into a type of natural performance as the field of red shifts to brown. She utilizes the loaded symbol of the rose as a starting point for investigating the natural processes of death and decay.
Julien Previeux’sPatterns of Life uses dancing lightsabers to reveal the simplicity and power of gesture. This 15 minute video is a highly choreographed work whose opening section uses light to uncover the essence of human movement. Dancers wired with lights illuminate the darkness and reveal the simplicity of movement.
Part galactic warrior and part neon sign, the dancers fill the space with the linearity of their limbs punctuated by shining spheres that add curvature and depth to their geometry.
But this is just the beginning of Previeux’s exploration of the intimacy of gesture and its implication in a world shared with others. Through what looks like a strenuous eye exam, Previeux demonstrates that eye movements have the power to reveal our thought patterns and perhaps betray our inner world to those who observe us carefully enough.
Also compelling is Previeux’s fascination with walking patterns and our natural tendency to follow the same paths again and again. By mapping the route of a young Parisian woman, where she works, where she lives, and where she goes to school, one of Previeux’s dancers uses tape to create a three dimensional model. Once mapped, her movements, which were assumed to be open and carefree, seem controlled and confined.
Patterns of Life switches between time frames and points of view. In doing so it presents us with various choreographed vignettes. Narrator Crystal Shepherd Cross guides us tranquilly through the intellectual terrain with ease so we can enjoy the grace that is Previeux’s work.
Julien Previeux’s Patterns of Life can be seen at DiverseWorks, Houston, Texas, in “What Shall We Do Next” until 19 March, 2016.
Robert Fontenot’s sculptures, made out of bread dough, present the viewer with extremely humorous, yet severely violent worlds. He’s the author and designer of three books. Two of which are about the histories of ancient mythologies and the other of which is an illustrated history of performance art – that is, in my opinion, far more entertaining than Roselee Goldberg’s classic Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present. However, skillfully sculpting the human form’s most revealing gestures is not Robert Fontenot’s only mastered practice. He also has an ongoing series, where he embroiders textiles, as well as another project entitled Recycle LACMA – in which he buys deaccessioned items from the museum at auction and then turns them into items of use. For example, he transformed a Brocade evening dress into a fully functional fanny pack. If you have your wits about you, then it won’t take long to recognize the awesomeness of Robert Fontenot’s work.
The Spanish collective Penique Productions creates massive installations that at the same feel nearly weightless. Using fans and colored plastic the collective entirely covers a selected space in a bright hue. Though the concept is relatively simple, the space feels totally transformed. The space and its furnishings are stripped of all their details and reduced to a set of shapes. Penique’s Productions create an interesting way to investigate familiar places. Interestingly the collective says regarding the installations:
“It works the relationship between fullness and emptiness, creating a dialogue with the space it temporarily inhabits.”