The sculptures and installations of MyeongBeom Kim are very dreamlike – it makes just enough sense to prevent you questioning it. Objects transform into other objects, other inexplicably float, and yet others are designed to be entirely useless. Yet, somehow, it all seems right. Also like dreams, Kim’s work is playful but not without out a latent sense of anxiety. A noose, a crutch, an axe suggest a possible dark turn toward realized fears, a nightmare.
The Festival Des Architectures Vives, of Montpellier in Southern France, is an annual exhibition showcasing new talent in architectural installation. The Festival is currently in its 7th year. Here are a few images of some of the stuff that’s gone down. Repetition seems to be a popular theme this year, as many of the installations involved in the event feature identical or similar elements multiplied a few times over. The small alcove spaces that contain each piece work really well. They restrict the work just enough to create a slight amount of tension, but don’t distract from or impede any of the installations. See more from the show after the jump. (via)
Artist Shirin Sahba’s exquisite works are ripe with tiny details and beautiful, fresh color. The grandiose compositions feature large skies and cross-sectioned grounds that reveal petals, flowers, and patterns rather than dirt or grass. Gradients of pinks, purples, blues, and greens fill the in-between spaces in a dreamy, hazy sort of a way.
Aside from the repetitive symbols and drawings, Sahba’s work is minimal. Her images feature one or two people as the subject, and we aren’t given much visual context clues. Sometimes, there’s a tree swaying in an imaginary breeze or an elephant giving two lucky people a ride.
Born in India, Sahba spent her adolescence surrounded by “the pristine azures of the Mediterranean in Israel,” and she visited 25 countries before she was 16. Her paintings speak of her upbringing as well as her love old cinema and traditional roots steeped in the Old Persian art of miniature. “I have often repeated the narrative of solitary characters traveling with no specific destination, allowing the journey itself to carry more importance,” she writes in an artist statement. “I have also concentrated on the simplifications of the traditional landscape into an abstract picture plane of colour and textures, while including figurative miniature characters and architectural elements, unifying the abstract with the representational. The characters are allowed to freely traverse a surreal landscape of floating colour planes.” (Via Art Hound)
Some pretty stark imagery from “Martyred Saints”, a series of photographs by Toby de Silva:
“…the Saints are displayed in a cathedral in Eastern Germany close to the Czech border and were acquired in the 17th century when there was a big trade in relics. They are said to be the remains of Martyred saints that were stored in the catacombs of Rome before being removed and traded. They were reassembled and dressed in their fine regalia and displayed in ornate cabinets.”
It must’ve been pretty dark in the “catacombs of Rome”. The photos are also fairly dark, not much to hold onto by way of background. But the blackness in each photo is balanced by Silva’s bright, clear lighting of his subjects and their jewels. (via)
Multimedia artist Davide Faggiano based in Salento, Italy.
Joe Amrhein’s text based paintings are not only steeped in sign painting tradition but poke fun and shed light onto everything from international economics to art criticism cliches. Each piece is constructed by layering dozens of ornate typefaces painted on mylar on top of one another, creating rich paintings that are dense meditations on the world at large with all of its fractured meaning and profound chaos.
Chelsea Wolfe released Unknown Rooms: A Collection Of Acoustic Songs last year on Sargent House and has just released a new video in collaboration with Converse x Decibel Magazine, Flatlands. The beautifully directed video by Charlene Bagcal is instantly mesmerizing and I’m sure will add to the “doom-folk” mystique of Chelsea Wolfe who I’ve still yet to see perform live. Thankfully, that is about to change since she’s currently on a short acoustic tour to play songs from the album.
You can catch her tonight, February 1st in Houston at Fitzgerald’s, Feb. 5th at Phoenix’s Crescent Ballroom, and next Friday, February 8th at the First Unitarian Church in Los Angeles along with Deradoorian from Dirty Projectors fame opening the show. She’s also performing on April 20th at the Desert Daze festival in Mecca, CA along with Warpaint. Check out her video for Flatlands and grab a ticket to one of her upcoming shows for what I’m sure will be a beautiful evening of music.