German artist Felix Schramm likes to make sculptures that confuse you. He uses pieces of drywood, paint, steel frames and paint to recreate parts of architecture matching the space that they inhabit, but are very different than what you would expect. His highly formalized sculptures are a bit like architecture that has stopped pretending to hold itself up. They can be huge chunks of material that have been dumped in the room from a construction site by accident, or shoved through the wall like an art install that has gone bad. Resembling crumpled paper, or layers of torn posters on a lamp post, Schramm makes subtle comments about space, form, structure and the nature of materials with his work.
These group of photos are from a series called ‘Intersection’, and act exactly as that – they intersect, interrupt and divide the space like we wouldn’t expect. The sculptural fragments are reminders of the temporal spaces we inhabit – that architecture is only a fabrication and is easily destructible. These splinters of construction serve to disorientate the viewer. Schramm is able to warp our understanding of these mundane spaces purely by placing chunks of industrial material where they shouldn’t be.
The destroyed fragments of drywall wrapping themselves around existing columns and leaning butted up against pristine gallery walls are beautifully disturbing. Schramm’s work also features formalized ceramics, pieces made from plaster and paint, and smaller versions of ruined architecture. His installations act as a visual reminder of the grey area between chaos and order. These large scale replicas are both gently delicate and immensely strong. To see more contradictions and opposites at play against each other in Schramm’s work, go here.
Ryan Kenny’s photos seem to be about quiet moments of youthful exploration. Like those days when the city just boils over and you head up to Ojai to catch your breath for an afternoon. You and your favorite people are driving through those oak trees and no one’s really talking but that’s how it needs to be. These images are like that–catching your breath.
Brooke Shaden is an American fine art photographer who brings her imagination to life in ethereal scenes that traverse the line between dreams and awakening. Each of her photos is filled with an otherworldly fog, melting skin and landscapes together in muted, painterly hues. Featured here is a selection from Shaden’s Fine Art Nude series. Throughout the images, bodies stretch and curl together in sunbaked deserts and rain-dark forests. Their faces are almost always obscured, rendering them anonymous, but their poses unfold with layers of universal emotion; slumped shoulders under the dawning sky stir with a quiet strength, while elsewhere, arms shield against the gloom of oncoming night.
Shaden’s photography is often dark, but fearlessly so. Inspired by the co-relation of life and death, she seeks to confront the questions of existence while also capturing the delicate beauties that run throughout. As she wrote in a fascinating interview with Ezra Magazine,
“I have always had a fascination with dark art and anything that made me think outside of my normal spectrum. To me, darkness is something that so many people shy away from because it forces us to question things that we often need not think about. It allows us to access a part of ourselves that might not get let out all the time, but when it does, it frees us from our fears.” (Source)
Shaden’s ghostly models do not seem afraid of the dark realms which they inhabit; instead, they move slowly, manifesting with ritualistic grace and bodily awareness the pangs and joys of living and letting go.
Joris Kuipers‘ installations are meant to be experienced viscerally. Inspired by bodily cross-sections from MRI scans, CT scans, and even botany, Kuipers’ artwork is alien yet immediately familiar. We are intimately familiar with the vascular bends and twists of his pieces, as well as the palette of reds and purples and blues.
Blown up to the size of huge wall reliefs, these biological artforms are also a little unsettling, particularly because they’ve been deconstructed, unmade, and re-formed into startling configurations. Organic deconstruction, after all, is just a hop skip away from decomposition. Of these twin concepts, Kuipers says: “Loveliness and morbidity; both Eros and Thanatos flow through my red lines.”
In some collections, Kuipers steps away from the blatantly macabre. “Letting Go” contains a brightly colored installation that looks like dreamy clouds or floating alien flowers. Other pieces in the collection involve splashes of color amidst a staid black background and plays with light, flashing and blinking at the touch of a switch. This too recalls the cathode ray tubes and autopsy scans of Kuipers’ other work, but from a subtler angle.
Subtler or not, Kuipers work is, as always, intended to be evocative. “I hope that my work will initially be experienced ‘from the abdomen’,” Kuipers says in an artist’s statement, “to gradually make itself felt in the mind of the visitor.”
In her series of paintings entitled After Caravaggio, artist Jamie Vasta gives Caravaggio a kitsch makeover. Endearingly reminiscent of cat themed embroideries one might find in a dank second hand shop, Vasta’s series is a perfect definition of modern. She has taken well known models and themes and completely reappropriated them in such a way that they have been given new meaning, without straying too far from the original “text” of Caravaggio’s work.
She uses “contemporary props and costumes to create new narratives” and, by doing creates not only a new artwork, but also pays homage to Caravaggio and his influence in the art world. The use of glitter in these paintings underlines the contemporary nature of Vasta’s creations and contributes vastly to the kitsch aspects of her work. The balance between the baroque and the kitsch fits perfectly together and the glitter gives something of a humoristic element to the compositions.
The dramatic themes addressed in these paintings are not undermined but somewhat lightened by the use of glitter. The color contrasts and playful expressions of the subjects give the paintings a touch of humor and a somewhat cheerful nature. The overall originality of Vasta’s work is both intriguing and has somewhat of an edge.
Lucy Gaylord-Lindolm’s remixed take on traditional oil painting and art history injects elements of surrealism and pop culture into a familiar setting. Characters from The Wizard of Oz and Pinocchio find their way into the artist’s cleverly referenced paintings, establishing bold compositions where perfectly good paintings once already existed. The result causes us to look a little deeper into that which we previously took for granted. I’ll go wherever she’s leading with these. (via)
Designer Monique Goossens transforms the hair left behind on the garbage, shower drain and/or combs into a work of typography.
Monique Goossens’ work includes elements of both design and organic art. The concept is disturbing yet brilliant, and design has never seen something quite like this before. Although her idea challenges established conceptions of function [and aesthetics], her work doesn’t stray away from the bizarre and amusing.
“The hair letters consist of hundreds of hairs, and give the impression of being fine pen drawings. The basic shape of the letters is created by forming the hairs into a legible character, during which process I follow the natural characteristics of the hairs: curly, rounded corners, springiness. To a great extent, it is the dynamic of the hairs which determines the shape of the letters. The ends of the hairs create an organized chaos, an energetic play of lines which forms a haze around the letter’s basic shape.”
The Amsterdam based artist studied Interior Design and Styling at Academie Artemis. Shortly after, she became interested in the relationship between photography and design, so she continued her studies at the Design Academy in Eindhoven.
Japanese artist Junko Mizuno’s candy-colored works draw us into a world full of dark and erotic food fetishes. Meant as a metaphor the female sexual appetite and power, Mizuno’s illustrations feature women enjoying eggs, bacon, noodles, and more. Her maximalist style weaves geometric shapes, naked creatures, and luscious patterns into each composition. Coupled with the strong presence of a female character, it results in artwork that’s simultaneously grotesque, cute, playful, and alluring.
Mizuno’s inspiration comes from a range of historical and cultural influences, as well as traditions found in both Eastern and Western worlds. Fairy tales and the works of Aubrey Beardsley and Eric Stanton are also visible. Narwhal Contemporary writes about her paintings, stating, “One reoccurring image is that of the iconic multi-armed goddess cloaked in symbols of life and wisdom, surrounded by fleets of devoted minions and enveloped in flames that will never consume her.” They relish in their unapologetic gluttony.
Mizuno currently has work in a solo exhibition titled Ambrosial Affair at the Narwhal Contemporary in Toronto. This is the second in a three-part exhibition series titled Junko Mizuno’s Food Obsession. It’s on view until March 15 of this year.