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Tel Aviv artist Zero Cents updated his blog recently. Cents is great because his style fits his subject matter so well. I feel dirty just looking at these, and I mean that in the best way possible. See more of the artist’s gory new stuff after the jump.
Commercial photographer Neil Dacosta decided to have a little fun with The Book Of Mormon. He added the words “missionary positions” to the title and created a pictorial that would have the latter day saints turning beet red. In response to a passage in the LDS handbook which says sexual relations are proper only between a man and a woman who are legally wed, Dacosta proceeds to photograph two geeky males as they engage in various textbook “missionary positions” fully dressed.
The missionary position is considered the proper way for christians to engage in sexual intercourse. In the text definition, there’s a term “intercural intercourse” which is defined as the “homosexual missionary position”. The act is described as the polite way for two males to engage in sex. Its deed is described as rubbing between two thighs and has been referenced to bisexual men such as Abraham Lincoln, Alexander The Great, and lonely soldiers in the battlefield. According to most religious conservative groups, homosexuality is wrong and deviant. Dacosta’s Book Of Mormon is a clever, and forthright way to protest such absurdity.
Most of Dacosta’s other work has an edge. He has shot various campaigns involving snowboarders, runners and motorcross. In the shots, the athletes appear small against the landscape. It fits in well with another essay examining vulnerability called Astronaut Suicides. Here, the photographer shows a fully dressed astronaut in different death induced scenarios. Again, it plays against the idea that no matter what identity we choose whether on purpose or fate, we’re all human beings at the core.
Brooklyn-based artist Matt Reilly of Japanther skateboards on a canvas-covered mini ramp in order to create loosely colored paintings. With just a handful of simple tools: a skateboard, some paint-dipped sponges and a plain canvas, Reilly was able to create his abstract-looking artworks by skating back-and-forth over the sheet.
The setting for the “Wall Ride” was installed at the Mana Contemporary in Jersey City. A white canvas was tacked to the surface of a half-pipe. Using saturated sponges attached to the wheels, Reilly colored the white sheet in vibrant shades of blue, red and brown. After finishing one artwork, the canvas would be replaced and the process would start all over again.
Distinct in texture and color, Reilly’s works have been titled to resemble Jackson Pollock’s and Aaron Young’s abstract art. Apart from the end result, artist’s live performance is titled to be a big part of the whole experience. Watching the mesmerizing process of an artwork unfolding puts the viewer into a creative catharsis. Reilly’s “skate-paintings” can be purchased on Artsy platform. (via designboom)
Tony Matelli‘s realistic “Sleepwalker” sculpture has created a bit of controversy among students at Wellesley, where the sculpture was installed outside of the college’s Davis Musuem. For Lisa Fischman, the museum’s director, the sculpture addresses the boundary of what we expect from art inside a museum versus the outside. Junior Zoe Magdid, the student who initiated a petition to have the sculpture removed, disagrees. “We were really disappointed that she seemed to articulate that she was glad it was starting discussion, but didn’t respond to the fact that it’s making students on campus feel unsafe, which is not appropriate,” Magid said. “We really feel that if a piece of art makes students feel unsafe, that steps over a line.” More than 300 students have signed the petition so far.
While I can see how Wellesley students could find the sculpture threatening or triggering, I am curious how they would have reacted if Matelli’s female sleepwalker sculpture were installed instead. Most students would probably not feel as threatened by its presence, but that sort of perception would only perpetuate the idea that men alone embody a physical threat, though women are also capable of sexual abuse against others.
However you choose to perceive the sculpture, Matelli’s work provokes viewers and asks them to consider not only the absurdity of a “schlumpy” man sleepwalking campus in his underwear, but also how certain bodies and genders are perceived inside and outside the art gallery. Some of Matelli’s other sculpture work can also be perceived as creepy, but they all seem to address notions of boundaries and gravity, and the defiance of particular expectations. (via gawker)
Some nice work by Scott David Johnson depicting aerial views of crowds and protests. More images can be seen on the Tinlark Gallery website or better yet in person at the gallery if you happen to live in the LA area.
Architecture duo known as Gijs Van Vaerenbergh have installed 186 tons of 5mm thick steel walls in Genk, Belgium, creating a dense labyrinth for visitors to navigate their way through. The dense maze is made from walls 5 meters high and creates an impressive structure of many corridors and industrial looking alleyways. The pathways and shapes of the labyrinth aren’t only rectangular, or flat either. The pair have cut out cylindrical and spherical shapes and voids in the maze, allowing for some very strange view points. The pair describe their project a bit more:
A series of Boolean transformations create spaces and perspectives that reinterpret the traditional Labyrinth is a sculptural installation that focuses on the experience of space. These Boolean transformations convert the walk through the labyrinth into a sequence of spatial and sculptural experiences. At the same time, the cutouts function as ‘frames’ to the labyrinth. Seen from some certain perspectives, the cut-outs are fragmentary, whereas from other viewpoints the entire cut-out shape is unveiled. (Source)
The pair are known for their ambitious, eye catching public installations and like to create architecture that reacts to or compliments the environment it is placed in. The particular installation is part of the 10th anniversary celebrations at the c-mine Arts Center which now stands where a coal mine once did. Gijs Van Vaerenbergh have taken ideas of the mine shafts below the surface and transferred them into their ideas for the labyrinth. They go on to say:
Furthermore, the production and construction processes remain visible in the final design. Visitors who ascend the mine shafts nearby, can view the labyrinth as a materialised floor plan and sculptural whole – a perspective that runs against what a labyrinth should do: conceal itself. (Source)
“My Black Heart” (2014.) 100 x 71cm, watercolor and pencil on cotton paper.
“Speak The Truth” (2014). 50 x 71 cm, watercolor and pencil on cotton paper.
“L’offerta” (2014). 80 x 60 cm, acrylic on canvas.
“The Catcher” (2014). 60 x 70 cm, acrylic on canvas.
El Gato Chimney is an Milan-based artist who paints imaginative and symbolic scenes that explore the dualisms and crossovers between good and evil, life and death. Populated with anthropomorphized animals, fire-breathing demons, and masked religious-type figures, Chimney’s work resembles the kind of metaphorical, fantastical visions you might imagine on a medieval tapestry, where every detail is interwoven with a hidden significance. Intensifying the scope of his art is the fact that his paintings syncretize spiritual traditions and practices from around world and throughout history, including alchemy, occultism, and folklore. Brimming with wit, insight, and imagination, Chimney’s work is a modern interpretation of ancient art and ongoing philosophic themes.
One of the most compelling aspects of Chimney’s symbol-filled imagery is the apparent moral ambiguity. The creatures inhabiting the vast, melancholic landscapes are unclear in their intentions, with their strange, chimerical bodies appearing both gentle and wicked. Many of them are preparing for abstract duals with one another, the reasons for which remain unknown. In a statement provided on Chimney’s Bio page, this confounding of good and evil, darkness and light is eloquently described:
“The universe he portrays is dual and deceptive, like a good nightmare: a world constantly split between a daytime Arcadia and an inhabited and unquiet night, where the dividing line is clearly visible and easy to cross, both a danger signal and an invitation to disobedience” (Source).
If you look throughout the landscapes, the backdrops are frequently divided by bold demarcations of light and dark, with no apparent barriers between them; one can “switch sides” with a surprising ease. What Chimney seems to be depicting here is a pervasive ambiguity, a hybridic reading of morality and spirituality that reveals there is no singular conception of good and evil; instead, we are all just navigating the joys and misfortunes of existence. As the above statement continues, “the artist wants to assert that celebrating life and escaping death is what joins all beings” (Source).
Visit Chimney’s website and Facebook page and immerse yourself in his dualistic, symbolic visions, the interpretations of which are quite literally endless. His work will be exhibited at the Stephen Romano Gallery in Brooklyn from March 5 – April 30. (Via designboom)