Brooklyn-based artist Elana Adler uses the traditional craft of an embroidery sampler to outline the crude things said to her by street harassers. The series is titled You Are My Duchess, and features small, decorative pieces of needlework (which historically feature bible stories or other imagery) that say some negative, disgusting things. Adler stores each saying in an elaborate frame, and writes in her artist statement:
This series of thirty-two (plus) samplers is intended to be provocative and evoke emotion. It is a contemporary feminist interpretation of women’s work and an objectification of my personal experience. Each captures a moment, giving these words a visual presence, a power, and a state of concreteness. These words were hurled casually and heard quickly but required hours of time-consuming, careful stitching.
The physically delicate, traditionally feminine, form of the piece engages the viewer and confronts him/ her with a sweetness that may mask its crassness and vulgarity.
She goes on to explain that the strength of this series comes in numbers. While you might read one and be amused, the more you read will change your response.
The inherent filth emerges. It is a beautification of an assault. Perhaps in the moment these statements are meant to compliment, but most don’t find vulgar, highly sexualized statements whispered or screamed at them by random strangers complimentary. Rather, they are an invasion of personal space. (Via Got a Girl Crush)
Although Anja Rubin’s work is informed by current sociopolitical issues and technology, the process of her painting refers back to older traditions. In a series of pictures done in acrylic and perm enamel she references techniques found in pointillism and expressionism with a twist. The idiosyncrasy at hand hints at graffiti and muraling. These wonderful pictures provoke mind expanding color as Rubin’s palette swirls through the canvas like a million and one white noise dots from an analog tv. Camouflaged within the loosely formed shapes are socio-political figures and symbols which make them relevant and engaging.
In a series called “Digital” Rubin moves with the times and partakes in computer rendering. Using photoshop, she takes a literal look inside a circuit board and uses its structure as background to study man’s relationship to technology in a metaphorical and societal sense. Her palette remains luminous and proves that a painter can be productive with technological advances. The pictures consist of every day scenes to cerebral symbolism which is cleverly enhanced atop a light box.
Her most recent body of work examines the current state of social media through “selfie” portraits. These large paintings consisting of oversized pixellated dots emphasize both the self-deprecating nature and our obsession with being seen. They reference both Alex Katz and Chuck Close proving Rubin’s versatility as an artist who likes to engage with different processes to achieve her overall goal of keeping record of technology’s influence on society.
Scott Carter creates site specific installations in which all of the objects are constructed from the surrounding walls and floors. “Scott Carter is influenced by the experience of living amongst mass produced materials, spaces and objects that are inherent in contemporary architecture and design. His work manifests as immersive installations and interactive objects that facilitate subtle shifts in value and attempt to redefine utility in relation to everyday experiences. His practice parallels contemporary discourse in art, design, architecture and sound. In short, Carter’s process is undoubtedly unique: upon entering the exhibition space, Carter’s methods are both performative and sculptural: he reshapes the contemporary gallery space by literally excavating sections of the gallery drywall (or floor) and reconstructing a new sculpture or installation from those pieces. Carter’s work is derived from a tactile sense for materials. Through the process of examining materials and their function, he attempts to assert alternate meaning in the built environment and through this act, reveals subtle idiosyncrasies that coincide with the physicality of domestic life. These interventions, ultimately, amount to concise, playful and creative critiques of the way we experience space and the items that inhabit them.” (via)
Some works of art look so wonderfully tactile that you’re drawn to want to touch them. Such is the case of Séance by American artist Sheila Hicks. The larger-than-life installation features huge tufts of colorful fabric stacked on top of one another. It was recently presented by Demisch Danant at Design Miami/Basel’s Design at Large Program.
A black-painted curved wall is covered with giant splotches of vibrantly colored wool, linen, and cotton. Crafting them utilized a processes that originates as pure powdered pigment and is later combined with a binding agent that creates a pliable fiber. This process is symbolically thought of as translating color into 3D form which is then repeated again and again for the purpose of Hick’s installation.
The multi-faceted Séance features a suspended column and a “color table” in addition to the things against the wall. A waterfall of individual strands pour from the ceiling onto a stack of blobs below them, carrying a powerful visual. The color table encourages viewers to create color combinations based on their own associations. When they’re done, they can share and trade them with other participants and piece together a unique narrative. (via designboom)
Just found out about Timothy Bergstrom, a young painting student at SAIC and one of the mighty Jose Lerma‘s students. I must say I approve. Big, awesome, weird paintings made out of lots of stuff like floss, glue, string, paper and paint, of course. Check it out!
“I’ll Miss You Tomorrow” is the title of a new project by London-based photographer John Aranda. His photographs are paired with songs by the likes of Brian Eno, Kate Bush, and Devo to enhance the narratives present in each medium. More info about the project can be found here.
Not really sure what Placer Deshacer (it seems they are a musical group with an alter-presence) is about but these pictures remind me of educational videos from the 70s and 80s, or the vague way that conceptual art is photographed. I love how the absence of color makes the human body look so mysterious and full of knowledge…
Louis Fortier’s works are that kind of fascinating that is all at once grotesque, perhaps even borderline repulsive, and so incredibly bizarre that you can’t look away. Devoted to the head, Fortier has spent the past decade exploring the subject. Using numerous wax or plaster heads, made using his own as a model, Fortier manipulates, deforms, collapses and reconfigures the head’s natural shape. The repetition of the body part reveals a deep fixation with the human face, identity and individuality. Probing into an analysis of genetic manipulation and cloning Fortier’s heads speak to the idea of multiple selves, or the personalities/ lives we might have had.
This idea of numerous variations on a single motif also raises questions about the idea of chance and unpredictability. Removing the casts from their mould before they are solidified, Fortier then allows metamorphoses to occur. Fortier seems to be wondering about the idea of nature versus nurture and where the artist’s hand fits into the equation. Partially directing the manipulation and partially leaving the results to chance, each of Fortier’s heads becomes a different variation of himself. In making these atypical self-portraits, Fortier analyzes the artist’s ability to destroy and create his identity.