If you’re like my best friend Agnes, who is such a germaphobe that she brings with her cleaning equipment on any of our vacation trips, then this post will disturb your very soul. Presenting the Seattle Gum Wall! Falling in 2nd place (after Ireland’s Blarney Stone) as voted by Tripadvisor to be one of the world’s most germ infested tourist attractions. The Gum Wall came to be in the early 1990’s when people, waiting in line to purchase theater tickets, started to stick their chewing gum to the wall to pass the time. You may be wondering why hasn’t anyone tried to clean this up in the first place, well the theater attendants have – twice! They gave up in 1999 when the wall became an official Seattle tourist attraction. I (being a notorious gum addict) must visit this wall to contribute… with Agnes and her endless stock of Purell.
Australian based photographer Simon Davidson has been documenting various aspects of car culture from drag racing to V8, to our personal favorite Australian past time, Burnout Competitions. Full of tire smoke, gorgeous cars, and passionate fans, the Burnout competitions are perfect photography subjects as well as one of the loudest and most aggressive ways one can spend a weekend. (via feature shoot)
C W Wells’ sculptures and works on paper are ambassadors that have spilled out from her private world, mere fragments of a vast and complex oeuvre. Her studio and home in South Philadelphia is an archive, kept well stocked with an arsenal of supplies like brushes, clays, glazes, toys, molds, tiny clothes, dolls, and tchochkes. Action figures designed by artists Marcel Dzama and R. Crumb share shelf space with Gumby, Yogi Bear, and other old-school cartoon personalities. There are model trains and dollhouse miniatures, paint-by-numbers, vintage collectables, and two live bunnies. They also remind me of that episode in CSI Las Vegas (the “miniature killer”)…
A living snake wrapped around a face, a dozen of ladybugs, a scorpio and an howl using that same face as a structure. That is the set up of a fantastic photography series by Juul Kraijer called ‘Penumbrae’. The titles evokes darkness and shadows. It’s what we are getting visually and internally. The artist is inspired to manipulate reality, in the end, she gets to manipulate us, the viewer, in a disconcerting way.
The models are just the vehicle for ideas, they are not to be considered like portraits, nor are the animals. Clearly the main subject is twosome: the fusion between the animal and the face and the dark background. The intriguing face/animal amalgamation stands out from the shade, as if it had been sitting in the dark for an eternity. It will appear for a brief moment and then will go back into the gloom exactly the way we saw it at first, for all times.
Imperturbable tranquillity is the general tone. Despite a unsettling scenario that could create an anxious atmosphere, the calm sported by the faces leaves a mark of grace, the same expression that is usually found in Renaissance portraiture. Juul Kraijer is fascinated by surrealist photography, hence the execution of her series. Surrealism is about getting rid of the mind and the reason to only let the imagination dive and drive into the interpretation of the picture. Ideas and dogmas cannot be suggested, personal understanding cannot be captured.
The artist has created provocative poses. By elevating the animals on top of the faces she questions the hierarchies between humans and animals, models and accessories. The fact that the roles are reversed creates intensity, almost a tension. Comparably to the symbol of eternity described above, the use of the mirrors creates oddity and redundancy, which extends the feeling coming out from the photographs. The viewer is tempted to look away but there’s an indescribable attraction, a desire to see more.
Want to see what kind of music video a bit of creativity and $200,a two car garage, soldering iron, handmade clay molds, christmas lights, and no CGI can produce? If so watch this great promo video for Reds by Houses directed by LAMAR+NIK after the jump!
Titus Kaphar creates new perspectives on art with his deconstructed installations. After painting in the style of classical and Renaissance greats, he begins to change the works, literally peeling them back in some cases. He uses cutouts and silhouettes to recontextualize the paintings in a way seems to lift the curtain and show us another layer of reality. “Open areas become active absences, walls enter into the portraits, stretcher bars are exposed, and structures that are typically invisible underneath, behind, or inside the canvas are laid bare, revealing the interiors of the work,” Kaphar says of his work.
Cipher also experiments with texture, adding thick layers of paint and creating a new dimension of emotion and expressiveness as a result. Some of his pieces are contemplative, but others are playful, like a portrait of a man with the subject peeled from his surroundings and left crumpled before the foot of the frame. Kaphar explains:
“I cut, crumple, shroud, shred, stitch, tar, twist, bind, erase, break, tear, and turn the paintings and sculptures I create, reconfiguring them into works that nod to hidden narratives and begin to reveal unspoken truths about the nature of history. … In so doing, my aim is to perform what I critique, to reveal something of what has been lost, and to investigate the power of a rewritten history.”