Stephanie Davidson’s works are, for lack of a better word, super bratty. Like she totally knows it, too. It’s loaded with post-modern irony lost in the throes of youthful know-it-allness. (My Swedish friend calls them: Besser-Vissers. Better knowers? I always liked this invented word.) It’s kinda like wearing a scrunchie and reading the Babysitter’s Club while blasting Boyz II Men just for the kicks of a patronizingly late 90’s obtuse reference, regardless of how little I actually like it. Or, like staring into a gradient-laden orb slowly rotating a white wizzard in the middle of space. (PS thanks to Jason Redwood for the link.)
In photographer Filippo Romano’s fascinating series titled Nomadic Sellers, he documents the roaming salespeople of Africa. The images are mostly focused in eastern Nairobi and specifically in the slum of Mathare, which has a population of 600,000 people within 3 square miles. Each portrait features the peddler and their wares against the washed-out backdrop of the city streets.
We see the men with shoes and bras tied around their necks and arms full of music and wooden utensils. Their earnings are meager, and the goods they sell make a tenth of what pesticide peddlers yield. Those salespeople have most lucrative product and stand to make between 1,000 to 2,000 shellini (10 to 20 euros) in profit.
Romano notes that selling on the streets and going door-to-door is one of the most common trades in the African world. A seller who travels with goods on their back has most likely created their job through the necessity to fend for themselves. They are entrepreneurs.
Nomadic Sellers points to the infectious nature of global consumerism, and how even the far parts of the world want to own a pair of Nikes. At its very core, the series is an intriguing look at the innate human desire to own stuff, no matter how necessary or frivolous it may seem. (Via Feature Shoot)
Austrian/Croatian Design Collective numen/for use has created many varying types of “social sculptures” over the years. Their latest effort is formed from interwoven nets, sandbags and wires and acts as a walkable structure. Housed in the OK Center For Contemporary Art in Linz (Austria), visitors can walk, lie in, grab onto and pull themselves through the nets. This sculpture stands in for the staircase normally used in the exhibition space. The nets are strung up from the ceiling and stretched out with the help of sandbags at their bases, creating different forms, shapes and pathways ready to explore.
These images show just how surreal the experience is – as if you are walking through mid air without enough support, unaided by any hard surfaces. We can see just how immersive this course is, with the nets stretching out in very organic ways around the people walking. As the gallery goers make their way through the course, traversing along the tunnels and scaling heights, one is reminded of the contour lines on a topographical map. It feels as if we are seeing images of people in some new virtual reality – or a glimpse of the future environments that will one day surround us. Perhaps this is the new ergonomic way of walking?
This architectural technique numen/for use has created is similar to Tomás Saraceno‘s exhibition Cloud Cities. He choose to create inflatable spheres and other large structures which visitors accessed with ladders. Just like in “Net Linz”, people could lie on and move around within these forms. Saraceno has also enlisted the help of nets in the past to create a similar feeling for his guests; one of weightlessness and the defiance of gravity. Perhaps we will all get to experience this in the near future? Perhaps nets will eventually replace escalators, elevators and even the humble staircase…. (Via Designboom)
Straight out of Rutger’s MFA Painting program, Paul DeMuro is creating some wildly thick paintings. The first time I ever saw his work was at Jolie Laide’s Tri-State show, and he flat-out stole the show. These paintings are way too physically powerful for the internet to capture any of the ka-pow they possess, but you can still get a general feel for these high-energy works. Unfortunately, he just finished up a two-man show with Alex Da Corte at Jolie Laide, entitled BLEACH, but I’m sure he’ll have plenty of future shows so you can get a chance to check out his work in its proper environment (a primer).
I just got back from checking out the undergrad show at UCLA Design Media Arts, and I was impressed with a lot of the work, but there was one young artist that really stood out to me: Canon Call. Call’s work is largely comprised of illustration on found materials, and the sincerely charming thing about these little disruptive doodles is their ability to build upon the image they are layered on top of in order to develop a dialogue around pop-culture and society at large. The best part of the work is the hidden irony behind the naming of each piece’s source file… each JPEG on his site is titled “dontsteal.jpg” or “dontcopythis.jpg – and various other alterations of that phrase. Genius. The work itself feels like a weird mashup of pop art and a surrealist exquisite corpse of sorts. I am very much looking forward to watching Call’s work develop.
No these aren’t digital illustrations for a children’s book but the work of young self taught German photographer Matthias Heiderich. These razor sharp images may be minimal in composition but they pack a powerful punch of color that will make you hungry for cotton candy and a trip to the circus. (via feature shoot)
Tyler MFA student Erica Prince’s work shows an exploration of alchemy, scientific thought, and creation of intricate worlds. In a recent interview she did with Masters of the Visual Universe, she describes her work as “focused around the idea of the Utopian society”. Her newer work bridges between installation and drawings, where some of the spaces she creates in 2D also have a 3D counterpart. Her work is strong and well researched both visually and philosophically. Each one brings you deeper and deeper into her own visual Utopia.