It’s not everyday that we post about an exhibit in East Hampton, New York but our good pal Ryan Travis Christian has an exhibit of his gorgeous drawings at the premiere East Hampton contemporary art space HALSEY MCKAY GALLERY (run by talented painter Ryan Wallace). You may remember our feature spread on Ryan’s work in the now sold out Beautiful/Decay: What A Mess book with it’s mind bending patterned detail that flows back and forth between abstraction and representation.
Christian describes his show Something, Something, Black Something as being “about pulling it off or not. Like trying something new and failing or succeeding, or trying something old and failing or succeeding. It’s about losing functionality or becoming functional in a completely different fashion. It about garbage and glitz having equal rank. It’s like finding money on the ground or having a stranger slap the back of your neck as hard as possible while you are on a nature hike. It’s similar to an uphill tumbleweed. It’s like realizing a fourth of an idea, or almost remembering something you want to say. It’s like having a clear mind and vibrator eyes.”
Make sure to head over to HALSEY MCKAY between now and August 7th to catch Ryan’s show. If you’re stuck out west and still need your RTC fix you can see a great exhibit of work curated by Ryan over at Double Break Gallery in San Diego featuring works by over 120 artists (including yours truly).
As a result of Moebius‘ recent death, the interent has exploded with the man’s masterful works, and surely the sci-fi and art community is in need of great talents to fill this void. While not at Moebius’ level (which seems nearly unattainable), Kilian Eng is nonetheless incredibly imaginative and prolific, and it is certainly possible that he may one day too become a master of his own sort. He brings his own brand of funkiness to these far-off worlds, and each image holds either countless narrative avenues, or mind-clearing abstract pleasures. The future, his future, his futuristic future, is a bright and promising one (a past interview and a world of goods and greats).
A tragic love story interpreted and represented in real life. Georgian sculptor Tamara Kvesitadze has created in real life the two characters who, despite their love, cannot be together. The sculptures are made out of metallic discs and are moving daily, embracing each other and parting in different ways.
Tamara Kvesitadze’s ‘Man and Woman’ installation depicts Ali, a Muslim boy and Nino, a Christian Georgian princess. It’s a symbolic representation of the Soviet Russia invasion which forces the two lovers to separate and leave for opposed directions. This tale is inspired by a novel by Azerbaijani author, Kurban Said.
The sculptures are 8 meters (26 foot) tall and are moving every day at 7pm for 10 minutes in the seaside city of Batumi in Georgia. If we look at the video above, we notice that as the sculptures move the metallic discs fit together and the bodies merge. The purpose behind this installation is to illustrate how elements, within a world where everything and anything is moving, can be synchronized and create attraction. (via Juxtapoz)
Living matter thrives and dies within the intricate linework of Michigan-born artist Christina Mrozik. On large pieces of paper, she uses pen, ink, marker, and watercolor to compose semi-surreal visions of nature that are much different from the usual paintings of serene landscapes and friendly animals. Mrozik’s creatures bustle with a quiet ferocity: cranes perching on wolf carcasses split open with their progeny inside; owls flap wildly, trying to escape a rope of viscera that binds them to the roots below. Full of verdant symbolism, it somewhat resembles a twisted Garden of Eden, but it is important not to let the dark imagery overwhelm us; Mrozik’s vision of life-embracing-death (and vice versa) transcends existential horror, arriving at a depiction of nature that gives meaning to death and joins all living things in a greater life process.
The human perception of “nature” is central to Mrozik’s work. In her artist’s statement, she points out the seemingly contradictory “double perception” we have of nature: “it is either something to be glorified, or something to be dominated” (Source). We relish in its beauty and the idea of “untouched” lands, but we also wish to place ourselves above it, to separate ourselves, defining it as an “other” that can be controlled and exploited. Through her organic forms and the fusion of human and animal imagery, Mrozik’s art seeks to dissolve these imaginary boundaries, exemplifying how a sentience exists throughout all living things. As she concludes: “I feel that the basic stories of feeding, migration, shelter, mating, and self awareness are an essential part of our inner being and affect our view of the world both around us and within us.” (Source).
When looking through photographer Caroline Mackintosh‘s visual archive, the themes are immediately evident: beauty, youth, adventure. Using her lens, she paints a vivid storyline of an endless summer, stretched out over empty streets, swimming holes, and desert air. The sun-soaked quality of the colors, and slight dip in and out of focus give her work an air of honesty, as though she’s invited the viewer to casually sifting through a box of snapshots.
Indonesian painter Haris Purnomo started painting babies covered with dragon tattoos over 20 years ago and has slowly included women and men into his oeuvre. Initially starting illustrating babies because “they were cute”, Purnomo quickly realized they could be a effective symbol for the Indonesian lower class. His portraits now include all ages, demographics and classes. Like some sort of branding or gang symbol, the faces he paints all bear a marking of a certain culture. They all belong to the same time and place. Purnomo was a painter during the time of the military dominated government of Suharto and his work shows a certain sort of forced introspection – a focus on pain and mysterious, subtle symbols.
His paintings are highly political as well as highly stylized. As a member of the Gerakan Seni Rupa Bary, The New Art Movement, and of PIPA, two innovative art movements from Indonesia in the seventies, he not only challenged Suharto’s power and the preexisting aesthetic, but also people’s understanding of their own culture. These are his own thoughts on why he produces artwork and it’s social importance:
Once we are faced with the necessity to make a choice or a stand, everything that makes up our backgrounds will play its part: time, age, economic, social and political considerations, idealism, behavior, creativity, et cetera. All these may alter, strengthen, undermine, or develop anything we believe, and the ‘Pipa’ artists are not exceptions in this. As a father seeing his children growing up I experience a sense of losing [sic], I feel the strong drive to give more attention to children, including others’ children; that is what has been going on in me Being hopeful about my children and wanting to be more attentive to children in every aspect, I think these two things provide the basis of the central theme of my works.(Source)
Purnomo’s artworks are not only culturally relevant for Indonesia, but can teach us a whole lot about the human condition, it’s strength, fragility, resilience and adaptability.
Italian sound designers Fabio Di Salvo and Bernardo Vercelli, together known as Quiet Ensemble, create work that features insignificant sounds that we wouldn’t give a second thought to. They focus their energies on the “greatness of small events,” and the subject of their most recent project is a lamp. Specifically, lamps used to produce a musical event. Titled The Enlightenment, the duo calls this performance a “hidden concert of pure light” that uses a bevy of different lighting elements like stage lights and high-powered bulbs. “Instead of violins are neon lights, to replace drums are strobe lights and instead of clarinets we will see theatrical headlights illuminating the audience,” they explain in the video’s description.
The Enlightenment was performed in October for Bologna’s Robot Festival, where it included 96 lamps. Each was fitted with its own copper coil that received various electric currents set at specific intervals, as well as a sensor. This produced an electromagnetic field that was captured and turned into sounds. Salvo and Vercelli accompanied the buzzes by modifying and amplifying each lamp’s electric output in real time. The result is a clash of blues, greens, and yellow flashes with the poetics of a familiar buzz. (Via The Creators Project)
“I want to show that, despite stereotypes, that gay men can be masculine too.
“When I wear men’s clothes I feel comfortable and confident in how I look on the outside which now matches the inside.”
“I have been called a SNAG (sensitive new age guy), a renaissance man, a male in touch with his feminine side, etc….I think that I am masculine in the sense of self reliance.”
“I am strong emotionally, have always stood up for myself and fear nothing. I happen to be physically strong but that isn’t where I derive my masculinity.”
Philadelphia-based photographer Chad States creates ”Masculinities’, a series of photographs and text devoted to create real, tangible accounts of men and their thoughts on masculinity in order to expose the complexities and difficulties in trying to define the masculine. States, interested in creating a large sample of men and their accounts, exposes his project on Craigslist and only takes subjects who are interested in participating in this project.
“Growing up as a gay man in the U.S. I have always been aware of how men were supposed to act and I judged myself against these ideas. Masculinity was always something that was attractive to me but when I tried to unpack what made someone masculine I found it hard to define. Masculinity seemed based on relativity and shifted in different circumstances and cultures.”
The series, inspired by State’s own struggles with understanding conceptions of gender at an early age, set out to investigate the matter by photographing these men in their home. States explains that “the structure of the project created a special circumstance in which those who were still willing to participate had a strong need to have their own masculinity confirmed by the photograph.” The men got to choose the ways in which they were portrayed, they picked what they wanted to wear and they choose to stand by or sit in any position they felt truly comfortable in.
I used a 4×5 camera only taking about 8-10 shots per sitting, so the poses and choices are very intentional on part of the sitter.” (via Feature Shoot)