Robert Therrien recontextualizes everyday images and objects by exaggerating them. His larger-than-life sculptures of tables, chairs, and dishware offer viewers an alternative perspective of these usually mundane and overlooked domestic elements. Therrien’s work simultaneously validates and absurdifies these simple objects by calling attention to their existence. In addition to enlarging items, Therrien also warps them or physically places them in a thoughtful context, commenting on the boundaries of the functionality, design, and purpose of these simple objects and images. Accompanying the inorganic images are organic ones, such as a 51 inch tall beard and a 47 inch long stork beak with bundle. Therrien has lived in Los Angeles since 1971.
An excavation artist, if there ever was such a thing, Max Lamb creates beautiful works of art and furniture using Mother Nature as one of his tools. On a beach in Cornwall, England, Lamb uses primitive sand casting techniques to make his pieces. One of the earliest forms of casting, sand casting requires low-tech materials and systems. Attracted to this method, Lamb employed this simple technique to create the pewter stool depicted in the video. His knowledge of techniques, materials and his skill allow Lamb to explore method and medium in a unique way. There is a sense of adventure to Lamb’s work, which makes his process as interesting as the final product itself. His practice consists of an artistic honesty and respect for process that induces excitement and surprise. Watching Lamb excavate his pewter creation from the sand evokes a sense of wonder and an awareness of magic.
Weirdly wonderful monoprints by Grady Gordon.
Whoop Dee Doo, hosted by your awesome friends, Jaimie and Matt, is a kid-friendly faux public access television show featuring pre-planned performances accompanied by live audience participation (Kind of like a radical talent show!!). The show is based in Kansas City, Missouri, but has traveled and worked with many amazing arts organizations all over the country. Some of the awesome places we have worked with include the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, Nebraska, Deitch Projects in New York, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, the Smart Museum at the University of Chicago and more!
Born in Bavaria, Southern Germany, photographer Elena Helfrecht taps into the dark stormy mood often connected with the painter Caspar David Friedrich and the German poets writing about the emotions of the human condition. Her images have a beautiful delicacy to them, heavy with reflection and contemplation as Helfrecht tries to make sense not only of the world around her, but also the world within herself. In her series Little Stories, she compiles photographic narratives of moments that are intensely personal to her.
Including close ups of her hands covered in blood, her feet poised in front of freshly picked flowers, her stomach cradling a pigeon, she uses her own body to visually express her inner thoughts and emotions. Helfrecht reflected on the series:
I think the most intense one for me has to be “Farewell” [the pigeon narrative]. I often think about death. I really fear what comes afterwards – the ending of consciousness, where nothing is left (at least this is what I can’t stop believing). When I went to work and just came out of the station, a pigeon fell down right in front of my feet and died there after a short cramp. I was shocked. I didn’t expect something like this to happen and I was deeply moved. I even cried. It was like a metaphor how quick everything can be over and what is left of it – nothing but an empty shell. We live and rush around without cherishing what we have, and then it will be simply over.This series is about the one issue which bothers so many of us: the matter of life and death. In the pictures the shown human body is alive, but one day the images will show something which is no more, like the bird. Still I believe something will stay in this world after we die: Memory. This is what the photographs itself stand for (for me they are a tiny piece of hope).
São Paulo based Dea Lellis’ graphic paintings are steeped in mythology as well as references to movies, terror, music, and fashion.
It comes as no surprise to anyone who idles away hours at a computer screen looking at design and art sites that the cut and paste collage medium is seeing a resurgence in importance. Sharing the internet’s tendencies of immediacy, appropriation and a denial of visual ownership, collage combines anything and everything to create a natural response and reflection of our age.
The collage work of Jesse Draxler similarly combines these strengths and tendencies, though with hand-crafted technique. His mixed-media fusion of found images, typography and design sensibilities thrives in information-overload times, both in drawing inspiration as well as being viewed instantaneously. By finding source material from anything, Draxler is able to ‘remix’ fashion spreads as easily as referencing art movements, crafting a new 2-dimensional language that has an immediate accessibility. This intentional referencing of constant stimulus, which is manipulated first and considering after, is essentially a kind of hyper-consumption of images that might be the descendant of William Burroughs’ cut-up technique. Draxler has no contention with this, saying, “Going through my Tumblr feed is like gathering ammunition which I will use myself, in my own way. I am able to see trends emerge in real-time, and I think about how I can fit those aesthetics into what I do, or even wrap what I do around those aesthetics.” Essentially everything, regardless of theme, origin, niche or intent, has the potential to become inspiration.
Recently featured in Gestalten’s The Age of Collage, a survey of the foremost collage artists working in the world today, Draxler’s ability to draw inspiration from anything fully portrays the strength of the visual remix medium.
Through dark and melancholic ceramic sculptures Anne Wenzel shares her views on the world’s fears and tragedies (natural catastrophes, bomb attacks, fear of millenarianism…) She draws away the tradition of ceramic to create her contemporary and intense sculptures. The artist’s ‘modern day vanitas’ sculptures not only shake the core but also question the role of splendor and power within a deformed and vanished piece of art. Recently, Anne Wenzel has created two sets of sculptures: busts in ‘Damaged Goods’ and blossoms in ‘Attempted Decadence’.
In the first group of work, she uses the classic military bust and shiny dark brown tones of glaze to condemn the glorification of authority during times of war. She questions the fact that we worship emblematic figures that have caused violence and have damaged entire populations and their countries.
Power, destruction, heroism and violence, themes dear to the artist emerge from her strong historical awareness and political engagement; she sheds new light on the role that art plays in depicting them.
The glamour and glorification expressed in the sorrowful blossoms is raising intentional open questions that Anne Wenzel is not willing to answer for us. She wants the viewer to take a stand and ask: I am seeing this beautiful metaphor of greatness and beauty, but am I being manipulated? The purple and rust tones petals are liquefied, dripping over the structure that’s holding them. Turning healthy and fresh flowers into a devastated and agonizing dying bouquet, the visual creates a balance in the expression of abstraction and figurative art.
Anne Wenzel’s art pieces will be showing at the following events:
Emergent Gallery in Belgium until September 2015
Rijks Museum in Amsterdam until January 2016
Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht until February 2015