It is always exciting and refreshing to see traditional art methods used in a whole new way. Artist Danielle Lawrence‘s fresh eye on contemporary art takes the conventional framed painting and transforms it into highly textural and sculptural work, taking it to another level. In her work, the frame is often still present, but the art inside it is spilling out, exploding from the frame that confines it. It is almost as if the paint has a life of its own, trying to escape from the cage and constraint we have given it. Lawrence explains that the frame is a symbol of patriarchal structures and restriction.
Lawrence’s non-representational painting method allows the colors to melt and drip, creating incredible movement in each piece. These colors appear bent, folded, and manipulated, creating organic forms. Each bright, glossy color erupting from each canvas and frame turns the typical two-dimensional painting into a more palpable, three-dimensional piece that reaches out at the viewer. Her artistic journey began while experimenting using trash as subject. Still pulling inspiration from found objects, the artist’s work often includes items from her studio, including plastic bags and bubble wrap. Lawrence’s take on form and material is both chaotic and structured, creating order out of an eclectic range of colors and media. She flawlessly creates a beautifully balanced mixture of classic painting methods with a new, contemporary approach.
She’s an avowed formalist with an eye to the street. Her works are lustrous and abject, smooth and sharp, blunt and sophisticated. While painting is clearly her passion, she makes promiscuous use of other media: sculpture, drawing, photography and video.
Premier website builder Made With Color and Beautiful/Decay have teamed up again to bring you exclusive artist features. We show you exciting artists and designers who use Made With Color to create a clean and modern website. But it doesn’t just help artists create a minimal, mobile-responsive website; Made With Color also allows them to do it in only a few minutes without have to know any coding. This week we are featuring the work of New York artist Micah Ganske.
Soft, pale colors mixed with futuristic forms. Micah Ganske’s paintings are the reflection of future habitats and societies, combining the notion of technology degrading population with a hopeful note. Influenced by the ghost-town of Centralia, PA, the artist beautifully depicts abandoned city landscapes.
In his series “My Future Is Always Tomorrow’, technology is taking over. The paintings depict a world overtaken by technology and its effect on human kind. “My new sculptures and drawings express my hope that we will further use technology to improve and evolve our very selves.” Ganske’s vision doesn’t end with just paintings. Along with video and virtual reality experiences he also creates intricate sculptures of spacecrafts using a 3D printer. These are part of his fleet of spacecrafts that are meant to eventually come together to create a larger than life humanoid traveling through space. A symbolic vision to forecast humans embracing technology instead of enduring it.
Tom Sanford had me over to his spacious basement studio in Tribeca this past Saturday. I became aware of Sanford’s work in 2008 when I saw his show “Mr. Hangover” at Leo Koenig, Inc. Tom’s main project is capturing our rapid-fire digital culture in the slow language of painting. If it’s in the news – it’s likely fodder for his paintings. When we watch TV, a pop star’s recent public tantrum is covered with the same attention as the death count in a war zone. Tom doesn’t try to adjust the playing field between pop culture and world events – he conflates them. But when that happens in a painting the dissonance is in your face in a way that it isn’t on TV. For instance, in a new large-scale painting, Bill Murray (as a red capped Steve Zissou from The Life Aquatic) is being held at gun point by pirates off the coast of Somalia. It’s inexplicably poignant – maybe because I care about the character from a movie? Sanford speaks eloquently about how painting is slow media, and how we’re all enmeshed in fast media – he has a sign up in his studio that sums it up as “The worse the better.”
Recently deceased Hip Hop legend RAMMELLZEE was such an enigma. I often have a hard time deciphering some of his rhetoric. But his genius is so evident. His work (on any platform, vocal or visual) was always a cut above. He always had something slightly different going on. Take his “Letter Racers” (above), for example. Customized skateboard warriors fighting epic alphabet wars? Always on another level. See more from the late great artist after the jump, and listen to “Beat Bop”, the game-changing single that included cover art from Jean-Michel Basquiat.
All photos Copyright The Estate of Rammellzee, Courtesy the Suzanne Geiss Company, New York.
I headed over to Brooklyn to check out what Ryan Schneider had cooking after not seeing his work for a year. He was painting when I got there; mixing a fleshly color on the big glass palette in the center of the room. Canvases lined the walls, some were finished and some were in progress. He paints all the nouns: people, places and things; and does so in a thoughtful way that reflects life. Still lifes which range from bathtubs to bookshelves, and landscapes which seem to suggest an alternate, more romantic reality.
The paintings are populated with figures, and he had interesting things to say about figure painting. In person, the paintings are very obviously physical. They combine juicy paint, carved-in-words, bold colors, and a funky sense of space. This makes for paintings which flip between pattern and illusion. His new paintings were confident, and maybe even more colorful and spatially complex than his previous work. Schneider recently left Priska C Juschka, his gallery of several years. Besides being a painter, Schneider is also a curator and has organized high profile group shows in locations near and far, and he was at it again. He is behind a show which just opened in Austin, at Champion Contemporary, called “Wild Beasts.” He included a group of artists who share a love of color and admiration for Matisse and the French Fauves. Read some of our discussion after the jump.
Mexican photographer Alinka Echeverria’sThe Road to Tepeyac , for which she won the prestigious French prize HSBC Prix pour la Photographie is a typology of the backs of three hundred Mexican pilgrims on their journey to the Basilica de Guadalupe in Mexico city. This yearly pilgrimage is undertaken by approximately six million devout Catholics on the anniversary of the apparitions of the Virgin of Guadalupe in 1531 to the indigenous man Juan Diego. This journey is a manifestation of the iconic power of the Virgin, whose image was miraculously imposed onto Juan Diego’s cloak. Belief in the apparitions and their evidence, the ‘sacred image of a miracle and a miracle of images’, marks a turning point in the struggle for power of the Spanish conquerors, for whom evangelizing was imperative to the success of the empire. They successfully conquered the imagination using imagery as a tool for acculturation and domination in an already extremely visual indigenous culture.
The pilgrims photographed, carry their own reproduction of the Virgin – paintings, sculptures, posters or cloaks of the icon, taken from home and shouldered on their backs to the place of the apparition. The journey is an arduous one, a physical and spiritual undertaking with each pilgrim bearing their own evidence of devotion whilst enforcing their own personal relationship with the Virgin. Echeverria takes each portrait separately, which is then cut and transposed onto a plain background. This de-contextualisation is intended to raise the subject above the corporal world, making them appear like an isolated icon.
Seen as a series, each portrait creates a dialogue with the others. A narrative of interconnecting personal missions removed from the rest of the elements originally in the image. The sheer number of portraits helps to create a visual maze of similarities and differences. With the surrounding landscape removed we are struck by the contrasting richly colored Virgins and muted tones of the pilgrims.
Romanian illustrator Aitch creates colorful images that are ripe with magentas, turquoises, electric yellows, and more. But, don’t let those bright pigments confuse you. While cheerful, there are some macabre moments that add an intriguing element to her detailed paintings.
Aitch is inspired by her travels, naturalistic illustrations, naive art, and folklore from around the world. You definitely get the sense of this through her series like The Garden of Good and Evil and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Both, as you might guess, are the retelling of stories – original sin and the C.S. Lewis tale, respectively – but through her own imagery and voice. Here, full-sized women with an array of unusual tattoos interact with the psychedelic landscape and a cast of fantastical creatures.
The same women appear throughout Aitch’s work in other series like Coffins. Here, it’s much like it sounds – we see decorative coffins, people buried underground, and a meditation on what happens after we’re gone. Her style lends itself to a more lighthearted, beautiful depiction of death and a return to nature where we’re wrapped up in gorgeous vines and flowers.
The work of legendary street artist Banksy is now iconic, even throughout the larger art world. Photographer Nick Stern uses these easily recognizable images as a starting point. Stern literally brings Banksy’s pieces to life. He restages the wall art using real people and objects in place of the spray paint and posters. Using living subjects adds emphasis to the often powerful and startling art of Banksy.