For her series The Absence of All Colors, the artist Ludmila Steckelberg creates a visual catalog of death; scouring her old family photo albums, she removes the photographic imprints of the dead, leaving blackened figures in their wake. Like fading recollections of face and features, these blank gaps— merely standing in for the deceased— leave an invisible mark on collective family memory. These old black and white images, now sepia-toned with age, are poignantly robbed of their power to immortalize and preserve those passed away. As with death itself, the act of removal, executed cleanly by the artist, is heartrendingly permanent and cannot be undone.
Steckelberg’s work is an unsetting exploration of the undeniable bond of photography and death. The photograph, though two-dimensional, suggests the three-dimensionality of life; here, the dead return to a state of two-dimensionality, receding from the aesthetic world of the living into an abstracted, flattened plane. The darkness they inhabit is utterly unimaginable to us, and yet they seem to be capable of observing us. In this shocking inversion, the viewer feels watched, gazed upon from the black depths. Pasted on one page of a family album, a removed couple faces into the opposite page, searching its blankness for an unknowable something.
Here, the living are left entirely alone, trapped within a space that once seemed full and vibrant, but is revealed to be merely an illusion by the artist’s careful cutting. Men and women look trapped within the borders of the deconstructed photograph, yearning to leap forth, to reconnect with those lost to darkness. (via Lensculture)
Shapeshift along with Dels in this fun video that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Currently showing at our favorite nearby art gallery/Japanese-maid-themed-cafe/store, Royal T in Culver City, CA, is “I Can’t Feel My Face,” curated by New York artist KAWS. As the website says, “I Can’t Feel My Face shares its title with a painting by KAWS and is a centerpiece of the exhibition, which explores the theme of contemporary portraiture as a vehicle of inherent emotive expression.” The show features work from over 25 artists, including Carol Dunham, Misaki Kawai, Hideaki Kawashima, Ted Mineo, and Takashi Murakami.
Network Osaka is a graphic designer. That’s pretty much all I know about him or her. I don’t think they’re from Japan. They’re either from California or Mexico. Past that, Network Osaka has done some really nice print work, often employing a straightforward modernist aesthetic without seeming too derivative of the old masters.
“Ideas win today in our society. […] I ingest, then digest. Art is really just a mirror of ourselves.”
A truthful quote that Desire Obtain Cherish (DOC) aka Jonathan Paul takes into account while conceptualizing his body of work. The pop sculptor, obviously influenced by Jeff Koons and Andy Warhol, combines street, pop, conceptual and appropriation art in order to create sculptural pieces that explore contemporary society’s ever-growing obsessions: sex, gender, drugs, commerce, media and fame.
Desire’s kitschy, yet critical work exposes “society’s inability to control itself as it examines the commercial promise of fulfillment and happiness that ends in dependency.” DOC employs an exaggerated and sarcastic outlook that might come off as cleaver but pretentious and judgmental, but never in a bad way. New Yorker art critic Benjamin Genocchio characterized DOC’s work as “not malicious [..] He is more like our social conscience, delivering up uncomfortable and unpleasant truths wrapped in the most beautiful and seductive of packages.”
Although a conventional artist in paper, DOC deviates from the stereotypical standards of “good taste” in art as his ideas are more in line with contemporary commerce and marketing methods rather than traditional artisan methods. (via ARTNAU)
This short documentary follows Darren Samuelson as he ventures out to San Francisco’s Lands End to try his giant homemade camera.The camera took over 7 months to build, shoots 14×36-inch x-ray negatives, and stretches out to 6 feet in length! Watch the full documentary after the jump!
Micaela Lattanzio creates works of art that go beyond the traditional forms of photography. This collection, called “Frammentazioni,” shatters photos into bits and pieces, enabling Lattanzio to play with space and texture. Her mosaic-esque pieces contain a sort of kinetic energy, suggesting form and movement in a subtle way.
Like other types of art that use human features, it’s hard not to assign emotion to Lattanzio’s work. She literally uses human images as jig saw pieces, evoking a sort of psychological depth that could be read as anxious or even playful.