Even if you’re the type of individual to deny most slightly cynical (or perhaps they’re just simply honest) thoughts, you’ll too appreciate Joseph Barbaccia’s tangible commentary. In his Integration Series Joseph presents integrated objects, each representing one single, yet highly loaded idea: Obesity, Marriage, Blame…
Nicholas Hlobo is a South African artist based in Johannesburg whose work often revolves around the idea of duality, especially as seen in the South African Xhosa culture. The contrast between feminine and masculine sexuality is of special interest to Hlobo, as well as “comfort, shelter, protection, beauty, cleanliness, sacred space, pleasure and fantasy.” An intense collection of work that gracefully explores some of humanity’s founding instincts.
Rosa Verloop creates sculptures out of nylons. Eerie and captivating these malleable forms capture the density and lumpiness of a fleshy existence. They’re soft and cuddly and evoke a tangibility. These malformed sculptures speak to bodily fear and vulnerability and what we perceive as normal and abnormal. Nylons are supposed to cover skin, creating a smoothness that Verloop undermines by twisting and stuffing these nylons into bulky lumps.
Scottish-born, London-based visual artist Robert Montgomery loves to write in fire. Montgomery’s epic statement pieces are constructed from gigantic letters attached to a wooden platform, ready to be torched. The words aflame, his ideas come alive, sparked by their prophetic tone. The poems appear like floating fortunes, hovering in bold typeface, spelling out tales of ghosts and temporality, horses and palaces, situations seeped in apprehensive futures. The destructions of comfort, foreshadowing the obliteration of power structures and the rise of beauty. The act of setting them on fire is also, whether intentional or not, a nod to the finite nature of art and installation work. It echoes the premise of destruction as the highest form of creation.
Montgomery has also shown many of the same pieces in “recycled sunlight,” or through batteries charged via solar panels, illuminating at night. This electric voice speaking softly within the crowded streets adds a beautiful dimension to the art. Some of his pieces, put up as billboards around London’s east end, look like advertising at first glance. It is this interplay that is exactly what draws Montgomery to anonymous installation as his primary method of display:
“I’m definitely interested in hijacking advertising space for a different kind of conversation. I think it’s really interesting to use that space for a sort of interior voice. A voice in the private sphere. When I started putting my art on billboards, people told me, “You can’t put a hundred words on a billboard. No one will read that.” (Source)
Since 2009,Tony Orrico has performed his Penwald drawings. Combining elements found in dance, theater and performance art, it explores repetitive movement for long periods of time, bringing drawing’s motion into peril with human physicality. The idea originates in finding a point when an act becomes more than just motor skills and crosses over into the creative process. In Tony’s case, this leaves an aesthetic mark on physical existence in the form of an abstract drawing.
After graduating with an MFA in Choreography from the University of Iowa, Tony joined Shen Wei and Trisha Brown Dance companies. As a principle, he performed in major cities around the globe, including Sydney Opera House. Both troupes known for an avant garde approach ensured that he was never far away from a serious art practice. When he was ready, this enabled him to use the experience he learned as a dancer and combine it with his passion for drawing. One of his first Penwald performances at Postmasters Gallery, NY in 2009, would set the stage for everything that followed. From there, he received an opportunity to perform at The National Academy Of Sciences in Washington DC, and was soon taking his “Penwald” series to venues worldwide. He was one of the few selected to reappropriate performances from Marina Ambramovic’s retrospective, “The Artist is present” at New York’s Museum Of Modern Art, an experience he was honored to have.
His newest project, CARBON, further investigates the relationship between material, body and movement. Again, testing the limits of physical, mental and creative capacity, Tony sleeps in a box of graphite broken off throughout the course of a day, from Mexican pottery bowls. The material is used as a metaphor for life and death. A few recent highlights include performances at The Metz-Pompidou, New Museum, BAM, and solo Exhibits at PPOW Gallery NY, MUAC Mexico and Shoshanna Wayne Gallery Los Angeles.
A giant red ball has traveled the globe for the past 13 years. Aptly called the RedBall Project, it’s stopped in cities from Paris to Perth and is currently stationed in Rennes, France at the historic Place de la Mairie. It’s there from July 3rd to July 9th as part of the Les Tombées de la Nuit Arts Festival.
The larger-than-life inflatable sphere is currently squeezed into the Opéra de Rennes’ narrow archways and begs for the passersby to interact with it; at 250 pounds and 15 feet tall, it’s hard to miss. Reminiscent of a child’s toy on steroids, it adds a sense of playfulness to the landscape as it’s photographed, touched, and even bounced into.
The creator, Kurt Perschke, explains the idea behind his sculpture:
The urban environment is overbuilt and full of possibilities, and the project is about seeing the sculptural spaces of a city. The humor and charisma of the piece allow it access to the city and invites others into its story. I think it’s essential for public work to do more than be “outdoors” – it needs to live in the public’s imagination. (Via designboom)