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Anthony McCall

"Between You and I", 2006

"Between You and I", 2006


British artist Anthony McCall (born 1946) has a cross-disciplinary practice in which film, sculpture, installation, drawing and performance overlap. McCall was a key figure in the avant-garde London Film-makers Co-operative in the 1970s and his earliest films are documents of outdoor performances that were notable for their minimal use of the elements, most notably fire. After moving to New York in 1973, McCall continued his fire performances and developed his ‘solid light’ film series, conceiving the now-legendary Line Describing a Cone (watch a video of a gallery-goer’s interaction with it), in 1973. These works are simple projections that strikingly emphasise the sculptural qualities of a beam of light. If you want to know more about the light magician, you can read an interview with Anthony by the writers at BOMB Magazine.

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Nan Na Hvass

Scandinavians are best at all things in my mind- but if I had to narrow it down to two genres, I’d have to pick design and music. Here is a wonderful example of the two realms combining: Nan Na Hvass’ lovely illustrations and animation for Efterklang’s single, Mirador. I love her candy palette.

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John Opera

 

 

It’s not an easy task to make landscape photography erie, beautiful, and contemporary looking all at once but John Opera does it with such an ease that it’s scary.

 

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Next Day Flyers Presents: pedro lourenco

 

Pedro Lourenco’s off the wall illustrations bring together skillful draftsmanship and beautifully surreal juxtapositions that bring to mind skateboard graphics and Raymond Pettibon.

 

Today’s post brought to you by the experts in fast flyer printing, Next Day Flyers.

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Alice Wellinger

Surreal narratives and a vintage aesthetic can be found in the work of Austrian illustrator Alice Wellinger.

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New Work from Pierre Botardo

It’s hard to stand out as a collage artist these days. But Brooklyn-based Pierre Botardo is so good at what he does that his wonderfully composed , vibrant works have no trouble ‘standing out’. This new batch of collaged goodness from Botardo gives you the idea that the artist has somehow gazed into the collective childhood memories of all Americans, and combined his experiences into a collection found on paper that is so empathic, that it makes us want to go home and do it all again.

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Paul McCarthy’s Witty And Demented Sculptures

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Paul McCarthy creates provocatively whimsical sculptures. Perhaps his most recently well-known sculpture is Balloon Dog, literally a giant inflatable red balloon animal. His other work seeks to assault the viewer’s senses in a variety of ways, either with sexual or violent imagery. McCarthy combines elements from pop culture and images rife with symbolism into erotic or abject displays that are at once captivating and, at times, charming. McCarthy also conflates elements of high and low culture, creating an aesthetic that seeks to challenge fundamental beliefs. His most recent work, WS, is an 8800 square foot installation depicting Snow White’s tale in typical McCarthyesque abject fashion, and on view at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City until August 4th. You can also read more about McCarthy and this work in this New York Times article, published in May.

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Ruud Van Empel’s Modern Surrealistic Digital Collages Awaken The Spirit Of His Flemish Ancestors

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Dutch artist Ruud Van Empel is following in the footsteps of his Flemish ancestors and is creating some pretty confronting portraits. He digitally collages images of innocent, wide eyed children into environments of lush, hyper-colored, tropical forests, ponds and gardens. While his pictures are in no doubt beautiful and aesthetically pleasing, there is definitely something unsettling about them. The children seem a bit out of place – staring a bit too intensely at the camera as if they were possessed or hypnotized. Everything seems a bit too perfect, a bit too beautiful.

Van Empel sometimes spends weeks collating images from multiple sources to build one digital portrait. The reason his portraits seem so weird is because they are pictures of people that don’t really exist. This is a bit of an insight into his process:

First he collects all the features he needs by shooting a variety of young models in his studio and by subsequently wandering through Dutch forests, in search of fine leaves, perfect branches and the right waters. Only to tear it apart and spend weeks reconstructing it all until both the person and the setting match his desired standard of photo-realism. (Source)

It can also not go unnoticed that a majority of the kids in Van Empel’s photography are black. The artist himself grew up in a small Dutch village with a large white population. He speaks more about this influencing his work:

I grew up in a small Catholic town in the south of the Netherlands. There was only one black boy in my primary school class. In the portrait Generation 1 I expressed this situation. It shows a white class with just one black pupil. With World#1 I decided to work with more black children. It set off a whole new series of work. First I thought of portraying a girl in a dirty, old and torn-up dress, as if she were very poor. I suppose this idea popped up in my head because of the image we westerners are often given. I didn’t really like that idea though, and decided to give them the clothes my generation wore when we were kids, especially because those clothes looked very innocent to me. (Source)

Van Empel is currently exhibiting at Wagner + Partner Gallery in Berlin, Germany, until June 13th.

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