With found Flickr photos as his source, Jeremy Rotsztain‘s series Obsessions (Flickr Pets) “document the love and obsession that people have for their pets.” The individual images are color-blocked and reductive, verging on abstract in some instances, yet the subject matter keeps them recognizable and full of personality. Each still is the result of animations made in C++ using the openFrameworks library — which just sounds impressive for a series from 2008, right. Rotsztain’s catalogue has a wealth of series that explore the overlaps of technology, culture, behavior and art.
Vlasta Žáková is a Slovakian artist who uses fabric to create pictures and soft sculptures that quite literally “explode at the seams” with human emotion, experience, and desire. Her technique involves hand and machine sewing, and various materials are layered and embroidered into her works until they take on a painterly, three-dimensional effect. In addition to her textile “paintings,” Žáková also creates life-size human figures, which are realistic, surreal, humorous, and saddening all at once. Her sculptures include a woman crying alone in the corner, with red threads to indicate her tear-stained face; a man straddled by a nearly naked woman in a hallway, while a dog looks bizarrely on; and a headless body slumped against a wall, its knees split open and arms frayed off.
In both her pictures and sculptures, Žáková’s main inspiring influence is the party scene, and the types of intimacy and shattered states these events often result in — hence why her work consistently depicts despair, eroticism, and/or debauchery. In one particularly striking sculpture, Žáková took the image of a crowd of people, fused it together, and created a horrifyingly exuberant and multi-limbed creature. This work was presented at the Red Gallery (London) in a performance titled Ultraviolet Movement (2013). Combined with physical animation and UV lights, the soft sculpture embodies the darkness, hedonism, and semi-lucidity of a late-night party. The video Nocturne (embedded above), which Žáková made in collaboration with Jakub Gulyás (video) and Martina Vyskupová (performer) as part of an exhibition project in the Bunker of the Nitra Gallery, features this grotesque “puppet” as it takes on an eerie life of its own.
What is beautiful and provocative about Žáková’s work is that she has brilliantly infused her textile creations with their own emotional and erotic lives; many of us can probably relate to the states of disrepair and desire she expressively depicts. Visit Žáková’s website to see more of her work. You can read about her time at the Red Gallery here and here.
I’ve been following Peekasso‘s (real name: Peter Stemmler) work on his Tumblr page for awhile now, and he is easily one of my favorite internet artists. I’m never bored with any of his creations, but his gif work is especially impressive. Using a combination of clips from film, video games, pornography, commercials, pop culture, and other internet ephemera, Stemmler assembles a curious juxtaposition of images. Some of his gifs have a brainwashing quality to them – a quick succession of disparate images and the loop of the gif medium force the brain to make connections between starkly contrasted imagery. The result is dizzying, and for me, satisfying in its absurdity. Underneath this absurdity and within the juxtapositions there is a critique of some of the imagery that seems to emerge, a perspective that seems to mock much of media in general.
As an internet artist, Stemmler also has an impressive output of static digital images and illustrations that you can check out on his website, blog, or Flickr. He lives in New York.
Italian street artist Paopao views the world in a different way than you and me. When we see an electric box he see’s Sponge Bob. When we see circular cement blocks in the streets he see’s an eight ball, and when we see a plain old bush he see’s an ostrich. See these and more street alterations after the jump.
Levi Van Veluw’s eerie Origin Of The Beginning installation draws from his own childhood memories to thematically and narratively develop his own brand of self-portraiture. Creating 3 “rooms” covered with more than 30,000 wooden blocks, balls and slats the spaces feel both like wooden prison cells and as metaphosr for the artists darkest memories. Watch a video of the installation after the jump.
These incredible coin sculptures were created by artist Robert Wechsler, who was commissioned by The New Yorker to create this work for their October 14th “Money” themed issued. Wechsler’s coin designs are crafted with money from varying countries of origin into geometric, fractal-like shapes. These shapes were created using a jeweler’s saw to cut out notches in the metal and then linked together with other coins. Wechsler has used coins for some of his past work, and most of his sculptures are created with objects from life’s seeming mundanity, like fingerprints, schooldesks, snails, a toaster, and an iron.
Wechsler writes, “Comfortably accustomed to everyday objects and spaces, we are blind to their unseen beauty and elegance. Who looks at a shopping cart or a toaster for the object itself? This state of static expectations is fertile ground for surprise. It is a conscious re-examination of my subjects that re-instates the novel back into the familiar. This is the moment of surprise, the moment we discover what is unseen in what is always seen. In reverence for what initially appears modest we get a small glimpse of the boundless elegance of our world.”(via exhibition-ism)
Last Friday, Mike Rea flexed his art muscle again here in Chicago with what might be his gnarliest feat yet, a thirty something foot super gun named Benita. More photos after the jump…
Today’s Art Works Every Time interview is with Colin Strandberg, whose work is a playful exploration of color and shape, straddling both abstraction and figurative work. Colin contributed our grand prize winning graphic, which can be seen on our show flyer. We’ll also be printing T-shirts with the design for the exhibition- first 100 visitors get one for free! Just 5 days away now til the show!