Romy Maxime has been experimenting with an interesting medium of late – Infrared film (typically used in military surveillance). Her series Lucid Dreaming is a soft, romantic, hazy collection of portraits of musicians based in Berlin. She uses the unusual candy colored tones of the film to evoke a strange surrealism from her subjects and their surroundings. Her images look like dramatic fairy-tales, or stills from some sort of film noir. Maxime talks about those influences on her:
This ongoing personal project was born out of nostalgia, a love for classic art films and the style and colors of photographs from the 1960s. (Source)
Growing up between Zurich, Cape Town and Cannes (she now calls Berlin home), Maxime translates her gypsy tendencies and ease with nature and quietness onto film. Working mostly in fashion photography, and portraiture, Maxime loves to create fantastical images that are like an exaggerated reality. She talks about her favorite parts of fashion photography:
It’s totally unrealistic! It’s the fantasy genre of photography – mostly an illusion with every excuse to include beautiful things. I do try to create some sort of story when I shoot fashion otherwise the clothes remain just beautifully cut textiles on a model. (Source)
She also talks about the effect yoga has had on her and her work – the calmness, serenity, and quiet that is all practiced in yoga gives her the focus she needs to capture the right mood in her shots. Read a full interview with her here on the International Foundation for Women Artists Blog. And be sure to see more of her many beautiful images on her Tumblr page and her Facebook page.
Austrian-born artist Alois Kronschlaeger creates work that exists at the intersection of art and architecture. He is interested in environment and light, and in exploring time and space via geometry. Often referring to his works as “architectural interventions,” Kronschlaeger is fascinated by the way viewers rearrange themselves within a space occupied by one of his interventions.
At times Kronschlaeger’s work feels surreal, as with Habitat, a large-scale installation in the Mammal Hall of the former Grand Rapids Public Museum. For Site:Lab 2012 Kronschlaeger created what he called “a very awkward imagery of juxtaposition.” He took the existing landscape of 27 habitat dioramas built in the mid-20th century and incorporated contemporary architectural interventions. The impact of the combination of the organic and the geometric was strange and disorienting. A viewer wonders about what is real and unreal, an inquiry that requires the him to further analyze his experience.
At other times Kronschlaeger’s work feels like pure science fiction, as with Spire, the massive installation he did for Site:Lab in 2011. For this work Kronschlaeger’s installation occupied three floors of an abandoned commercial building in downtown Grand Rapids. The work took over six weeks to create and the finished project was a grand demonstration of Kronschlaeger’s interest in environment, light and the ways new materials can revive and transform a space.
Kronschlaeger furthers his inquiries in his less dramatic works as well, such as his skylights, wall pieces and smaller sculptures, which I am particularly drawn to. This fall he will finish a large work at MOCA Tuscon (see video below), and will then head to Beijing where he will create another site-specific structure.
Matthew Lock lives and works in New Jersey. His drawings and paintings are steeped in science fiction and almost always feature a post-apocalyptic landscape. The subjects that litter his work are both futuristic and decrepit. Death, decay, and disorder are prevalent in Lock’s grim wastelands that are rendered in a rough yet cultivated style championed by Raymond Pettibon. Lock takes inspiration from dark medieval imagery and filters it through his brand of futuristic grunge.
NYC-based artist Julie Evans creates these floating abstractions out of water-based paints on mylar (plastic sheeting). She lets the colors pool in bright puddles, cuts out individual sections, and collages them together to create new, but organic, shapes. Occasionally, soft pencil marks are added to form edges and shadows. Her creations look like something out of biology class; a cross section of a plant, a fragment of a mineral, or a grouping of cells. Though these collages are fabricated by hand, each piece looks like it came straight out of the natural world. Evans is currently displaying her work at the John Davis Gallery in Hudson, NY.
Ilona Gaynor is a designer and image maker hailing from the UK. Her latest project, Under Black Carpets, leverages bank heists as a medium of design. Through a series of intensive design and research exercises, Gaynor is using the strategies and vocabularies of robbery as a method for storytelling. Perhaps the most bizarre fact about the project is that is actually a collaborative effort with the NYC FBI Department of Justice and the LAPD archival department. Geoff Manaugh puts it well, stating that the project is an investigation into the “use and misuse of the cityscape where by architecture is considered both the obstacle and the tool to bridge or separate you from what you’re looking for” in both legal and illegal agendas. The project, ongoing, is currently comprised of an obsessive collection of materials that range from photographs of bank entrances to scale-models of get away cars. The project truly feels like the work of an insane person… and I mean that in the best way possible.
Austrian artist Stefan Zsaitsits draws portraits in pencil that are simultaneously nostalgic and strange. The alluring images often feature surreal moments that are from a child’s point of view and a deranged mash-up of characters, places, and frantic mark-making.
There are small comforts in Zsaitsit’s work, like the warm-toned graphite coupled with moments that highlight the joys of growing up. Some characters play with toys and imagine pleasant, beautiful things. Other times, Zsaitsits depicts children and their nightmares. Dark combinations of desolate scenes are ravaged by scary animals and enemies.
Through visual layering of these characters, the artist indicates that many of these images are seen in the mind’s eye. In the drawings, they’re contained within the body or its direct gaze. Zsaitsits’ symbolic works are a darker, more modern-day version of a child’s Boogie Man, and ripe for interpretation by the viewer. (Via Faith is Torment)
Whoa, seriously psychedelic work from artist Tofer Chin. I’m not always the biggest fan of all things Op-Art, but I really like the way Tofer pushes the boundaries of a somewhat tired act. In particular, his “Discus Thrower” caught my eye as being an especially impressive and imaginative reinterpretation of both a traditional piece of art, and an avant-garde style of painting. His show “Alex” closes tomorrow at Fecal Face in San Francisco, so go quickly before it’s too late!!