Apart from UCLA being my own alma mater, I thought I’d give a quick shout-out to the upcoming Senior Design show as it features a whopping round-up of not one, but four former fearless B/D interns, including: Matt Manos, Kate Slovin, Corinna Loo and Greg Ruben! Go team and congrats on graduating! Check it out June 3rd, 5pm at UCLA.
Bjorn Veno is exhibiting new work at Nettie Horn in London from February 13-March 15th, opening tomorrow evening. I love the idyllic, pastoral scenes in the Romantic tradition, though recontextualized through Bjorn’s bizarre insertion of himself acting out fictive and autobiographical memories, or as he calls it, “automated performance.” He seems trapped in a kind of existential, physical awkward angst that disarms the seeming perfect setting for a sweeping and grand romantic gesture in the tradition of Jane Austen or Charlotte Bronte.
British artist Mitch Griffiths‘ work is inspired by the light and the composition of the Old Masters, but his context and content depict issues that concern modern culture. In his work, Griffiths addresses the disposable nature of contemporary culture by immortalizing this transience with the perceived permanence of the painting medium. His figurative portraits are dark and foreboding and often turbulent. The drama depicted in his paintings, though contemporary, feels universal, historical, and personal. Though many of his images resonate with religious iconography, the “symbolism reflects a modern quest for redemption from the overriding self-obsession and consumerism of contemporary society, with its vanity and greed, addictions and needless suffering.”
The exquisitely carved sculptures of Willy Verginer are carved with precision out of a single piece of wood. At times painted and/or covered in ornate floral patterns Verginer’s sculptures capture the human form in moments of silence, thought, and quite contemplation. (via)
Both base jumpers and highliners gather in the Moab desert every fall to play with heights, but this year a 400 foot high hammock installation brought them closer than ever. The construction of this net, called the Mothership Space Net Penthouse, was headed by Andy Lewis and completed with the help of 50 base jumpers over a period of three days.
“Highliners attempted to walk across the five different legs of the net, varying in lengths up to 80 meters long (262 feet), BASE jumpers leapt daily from the human sized hole in the middle of the net and paragliders made several flybys while dropping world-class wingsuit pilots from high above so they could buzz by over groups of friends hanging out in space. This upgrade of size to the space net concept was a massive scale up from the 2012 three sided “Space Thong” design, which was also shared by both groups but with less cohesiveness.” (Excerpt from Source)
Hiroshi Watanabe is a photographer interested in places and people. Capturing traditions and locales that hold a personal interest for him, Watanabe was drawn to various elements of Japanese culture. Particularly interested in forms of theatricality, Watanabe sought to capture individual performers within the traditions of Sarumawashi, Noh, Ena Bunraku and Kabuki. Stylized human actors, monkeys, masks and puppets become the subject matter of Watanabe’s striking and powerful photographs. Though the traditions come from different regions and periods of history, they are tied together by Watanabe’s eye. Of his work he says:
“I strive for both calculation and discovery in my work, keeping my mind open for surprises. At times, I envision images I’d like to capture, but when I actually look through the viewfinder, my mind goes blank and I photograph whatever catches my eye. Photographs I return with are usually different from my original concepts. My photographs reflect both genuine interest in my subject as well as a respect for the element of serendipity, while other times I seek pure beauty. The pure enjoyment of this process drives and inspires me. I believe there’s a thread that connects all of my work — my personal vision of the world as a whole. I make every effort to be a faithful visual recorder of the world around me, a world in flux that, at very least in my mind, deserves preservation.”
Imp Kerr & Associates is an insightful fiend living in New York City. She collects large amounts of intriguing bits on The New Shelton Wet/Dry and seems to enjoy grinding modern culture into a fine paste that she applies any where she feels like. Her work can be purchased through the Spacer:One show right now.
Portland artist OBLVN recently closed a show at Guerrero Gallery in San Francisco. The show, entitled “Different Strokes, Different Folks”, was positioned in the project room, while Ryan Travis Christian’s solo exhibition, “The Second Banana” took the main gallery space. OBLVN brings the clean brushwork of vintage animation design with a clean eye for interesting character work honed through a background in graffiti. I was seriously impressed with the artist’s “100 Paintings” show last spring at Klughaus gallery in NYC. It seems like he’s pushed further since then, as this show features some larger works on wood and canvas.