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Ashkan Honarvar’s Exquisitely Macabre Collages Of Colonialism

Ashkan Honarvar - collageAshkan Honarvar - collage Ashkan Honarvar - collageAshkan Honarvar - collage

Collage artist Ashkan Honarvar (previously featured here) creates intriguing paper works that are undeniably macabre, and eerily beautiful. He deals with the darker side of humanity, and how identity is formed through the human body. Usually taking images of faces, people or bodily forms, Honarvar splices images together and recreates an idea of how we perceive ourselves, or the role the human body plays in history. In this series Conquest 5, he is concerned with the idea of colonization and the idea of superimposing one culture on top of another. He takes this concept quite literally and overlays images of wealth (gems, jewels, precious textiles) and tools that would be used to colonize a culture over images of peaceful, relaxed indigenous people.

In Die Weissen Kommen (The Whites are Coming) Gert von Paczensky wrote: ‘If we delve into the core of colonialism then we see that the whole thing was one big plundering expedition, one continuous assault and robbery that involved massacres and mass murders, gold and bloodbaths, rapes, slave-trading and genocide’. Ashkan Honarvar has taken this subject and visualized various aspects of European colonial history. The hunt for wealth and power, the submission of the indigenous people, the abuse of religion as a justification and the animal-like behavior. (Source)

Honarvar is used to tackling complex issues – his themes have ranged from war victims, to the Israel – Palestine conflict, to Soviet forced labor camps. He isn’t one to shy away from uncomfortable subject matter, and has a knack for turning horror into something wondrous. He explains his motivation:

Imperfections play a big role in my work. I’m always looking to find beauty in places you don’t expect them to be. I think subconsciously I’m trying to find beauty/aesthetics in the extremes, just to be able to believe that everything is ok and there is hope. (Source)

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(2) Awesome Videos Of The Day: Eye/Ear Candy

Some days you just need to watch something that will make you laugh. Today is one of those days. First with the above video by Rhett Dashwood for Kumisolo and after the jump Nobody Beats A Drum by Rogier van der Zwaag. Enjoy!

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Stacy Kranitz: Project Target Unknown

Stacy Kranitz

Stacy Kranitz focuses on the multidimensional character of Leni Riefenstahl, whose focused vision and murky set of morals greatly inspired Kranitz. These grey areas spoke to her desire to understand people beyond the constraints of good vs. evil.

During Pennsylvania’s yearly reenactments of the Battle of the Bulge, Kranitz portrays Leni Riefenstahl and behaves with soldiers as she would. Kranitz examines how the photograph documents and shapes history, since much of our conception of history is based on images. The 500 reenactors base the authenticity of their looks on images and, in particular, on Riefenstahl’s film Triumph of the Will. Kranitz focuses on how these historical images have been filtered through both the media and propaganda, becoming history as generations pass and memories fade. Photographs and film become the dominant forces that shape the public imagination.

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Sara Naim’s Photographs Of Sound

Wondering what sound looks like? So did Sara Naim when she set off to translate sound into photographic images. The result is a body of work titled Beethoven – Moonlight Sonata. In Sara’s series, Ludwig Van Beethoven’s symphony vibrates through milk.

Beethoven composed this piece in the early 1800’s for his blind pupil and lover, Giuletta Gucciardi. Gucciardi said to Beethoven that she wished she could see the moonlight. Beethoven then composed a piece about the moonlight’s reflection off Austria’s Lake Lucerne, called Moonlight Sonata.

More images of this series after the jump.

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“Broads, Boobs and Buckles: The Pinball Art of Dave Christensen”

Broads, Boobs and Buckles: The Pinball Art of Dave Christensen

Kristi Engle Gallery is proud to present its last show of the season, “Broads, Boobs and Buckles: The Pinball Art of Dave Christensen” on view from July 11th – August 8th, 2009.

While the mechanics of pinball were developed by engineers, the illustrations were handled by graphic artists. This work included the back glass and the playing field of each machine. Curated by local collector, Mark Andresen, this exhibition features the work of acclaimed pinball machine artist, Dave Christensen. 11 pinball machines will display Christensen’s graphics as well as the original artwork used in fabrication and drawings for proposed and/or rejected versions and prototypes.

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Georgia Dickie’s Found Object Sculptures

Georgia Dickie makes sculptures by assembling found objects, most of them large, heavy, and industrial. They seem to be as much about object culture as they are about form and clutter. Unlike some of her contemporaries like Daniel Eatock who focus on common and found objects by turning them into funny absurdities, Dickie’s abstractions of objects are more serious explorations of the objects shapes and uses. But with object culture inevitably comes clutter culture, which Dickie acknowledges in her installation which resembles the back of an old man’s garage. Already in the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art at the age of 23, she has a big future waiting for her. Keep your eyes peeled! More sculptures after the jump.

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Blip Boutique

The company says it best themselves! “Blip Boutique is a Los Angeles based collective creating visual content that is truly not boring! We conceive and produce original concepts for digital and emerging media that are innovative in both content and form. We thrive on working at the intersection of design, art, and technology, and our research and development in these fields is fundamental to our creative process. Blip Boutique strives to create engaging and innovative visual art in an ever expanding and elastic digital world, for a range of clients in music, fashion, advertising, the arts as well as ourselves. Feast your eyes and Fantasize.”

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Kristen Schiele’s Layered Paintings and Shadow Boxes

Artist Kristen Schiele produces vibrant paintings and shadow boxes.  Schiele richly layers her work both in her medium – paint, thread, collage – and in narrative.  Her work merges indistinct structures and landscapes with rays and patterns of color as well as collaged human figures.  Each piece seems at once to be about stories and tell one of its own.  Speaking about the sources for her layers of images she says:

“I do keep a sketchbook. I also have a library of images printed out, some scanned in from libraries. They are from years of collecting. I get ideas and start folders of images for different paintings. I narrow the folders down into a show.” [via]

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