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Dirty Projectors’ Brought Major Excitement To A Small Club

Dirty Projectors’ David Longstreth performing at the Troubadour February 5, 2013.

Dirty Projectors‘ recent sold out show at the Troubadour in Los Angeles was filled with hardcore fans that even surprised singer David Longstreth, “You don’t see a lot of moshing at a Dirty Projectors show”, but that was exactly what was happening about mid-way through their set. The band who usually performs in much larger venues were definitely in high spirits for the hour and a half show that included many songs from their latest release, Swing Lo Magellan as well as songs from their lengthy discography.

“This is the most reluctant catwalk I’ve ever seen”, Longstreth shouted out referring to the Troubadour’s very small center stage extension as he began to do a little rock star posing of his own. They really shined during their three song encore playing one of their most popular singles, Stillness Is The Move that had everyone in the crowd wildly dancing. They finished with their song, Impregnable Question from their latest which was the perfect ending to one of the best shows I’ve seen them perform.

No other dates have been announced, but last year Longstreth wrote and directed a short film produced by Pitchfork.tv and YouTube called Hi Custodian which stars the band and features the music from Swing Lo Magellan, it’s just over twenty minutes long and is a must see.

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Artist’s Turns Body Movement Into A Drawing

Typically, the art of drawing focuses on the finished product – the marks left on the paper that form an image.  Heather Hansen‘s Emptied Gestures is as much a performance piece as it is a drawing.  Appearing to use charcoal or pastel, Hansen literally steps on to the paper and begins to draw.  She allows the natural movements of her body – the movements of joints, the extension of her back, stretching and contracting – to define her lines.  The large-scale drawing becomes a kind of record of her moving body.  Interestingly she says:

“Emptying Gestures is an experiment in kinetic drawing. In this series, I am searching for ways to download my movement directly onto paper, emptying gestures from one form to another and creating something new in the process.”

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Kim Dorland Paints Canadian Wasted Youth


Kim Dorland, Painter, Angell Gallery from Canadian Art on Vimeo.I’ve been seeing more and more of Kim’s work at various art fairs and group shows as of late. The videos intro is a tad cheesy but you get a fantastic inside view into Kim’s painting process, subject matter, and technique.

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Laurie Hogin’s Fantastical Animal Paintings Explore Our Deepest Memories

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Laurie Hogin

Laurie Hogin- Painting Laurie Hogin, a painter based in Illinois, is setting up to open a show at Littlejohn Contemporary from October 9th through November 8th. This show, titled “Amygdala,” features colorful paintings of a vast array of animals.

“The title of the exhibition refers to an almond-shaped mass located deep within the mammalian brain, although other species, including certain reptiles, appear to have structures with similar function.(1) It is involved in motivation, emotion, and emotional behavior, and is activated by all sensory experiences.(2) It is widely accepted that the amygdala plays a critical role in acquisition and consolidation of emotionally charged memories. Research suggests that emotional memories are formed, in part, through associative learning, (3) wherein a creature’s or person’s emotions and behaviors are influenced by sensory experiences that cause associations with earlier experiences, even if the current environment is different.

Hogin is interested in how emotionally charged memories become language, symbols and metaphors, and how sensory inputs like color, sound, scent, physical pain, pleasure, or social and emotional context develop latent meanings through naming, categorization, and narrative.”

Hogin describes her aesthetics as such:

“As a painter, I value the visual, tactile and poetic pleasures of what paint can do and what it’s for: It’s formal and material qualities, it’s plasticity, and it’s usefulness in appropriating languages from the history of its use to certain semiotic purposes. My color palette has acquired the Day-Glo intensity of contemporary media landscapes; I revel in its visuality and vulgar seductiveness as much as cast a critical eye. My animals remain allegories of culture as much as avatars of my own psyche, whose expressions engage with the emotionality of daily fears, joys, pleasures, desires and outrages, and whose furs and skins are both tactile and toxic.” (Excerpt from Source and Source)

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The Lusciously Detailed Colored Pencil Drawings Of Joe Sinness

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The lush, vibrant colored pencil drawings of Joe Sinness portray screen and stage stars, queer icons, and online erotica submitters, combining them with antique or thrift store items, flowers and jewels to create carefully constructed tableaus. The technical ability of the Minneapolis-based artist is what one immediately notices, and it is only after that the viewer must attempt to make sense of the laboriously drawn scene before them.

Sinness creates each still-life by hand before photographing and then meticulously executing them with Prismacolor pencils.  “I want each still life to have a visual richness or lushness to highlight and celebrate the figures or kitsch objects presented (and I use the term ‘kitsch’ with the utmost seriousness)”.In works like the Shining Indiscretions triptych (seen above), Sinness created a loose mythology which the work is based on, but does not depend upon. Titled from a Tennesse Williams quote (“All good art is an indiscretion.”), Sinness built hundreds of scenes imagining what a queer,flamboyant spirit such as Williams might physically look like, eventually settling on a triptych of shapes formed from gold lamé. The triumph of this triptych is that the viewer most certainly does not need to know this backstory to enjoy the work, because the images are so visually striking and meditative that they speak for themselves. However, they also have a strong conceptual intention and purpose which informs the work for those who wish to dig deeper.

Sinness continues, “I am interested in how objects and people seeking fame become consumable products, a paradox that sees their artistic endeavors pursuing immortality become disposable and commodified. My imagery and subjects are first looted and then loved… In mining these subjects and devotedly recasting them together in shrine-like still lifes, they are given new life in narratives which mirror their subject’s original aspiration and desire for fame and immortality.”

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Justin John Greene

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Sometimes artists, through the most simple of interventions, can do something that profoundly sums up how you feel. Justin John Greene has a whole portfolio of pretty goofy paintings, this one is my favorite. I wish I had made it. It was like in the sea of my mirthful misery, the clouds parted, this painting was delivered and elicited a fleeting moment of joy. Also, you can’t beat his ninja-turtle fort tipi replete with Ren & Stimpy dream catchers below. 

 

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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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Zoe Keller’s Charming And Elaborate Illustrations Of Flora And Fauna

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Portland, Oregon based artist Zoe Keller creates intricate and whimsical nature themed illustrations and designs. After her graduation from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Keller found herself spending time in rural areas such as the rocky cost of Maine, on a blueberry farm in Michigan, and the quiet town of Hudson, New York. Inspired by her experience and her surroundings, Keller’s work aims to explore the “intersection of art making, activism and the natural sciences.” Using graphite renderings that are sometimes enhanced with digital coloration, Keller’s drawings are flawless and comprehensive. Each work, exploring a stylized still life or, in some cases, a more narrative focused composition, acts as a tiny shrine to nature. Many of her drawings depict endangered species, allowing her art to serve as a form of education, awareness, and perhaps memorial. For example, her piece Life Cycle portrays the various phases within the life of a Black Racer Snake, an endangered species native to Maine. Another piece, Endangered Turtles, is a charming composition of North American endangered turtles stacked by size. Her drawings have a lithographic feel, allowing them to act as a part of the classical tradition of drawing as documentation. Her images clearly pay homage to the vintage botanical drawings once used before the days of photography. Painstakingly detailed, yet simultaneously fun and carefree, her images have an almost fairytale quality. Keller’s work is undoubtedly endearing and her craftsmanship undeniably elaborate. 

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