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The astounding problem of Andrew Novick

Andrew Novick

“The Astounding Problem of Andrew Novick features the overwhelming and unusual collections of an eccentric individual who does not consider himself an artist. In total, Andrew Novick estimates he has over a hundred collections: Barbie dolls of every variety, Chihuahua figurines, clown paintings, anything related to teeth or braces. The truth is he has far more things than will or can ever be organized into a “collection.” Inside his home and in his rented storage space he has stacks, piles and boxes of answering machine cassette tapes full of incoming phone messages, more answering machine cassette tapes with recordings of recording almost every conversation he has ever had with a telemarketer, jars ripe with formaldehyde-free dead animals, uncommon foods and more.

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Natalie Ryan’s Mysterious Blue Velvet Taxidermy

Natalie Ryan - Blue Velvet Taxidermy Natalie Ryan - Blue Velvet Taxidermy Natalie Ryan - Blue Velvet Taxidermy

Animal sculptures by Australian artist Natalie Ryan are inspired by taxidermy. While conventional taxidermy practices dictate that she preserve the skin/fur of the animal she is preparing, Ryan instead uses synthetic materials to cover casts of squirrels, bears, and monkeys. Her current portfolio cloaks these animals entirely in blue velvet.

While Ryan’s web presence is limited, her gallery representation, Dianne Tanzer Gallery in Melbourne writes about Ryan’s latest exhibition, Evanescere, stating:

Continuing to explore notions of the cadaver as a secondary form, a shadow of it’s living self, these works depict the internals of animals stripped of their dermis and identifying features. Evanescere looks at the body in a suspended state of disappearing. In conjunction with this, these works also explore the idea of the animal cadaver on display and museology as a resting place. These works combine bodies and elements of the landscape that reference the paradigm of Natural History Museum displays. They seek to question the role the body plays in the Museum and the loss of the individual as it becomes a subject to represent an entire species.

Ryan’s decision to color her work bright blue introduces a contemporary aesthetic to taxidermy. It references the trends of home decor over the past few years, in which loud, unnatural colors are applied to natural objects. When thinking about traditional taxidermy and how it uses real feathers and fur, the artist makes a statement about craft and preservation. The prevailing attitude of culture champions innovation and exploration of the new. Ryan is stripping this practice of its ritual, simply using foam casts and not real animals. She’s chosen a color and material that’s more en vogue. We are drawn to this work because it’s a twist on an old practice. She makes taxidermy fresh rather than just feeling old.

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Sisters of the Black Moon Star in Black Mountain

I’m proud to say my witchy sisters & Texan friends, Sisters of the Black Moon, have recently “moonlighted” (in a black sense, of course) as the starry-eyed starring leading ladies in Black Mountain’s new music video, Old Fangs. Like a Nightshade-induced hallucination from a Belladonna dilated third eye, these sultry sirens seduce and induce cosmic visions and beyond.

And, if you love their sartorial sorcery, be sure to check out their website- they hawk their magick wares on an epic eBay store, The talented Miss Alecia Marcum of the coven, as if she isn’t fantastic enough already, also does styling work.

Check out more eye candy of these unbelievable beauties after the jump!

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Uplands Gallery, Part 1: Nadine Christensen

Nadine Christensen: Mix Up Table, 2009

Nadine Christensen: Mix Up Table, 2009

We’ve stumbled across Uplands Gallery of Melbourne Australia, a gallery that continually exhibits some noteworthy artists. Since cramming these artists into one post wouldn’t do them justice, B/D is presenting another 3-part series to spotlight the best of Uplands.

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Artist Interview: Ben Jones Jams About Painting, Sculpture And Stone Quackers

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It is hard to summarize what Ben Jones does. One, overly broad, way to describe his work is that Jones creates genre defying art in a wide range of media, and within his oeuvre there are a lot of nooks and crannies, each of which has its own special ideas and charm. His creative work has been enthusiastically followed by artists since the late 1990s through zines, underground animations, painting and sculpture. I remember seeing something called Paper Rad on the internet around 2003 or 4, and being mesmerized by the bold drawing and color, and, not to be cheesy, but there was also a contagious sense of joy. The imagery remixed pop culture with high cultural stuff like abstract painting. A few years later, towards 2007, the broader popular culture became aware of Jones through his animated television series Problem Solverz, and more recently his new series entitled Stone Quackers. All of the work seems to hover half in the subconscious, placing seemingly real and present iconological formations alongside impossible or wonderful subconscious riffs. In Jones’s work it feels like half the colors are colors, the other half are memories.

Jones has a new exhibition opening Saturday July 11th at Ace Gallery in L.A from 7 to 9pm, and you can see the show until September.  This is a major show that is going to transform the gallery. You will be immersed in both high-tech painting and the ladder sculptures we discuss in the interview.  His televison show, Stone Quackers, has recently aired new episodes on FXX in the Animation Domination block, and you can see his animations all over the internet and on Hulu.

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Chris Sisarich’s Desert Landscape Photographs

Chris Sisarich’s photo series Somewhere In The Middle of Nowhere hits home here in Los Angeles, a city built in a desert. The series looks like it could have been anywhere around the world–saudi arabia, egypt, arizona, china, california– and speaks to our constant search for new places for sprawl development and the global warming it’s causing, to our persistance and the futileness of it all. Sisarich’s images, like the desert, are some of the driest, palest images i’ve seen in a while, and with humanity only peripherally represented, the might seem like predictions for our uncertain future. But they don’t feel pessimistic, just as if humanity was this interesting thing that out grew its planet and left behind some neat objects when it left. Whether or not you think the images are prophetic, optimistic, pessimistic, or anything else, they are at the lest very handsome images.

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Adam Martinakis’ Digital Worlds

Polish pixel wizard Adam Martinakis’ digital illustrations are out of this world. I can’t figure out if these started as photographs, elaborate sets, or live completely within the computer but they are impressive nevertheless.(via vectro ave)

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Surprising Reactions To George Ferrandi Falling Asleep On Strangers In Subway

George Ferrandi - Performance

Personal space, something that’s cherished in the United States, is put to the test in Brooklyn-based artist George Ferrandi’s series, I Felt Like I Knew You. This site-specific performance features Ferrandi on the crowded New York City subway. In her words, she transforms the space between two people from being stiff and guarded to something that resembles a space friends would share. Essentially, she sits in a packed subway car, rests her head on a stranger’s shoulders, and documents what happens through iPhone videos shot by Angela Gilland.

Not surprisingly, not everyone is receptive to Ferrandi’s invasion of their “personal bubble.” Some people wake her up or passive aggressively move their shoulder. Some, however, just let her rest. In an interview with Katherine Brooks of the Huffington Post, Ferrandi was asked if she learned anything from the project. Her response:

For me, this piece taps into the mystery and fragility of how we relate and communicate to each other as human animals, full of signs secret even to ourselves. It’s given me a deeper understanding of the way New Yorkers evolve to maintain their privacy in public spaces. We carry our energy so closely. We’re often pressed up against each other on the train with a kind of “I wish I wasn’t touching you” energy that is invisible but respected. This is part of why so many people are touched by a photo of one man resting his head on the shoulder of another; it challenges a preconception about tenderness between strangers, especially in New York. And it offers a tiny counterpoint to the Culture of Fear being cultivated in America.

All images are stills from iPhone videos. They make you ponder how you would act if Ferrandi put her head on your shoulder. Would you engage her or move your shoulder? (Via Huffington Post)

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