Tyler MFA student Erica Prince’s work shows an exploration of alchemy, scientific thought, and creation of intricate worlds. In a recent interview she did with Masters of the Visual Universe, she describes her work as “focused around the idea of the Utopian society”. Her newer work bridges between installation and drawings, where some of the spaces she creates in 2D also have a 3D counterpart. Her work is strong and well researched both visually and philosophically. Each one brings you deeper and deeper into her own visual Utopia.
We’ve written about artist Grady Gordon’sghoulish Monotype prints before, and they continue to be gorgeous and gruesome. The intricate abstractions resolve into frightening black and white faces looming out of a nightmare. In some of his latest works, eyeless monsters open their mouths in a virtual moan, showing skeletal teeth. Others include eyes, wide and staring. The patterns on their faces are organic, calling to mind beehives and wood grain and stone and fire. Finding a grimacing mouth among serenely swirling lines is jarring. The scariest prints are the subtle ones.
“grady utilizes the most crude mark-making instruments to bring about the characters that inhabit the invisible plane. he works entirely by removing thick black ink from a plexiglass surface. the monotype print is a study of impermanence. unlike other forms of printmaking the monotype offers only one copy. the original image on the plate is then given back to the ether, back into the fabric.”
This year Gordon started “Neotroglocism” with painter Ian Norstad, a classmate from California College of the Arts. Following the idea of “sophisticated mark making, crude objectivity,” they are making paintings and prints together, one of which is seen below (in color).
These prints are perfect for Halloween with their unsettling subjects and stark color scheme, but beyond the scare, elegant form and lovely technique combine to create a macabre beauty.
Taylor Rice of Local Natives. Photo by Barry Belkin
Nick Ewing of Local Natives. Photo by Barry Belkin
Friday the 13th was nothing but lucky for LA’s Local Natives as they headlined the Greek Theatre a couple of weeks ago. The band gave their hometown fans a hard hitting, emotional show full of heartfelt thanks and crushing songs. Not that long ago you could have seen them at any number of clubs in Echo Park or Silverlake, but to see them perform at one of their largest headlining hometown shows to date was something I could not miss. With their latest album, “Hummingbird” released at the beginning of the year on Frenchkiss Records, the band played their hearts out to the enthusiastic crowd of well wishers.
Opening with, “Breakers” from their new record, the band jammed through songs both new and old including, “Wide Eyes“, “You & I, “Camera Talk”, and “Airplanes” and continued to thank the audience of fans, family, and friends up until their final song of the night. With that familiar thumping drum beat and the band bathed in red light, the crowd clapped and jumped along to one of the most intense versions of, “Sun Hands” I’ve ever seen them perform.
Local Natives will be appearing both weekends of the Austin City Limits Music Festival on October 4th and 11th as well some shows in between so check out there tour dates here to see if they’re playing in or around your area before they head off to Europe. Also, check out their new video for their song, “Ceilings” which was directed by their bass player, Nick Ewing.
Philip Kwame Apagya is a Ghanaian artist whose color photographs reflect a contemporary twist on traditional West African portraiture. In Apagya’s photos, subjects interact with his brightly painted 2-D backdrops, interiors and exteriors that catalogue the trappings and accoutrement of an affluent international culture. Subjects inhabit faux living rooms showing library shelves or consoles stuffed with expensive electronics, or chat on cell phones standing before home computers, or prepare to board that international flight to happiness. While Apagya’s photographs reflect a young and prosperous generation of consumers, one can imagine that for some, the photographs also present a “reality” beyond their means.
Artist and illustrator Kevin LCK seems to stick to illustrating, even when crafting work in three dimensions. Like his illustrative work, the sculptures are in spare black and white and made using paper. His Object series consists of a number of electronic appliances, such as a computer, microwave oven, and a television set. Inside each appliance is a carefully crafted home setting. Explaining the thought behind the series Kevin says:
“I seeked to detach the audience from the real world temporarily, provide them with a space to rethink and reconsider the way we behave and think about the relationship between ourselves, objects and environment with technology in a more conscious way.”
Lines from Keiichi Tanaami’s bio include: “experimenting with LSD,” “working in Andy Warhol’s factory,” “art directing Playboy,” and “depicting motifs from dreams and memories, such as an oversized goldfish, referring to his grandfather, who would kill them by squeezing them.”
Through careful manipulation, Silvia Grav‘s ethereal black and white images capture a psychological realm where death and fear lurk around each corner, a world beyond the material where rich blacks and blinding white tones evoke a heightened anxiety and ecstasy. In her spooky portraits, the self is blurred by smoke and transparency, as if transported from the page by some unknowable force.
As with the works of the prolific photographer Francesca Woodman, Grav’s images are often set against the backdrop of the domestic space. The house, associated symbolically with the female, is no longer seen as safe or comforting; deteriorated walls and filthy floors cannot protect or contain inhabitants, and a woman rises ghostly towards a lit window. In another eerie image, the sleeping female is disturbed in sleep, her delicate floral bedding overcast by a foreboding shadow whose presence forces her to cover her breast and frightfully clasp at her back. Later, she is shown to be levitating, reaching out for the comforts of her mattress.
Within the terror of the images lies a sort of ecstasy, a dreamy surrender to instability and fright. The woman subject, surrounded by smoke clouds that seem to melt away her flesh, clasps her skeleton hands in rapturous prayer. Her nighttime slumber is seen in mysterious light, and she basks in its warmth, seeming to wriggle with delirium so that the majority of her body is pulled out of the frame.
The impressive work seems to invoke the memory of troubled women artists who came before. In one poignant image, the artist seems to mirror the famous profile portrait of Virginia Woolf by the photographer George Charles Beresford, down to the dark, pulled-back hair, the white blouse, and the ominous shadow below the eye. Contributing to the dialogue on femininity and mortality began by the likes of Woodman and Woolf, Grav adds a unique and potent modern voice. (via Colossal)