Berlin-based painter Yago Hortal.
Berlin-based painter Yago Hortal.
Lorri Ott’s experimental paintings combine unconventional materials such as poured plastics and fibers to create paintings that are fluid both in composition and material.
Chinese artist Li Hongbo’s sculptures are quite bizarre. Walking up to them you may think that they are made out of delicate porcelain but as you examine it further you’ll see that it in fact is made out of thousands of sheets of paper manually glued together. As you pull the paper apart the figures twists, turns, bends and abstracts creating stretched out imagery that is at once horrifying and exquisite. (via)
Moving through a macabre world of paper mâché, clay and other assorted materials, Roxanne Jackson creates a gnarly wax museum population. In it, her themes of death, extinction and transformation mold into a still menagerie of Jungian imagery where half man/half animal, sleeping snakes, faceless figures and scary kitties are the norm. Her lot of decaying citizens become eerily alive as they slither, gawk, and snarl at the world. In them, a dark vanity is present, fulfilling our every need for gratuitous horror. In her Death Valley, Jackson uses familiar themes associated with the place that run parallel to her own work. Built around a faceless couple’s camping trip, we witness as they encounter human skulls, fateful hands, swans and Harpy; the half man/half bird creature who embodies the real and imagined shamanistic deities we often think of in these environments. Akin to a carnival master readying props for the eve, its outright Jungian excess takes us down a path which challenges expected norms. In Feed Me Diamonds, Jackson focuses on another transformative creature in the form of a mermaid. Except this pretty thing has a bullet in her head and seems to be drowning in a pool of debauched excess. In her hands, a pair of dice and a deck of cards tell us she’s playing with fate. In her mouth, a set of diamonds? Just another example of the grisly world Jackson inhabits which fronts as a pit stop for twisted redemption.
Right on the thin line of what appears “real”, as in realistically painted, and an imaginary world of unrealistic things painted against expectation (with a subversive materiality), is where Eckart Hahn resides. An object becomes the representation of the object, at the moment Hahn departs so realistically from the tactile world as we understand it, and a tension forms there in the vacuum left by Hahn’s desertion of the “actual”. Because of this schism of realistic unreality the paintings are activated, bringing a heightened awareness to the question of what the meaning might be, while still not unsealing the hermetic narratives with in. Very much in the surrealist tradition, as Hahn comes by his image through a kind of directed automatism, (a strategy that seeks to short circuit the rigors and restrictions of scientific reason and Newtonian conclusions), the viewer receives the image somewhere in the unconscious while simultaneously seeking to interpret the paintings with the analytical mind. And there we are caught in between, in a liminal space of possibility.
See Hahn’s solo show at Pablo’s Birthday in NYC through June 16th.
Nicomi Nix Turner draws upon her upbringing in the Pacific Northwest in her Nature themed graphite illustration works. The delicate graphite lines work nicely with some of Turner’s busy, full-of-life compositions. Beetles, insects, skulls, and girls that look like they’ve spent their whole lives in the forest come together as one. It’s fun to go over these works a couple times trying to uncover every element of their makeup. That quality of “oneness”, when considered as equal parts subject matter and composition, comes off really strongly. Beautiful stuff. Check out her blog too.
I’m loving the explosive mix of gestural abstraction and slowed down moments of representation in the work of Chicago painter Andrew Holmquist.
Nick Cave combines free-spirited motion exploratory modern dance with ostentatious sculptural detail to breath new life into contemporary art. In many ways, Nick’s work function within the vein of African art/costuming in the sense that they are intended to be “danced,” and enlivened within the context of performance and dance to illustrate and reflect upon societal mores and the cultural landscape. With references to haute couture, sculpture, performance, African American culture, costume, masquerade and beyond, Nick’s “Sound Suits” defy categorization. Beautiful/Decay recently had the opportunity to interview Nick Cave to discuss his background, inspiration and ideology behind the suits. Nick Cave is currently showing his latest works at Jack Shainman Gallery, until Feb 7, 2009.