Dutch design duo Raw Color toast the opening of Martin Creed’s grand overhaul of London’s Sketch restaurant with graphic still lifes dedicated to the restaurant’s new menu. The Turner Prize winning artist’s takeover saw him entirely revamp Sketch’s interiors, hanging his large-scale paintings along the walls and hand-picking each individual table, chair and piece of cutlery, as well as contributing in the kitchen. Sketch co-founder and Michelin-starred chef Pierre Gagnaire conceived two playfully named dishes dedicated to the conceptual artist––“Navet Martin Creed” and “Dundee Pinky”.
Raw Color concocted their Irving Penn-esque visions from each dish’s disassembled ingredients, including black olive jelly, squid ink and parmesan cream. “The cooking side of the project was harder to translate into our own visual language,” says Christoph Brach, one half of Raw Color with Daniera ter Haar. “But looking at Creed and his approach to projects, how he organizes things, stacking from big to small, we knew we could take the ingredients and do something similar with them.”
Jonathan Schipper‘s work is slowly self destructing. Very slowly self destructing. In this first series of photos, To Dust, two classical sculptures hang upside down from one mechanism. The mechanism slowly grinds the sculptures together. A pile of fine dust gathers beneath the sculptures as they wear each other away. Over the course of several years the sculptures are expected to eventually destroy each other.
Slow self destruction unfolds in another series pictured in this post, Slow Inevitable Death of American Muscle Slow Motion Car Crash. A head on collision is almost painfully stretched out over six days. Two cars set on a track slowly advance toward each other simulating an ultra-slow car wreck. Schipper transforms destruction that was once dangerous into a harmless act – a perverse spectacle into a near boring and slow non-drama.
Artist Livia Marin’s Nomad Patterns is a series of classical ceramics depicted in a most unconventional manner. Her representation of the destruction of ceramics is fascinating in the sense that she has chosen to use melted ceramics rather than breaking, chipping, or shattering them in the way they are known to do. In this sense, she has brought a sort of silent, unconventional destruction to the ceramics in her series.
The fascinating aspect of her work lies in the way the ceramics are being destroyed. She merges the ideas of “care and ruin” by making it difficult to distinguish whether the ceramics are being destroyed or put back together.The fluidity of the melted ceramics and the way that the patterns are maintained add a touch of surrealism to the series. The physically impossible nature of her project as well as the aesthetic aspects of her work make for an original merging of physics and art.
In this sense, her work reaches beyond its artistic capacities and underlines the artistic aspects of physics as well as the merging of science and art. Marin’s work merging of the notions of restoration and destruction also provides a reflection on these two notions, which are, in her work two sides of the same coin.
A stint in prison for selling drugs helped Australian artist Bindi Cole refocus her mode of expression. Having always been interested in photography, shortly after her release Cole began focusing her work on issues of identity. Aboriginal, but fair skinned, Cole had never really been sure about the way she identified with the stereotype of the Aboriginal. Her Not Really Aboriginal series, which featured fair skinned Aboriginal people in blackface, garnered her much attention.
In another work, EH5452 (Cole’s prisoner number), Cole documents her time in prison using photos, diary entries and prison issue personal items such as cigarette papers and lighters. Cathartic, for Cole, the project in her words “aims to turn something dark, hidden and shameful into something light, revelatory and beautiful.”
In yet another series, Cole spent a month capturing portraits of the Tiwi Island culture’s “Sistagirls.” A Sistagirl is a transgender person. Formerly revered in the culture, after the culture was colonized and converted to Catholicism, the Sistagirls became shunned and excluded from their tribe. Existing in their own mini world, Cole sought to capture the essence of who they are and the spirit o their community.
It’s really hard to pull off a painting with a white center but somehow Greg Bogin has done it. With a minimal amount of paint and some carefully shaped canvases greg manages to create beautiful work that packs a powerful punch. It also doesn’t hurt that he jam packs his work with one of my favorite things in life…gradients!
Dimitri Kozyrev’s paintings are captivating, to say the least. His color precision from plane to line and surface to sky balances the ephemerally abstract beautifully with a hardened environment. This compositional fracturing feels like ice cracking on the pond, disrupting the reflection or illusion of us and our structures, before we crash into a new reality.
This “crash” echoes of Constructivism or Futurism, with deep contemporary critique on not just the disruption of landscape during wartime, but maybe even more so, the distortion of self, identity, and technology in relation to art and activism as these terms relate to the avant-garde, painting, and intention in today’s milieu.
On this note, Kozyrev elaborates:
“I have titled this body of work ‘Lost Edge.’ I use the word ‘edge’ because I draw a comparison between the notion of the avant-garde in war and the art world. In the early 20th Century, the avant-garde was at the height of its importance in both realms. Now, however, I maintain that just as the concept of the military avant-garde has been “lost,” because of changes in methods of warfare, the avant-garde in the contemporary art world, has also lost its edge.
“The source material for this body of work is images of ruins of the once mighty fortifications of the Mannerhiem Line, built to protect Finland from the advances of the Soviet military avant-garde. Finland’s attempt was valiant and not in vain; this war and the lives that were lost in 1939 are largely forgotten. The fortification lie in ruins, and nature is slowly reclaiming them. Similarly, the ‘cutting edge’ of the contemporary art world seems to have become blunted. Viewers of the avant-garde work of many visionary artists of the early 20th Century were shocked, challenged and inspired by The Malevich’s ‘Black Square’ and ‘Fountain’ of Marcel Duchamp. Because of changes in society, like changes in warfare, it has become difficult for today’s contemporary artist to generate the same level of response without resorting to vulgarity.”
Tom Sanford’s new work touches on politics and our infotainment culture with equal enthusiasm. For your viewing pleasure there is an erotically oily Sarah Palin, the repressed sexuality of Philip Guston, a Jong Il fist-bump, Jail Birds, and love affairs between beautiful nymphets and strangely hairy men. I think that’s something for everyone. All of these paintings have emigrated to Europe. Some for Copenhagen at Gallery Poulsen, and some to Norway, for a show at Galleri S E.