We finally received the long-awaited advance bound copy of Book 1 and we are thrilled with how it looks.
We made a virtual video tour so you can get a sense of how the book will look! Click the link above to preview it. Just a reminder, there are only two weeks left until the July 1st deadline to reserve your copy. We’ve had an overwhelming response (especially since each book features a unique piece of artwork from featured artist Kyle Thomas) and supplies are very limited. So, to ensure you receive this special inaugural copy, please subscribe as soon as possible.
Ten years ago Philadelphia photographer Matthew Christopher began a photo series attempting to document the decline of the state hospital system. Today his evocative and beautiful collection, “Abandoned America”, includes images of asylums, institutions, military, hospitals/health care, prisons, schools, power plants, factories, mills, quarries, hotels, transportation, theaters, houses, churches, and graveyards. The photos are beautifully composed and shot and are totally captivating in their emptiness.
“There is an undeniably artistic element to decayed sites, and an immense number of social, theological, and philosophical questions they pose. Abandoned America’s aim encompasses not only the historical and photographic cataloging of such sites, but also on a larger scale a eulogy for the lost ways of life they represent, a statement of their emotional, spiritual, and metaphoric relevance to our everyday lives, and a sense of the visceral experience of entering a parallel universe of silence, rust, and peeling paint.”
The pictures of abandoned spaces seem to want to create a narrative. They ask questions: What is the difference between a place abandoned temporarily and permanently? Is it a matter of chance, of luck? When you walk out the door, are you certain that you’re coming back? What sort of artifacts does a person leave? There is a poignancy to these spaces, a haunted voyeurism, a solemn quality to their emptiness. What lives were being lived here, and why were they interrupted?
“There is something magical and mysterious about spaces that are no longer in use, where nature and time and man’s presence have combined to create something absolutely unique,” says Christopher. “I hope that people reading my book can experience that sense of the transcendental and sublime that I did when I photographed these forgotten places. This book is a chance to examine why we are losing so many sites that are critical to our identity and culture.”
A million little pieces stitched together shapes a large moving tapestry. The waves of the installation, similar to chainmail, create a voluptuous presence. Artist El Anatsui is mesmerizing our senses and attracting our curiosity. He designs from simple materials complex compositions, using all sorts of tools to merge modest means into powerful and impressive pieces. In between sculpture (for the structure) and painting (for the way colors drop from different angles), the delicate and monumental pieces cannot be categorized.
El Anatsui’s work emphasizes the fact that art is a sixth sense, an add-on and a value that’s indescribable. From liquid bottle caps, iron nails, driftwood or cassava graters the artist creates morphing mosaics that are hung up the walls of monuments and museums in major cities. Seen from far away, the meticulously assembled little pieces become an accumulation of gems. Each installation is non fixed and can be moved from one place to another without ever having the same appearance. Just like fabric, the piece is creased, folded and adjusted to its in-situ set.
The artist’s impact on one hand is for the viewer to reflect on obvious key topics such as consumption, waste and environment. The bottle caps or the tin lids that he uses represent simultaneously garbage and manpower, thinking of that while he creates helps him give a spiritual dimension to his art.
On the other hand, the pieces help make a connection between America, Africa and Europe. The fact that the installations are hung questions the part of a wall as sequestration, protection or deprivation from freedom.
“Artists are not dictators”, El Anatsui claims loud and clear next to his pieces. He doesn’t want to impose an idea because everyone’s point of view is valid.
The artist was awarded in April 2015 at the Venice Biennale with a Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement. Watch the video below of one of the greatest artistic influencer amongst two generations of artists working in West Africa.
Jan Fabre is an established artist with a long rap sheet — having shown and made installations everywhere from The Royal Palace in Brussels to The Louvre Museum in Paris. It’s impossible to pigeonhole him down into one medium, since he’s worked with materials as diverse as bic ballpoint pens and beetle wings. Not to mention, he’s also an author and theater director on top of everything else. If you happen to be lucky enough to be in the city of Antwerp from now until September 2012, you can view his sculpture installation entitled PIETAS at Park Spoor Noord. But if you go, don’t forget to send us pictures! (via)
New York-based photographer Oliver Wasow works mostly with digital photography, having taught it at Bard and SVA. He creates hyperrealistic, crisp landscapes that at times can look like portals into another world. And while he’s refrained from it recently, his composite work from the late 90s is my favorite.
Based in the history of Pop Art, but with intentions wholly different, Rachel Hecker’s paintings and sculptures are blown up representations of those everyday items we think of (if we think of them at all) as disposable. Handwritten lists, post-it notes, calendar scribbles, fortune cookie papers, receipts and pricing stickers are just a few of the items Hecker transforms into acrylic on canvas paintings.
Far more personal than the subject matter of the Pop artists, Hecker carefully recreates by hand each piece of ephemera. Of these works she says:
“They contain vestiges of our intentions and our deeds, and are inadvertent diaries and forensic evidence of how we exist in the world. These scraps of paper detritus anticipate or record a range of experience from the mundane to the exalted, from dull repetition to fancy, and from stasis to expectancy.”
I’m usually into very loud and boisturous paintings but there is something extremely rewarding in the quiet and subtle portraits by Shauna Born. Each modestly sized painting features a sitter looking blankly into the viewer. The sitters don’t do much in the paintings but the piercing looks in their eyes warn you of a hurricane of emotions that is to come.