Portland, Maine based artist Sascha Braunig is a portrait painter of sorts. She uses traditional baroque portraiture techniques with a nod to Op art and a wink at Surrealism. Braunig’s figures seem to barely emerge out of a hypnotic (and nearly seizure inducing) patterned background. Her canvases are striped with colors that contrast so much they nearly appear to glow. The effect is hallucinatory and almost a bit haunting. The gallery statement from her current exhibit describe the various concepts at play saying:
” Braunig’s geometric figures have a visual fluidity, as if their delicate skins can barely contain their bodies. Subject and background merge, creating ambiguity and optical tension. An alliance is forced between flat patterned designs and observed, mimetic representation.”
Sascha Braunig is exhibiting her work through December 22 at Manhattan’s Foxy Production.
Radical ceramics, paintings and drawings by the talented Amy Gartrell. Do these images make anyone else think of 80’s super fresh flavor, complete with the crazy squiggly lines? Her show “Whatever and Ever” is on view at Daniel Reich Gallery in NYC until June 26th, so go check it out!
Hanna Putz is an artist out of Vienna who contorts and un-poses her models to make striking photographs of equally striking people. Her camera seems to mummify the models, and in their lifelessness they are incredibly compelling. ( via )
Notoriously awe-inspiring Japanese pop artist Keiichi Tanaami has featured some spectacular new works in his show Cherry Blossoms Falling In The Evening Gloom. Since 2010, Tanaami has focused his energy toward the creation of large scale paintings focusing on prominent elements of his childhood, living in wartime Japan. The comic-like characterization of bombs, Mickey Mouse, and war planes, spin together his chaotic dreamscapes, full of hypnotic colors, patterns, and a nearly mirage-like quality.
An excerpt from the exhibition, at Nanzuka Gallery in Tokyo, details the symbolic elements within his work:
“Glowing, grotesque creatures personify bombs and the light of their explosions. Beams of emanating light are the searchlights of Japanese troops keeping watch for American bomber planes. The skeletal monsters that appear in his works represent war casualties, and at the same time function as figures of us, ourselves, who know no fear. A recurring character based on a motif that comes from Tanaami’s wartime memory of goldfish also frequently appears in his works, and is deeply connected to the sight of the light from the American bombs reflecting off of the scales of the goldfish his grandfather kept. Pine trees, seemingly pregnant with animal-like life forms, are based on hallucinations Tanaami witnessed when he nearly died from a pulmonary edema at age.” (Excerpt from Source)
I’ve been a fan of Stefan Ruiz’s work for a while, I collected most of the issues of COLORS magazine he worked on several years ago. He documents people, places, and objects from around the world that are both strange and familiar. I especially love his portraits; he conveys so much personality and narrative in such concise elegant images.
The pollution crisis in China is reaching an all time high. With over 500,000 people dying each year from diseases related to the air quality, it’s a time for action. A company in China called Xiao Zhu has decided to educate the public on just how serious the matter is. They have literally shone a light on the culprits – by projecting images of crying children’s faces onto the guilty factories’ billowing towers of smoke and pollution. As most of the victims of air pollution are children, this artistic protest has a hard hitting message. Stop now, or the future generations will continue to suffer.
The faces themselves are quite hard to stomach. Twisted and contorted faces fade in and out of the smoke clouds. Young boys are covering their mouths with masks trying to breathe without pain. It is an emotionally charged subject, and the company normally responsible for selling air filters have tapped into the drama of the situation. Their creative approach to such a huge environmental problem is working – people are noticing and spreading the word.
Xiao Zhu write this statement to accompany their video on Youtube:
We decided to put a spotlight on air pollution’s biggest culprits—the factories—by using the actual pollution from the factories as a medium…. Clean the air, let the future breathe again. (Source)
Not only is this a message for the whole nation, and world, but most specifically for the industry that is causing the damage. And I’m sure they won’t be able to avoid looking up at their own factories and see the mess they are creating. (Via The Creator’s Project)