Gino Rubert’s studio practice focuses on the representation, animation, and reinforcement of the experiences and emotions that exist within the framework of contemporary romantic relationships. His narratives revolve around “the new man and woman, the contemporary couple in a time after the pill, after the strikes in May 1968, after the rise of Feminism, after all the politics and laws were developed to equalize men and women’s rights and opportunities,” says Rubert. “My characters are set in some kind of utopia. They are individuals who express their gender and nature without arrogance, complexity, or fear.” The new woman, new man, their functions (or dysfunctions), conflicts, and rhetoric are all key themes explored with a generous slice of self-deprecating humor by this Barcelona-based artist. To realize these investigations, the Artist employs painting, photography, and video – often within the same composition to achieve his singular style. “If I had to define a main thread that goes through my work,” says Rubert, “it would definitely be the need to look at the sentimental world from an ironic and critical perspective”
C. Owen Lavoie’s (better know as C. Owen) series of photographs entitled Trophies captures the emergence of exotic creatures out of darkness. Because they are shrouded in so much darkness, these portraits at first seem to be taken in close proximity to live animals, but Lavoie is able to get so close to these beasts because they are taxidermied. This creates a haunting and mysterious effect that reflects on ideas about preservation, death, and hunting. The lens captures the preserved expressions of the creatures’ vulnerability, creating a sort of double preservation of the dead animal that stares right back at us. Lavoie says that she considers the series “a way of bringing the animals back to life for the public eye. It’s sort of like a third generation; first the animal was born, then hunted and handed over to a taxidermist so it can be displayed and finally in the end, modified by my lens.”
Sol Calero‘s work investigates the ancestral through a visual language which includes fabric constructions, found objects and images, archives, painting and drawing. Family clippings and photos overlap with house-plants and altered images of ancient ruins, tools for remembering and misremembering. Her recent project “Column Study” includes research into the origins of found West German ceramics, notated on their bases, which are assembled and disassembled, unclear if they constitute an ancient column discovered by archaeologists or a domesticated kitsch Brancusi sculpture. Her fabric works include capes used in abstract ritual performances and also wall pieces which operate in the vernacular of painting, often created with the discarded clothing of her family members. The work is often balanced between worlds, warm traditions with cold minimalism, personal narratives with pages torn from children’s craft books, the hot chaos of Venezuela with the cold European winter. Her project-based practice also includes running the gallery space Kinderhook & Caracas in Berlin with frequent collaborator Christopher Kline.
Breaking up is hard to do. And, if executed via text message, it can be even harder.
In her solo exhibition, “It’s Not You,” artist Allison L. Wade explores the proliferating plague of the break-up text. Featuring much-anticipated new additions to her acclaimed series, “Break-Up Texts,” this exhibition once again draws inspiration from the artist’s own love life.
Presented as blocks of text set against painted and photographic backdrops, the text messages featured in “It’s Not You” include those both “sent and received by the artist during dissolving personal relationships.” Citing irony as the basis of her series, Wade’s seemingly arbitrary selection of backdrops—spanning solid, lurid colors, computer-generated gradients, and peculiar images lacking context—emphasize the level of detachment present in the modern-day break-up text.
By pairing emotionally-charged, life-changing words with generic, ambivalent backgrounds, Wade successfully demonstrates the inherent disconnect between break-up texts and the emotions that prompt them.
While some of the text messages featured in “It’s Not You” are bizarrely comical (“Sorry I have been out of touch this week. There was a snow storm and I have been watching movies”), others are undeniably poignant, such as the bleak declaration, “I knew you would do this to me.” Whether silly or sad, it is certain that, as individuals in the 21st Century, there is a break-up text we can all relate to. (via Rick Wester Fine Art)
Check out “It’s Not You” now through January 10, 2015 at New York’s Rick Wester Fine Art!
Perhaps one of the more curious photo projects to surface recently is the glow worm pictures from Joe Michael. He photographed the insect in its natural environment on million year old limestone caves in New Zealand. The bioluminescent effect on the viewer is mystical and shows the perfect combination of scientific documentation and aesthetic beauty. Very Lord Of the Rings or Elfish, the glow worms allow you to see the caves in a different way. Because of their unique structure the insects project a nature consciously created by a higher design and you begin wondering for what purpose? In the meantime we can enjoy the spectacle they have become. Their green light projects an unusual glow reminiscent of constellations and lighthouses seen off into the distance on a foggy night. It also hints at infrared paranormal activity.
The worms vary in size attesting to the irregular light structure captured in the caves which provides further awe to their curiosity. In some Larvae species the adult female will glow to attract males during mating season. In others the light is used as a warning signal to predators or to lure prey.
Japanese artist Yo Fukui currently has an exhibition up at David Salow Gallery until August 15th. I love the extraterrestrially crafted space-age battleship he constructed (above, from star date 3003, apparently). Though emerging from the cold hard star-steel of space lit only by an eerly lunar glow, Fukui creates his battleship from lovingly pastiched felt squares. It’s like Fukui is lovingly wrapping his grandmother’s quilt on the steely shoulders of the vast and infinite unknown future. Perhaps love still can exist even in the void of a black hole…at least, according to Fukui. If you are in the LA area, be sure to check out this exhibition.
B/D has been a fan of Barnaby Whitfield’s work since we featured him way back in issue X. We’re totally in love with his beautifully rendered and grotesquely exquisite pastels but were surprised to find that he is dabbling in the world of performance. Watch Barnaby’s performance as well as a informal roundtable discussion about the performance and his work in this video for the Douglas Kelley Show. Keep up the good work Barnaby!