Matteo Giordano’s X2MX piece sits somewhere between bondage/fetish video and performance art. I can’t think of anything more frightening than being vacuum sealed into latex with just a tiny tube to breath out of. I couldn’t find much text about this piece so we’ll just have to decide whether this is documentation of a kinky weekend or an extreme performance about the frailty of life and how feeling trapped can be liberating for some. Watch the full video after the jump.
In her series Winter of Love, the Latvian painter Jana Brike reimagines the The Biblical Salome, known for the seduction of King Harod and her bloodthirsty demand for the head of Saint John the Baptist, transforming the icon from infamous sinner to innocent wood nymph, small and delicate as a china doll. Subverting the religious, moral text, she creates a poignant story of intimacy, love, and sacrifice.
In Brike’s eerie narrative, Saint John is replaced by a make-believe Deer King, a creature who harkens back to medieval Christian bestiaries, his horns often serving as a metaphor for Christ’s cross and Crucifixion. Here, the Deer King falls in love with Salome, volunteering his body for her pleasure: “he keeps squandering his life forces to grow flowers from his body, for the nymphs to play with,” explains the artist. In the place of a violent, lusty, and sinful Salome, the artist presents a naive, pure-hearted child who is transfixed by her play and the beauty of flowers.
In this touching biblical allegory, love becomes sacred and tragic; the Deer King offers his head to his beloved, giving her sensual bliss in a bitter, cold winter. The season becomes symbolic of his death, until flora miraculously begins to bloom, as with the mythical Resurrection of Christ. The creative powers of the girl blossom; she is seen as fertile, emerging into womanhood, her lips and vital cheeks pink as the roses.
Using the framework of religious text, Brike’s body of work depicts a romance story where love necessitates sacrifice, where lust isn’t sinful but creative. Nurtured by the Deer King’s affections and tragic death, Salome grows into adulthood; in one image titled “Nurseling,” her dress slips, revealing a pair of milk-filled, life-giving breasts. Take a look. (via MondoPop)
Min Kim’s collages tend to evoke many feelings at the same time. While they seamlessly combine an almost naive poetic narrative with impeccable skill and adult morals, they offer us a visual language founded both in Korea and America. Kim’s manga-like figures seem to exist in a world where flora and fauna blend together with the earth and the sky, constantly evolving into each others forms. She combines the emotive strengths of Asian comics with the heritage of the psychedelic surrealism of the seventies.
The story of western contemporary art is only of use to her in the most superfluous way, she certainly doesn’t dwell on the past. Instead she looks for visual traditions in different cultures and tries to express their essence in her work. This cultural potpourri is translated to her own language of form and technique, which may be as diverse as her inspiration. We can view the end result as a whole of vibrant color, skilled paper craft and a sense of honest innocence. The stylized figures in her works are often drawn in grey, in contrast with their surroundings. Still, the stories she tries to tell are about blending, about the changing of form and about always becoming. These seemingly contradicting choices symbolize the feeling of being both the same and the other. A feeling all too common in today’s multicultural civilization.
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!
Erin McCarty paints from somewhere deep within. Her colorful, chaotic paintings often channel fear, anguish, and desire in ways that are palpable. The bold leaf- and crystal-like motifs used throughout seem somehow magically charged. All in all, I find it hard to believe that this artist is fairly fresh out of art school. It must be that the cold, crisp air of Alaska stimulates her creativity.
The histories of geometric abstraction and quilting collide in these hard edged fabric paintings by Linling Lu.
Half humans, half birds; Sarah Louise Davey’s ceramic sculptures are the symbol of emotional duality. She is blending a woman’s face with a beak and a feathered gaze. The eyes seem so real, they are preventing us from looking away. Insisting that we come closer and try to understand the meaning of it all. The other sculptures are hanging from leather cords and chains. Two arms ending with birds’ feet with rose metal claws. The arms and the faces are covered in wrinkles, leaving us wondering how old these creatures are, and if this is what will happen to us too. It will, in the artist’s imagination.
Looking at the sculptures, it feel like we’re entering the world of the wizard of oz meets the barnyard, fantasy meets reality. Isn’t it what we’re living daily? If we think about it, the result is far from being pretty and perhaps this is Sarah Louise Davey’s purpose. In order to reflect deeper on society, norms and beauty we need to stretch the limits of our understanding. When the artist exhibits those pieces, she is almost questioning if we, as individuals are not all freaks after all. Freaks that need to be analyzed and understood, because underneath the wrinkled skin and the animal features we each have a complicated unique soul giving us an infinity of possibilities. ‘At the heart of these works is the eternal push and pull of the spirit’.