At first glance I thought these clever byomorphic and hybrid characters by Overunder were painted directly on the wall but upon closer inspection I realized that these pieces were painted in the artists studio with spray paint on paper and then cut out as giant posters. Although this isn’t a completely unique idea Overunder does a great job of creating a Trompe-l’œil effect with this technique giving his pieces a spontaneous feel while still being labored over and well planned in the comfort of his studio. I’ve posted some images of his work in a gallery setting after the jump so you can see how they are cut.
Londoner Petra Storrs is not just a set, prop, and costume/fashion designer– she’s an artist who collaborates with performers to transcend ideas beyond the ephemeral and into a sturdy cult of fantasy. The “reflective mirror dress” she designed for Paloma Faith, for example, not only sharpens the singer’s playful theatrical identity, but further investigates this concept of “the gaze”. In Dazed and Confused Magazine, Faith elaborates on the intention, “Obviously, as a performer, I am normally the observed, but I wanted to flip that dynamic around and make the audience the focus.” Storrs response, of course, was to whip up a garment that literally does just that.
But it’s not just creative camaraderie that gets Storrs’ juices flowing– she also finds inspiration from everyday objects and history, or everyday objects that hold history such as . . . tea. Camellia & the Rabbit, her latest design endeavor (collected here), involves performance artist Rachel Snider, who uses “tea as a central motif/metaphor” and a narrative “like sea shanties” to interweave “historical facts and stories of tea”– thus, evoking our own personal relationship to this British afternoon tradition.
Some artists just have a way with drawing. Each line is exquisitely placed on the paper with the most delicate ease as if it had always been there. Sarah McNeil’s drawings do just that. Her marks are so refined and gentle that they can even make a skull with a mustache and a cat tumbler look cute.
Jan Otto Schreiber, a photographer from Hamburg, Germany, decided to explore Australia last year. He traveled by cargo ship for two months, traveling on the Panama Canal, and in that time documented his surroundings with over 250 different shots of islands, ships, and the sea. He spent weeks editing the proofs of his documentation, and ended up with 14 dreamy images.
This series is titled: Somewhere Between the Shores. A yellow-tinged, pale collection of photographs that mimics the experience of quiet nostalgia, the subtle stillness of the ocean, and the mystery inside moving silhouettes.
The lush, vibrant colored pencil drawings of Joe Sinness portray screen and stage stars, queer icons, and online erotica submitters, combining them with antique or thrift store items, flowers and jewels to create carefully constructed tableaus. The technical ability of the Minneapolis-based artist is what one immediately notices, and it is only after that the viewer must attempt to make sense of the laboriously drawn scene before them.
Sinness creates each still-life by hand before photographing and then meticulously executing them with Prismacolor pencils. “I want each still life to have a visual richness or lushness to highlight and celebrate the figures or kitsch objects presented (and I use the term ‘kitsch’ with the utmost seriousness)”.In works like the Shining Indiscretions triptych (seen above), Sinness created a loose mythology which the work is based on, but does not depend upon. Titled from a Tennesse Williams quote (“All good art is an indiscretion.”), Sinness built hundreds of scenes imagining what a queer,flamboyant spirit such as Williams might physically look like, eventually settling on a triptych of shapes formed from gold lamé. The triumph of this triptych is that the viewer most certainly does not need to know this backstory to enjoy the work, because the images are so visually striking and meditative that they speak for themselves. However, they also have a strong conceptual intention and purpose which informs the work for those who wish to dig deeper.
Sinness continues, “I am interested in how objects and people seeking fame become consumable products, a paradox that sees their artistic endeavors pursuing immortality become disposable and commodified. My imagery and subjects are first looted and then loved… In mining these subjects and devotedly recasting them together in shrine-like still lifes, they are given new life in narratives which mirror their subject’s original aspiration and desire for fame and immortality.”
I want to share the works of Scott Reeder with those of you who aren’t familiar already. He uses lots of great art convention and history references combined with slapstick humor via painting and sculpture. Like Naked Gun meets Painters Painting. Plus he is from Milwaukee, the wierdest place ever! Awesome!
For six years the Dutch photographer Willeke Duijvekam followed the lives of Mandy and Eva, documenting their inner and outer attempts to align their sex assignments at birth with their gender identity — both girls were born as boys.
“Willeke Duijvekam reveals how for both girls the radical transformation into self-confident young women was chiefly an internal process. Her subdued photographs show how Mandy and Eva are absorbed in their everyday activities, or in their own thoughts. They are two remarkably normal girls — the one more vivacious, the other quieter — who do nothing other than live according to the dictates of their feelings.” (Source)
Duijvekam presents this series as an ingenious photo book, Mandy and Eva. The best designs enhance the subject matter, bringing new interpretations and depth to the work without taking over the narrative. In Duijvekam’s book, the subtle photos of the two transgender girls are incorporated into an interleaved book. In the video of the book, the pages are separate but related, each girl always present in the other’s spreads, advancing and retreating at the turn of a page. It is a masterful match of form and content. The book progresses backward through time, reversing the expected progression and reinforcing that these are two girls. The bodies that they were born into are much less important than the bodies in which they have become themselves.
“In my work I am guided by what moves and surprises me. … Ideas for projects are constantly unfolding and possibilities reveal themselves around every corner. The trick is to be open enough to recognize them the moment they appear and driven enough to pursue them. Diversity is what draws me to the people I meet, but at the same time I’m fascinated by our similarities.”
Brian Belott’s Brooklyn studio is an immersive installation. Spelunking into a cavern on an alien planet filled with glittering artifacts from a lost culture, might, might compare to walking through Brian’s place. I was going to stay for an hour, but ended up being there for four hours because there was so much to look at and talk about. The whole situation is arranged with the discerning eye of the most selective, borderline pathological scavenger – and set to easy listening music, Brian’s “sonic wallpaper.” I got the feeling that each scrap of torn paper, every tube of glitter has been internalized. Then arranged into an invisible system that had started to resemble the stratified layers of rock at the Grand Canyon – there was a geological, epic scale to the amount of materials. Brian works with some art materials, but mostly with found stuff. He uses those thick cardboard kids books, colorful plastic combs, found audio, and posters. He makes paintings on glass, original music, found sound audio collages, paper collages, books covered in paint and decorated with rocks, and catalogs of other people’s private photography grouped by themes. In addition he does performances, many of which are on YouTube. Meeting Brian I got the immediate impression I was meeting someone special. He has a gigantic solo show “The Joy of File” opening Friday, February 26th at Zürcher Studio from 6 to 8pm.