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John Mooney

Good luck finding this guy on the web. Heres a hint: he’s NOT John Mooney the blues guitarist. Aren’t these oil paintings great though? His shows covered Scotland, Helsinki, London and Poland, Contemporary Art Society, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Scottish Arts Council and Dundee Art Gallery.

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Axel Void’s Disturbing Paintings Of People Wrapped And Suffocating In Plastic

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People trapped in plastics. This is the theme of the 8 oil paintings by Axel Void for his series titled “Sehnsucht”. Forced or consensual wrapping? After examining the paintings for a minute, the debate does not seem so obsolete. Axel Void suggests an alternative explanation on how to consider these people ; they are pleased with their fate. The title of the exhibition translates as nostalgia; a wistful affection for a period in the past; implying the period of time the artist misses and which is called absurdism. Absurdism symbolises the tension humankind has created for himself, wanting to define the value life without ever being able to do so.

The dichotomy between the classic style of the paintings and the psychologic, almost psychiatric representation of the artist’s nostalgia leaves us disturbed. Moreover, the interpretation of the cellophane or plastic bag can evokes protection, eroticism or asphyxiation. Leaving us full of doubts about what will happen next to these people.
Axel Void highlights in a dark way  “the confusion and state of wellbeing within our basic necessities and longing for something else”.

This intermission in which those people are caught, some of them suffering, others patiently waiting is the state of mind of absurdism. For there is no explanation to how we all have gotten here and there is no logical reason to how we will get out of this state either.
The art of Axel Void is a picture of the society issues in a social and psychological way. He interprets in his paintings the stigma of what society is experiencing in response to a quest for answers that will have no ending.

Axel Void’s “Sehnsucht” series is currently showing at BC Gallery in Berlin until August 15th 2015. (via HiFructose)

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Jae-Hyo Lee’s Exquisitely Smooth Wooden Sculpltures Give Tree Trunks A Second Life

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Jae-Hyo Lee’s latest work is a true work of perfect imperfection. He works with the imperfect forms and patterns of wood and reworks them in order to produce smooth, polished, and functional works of art. The combination of the wood’s natural shapes and the work he puts into the wood himself make for a series of pieces that are a perfect balance of nature and the presence and interference of man in nature. He creates a sort of hyper perfection which relates our relationship with beauty to our relationship with nature.

The process of Lee’s work is equally interesting to note: he spends time assembling an assortment of bits and pieces of wood, which he then spends time polishing and burning. This process allows him to rework the structure of the wood and create the meticulous shapes that can be seen in the final product.

Lee’s work is however not only a process of creation: he expresses the way in which he works very much with the natural structure of the wood, He says that he likes to “ make the most out of the material’s inherent feeling”, which underlines the fusion of nature and the man made. His project is full of a positive energy that brings a new perspective on the roles of wood its presence in our everyday lives. The fact that his series includes both sculpture and furniture adds to its beauty and complexity.

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Ryan De La Hoz’s Analog Patterns & Collages

Paper Cuts from Bradley Tangonan on Vimeo.

Long time pal and semi-recent B/D blog contributor Ryan De La Hoz not only likes to support fellow artists by blogging about them but also makes lots of wonderful work as well. In gearing up for his solo show at RVCA | VASF Gallery in SF Ryan took a few sneak peak photos for us of the new work. The show opens  Friday March 15th from 7 – 10pm and will feature an assortment of paintings, drawings, collage, and sculpture. Check out the video above for more insight into Ryan’s world and to learn about his analog art world.

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Elisa Insua Depicts Pop Culture Out Of Cheap Toys

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Using toys, computer hardware, beading, and even money, Argentinian-based artist Elisa Insua assembles images of popular culture with the items that make up popular culture. The intricate works take similar textures, colors, and shapes to form iconic portraits of Darth Vader, a Playstation controller, and the lion from the 20th Century Fox logo. Sometimes, Insua also covers three dimensional objects, like Maneki-neko (fortune cat) and toy guns and dinosaurs.

Erika Rae on Core77 described these works as appealing to someone who used to thumb through the I Spy series, a set of books where the reader would find a specific object among many, many others to solve a puzzle or riddle. Looking at Insua’s works, this description feels very appropriate. The mosaic of bright and cheery objects is alluring to our eyes, and focusing on the innocence of all of the toys in every image is almost escapist. For a period of time, we can slowly look over every part of Insua’s and be mesmerized by past popular culture. (via Core77)

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Brad Spencer Uses Bricks For More Than Building

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Brad Spencer doesn’t just build things out of bricks, he also sculpts them into existence. Much of his work is large-scale and features human figures or elements that appear to emerge naturally and seamlessly from this solid medium. Bricks are normally used architecturally to build structures with 90 degree angles. Spencer challenges this conception by creating fluid shapes from this recognizable form. He uses a relief technique – starting with unfired clay, he sculpts the walls and figures into a brickwork pattern. He then fires the pieces separately, and assembles the entire piece on the day it’s set to display. Spencer says,

“Brick sculpture can be dated back to ancient Babylon but remains a fresh and interesting enhancement to any building, wall or environment.

Projects may include bas (low) relief, high relief, full dimension free standing and often a combination. The brick medium has all the same characteristics of durability and low maintenance as a brick building, blends well in settings where other brick construction is present, looks good with landscaping and has a familiarity which is comforting to people. Brick sculpture adds intrigue and interest to a commonly understood material as viewers try to figure out the techniques by which it was created.” (via my modern met)

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Kiki Smith

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Though New York based artist, Kiki Smith, works with various kinds of materials, she is most widely known for her sculptures. Kiki works with many topics of which include shame, our relationship to nature, and she is even considered to be a feminist artist. But if you must define what she is “about,” I would say that she is very interested in humanity as natural creatures and our inner conflict with wanting to suppress natural urges. Even when crude, her craftsmanship exhibit so much beauty, that I am always consistently filled with feelings of whimsy.

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The Daughters Of Job

608a_1228689902608b_1228689902-copySome amazing photographs by Alison Malone.
A description of the project in Alison’s own words:

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