I first got into Zach Johnsen’s work a few years ago when he lived in New York. But for a while now, he’s been in Portland, and it looks like he’s making his raddest stuff yet. He always incorporated fantastic characters into his mixed media work, and he’s continued to do so, creating more wooden cut-out installations and a series of graphite drawings infused with explosive watercolor elements. Johnsen’s always done a great job of rendering the darker side of life. His characters are full of dark eyes and yellowing teeth. Seriously awesome stuff from this dude, always.
New York based artist James Connolly gives old and worn out record covers a new spin. The artist transforms each one by hand painting fun scenes within the given content, turning calm and commercial images into outlandish and other worldly painted depictions. The artist finds these used records in junk shops and revives them through manipulating their covers to become fun, psychedelic, and slightly bizarre. His works transform singing beauties into strange oblong creatures, it melts and merges the flesh of trumpet players, it implants nature where is does not belong (such as trees growing from eye sockets and fungi from faces), it even gives shrimp heat ray vision and adorns a “Top of the Pops” dancer with a ribbon of sausages. Perhaps the most interesting of these works are those which almost act as a play on color theory. Connolly disappears figures into perfectly mixed hues that blend bodies into backgrounds, allowing them to fully be a vehicle for shape and pattern. There is a very fun a vintage feel to these works, even outside the reality that they are, in fact, vintage. There is a hyper specific handling of imagery that does truly speak to the illustration style of the 70s which promotes a certain aspect of fluidity. There is a sort of quiet contemplation, and if you can almost follow the artists train of thought and innocent playfulness. This series seems like an excellent exercise in creativity.
For their exhibition, Telephone Blue, taking place at Synchronicity Space on April 20 – May 19, Aaron Anderson, Eric Carlson and Crystal Quinn (founding members of the artist collective Hardland/Heartland) continue their formal practice of intuitive collaboration to produce narratives of playful allegories and coded symbols that materialize as drawing, video, and sculpture. This exhibition will exist as an extension, literally and figuratively speaking. Physical work existing in a digital world that happens to be an extension of our physical world.
In addition to the physical gallery show the three artists have collaborated with LA artist Spencer Longo on a web based project that lives on the Synchronicity website called LA Internet. See LA Internet at www.syncspacela.com at anytime and visit the shows opening tonight from 7-10pm at 713 Heliotrope, LA, CA 90029.
The Street Hands project is the brainchild of Spanish artists Octavi Serra, Mateu Targa, Daniel Llugany and Pau Garcia who created the site specific installations as commentary on Spain’s political and economic climate. The plaster cast hands are placed throughout the city reminding passerby’s that uncertainty, danger and turmoil could be right around the corner unless they do something about it. The result is a poetic and poignant reminder of life’s daily challenges and that our future sometimes is best dealt by our own hands.
Watch a short video about the project as well as the artists in action after the jump. (via)
New York-based artist Brian Dettmer’s sculptural, multi-layered books are so intricate that they require him to use surgeon tools in his process. He carefully carves illustrations and text out of old medical journals, dictionaries, maps books, encyclopedias, and more. Nothing inside of the books is implanted – pieces are only removed. The idea is that these subtractions will reveal new histories and memories now that the story and context has changed. Dettmer sees his work as a collaboration with the existing work’s past creators.
He writes about his creations, which are a comment on the changing landscape of technology. From Dettmer’s artist statement:
The age of information in physical form is waning. As intangible routes thrive with quicker fluidity, material and history are being lost, slipping and eroding into the ether. Newer media swiftly flips forms, unrestricted by the weight of material and the responsibility of history. In the tangible world we are left with a frozen material but in the intangible world we may be left with nothing. History is lost as formats change from physical stability to digital distress.
The richness and depth of the book is universally respected yet often undiscovered as the monopoly of the form and relevance of the information fades over time. The book’s intended function has decreased and the form remains linear in a non-linear world. By altering physical forms of information and shifting preconceived functions, new and unexpected roles emerge. (Via Demilked)
Seung Hoon Park’s photographic work is created using strips of 8mm or 16mm film that’s woven together to form larger images. For the series Textus, he depicts well-known and iconic landmarks from all over the world. After the “tapestry” is assembled, Park photographs it using an 8×10 camera to creates a more texturally seamless surface. The result creates cognitive dissonance; We expect it to look tactile, while it only appears flat.
The discolored edges of the film provide a vintage feel to the overall work, as they tinge it in yellows, blues, and generally desaturate all of Park’s landscapes. The smaller images that make up Textus fracture the larger photograph in a way that it appears as a victim of some sort of disaster. They’ve been pieced so that’s almost put back together, but there’s still part of it that’s off and will always remain a little off because of it. (Via Feature Shoot)
Jon Jacobsen, a Chilean photographer, creates images and animations that are metaphorical in nature; his usage of image as allegory is often referential to surreal worlds and occurrences. Through his experience as a fashion photographer, Jacobsen is able to put forth a product that combines both a fashion-editorial aesthetic and the feel and look of something that, say, Salvador Dali created. His work is indicative of imagined scenarios that in a sense encapsulate real sensory experiences. Although there is no specific continuity to any of his work, any one of his photographs alone is enough for viewers to become interested in Jacobsen’s personal experiences and wild imagination.
“As a child I dreamt of becoming an astronaut, now I create a universe myself”
According to his short statement on his Behance profile, his animated GIFs are inspired by specific moments in times where feelings, thoughts, and the senses go out of control [smelling or seeing something that provokes strong emotions, going through a difficult emotional experience,etc].
You can view some of Jacobsen’s stills below.