Lesser Gonzalez Alvarez, of Baltimore, produces sculpture, collage (see above), and illustration. But the majority of his fine arts output is done through digital media. His digital compositions aren’t really like any I’ve seen before. They combine a far out, cosmic sensibility with soft, colorful gradients and textures. I could meditate on these for a while. Some of Alvarez’ works are so simple, yet they maintain a lot of gravity, as though they hold something really important just beyond your grasp. And the creepy smiley faces he repeats throughout his work really get to me. Click past the jump for more collage, couches floating in space, and a workbench installation.
John Courtney Little‘s paintings contain such surreal narrations, full of intense scenarios with eloquently symbolic characters that attempt to exist in such chaotic and mysterious environments. Using a dark and muted color palette focusing around the action of the protagonist or simply the chaotic environment around them, the paintings are very expressive and well crafted.
While the professional portfolio of photographer Claudia Gonzalez is comprised of portraiture spanning classic high-fashion shots and intimate boudoir photos, her personal work presents a much more touching focus. In her series, Reassign, Gonzalez teamed up with CENESEX, Cuba’s National Center for Sex Education, to offer a glimpse into the country’s transgender community through before-and-after portraits of individuals undergoing gender reassignment surgery.
Comprised of two photos—one depicting the individual as they appear pre-procedure, and the other presenting the “after”—each piece in Reassign speaks to the complexities and astonishing results of this life-changing resolution. Since the differences between the photos that comprise the pairs are remarkable, it may surprise you that each was taken on the same day; most of the before-and-after sets are merely representative of these individuals’ journeys, and do not document the literal, typically years-long process.
Clearly, the changes in clothing, addition of make up, and styling of hair indicate an obvious change in gender identity. However, it is the individuals’ expressions—often somber and aloof in the “before” shots and self-assured and radiant in those that follow—that truly demonstrate an undeniable shift in confidence, elevated happiness, and, poignantly, an uplifted sense of self. (Via Feature Shoot)
Peter Cross makes pencil drawings to salivate over, precise and delicate, they bear witness with photographic verisimilitude to times and places that have never existed but seem weirdly deja-vu-ish. Cross worked for over twenty years as an art handler and then as a registrar in Manhattan galleries. Much of that time was spent with Leo Castelli, where he worked with artists like Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenburg and Roy Lichtenstein. When I first got to NYC Peter hired me to install shows, and despite my being nosy and persistent, has always been extremely secretive about his drawings. I finally got him to email these. Peter doesn’t have a website just yet, so if you want to contact him – leave some way to be reached in the comments section.
Spanish Photographer Andres Medina has a knack for creating beauty with very little. There’s really not too much action in a lot of his photographs. Somehow, though, he frames such emptiness with beautiful lighting and technique in a way that amplifies the emptiness of the world in a really appealing way. Some of Medina’s best stuff is taken at night. You can almost feel the moist, cold air in his night photos, and your ears prick up as you are drawn into their silent world. The pictures celebrate our passive surroundings, as the lack of animated subject matter minimizes distraction. Some things are centered around such an internalized power source that you have to black out the rest of the world just to notice them.
I’m sure you recognize the reference here. In case you were in doubt, the Belgian artist Jan Fabre is reinterpreting the most iconic work of the renaissance, Michelangelo’s Pietà.
Michelangelo’s famous work of art depicts the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion.
Fabre’s interpretation gets personal, a little macabre, and a bit controversial…
In his rendition, Fabre places himself as Jesus with a butterfly perched on the side of his mouth. The heavy, dead-looking body wears a crisp, classy but torn suite. A closer look reveals a scarab at the edge of his cuff that is slowly drifting off towards the artist’s lifeless hand, which is tenuously holding on to a human brain.
The Virgin Mary’s face is replaced by a skull, which many would say is a reference to the Vanitas, the universal symbol of death.
The work was shown in Venice in 2011. This was in close relation to, but not a part of the 54th edition of the Venice Biennale. Given the place and the country (a very religious one) in which it was shown, you can image the controversy it created. The artist commented on the matter:
“is not to convey a blasphemous or even merely or provocative message. This work represents a “performance sculpture” that illustrates a mother’s real feelings when she yearns to take the place of her dead son.”
Misha Hollenbach lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. Using found and created objects he presents the viewer with absurd and alarming “artifacts” in which the eloquent clashes with the primordial. Swiss publishing company Nieves describes his work as “…merging contemporary culture with tribalism. Working across the mediums of collage, screen-printing, painting, sculpture and installation, his work is often driven by carnal desire, and a return to the basics/basis of human existence.” While speaking of his motivations Hollenbach frames his body of work perfectly stating that “Things can always be a bit more insane.”