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JJ Levine’s Photos Of One Person As Two Genders Redefine Gender Roles

From Alone Time, 2007

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From Alone Time, 2007

From Alone Time, 2007

In the dawn of an era where Facebook has added a customizable option with about 50 different terms people can use to identify their gender, and an oscar nominated film about AIDS and a famous male, straight musician playing a transgender role (aka Dallas Buyers Club), we are bound to see more projects like JJ Levine‘s in the mainstream media.

The Montreal based photographer, an avid cataloguer of trans and queer communities since early 2000’s, creates Alone Time, a series of photographs in which he recreates typical domestic environments that play around with the idea of gender stereotypes. For this project he uses one model only; the one model is to play both the male and female characters in the image. The result, Levine said, “challenges the normative idea that gender presentation is stable or constant. Rather, gender expression can be fluid and multiple.”

“work is emerging at a moment when people are starting to talk more about gender and sexuality in the public sphere, which allows more space for queer cultural production and representation in the mainstream.”The thought-provoking work gives us the chance to become vulnerable and empathetic towards

The thought-provoking work not only give us, the viewer (of any gender,) the possibility to become vulnerable and empathetic, but also the ability to imagine ourselves in this specific situation. What would it be like to be a member of the opposite sexes? Do I, in anyway, resemble some of all the male/female/transgender characteristics?

Levine, a trans and queer man, uses his sexuality, gender and past experiences in his art in order to reach out to those who are not necessarily familiar with the subject. He intends to expand awareness through creating work that is familiar to all, and not just one gender. He notes that his images “talk about and celebrate marginality from a place of familiarity and self-exploration as opposed to voyeurism.” (via Slate)

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Joseph L. Griffiths’ Drawing Machines

Melbourne based Joseph L. Griffiths’ drawings and mechanical installations seek to transcribe the living relationship between man and machine. The relentless accuracy of the drawings evoke the printed sheen of digital reproduction, simultaneously celebrating and denying the human touch. His interactive drawing machines propose a return to primitive technologies and encourage a reconnection to the natural and man -made worlds through manual crafts. Directly engaging the audience in the creative cycle, his work seeks to reevaluate the human position in the technological equation, and realize the potential for art to permeate everyday life. More images of the drawing machines and drawings after the jump.(via pulmonaire)

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Guy-Olivier Deveau’s Next Level Sand Sculptures

Guy Olivier Deveau sand sculptures

sand sculptures

sand sculptures

sand sculptures

Guy-Olivier Deveau’s sculptures would be fascinating in any medium, the fact that he works with sand and ice makes them that much more appealing and interesting.  Deveau started out sand sculpting as a summer job in Quebec City so he could earn money to finance his education in the filed of philosophy.  Now that he’s a sculptor full-time the Canadian artist travels around the world creating his ephemeral sculptures and competing in competitions.  Though he also works with wood, snow and ice, Deveau appreciates sand as a medium because he feels he can achieve his desired texture, shadow and edges.  Indeed, his final products are amazing feats considering their medium.  Each of his sculptures takes approximately three days to create and each requires an immense amount of patience.  Deveau starts with a sold sand block and slowly and carefully carves from that.

Deveau will often include themes relating to philosophy, mythology or psychology, incorporating his interests along with his talent.  For instance, his most recent sculpture made on a beach in Texas, Bleeding, features a horizontal face, seemingly melting back into the ground.  The agony and expression of the face are remarkable taking into account that they were carved out of sand.  Though his was one of many sand sculptures created for Sandcastle Days 2013, the sophisticated emotion of Deveau’s Bleeding allowed it to stand out as eye-catching and thought provoking.

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David Hornung

To S.P The woodlands, backyards and mountain fields David Hornung paints can feel like elegies for lost friends.  Conversely, much of the work is contagiously, imaginatively playful.  These paintings can be read in contradictory ways; simultaneously flat and deep, both graphic and luminous.  Hornung does this purposefully, because “picture making can be as paradoxical as life itself.”  The invented settings evoke “memory, the flow of time, and, for lack of a better phrase, the sheer enigma of existence.”  The light breaking on the horizon in “To S.P.” (above) is both beautiful and heartrendingly sad.  What does it say about us when a sunset begs to be personified?  You can see David’s work at Flowers Gallery in Chelsea from June 30 to July 31.

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Aaron Noble & Greg Lamarche @ Guerrero Gallery

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Tomorrow night Guerrero Gallery opens their 7th show with a solo presentation of long time BD favorite Aaron Noble, and a project space offering from  tinkerer of texts, Greg Lamarche. More images and proper info below.

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Emily Burns’ Pin-up Ladies and Taxidermy

Paintings and drawings by Emily Burns.

“My recent work references a variety of artistic techniques and influences from traditional oil painting and modern digital photography to the iconography of ancient Egypt , the American pin-up and nineteenth-century taxidermy. In this group of work, I seek to chronicle the relationship between the genesis of female icon objectification and its historical development. These works describe the psychological juxtaposition between the inherent urge to exploit one’s own short-lived youth and the pressures of adhering to social expectation. I explore the push and pull of these two concepts, asking how they have affected the female psyche and as well as how society has actively created its own vision of the idealized female.

My source material includes a range of visual elements, attempting to portray diverse visualized vernaculars, both past and present, into single compositions. My centralizing of the female figure illustrates the tensions and conflicts between the power of their beauty and strength of their character, as well as their inevitable vulnerability. Historically, artists have exploited the tradition of realistic oil portraiture not only to create a likeness, but also to embody the essential character of the subject. My paintings reconcile traditional portraiture with the more modern idea of an active subject, depicted not solely based upon her social status, but immortalized for her beauty and appeal. Similarly, the inclusion of taxidermied trophy animal heads alludes to the vulnerability of a creature that is prized for its beauty, complicating the notion of power attributed to the anthropomorphized deities of the ancient Egyptians. Finally, the figures are foregrounded against fragmented views of digital interruption and pixilation, serving to remind one of how computerized communication has profoundly affected how we reimagine the female form.”

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New Work by Catherine Opie

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Cathy Opie has created a stunning new selection of portraits exploring lesbian identity in her latest body of work, “Girlfriends.” The women in her portraits range from Madonna and Angelina Jolie’s ex-girlfriend Jenny Shimizu, to Le Tigre’s JD Samson. Both honest and alluring, her photography recontextualizes the paradigm of femininity. Currently on view at New York’s Barbara Gladstone Gallery through April 24.

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Meghan Forsyth

Meghan Forsyth

Fresh out of Pratt Institute designer Meghan Forsyth. Check out her blog too.

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