The video is amazing. It may seem like these guys don’t really care, but I think they really really do. Tricky.
Moscow based artist Daria Marchik enjoys exploring eccentric non-comformity through her work. She dabbles in many fields, which includes art directing, photography, performance, etc. I love her simple, yet powerfully striking costumes that are so full of humor.
With her electric series Outside the Lines, photographer Ramona Rosales elevates the everyday to the realm of high drama by staging eye-catching moments saturated in color. Through the course this witty narrative, a woman, seen only below the knees, undergoes a series of domestic blunders that are both comical and tragic. Each photograph is shot after the fact, as if to chronicle not the accidents themselves but their psychical impact upon our protagonist and her home.
Through a masterful use of color, Rosales plays with our perception, imbuing each still image with a vibrating, buzzing afterglow. Opposite colors create a visual tension as a green wall is juxtaposed with magenta pumps, a blue curtain with orange stockings. At the same time, harmonizing colors seem pull across the frame toward one another.
The wonderfully hectic blocks of color allow the photographs to flatten into a more two-dimensional plane and veer into the aesthetic we normally associate with collage, recalling great works of mid-century pop art and advertising. Unlike those perfected— and sometimes ironical— works espousing the pleasures of modern home, Rosales’s endearing subject appears to inhabit an indoor landscape ripe with tension and anxiety.
For Rosales, color isn’t an objective means of triggering an optical response; instead, she hopes to tap into our subjective memories and associations. Some of the narratives are drawn from her own life experiences, remembered incidents from which she incorporates at least two colors. Both humorous and delightfully suspenseful, Outside the Lines invites us to perceive the dynamic vitality of even the most banal of life’s many moments. Outside the Lines opens July 10 and runs through August 24, 2014 at De Soto Gallery.
The works of Helle Mardahl vary in medium with paintings, sculpture and collaged photographs addressing human fallacies and inventive absurdities. The artist’s background in fashion is demonstrated by the precise coordination and arrangement of shape and color embodying the figures. They don exaggerated features and contorted body parts and are masked to the point of sheer spectacle and wonderment. The artist’s interest in bedazzlement and burdened woe is a convincing combination of Rembrandt’s hobo drawings and Nick Cave’s soundsuits.
The scale and color density of artist Spencer Keeton Cunningham‘s work makes it almost impossible to ignore—but it’s the poignant, painful subject matter that makes his work difficult to forget. By pushing around the overly romanticized notion of North American Indian culture as a series of icons, sketches or markers, Cunningham is able to speak to the viewer through short, graphic strokes that hit hard. He’s interested in presenting his own take on the demonization of tribal people in American culture.
Being 1/4th Colville from the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (which consists of 12 different tribes: The Colville, The Entiat, the Nespelem, the Okanogan, The Arrow Lake, The Methow, The San Poil, The Chelan, The Moses Columbia, the Palus, the Nez perce, and the Wenatchee), Cunningham is able to make assertions with his work that relates to his unique position and perspective in this world.
Jane Benson is a multimedia artist who talks quite a bit about suffering. Her art speaks a lot about observation and the human psyche. Her relation to the earth seems to be something she constantly questions. Every moves beckons to test the difference between want and need. Let the games begin.
Photographer Joshua Hoffine is interested in the psychology of fear. His series of horror-centric images called After Dark, My Sweet, focus on what lurks behind us, underneath the bed, and below the stairs. Hoffine’s frightening, realistic-looks photos offer not only a compelling narrative, but are awe-inspiring in their craftsmanship and attention to detail. They look believable, making them even more scary. “I stage my photo shoots like small movies, with sets, costumes, elaborate props, fog machines, and special effects make-up,” Hoffine explains. “Everything is acted out live in front of the camera. I use friends and family members, including my own daughters, as actors and crew.”
The photographer also writes about his fascination with horror:
We are all born with certain inherent and instinctual fears, such as fear of the dark, the fear of lurking danger, and the fear of being eaten. As we grow older these fears lose their intensity and are slowly shuffled away into our Unconscious.
Horror, as an art form, draws its strength from the Unconscious.
I believe that the Horror story is ultimately concerned with the imminence and randomness of death, and the implication that there is no certainty to existence. The experience of Horror resides in this confrontation with uncertainty. Horror tells us that our belief in security is delusional, and that the monsters are all around us.
The makeup artist, wig maker, and costumer Elvis Schmoulianoff exists in a dreamscape where dress-up and science fiction collide. Her works, including a charming stop-motion animation titled Painted, celebrates the transformative power of disguise; operating as a character within a visual narrative, her body paint takes on a life of its own, overtaking and doing delightful mischief to the human form. Schmoulianoff seemingly draws inspiration from anything but the traditional, her work beautifully echoing that of Surrealists like Joan Miró.
Schmoulianoff’s visual trickery maintains a childlike sense of experimentation; her abstract, brightly colored shapes are seen in tension with the curvatures of the body, blurring the borders between model and medium. In some images, a Cubist-inspired oversized eye is overlaid on a closed eyelid, and the face is split down the middle, morphing in such a way that contains multiple perspectives: the full face, the profile, and even the layer beneath the skin. The artist’s expert shapes often serve to flatten the human subject, who camouflages with painted backgrounds; like a clever game of hide-and-seek, viewers are invited to discover the body within a surreal landscape.
Within Schmoulianoff’s work lies an undeniable sensuality; with glossy eye-catching paint, nipples miraculously become eyeballs, and full lips are seen in lush, starkly contrasted tones. In vibrant color and tonal blacks and whites, the body lies at the precipice of magic and wonder, with skeleton figures dancing to the beats of their red fire-engine red hearts. Schmoulianoff is committed to animal rights, and she only uses cruelty-free products for her art; to learn more, visit her website.