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Splendor And Power At The Origin Of Dark Ceramic Sculptures By Anne Wenzel

Sculpture 14Anne Wenzel - Sculpture 3 Anne Wenzel - Sculpture 5Anne Wenzel - Sculpture 6

Through dark and melancholic ceramic sculptures Anne Wenzel shares her views on the world’s fears and tragedies (natural catastrophes, bomb attacks, fear of millenarianism…)  She draws away the tradition of ceramic to create her contemporary and intense sculptures. The artist’s ‘modern day vanitas’ sculptures not only shake the core but also question the role of splendor and power within a deformed and vanished piece of art. Recently, Anne Wenzel has created two sets of sculptures: busts in ‘Damaged Goods’ and blossoms in ‘Attempted Decadence’.

In the first group of work, she uses the classic military bust and shiny dark brown tones of glaze to condemn the glorification of authority during times of war. She questions the fact that we worship emblematic figures that have caused violence and have damaged entire populations and their countries.
Power, destruction, heroism and violence, themes dear to the artist emerge from her strong historical awareness and political engagement; she sheds new light on the role that art plays in depicting them.

The glamour and glorification expressed in the sorrowful blossoms is raising intentional open questions that Anne Wenzel is not willing to answer for us. She wants the viewer to take a stand and ask: I am seeing this beautiful metaphor of greatness and beauty, but am I being manipulated? The purple and rust tones petals are liquefied, dripping over the structure that’s holding them. Turning healthy and fresh flowers into a devastated and agonizing dying bouquet, the visual creates a balance in the expression of abstraction and figurative art.

Anne Wenzel’s art pieces will be showing at the following events:
Emergent Gallery in Belgium until September 2015
Rijks Museum in Amsterdam until January 2016
Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht until February 2015

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Laura Taylor

Los Angeles’ Laura Taylor excels at taking beguiling photos that quietly demand your attention. Lending her talents to an exciting storytelling project called The Smartest Thing She’s Ever Said, Taylor’s mystique draws you in slowly but surely. You end up a little lost in her world, in the best of ways. Here, we talk to Laura about her approach to photography and end up with a craving for cake.

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Major Lazer – Keep It Going Louder

I’m not sure if Major Lazer’s new video is pure genius, madness or a bit of both… i’m intrigued!

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Design Watch: Mr. & Mr.

French Design firm Mr. & Mr. reinterpreted  da Vinci’s Last Supper into a clever series of table runners and place mats. The hand gestures are in the exact postion and in the same ratio as the original. Next time you have friends over for dinner where will you sit? Watch out for Judas!

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Rogan Brown Creates Beautifully Intricate Cut Paper Sculptures Of Microbes

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Looking into Rogan Brown’s artwork is like diving into a microcosm of ultra-detailed organisms. The artist creates a myriad of tiny sculptures made out of paper, arranged into one piece which he calls a ‘Magic Circle’.

The sets of paper sculptures are hand and laser-cut. With a scalpel or a knife, Rogan Brown cuts out patterns and motifs inspired from cell structures, tree moss, bacteria, coral, diatoms and radiolaria. The work is laborious and meticulous, taking up to several months for the artist to complete. The choice of paper is deliberate. This mean represents within a same concept, both the fragility and durability of nature. By looking at the infinite details comprised within the final piece, we understand the slow process of growth and decay, life and death which characterizes the cycle of nature.

The artist wishes to mix science and art to metaphorically suggest that a vast range of observations is subconsciously modified by individual imagination. The complexity of nature attracts human curiosity and its need to observe, analyze and classify. A process endeavored by science which is often stopped by too much existing data. Rogan Brown says his “work similarly attempts to frustrate categorization”.
The artist reveals in the profusion of his artistic microorganisms his main belief. Nature can be the source of infinite imagination. (via This Is Colossal)

The ‘Magic Circle’ piece will be presented at Aqua Art Miami through C Emerson Fine Arts  from December 2nd to December 5th 2015.

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Video Watch: Scotland’s Django Django Hand of Man

Photograph by David Drake

Django Django released their self-titled debut record last fall on Ribbon Music and was not only nominated for a Mercury Prize, but was also listed in Rolling Stone and NME‘s top 50 albums of 2012. They’ve been touring since last January when their album was initially released overseas. I missed them when they performed at Bardot in Los Angeles for School Night last September and they unfortunately had to cancel their Iceland Airwaves appearance due to illness. Lucky for me and you, they are back on the road with dates across the U.S. starting in March including two nights at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg with the last show of the tour arriving on March 23rd at LA’s Fonda Theatre.

Last week they premiered their new video on Nowness for the Hand of Man directed by Bafta Award winner John Maclean, brother to Django drummer/producer Dave Maclean. Way to keep it in the family guys! Check out the video and grab some tickets for an upcoming show via Ticketmaster.

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Jim Goldberg’s Powerful Series “Rich & Poor” Reveals The Dichotomy Between The Affluent And Destitute

USA. San Francisco, California. 1977. "My life is personal, but I will tell you one thing I'm too fat."

USA. San Francisco, California. 1977. “My life is personal, but I will tell you one thing I’m too fat.”

USA. San Francisco. 1981. Untitled. Goldstines. "My wife is acceptable. Our relationship is satisfactory." Edgar G "Edgar looks splendid here. His power and strength of character come through. He is a very private person who is not demonstrative of his affection; that has never made me unhappy. I accept him as he is. We are totally devoted to each other. Dear Jim: May you be as lucky in marriage!" Regina Goldstine

USA. San Francisco. 1981. Untitled. Goldstines.
“My wife is acceptable. Our relationship is satisfactory.” Edgar G
“Edgar looks splendid here. His power and strength of character come through. He is a very private person who is not demonstrative of his affection; that has never made me unhappy. I accept him as he is. We are totally devoted to each other.
Dear Jim: May you be as lucky in marriage!” Regina Goldstine

USA. San Francisco. 1977. "I love the picture. I am a homosexual. May be if I send one of the pictures you gave me, Jim, to my nephew he will understand how hard his uncle is struggling."

USA. San Francisco. 1977. “I love the picture. I am a homosexual. May be if I send one of the pictures you gave me, Jim, to my nephew he will understand how hard his uncle is struggling.”

From 1977 through 1985, Photographer Jim Goldberg took documentary-style pictures of transients in the Mission District and well-off San Franciscans in their homes and had the subjects write on their portraits. The combination of text and image is still incredibly intimate, even in this age of Instagram and Facebook. The dichotomy between the affluent and the destitute is obvious, yet the universality of the emotions the writers share is striking: pain, loneliness, disappointment, joy, security, contentment.

“I think my outrage about the desperation of the poor — and the dissatisfaction of the rich — stemmed in part from my belief that they represented a derogation from that path, a veering off course that had to be rooted out and documented.”

The combination of image and text is what makes this series so arresting and raw, but at the time of its initial publication in 1985 it was a radical decision, derided in a New York Times review as “a sad lack of trust on Mr. Goldberg’s part in both the power of his photographs to speak for themselves and in his viewers to understand them without comment.” Contemporary artists such as Brandon Stanton from Humans of New York, have taken this format and breathed new life into it through its immediate dissemination on the Internet.

Out of print since 1985, Jim Goldberg’s Rich and Poor has been completely re-designed and expanded by the artist for Steidl. Available for the first time in hardcover, Rich and Poor builds upon the classic combination of photographs and handwriting and adds a surplus of vintage material and contemporary photographs that have never been published or exhibited. (Source)

What comes across in these images is the shocking discrepancy of material goods and environments. The writings expose an expanded truth, though. There is obvious inequality in education and writing ability, leading to the impression that the poor suffer more than the rich. And that may be true in some ways — lack of opportunities, healthcare, and hope are all devastating. Pain is pain, though, and suffering is universal, as is love and gratitude. These portraits—touching, tender, hopeless, and sad—speak to our commonalities, as relevant in 2014 as in 1985.

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Awesome Video Of The Day: Wintertime’s Doll

This video for Patrick Kelleherr by Sophie Gateau is simple, elegant, and quietly colorful. A perfect visual for the song. Watch the full video after the jump.

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