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Interview: Dan Attoe

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When I met Dan Attoe we were both starting the MFA program at the University of Iowa.  I’ve known him for eight years now, and even though Dan lives in Washington State and I live in New York we have maintained our friendship through collaborations, especially with the art group Paintallica.

While at school we became friends – I’ve noticed Dan sort of collects weirdos like me.  Before coming to grad school Dan had created a studio practice that involved making a painting a day, and was already working on paintings that have a relationship to his current work.  While in school Dan wasn’t stuck on some notion of an ideal practice, he just worked while everyone else was talking about how to work, he wasn’t terribly concerned with theories; he has a background in psychology and knew to trust his own creative faculties.

While everyone else was screwing around with their identities, Dan had already settled into a kind of self-knowledge.  I don’t know if his gnosis came from growing up in the deep woods with a forest ranger for a father, or from one of the experiences he had growing up that caused him to study psychology and art.

Being alive you meet a lot of bull shitters and have to play a lot of stupid games, but rarely do you meet someone as genuine and considerate as Dan.

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Laurent Chehere’s Flying Houses In Paris Suburbs

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Even in his commercial work French photographer Laurent Chehere clearly has a creative and curious eye for his surroundings.  An avid traveler, Chehere enjoys exploring the cities he visits.  This becomes especially evident in his series Flying Houses.  The series contains a number of photographs of floating buildings.  The buildings seem otherwise ordinary, perhaps tethered by power lines, quietly floating in the sky.  Chehere achieved the effect by taking photographs of buildings throughout the suburbs of Paris and digitally manipulating them.  A gallery statement  (translated from French) from a recent solo exhibit explains Chehere’s inspiration for the series:

“The artist isolates buildings from their urban context and frees them from their stifling environment. Houses fly in the clouds, like kites. Inspired by a poetic vision of old Paris and the famous short film The Red Balloon by Albert Lamorisse, Laurent Chéhère walked the districts of Belleville and Ménilmontant gazing at their typical houses. The images of the artist seize an unexpected levitation: held to the ground by unseen hands, like so many balloons used by the boy, these old buildings floating in the sky, sliding on the surface, they reveal to us their hidden beauty. Some houses are adorned with drying laundry or flower pots, outweigh other brands and shops fleeing the flames of a fire … All seem to find a second life. Uprooted from their hometown, they go to new heights. It’s a true invitation to travel and metaphor for the transience of the world, Flying Houses Laurent Chéhère’s series plunges us into a dreamlike and changing world full of gaiety and humor.”

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Tim Lahan

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Tim Lahan is a New York based illustrator and designer who happened to float to the surface in our Flickr pool. His fun retro-style of work does exactly what he wants by communicating visually in a simple and fun way. Keep the fun coming Lahan, we love it!

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Ice Cube Celebrates Charles and Ray Eames

To celebrate the city-wide  museum show Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945 – 1980, iconic west coast rapper Ice Cube takes a few moments to celebrate the life and work of legendary designers Charles and Ray Eames. Touring the home of Charles and Ray Eames, known as Case Study No. 8, Ice Cube explains how hip-hop mirrors the couple’s beautifully designed home as both make use of prefabricated pieces that fit together to form a whole. Who said rappers can’t like high end design? Watch the full video after the jump!

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Michelle Reader

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London based artist Michelle Reader‘s work is influenced by environmental concerns, in particular the over consumption of resources.  Much of her sculptures are commissioned to promote the reuse and recycling of trash Reader also creates props, like the image above, for theater, events, and photo shoots.

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Emil Holmer

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I love Emil Holmer’s nutty bright colored graffiti jungles.If you happen to be in Berlin, on Friday, 12th of March 2010 from 6 to 9 p.m., Galerie Michael Janssen will be presenting a selection of his recent paintings.

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Bill Durgin

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Bill Durgin‘s “Figure Studies” explores the human torso as an abstract form. He often takes inspiration from dance and other performers to capture images of the human body, (sans limbs and heads), as if their skeletons had lost their rigidity and become part of their skin, fat, and flesh. Durgin would demonstrate different poses he took away from performances and ask his models to imitate them – a lot of these guys must be yoga ninjas.

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TIBI TIBI NEUSPIEL’s Deep Thoughts In your Cereal and Infinity Shrimp

Tibi Tibi Neuspiel’s humorous sculptures mine the banal for the prophetic and haunting. Whether it’s meaningful messages that appear in ala breakfast cereal, rows of cocktail shrimps that magically form an infinity sign, or frightening hidden messages found in NYC subway cards,  Neuspiel’s work takes a comedic approach on the worlds largest philosophical ideas and beg you to ponder along with him.

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