If you’re in the SF area, be sure to check out Matt Palladino’s new work at Baer Ridgway, opening from 4-7pm this Saturday. Last month I had the pleasure of visiting his studio (one of the coolest & most conveniently located I’ve ever seen) and watching the artist painting meticulously and chugging down a mountain of Arizona ice teas. No joke, I have pictures to prove it.
Trevor Appleson is a photographer out of London. Appleson travels the world, stumbling upon one fascinating subject after another. Overall, he has a very dramatic, forthright style that stems, often, from his placement of solitary figures against stark, black backgrounds.
Sasha: Gladys Rodriguez won my heart when she gave Mr. Zigglez a knitted sweater, with a hoodie and fur. He really looked like a sensitive little guy in it. In a good way. However, puppy clothes aside, Gladys is also an amazing designer who has contributed above and beyond to B/D in the last 3 months. I remember in her interview I was particularly struck by one of her advertisements for a new phone that basically positioned the phone as a sensual soul-mate. I mean, what woman doesn’t want a sexy man(/phone) presented to you on beds of luscious crimson silk, or eagerly awaiting tucked inside a box of decadent chocolates. Genius! Gladys, we’ll REALLY miss your help. I kind of won’t miss your keyboard with Hello Kitty stickers blocking all the letters and number though. Too hard to use. JK! Thanks again!
Fei: PS, You’re leaving too soon…I just started to master your keypad & the laptop track pad! Gladys, please keep us updated with what you’re doing, come by in a UHAUL art gallery if you do that again!
Italian street art duo Sten Lex are considered as pioneers in their use of the stencil in Italy. Starting their career in their hometown of Rome in 2001, they rapidly acquired an international reputation. Their work consists of portraits of anonymous characters that they photograph as well as portraits from album covers from the ‘60s and ‘70s. Moving between op art and stencil work STEN LEX is based on a technical finesse and unprecedented accuracy in their remarkable art. Their technique, which they named “Hole School”, is a meticulous hand cut stencil process. They make a thin frame consisting of thousands of paper lines. From the contrast of the black and white lines, the portrait emerges. The visual illusion of the stencil is thus part of the work. The walls on which the stencils are pasted up and the eventual evolution of the paper are hence an equal part of the artwork. Watch a video of their labor intensive process after the jump.
The candy-colored works by New York-based artist Jaz Harold have a subversive nature about them. Although they use pastel colors have soft features, you can’t avoid the sexual undertones and overtones that are prevalent throughout Harold’s sculptures. We see grotesque displays of rotting skin, nippled pom poms, and sensual lips with just a hint of tongue. She writes about her charged works, stating:
Using an aesthetic that consciously appeals to child-like naïveté, Jaz’s work softens the emphasis on the ego, ritual, intimacy, and stigma that society generally attaches to sex.
Cherry blossoms (sakura) are a perfect balance of sexual innuendo, beauty, and innocence. The cherry blossom, symbolizing love in many cultures, adds an additional element in a body of work that covers both areas- an innocent love, and a simple uninhibited lust.
Harold makes the pure not so pure, perhaps in an attempt to scramble the visual culture that we’re used to, or as a way to offer a confusing reflection onto being young and learning about sex/being sexual. (Via Asylum Art)
I’m pretty obsessed with Yasumasa Morimura’s surrealist, hallucinogenic photography. Half acid trip, half anime, pure eccentricity. Macabre hilarity, grand hallucinations. And witty titles that complement the imagery in strange and abstract ways.
Although We Were Once a Fairytale (2007) begins slowly, with Kanye West stumbling drunkenly around a nightclub, the short film offers strange but rare insight into the celebrity/artist/god’s psychological complexes in a totally strange and successful way. He accomplishes this by stabbing himself in a bathroom, and producing a rodent from his guts. One of the main criticisms thrown Kanye’s way (other than pointing to his spectacular ego) is his inability to express himself coherently, but in his collaboration with Spike Jonze, Kanye seems to accomplish seemingly genuine and recognizable sentiment.
At first all of your assumptions about Kanye are affirmed: seeing him act like a shithead around the club, pitching back and forth barely able to stand, he is almost too easy to dislike. It’s about halfway through, when he ends up in the bathroom alone, that things begin to change. After he stabs himself, the vulnerable and repulsive creature he extracts from his streaming red-ribbon viscera creates an inner layer of Kanye most people are perhaps even unwilling to concede to him. Depending on how you look at it, it could be as cheesy/naive Bound 2 music video, but it’s difficult not to respect Kanye for the attempt to bare something deeper even when he is bashed so vehemently by pretty much anyone. The film defies direct interpretations. You have a sense of what the rodent represents: something living within, curious and grotesque, but it’s difficult to make sense of his relationship to the creature when he hands it a miniature knife. The final shot of Kanye’s expression maintains the ambiguity of the event, and keeps you thinking about it long after.