New York based Korean artist, Do Ho Suh, creates beautifully detailed installations where he constantly has us question the identity of the individual in modern day society. Those of you who live here in Los Angeles, might have seen a few of his sculptures at LACMA where he worked with the idea of the clashing of culture and identity most Korean-Americans face by crashing a traditional Korean house into a modern day American house. Inside, traditional Korean furniture spilling into various rooms of the American house, all mixing into one chaotic mess. I have always genuinely enjoyed the way Do Ho Suh communicates his concepts, and his painfully close attention to detail.
Michael Massaia’s haunting new series Seeing The Black Dog is based on a saying truck drivers use to describe hallucinations that occur as a result of sleep deprivation during cross country runs. When they see the “black dogs” scampering across the highway they know to pull over and get some sleep. The moment they make that decision is when Michael sneeks up to their trucks while they’re in the cabs sleeping and captures the moment the dogs melt away (it’s also the moment Michael tries not to get his ass shot off). All of the images were taken between the hours of 2am and 6am along the New Jersey Turnpike.
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“The visual form of my installation originates in memories of my childhood home—an island in the southern part of Brazil—a serene setting surrounded by the sea, with majestic palm trees and lonely houses scattered along the shore, and crowned by a vibrantly colored sky at dusk. The content is fueled by the writings of Maria Manuela Margarido and Alda do Espirito Santo and personal memories of my country’s political resistance to colonialism. My lifelong social and political awareness began at an early age and, ultimately, found its way into my art in the form of figurative narratives that portray the joy and resilience of the human spirit confronted with social and political hardships. Specific imagery in By the Sea (parrots, coconut palms and the evening sky) was taken from Margarido’s poem Nightfall, which reflects on the disjunction between childhood dreams and adult realities and reminds its readers to dream high.”
Last Summer Evan Gruzis openned up his studio for a visit with B/D. His work struck a chord with me. It’s the way he takes “cheesy” tourist imagery, 80’s nostalgia, and advertisements; and then intellectually flips-that-shit to create paintings that deal with death, infinity, and desire. It was like he was reading my mind, because those are the first three things that occur to me when looking at an add for a cruise ship or a Caribbean resort. His work interested another website, sightunseen, and there’s a new studio visit where they get into creativity and the aspects of hallucinogenic perception.
Andrew Hayes combines his passion for metal work with a musty lust for pulp– book pages chopped, twisted, bent, and pressed in bulk. What I admire most about each piece is not just the clean, firm edges, but more so, the understatement of this being a distant relative to book art. In fact, the reverence for printed matter and its conceptual demise is not even a driving force; instead, its emphasis is on material and how paper not only lines our shelves, but also collects as a form of sculpture . . . but with a little more grace and curve.
That’s right folks! Today is the very last day to submit your work to our Future Perfect Book sponsored by the good folks at Prius Projects. We’ve already received hundreds of submissions but we still have room for your work so stop what you’re doing fire up your camera, paint brush, pencils, or computers and help us create a better tomorrow filled with positive creative energy! Get all the details, submission forms, guidelines, and a nice sampling of submissions on the Future Perfect website!
Using narratives and visual genres found in art, combined with the clean aesthetics of design and contemporary product advertising, the work of Norah Stone is representative of a generation which has seen both art and design coexisting, flattened by the computer screen, and has no use for their separation. “The classic art vs. design question is something that comes up a lot in my daily life but I often find it to be a futile discussion, says the Minneapolis-based Stone, “I guess I just don’t think it’s important to set up boundaries just for the sake of boundaries.”
Norah Stone’s most-recent series, Artificial Utopias, creates thoroughly modern still life scenes, which despite their alluring hyppereal-quality (reminiscent of advertising and pictorial), the distinct sense of disconnect between these spotless digital worlds and our own is unsettling.
“In a culture where most of our daily routines and habits have been replaced by a digital screen, the scroll, the pixel, and the ability to retouch has ultimately changed our ideals of perfection….As I was working on this project I was thinking a lot about how growing up in the digital generation has subconsciously molded me to be attracted to a certain cleanliness that can only be achieved on screen. Artificial Utopias was a culmination of my own personal experience with the digital world and also the research I was doing on still lives. The super clean, almost surreal aesthetic came from trying to recreate the visceral experience that comes from staring at a screen for a long period of time.”
This play between perfection and illusion, the real and the empty, eventually manifested itself into twin video works as well. “In the video works (below) I was trying to recreate the process of eliminating imperfections through the clone stamp tool. In post production, I spent a lot of time retouching these photos to achieve the cleanliness of a stock photo. I wanted to capture the mundane process of retouching and erasing over and over again until you’re left with something completely different,” says Stone, who perhaps quite telling concludes, “or nothing at all.”
British artist Chris Agnew Predominantly works with drawing and a self-developed technique of etching into panels with oil painted details. Agnew’s practice is focused upon the cultivation of belief systems through legends, mythologies and actual events. The works take the form of intricate and highly-detailed examinations of specific locations where the origin or destiny of particular events are/will be played out.