Nope this isn’t all the subscription money i’ve been stuffing in my mattress for the last ten years. Rather it’s a trompe l’oeil sculpture by Randall Rosenthal. Each sculpture is hand carved from a single block of wood and then painstakingly painted for months. See more of Randall’s amazingly realistic wood sculptures after the jump.
Crystal Wagner‘s immersive installations are attractively textured, instantly eye catching, elegantly dramatic, and undeniably wonderful. She carefully arranges pieces of paper bought from office stores into organic explosions of florescent color. She invites visitors to walk through and navigate her neon universe of oceanic waves, throbbing bubbles, and swollen mountains.
Wagner’s work is not only aesthetically organic, bu so is the very nature of her process. She talks about how each complex piece is created:
Each installation, and each drawing is a different conversation I am having. The gesture is the introduction, the first impression, and everything else tumbles out. (Source)
Wagner uses her time spent in the many National Parks of America as a lot of her inspiration. Aspects of Yellowstone and Joshua Tree National Parks find their way into her work. The scale of her installations do make you feel as if you are standing in front of a gigantic cliff – dwarfed and in awe. But she is also a child of the modern world, living in an urban jungle, and is very familiar with plastics, paper, and concrete. Wagner explains the importance of this dichotomy in her work:
My latest installation titled Urban Kudzu explores ideas related to people and their disconnection from the natural world… In my own experience with the world, I have a deep rooted understanding of what the plastic feels like, of what man made materials and spaces feel like, and tend to perceive the natural world through a very exotic lens. (Source)
Her work reminds us that although nature is wonderfully powerful and can annihilate anything at any given time, the modern world can also be just as destructive. In both situations we are reminded of our smallness and how easily we can loose control of that around us. (Via Sweet Station)
Carly Waito’s paintings are so crystal clear you have to look twice to make sure they’re not photos. They’re all oil paintings on panel and I’ve gotta say, this is one girl who has surely mastered her craft. She’s picked such interesting gems as subjects, and represents them flawlessly. I’m just as enamored with every new one I see as I was with the one before. She exhibits with Narwhal Art Projects in Toronto, Canada, if you’re lucky enough to be in the area, I’m sure they’re breathtaking in person.
Call me a little girl still, but I am kind of in love with these fanciful Parisian fairy tale Cinderella story-book sculptures by Vincent Olinet. Check out his pictures of giant, candy-colored pastel pastelles after the jump. Like, really? You single-handedly designed my dream canopy Rococo Marie Antoinette-inspired princess bed floating atop a lake of water lilies, AND my birthday cake? Who are you and how have you tapped so deeply into every woman’s secret Princess psyche? Or not. Still, I love these sculptures, for their overt magic. And yes, I probably needn’t say it, but he is French.
Street art has become especially exciting and unpredictable over the last several years. However, the last place many would expect to find it is on the water. The New York based street artist SWOON designed three sea vessels built from salvaged material. The “flotilla” sailed from the coast of Slovenia to Venice, Italy. Though, definitely not the street SWOON effectively brings an urban aesthetic to sea. Photographer Tod Seelie was along for the ride to document the trip. The photographs and wild journey are as amazing as the vessels themselves. The raucous mash up of materials perfectly match the crew and set the atmosphere for what was certainly a wild ride.
Tom Sanford had me over to his spacious basement studio in Tribeca this past Saturday. I became aware of Sanford’s work in 2008 when I saw his show “Mr. Hangover” at Leo Koenig, Inc. Tom’s main project is capturing our rapid-fire digital culture in the slow language of painting. If it’s in the news – it’s likely fodder for his paintings. When we watch TV, a pop star’s recent public tantrum is covered with the same attention as the death count in a war zone. Tom doesn’t try to adjust the playing field between pop culture and world events – he conflates them. But when that happens in a painting the dissonance is in your face in a way that it isn’t on TV. For instance, in a new large-scale painting, Bill Murray (as a red capped Steve Zissou from The Life Aquatic) is being held at gun point by pirates off the coast of Somalia. It’s inexplicably poignant – maybe because I care about the character from a movie? Sanford speaks eloquently about how painting is slow media, and how we’re all enmeshed in fast media – he has a sign up in his studio that sums it up as “The worse the better.”
Vasa Mihich lives and works in Los Angeles where he is the senior Professor of Design at the University of California. His geometrical pantings and sculptures explore the relationship between light and color. He is producing an ongoing series of radiant cast acrylic sculptures. The sleek prismatic forms reference geometric shapes as well as minerals found in nature. The mass production of the industrial plastic used to create each piece is referenced in part by the distribution of the series as they are all available as multiples.
Gonzalo Fuenmayor’s work examines ideas of dislocation and exoticism through a series of large-scale drawings. Cross-cultural and hybrid identities are explored through obvious and clichéd aspects of tropical culture together with Rococo and Victorian style elements.
The struggle to imagine cultural specificity is inherent in the intersection of extravagant and decadent 17th and 18th century imagery (chandeliers, mirrors, velvet curtains) together with exuberant tropical landscapes. Different strategies are employed in order to subordinate the contradictory into a delicate and imaginative order, with the aim of questioning notions of place and belonging. As the past, the present, the exotic and the familiar collide, absurd and fantastic panoramas arise.