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Ebony Patterson’s Complex And Chaotic Installations Question Race And Gender Politics

Ebony G. Patterson - Mixed Media Installation

Ebony G. Patterson - Mixed Media Installation

Ebony G. Patterson - Mixed Media Installation

Ebony G. Patterson constructs immense and elaborate installations filled with everything you can think of. The artist creates intricate work both attractive and kitschy, using mannequins, sunglasses, beads, beer bottles, and lots of gaudy jewelry. Interested in mixed media tapestries, video, and photography, she often incorporates one or all of these different techniques into her work, creating a complexity of objects and imagery. Exploring racial and gender politics, she uses photographs, mannequins, and clothing to make reference to ‘popular black’ culture in her art. Her work, so filled with patterns and flashy objects, is highly satirical, commenting on race, questioning stereotypes often associated with the culture she is representing. Concepts on beauty are also questioned, as the figures in her work are adorned with jewelry, bright colors, and flashy clothing. Although the mannequins appear to be making an attempt to look attractive, they inevitably look over-the-top and ridiculous.

When you see Patterson’s installations, there is an overwhelming sense of color and pattern inviting you to examine every last detail of the chaotic mass of objects. You get lost in a see of mismatched clothing and clashing patterns, all shown like a department store display. Transforming her mannequins into striking objects participating in her art, their individual genders are often blurred, pointing out pre-conceived notions concerning the masculine and feminine. Her installations not only have mannequins, but also still humans that appear to be inanimate until they spring to life, turning her installation into a performance piece. This talented Chicago-based artist creates confrontational work that, due to content and appearance, is not easily ignored

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Linda Hall’s Beautifully Grim Textile Animal Sculptures Embody Pain, Healing, And Spiritual Hybridity

Gallery Collage

Gallery Collage

Mamma Mask for Neglected Dog Across the Street

Mamma Mask for Neglected Dog Across the Street

Pink Stag

Pink Stag

Demon Family

Demon Family

Linda Hall is a Florida-based artist whose textile sculptures blur the boundaries between human and animal, innocence and the grotesque. Like a taxidermy studio of preserved fairy tale creatures, fox heads and bipedal bearskins hang ominously, eyeless and empty. Using un-dyed tissue paper, handmade quilts, and other textiles, Hall gives her pieces a “patchwork” quality, sculpting a mix of twisted and fantastical bodily features, inlcuding warped antlers, multiple ears, and eerie, human-like grins. Designed like masks, puppets, and full-body costumes, Hall’s works are “containers for the spirit” that seek to deconstruct the human/animal binary in pursuit of a more fluid understanding of identity—one that morphs beyond the corporeal boundaries of species (Source). As she explains in a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay:

“Like a sixteenth-century curiosity cabinet, my objects aim to provide evidence of another reality. Many of the sculptures, domestic and wild, are constructed from collected handmade quilts and other textiles. These materials have their own intimate history, yet they are repurposed into charged spaces where humans and animals occupy the same space. Many forms show evidence of life and life events, such as wounds and the mending.”

The stories of “wounds” and “mending” are embedded directly into the sculptures through Hall’s creative process. Embellished with paint, beads, and flowers, the pieces are, in many ways, objects of curious beauty; like toys drawn from a child’s costume chest, they radiate with an endearing, imaginative, and anthropomorphized sense of friendliness. However, in many cases, paint has been plastered overtop of these adornments, creating a caked-on and disfigured appearance that signifies the messy process of healing and the scars left behind. Beautiful, lonely, and repulsive all at once, Hall’s menagerie confronts us with the familiar-yet-otherworldly emotional spaces that humans and animals both share—as well as the damage and exploitation inflicted on the natural world, despite these deep interrelations.

Visit Hall’s website and blog to follow her beautiful work.

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Ancient Japanese Scrolls From The Edo Period Depict Farting Competitions (NSFW)

Edo Period Japanese Fart Scrolls Edo Period Japanese Fart Scrolls Edo Period Japanese Fart Scrolls Edo Period Japanese Fart Scrolls

Believe it or not, these very old drawings of Japanese men farting are not Photoshopped. The images were produced during the Japanese Edo period (1603 – 1868), and they depcit what is called he-gassen or “farting competition.” They show men shooting noxious blasts of gas towards other men, women, and animals (including a cat!). Seemingly, the force of the farts is so great that it the targets turn topsy-turvy when hit.

These drawings are peculiar, and not having a vast knowledge of Japanese culture makes their meaning even more alluring to me. Luckily, the website Naruhodo explains the historical context. They write, “similar drawings were used to ridicule westerners towards the end of the Edo period, with images depicting the westerners blown away by Japanese farts.”

The individual images originally appear on a scroll, which has obviously been sectioned off today. You can view it in its entirety here. It’s funny to think that farts have always been a source of amusement, even across time periods and cultures. (Via Dangerous Minds and Naruhodo)

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Hinke Schreuders’s Embroidered Works Run The Gamut From Sinister To Playful

embroidered photographs Hinke Schreuders - Design

Hinke Schreuders - Design Hinke Schreuders - Design

Dutch artist Hinke Schreuders creates embroidered works that run the gamut from sinister to playful. Stitching directly on photographs and illustrations, Schreuders creates entirely new artworks by shifting the emphasis and adding pops of color or whole new objects and interactions. She transforms a dreary gray tree to a flowering one with little buds raining down like a curtain of beads. In other photographs, she applies her hand to texturing rivers with pale blue and adding spirals of threading forming fluffy white clouds.

In her previous work, Schreuders has said she wanted to “subtly confuse notions of feminine vulnerability and reinforce the position of embroidery as an artistic medium,” and she certainly continues doing so in her new work. In one piece, a naked woman is posed confidently, outlined with thread and smoking a cigarette. In another, she lends her embroidery to a photo of a woman in a white dress, adding layers and depth and somehow making the subject less passive and more engaged with the world inside the photograph. (via Dark Silence in Suburbia)

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Kris Kuksi’s Churchtanks

Kris Kuksi sculpture4 Kris Kuksi sculpture5

Kris Kuksi sculpture1

The work of artist Kris Kuksi has a decidedly consistent style.  His amazingly intricate sculptures are often dark, reference both the classical world and the industrial landscape, and comment on religion and politics.  His Churchtanks series, though, seems to especially encapsulate his philosophies.  Kuksi seamlessly fuses gaudy cathedrals with modern war tanks to create one imposing structure.  In a strange way, the aesthetics of each seems to compliment the other.  Kuksi effectively uses the structural blending to comment on a connection between religion and violence.

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Lucy Gaylord-Lindholm’s Remixed Oil Painting

 

Lucy Gaylord-Lindolm’s  remixed take on traditional oil painting and art history injects elements of surrealism and pop culture into a familiar setting. Characters from The Wizard of Oz and Pinocchio find their way into the artist’s cleverly referenced paintings, establishing bold compositions where perfectly good paintings once already existed. The result causes us to look a little deeper into that which we previously took for granted. I’ll go wherever she’s leading with these. (via)

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Jim Houser Narrates Life Experiences Through Boldly Symbolic Paintings And Installations

Earth Seemed

Earth Seemed

Dosage

Dosage

Blue Dirges (detail)

Blue Dirges (detail)

Andenken/Battalion installation

Andenken/Battalion installation

Jim Houser is an American artist who combines lifestyle, experiences, and visual art into the creation of a personal iconography. Comprised of acrylic paintings on canvas and wood, his works are bold and symbolic: in blood reds and cool blues, images of severed heads and pill cases radiate anxiety, while elsewhere a drummer sits meditatively on the edge of a black pond. By arranging the paintings into installations, Houser narrates an inner dialogue that explores the interrelated joys and challenges of living, speaking to us through his art in poetic and metaphoric ways.

The images featured here are from his current exhibition called HUSH, featured at Andenken/Battalion in Amsterdam starting June 5th. In a recent interview with Hyland Mather, the owner of Andenken/Battalion, Houser explains his personal motivations in the creation of his art, beginning when he was a child:

I like that my art making is therapeutic for me. What is inspiring to me is that it contains a problem that never completely solves itself: me. From childhood on, I’ve used art to escape my reality, to help me define or explain my reality, and to meditate on my reality. […] I sort of lucked into it, making art. I was just as happy drawing as a kid as I was throwing rocks at cars. Anything to get out of my own head for a bit, skateboarding, taking drugs, all that stuff does the same thing to varying degrees of success, but luckily for me I was wired to have art making be the thing that quieted me down the most on the inside. (Source)

Scattered throughout Houser’s eye-catching colors, geometric forms, and clever assemblages are artifacts suggestive of personal means of “escape” — the pill cases and skateboard, for example. The simplicity and fearlessness of these images speaks to Houser’s brilliant distillation of life into one symbolic plane; in a holistic, meditative practice, he has arranged his personal story in a way that is courageously honest. As viewers, Houser’s works inspire us to imagine how we would visually narrate our lives, using pictorial language to explore emotions and unique personal histories.

Check out Houser’s website and Instagram to see more of his works. HUSH is being exhibited from June 5th to 22nd.

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Lady Gaga is Gaga!

I have to say, I was a bit skeptical over the whole Lady Gaga thing. But her new video is a spazzy and eccentric bizarre meta-pop ditty that mocks the very genre it has conquered……Completely over the top, replete with bear skin rug mantle cape dress, snake bejeweled lime green catsuit and platforms and more. If David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust battled over clothing with Alice Cooper and Britney Spears, it might look something like this.

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