Well folks the day is here! Beautiful/Decay Book:2 is almost sold out. We only have 25 hand numbered copies left on our shop. Once this book sells out it will NOT be reprinted. Get your copy of this limited edition run of 1,500 now on the B/D Shop for $20!
Chinese sculptor Liu Xue combines a human with an animal, creating a hybrid being. Each being has a human head with animal appendage (or appendages). A man is merged with a pig, a woman with a chicken, a man with a dog, and more.The result is something we haven’t seen before, one that seems non-threatening, but still grotesque at the same time. Xue has honed his craft and painted the sculptures to be so life like that they fall into the uncanny valley.
Xue’s choice to pair a human with an animal seem to be because it’s funny, and the hybrids fit with each other thematically. For instance, a giant, bald man is given the tiny wings of a bat. Another work pits this same man with a seahorse bottom. We know both of these creatures are tiny, and the disparity in size is what makes it humorous. Other sculptures aren’t so amusing. An older man is combined with the body of greyhound dog. The gaunt appearance of the dog’s body and pained look on the man’s face makes this piece somber.
The unnatural combination of Xue’s work explores the notion of what’s considered attractive or glamourous. A naked, conventionally pretty woman, for instance, is given the unwieldy feet of a chicken. Likewise, a young man has the same features. In the artist’s attempt to make both appear seductive, it’s hard to imagine these creatures moving gracefully.
Deb Sokolow creates a vertiginous world of invented narratives. Her large-scale, ink on paper installations are hung in a kind of methodized-madness that call to mind police investigations bulletin boards, a mad scientist’s chaotic formulas and revelations, or the bedroom of an obsessive-compulsive conspiracy-obsessed fanatic. Sokolow leads viewers into the tangled web of an information-saturated schematic, leaving viewers at once disoriented and exhilarated. Sokolow talked to us about her creative process and sent us a bunch of behind-the-scenes shots, including her “research binders” detailing subjects such as “Ghosts, Email Scams, Pigeons & Squirrels.” Full interview after the jump.
I met Brian Blomerth a few years ago, he is an interesting guy who makes art about Pomeranian dogs and Alysssa Milano. He combines those two themes with acid colors, mysticism, and snazzy design. He also lived in a (now closed) building called The Church of Crystal Light, and was from what I saw he inspired that group of people. They were Richmond Virginia’s version of Fort Thunder.
This series, entitled Babel Tales, is a recent work of Danish photographer Peter Funch. To create each photograph, he sat at an NYC street corner with a tripod and snapped away, eventually finding common elements amongst all the pictures and compositing those elements into one shot. The result is something familiar yet very artificial – feeling almost as if each photo is staged.
It’s not often that we post about deceased artists but a show about the imaginatvie and bizarre work of surrealist Remedios Varo merits a mention.
The first exhibition of Remedios Varo to ever take place in the western United States, Indelible Fables at Frey Norris illuminates the ever-imaginative and prescient world of this deceased surrealist artist. Spanish born Varo certainly died prematurely, by heart-attack in 1963, but in a short career she had acquired a cult-like following among friends in Mexico City, her adopted home. Many of these friends were involved in an informal investigation into esoteric religion and the teachings of George Ivanovich Gurdjieff and his student Peter Ouspensky. As part of this soteriological pursuit, with close friend, the celebrated English artist Leonora Carrington, Varo created some of the most inventive painted scenarios of any of the artists associated with surrealism. Varo would remain something of a marginalized, but popular figure in Latin American art right through the 1990’s, when a solo exhibition at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC elevated global awareness of her work and in part catalyzed an ever accelerating level of scholarship and market demand. View the show at Frey Norris from January 19th-February 25th.
Chiharu Shiota‘s installations have the power to generate a surreal and almost dreamlike environment. Using a combination of items, the artist has created works that range from floating beds and a window tower to objects prisoners in a nest of thread.