If you are lucky, once in a while you find an artist that helps you remember why you started getting into art in the first place. I first saw Dave Muller’s work in 2004 at his show ‘I Like Your Music’ at Blum & Poe, and at the time was just a fresh-faced college kid, only beginning to think about getting involved in the fine arts. I walked into this room full of his drawings of massive record sleeves – vibrant, colorful, and full of life – it was one of the first times that I remember feeling truly enthusiastic about art, not simply because I thought it looked cool, but because it seemed to speak to something about life that I was really excited about. It was a turning point for me in the way I interacted with art, and I’ve never thought about things the same way. For me, Dave Muller’s work is all about the good things that make life worth living – good music, good friends, a little messy, a lot of color, and a lot of fun. Dave has been one of my favorite artists since that fateful day, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to talk to him about his work, his alternate life as a DJ, and his recent wall drawing at the new Cowboys Stadium.
ZIGENDEMONIC’s hyper colored illustrations blend together the line work of punk flyers, the iconography of tattoo flash, and the flourescent color schemes of 80’s skate deck art.
Katherine Sherwood creates sumptuous paintings that visualize, in a lyrical and esoteric fashion, the age old metaphysical concerns of the body, life after death, and the tenuous relationship between art and science. Sherwood’’s works exhibit a Buddhist, Zen-like approach to color, form and composition, elegantly balanced and unafraid of both dense areas of joyous, swirling patterns and passages of silent, empty space. Just below the seemingly abstract planes is a latent structure of corporeal diagrams, such as angiograms, brittle tree-like linear nerve endings, and mystical Solomon’s seal, lending the paintings a religious, even ecstatic talisman-like quality.
Alex Lukas‘ Recent Works show at Steven Zevitas Gallery (April 19th-June 2nd 2012) in Boston consists of five new large-scale paintings on paper (the largest measures at twelve feet in length) and a group of work utilizing appropriated book pages. This body of work continues the Lukas’ exploration of our current cultural condition through the lens of the landscape. Executed primarily in ink, acrylic, watercolor and gouache, the artist also uses the process of silk-screening for certain elements of each work.
Thomas Cole’s well-known painting “River in the Catskills,” which depicts a pastoral landscape with a small train slicing through the scene in the middle ground, is a harbinger of things to come in the story of man’s attempt to gain control of nature. In many ways, Lukas’ landscapes, which combine sites real and imagined – with a healthy nod towards Hollywood and art history – tell the end of the story, as man-made structures yield back to nature. The works pivot on series of dichotomies: violence and quietude; the man made and the natural; hope and a profound sense of despair. They also grapple with ideas about national morality and societal fragility.
I’ve been quite impressed by the most recent endeavors of young Chicago artist Paul Cowan. After seeing presentations from Cowan at the Green Gallery East, Devening Projects, and most recently, Alderman Exhibitions, something seems really fresh about the work. Quick, gestural paintings paired with a sort of “dry humor” install techniques utilizing pedestals, chairs and balloons amongst other things in unconventional fashions. Check out photos from “Breaking the Law“, ” Three Card Monte“, and ” Causality Without Cause” after the jump.
Bones automatically insinuate death, and often are the only physical remnant that insinuates life once existed. Shen Shaomin‘s bone works are equal parts terrifying and fascinating, man-made memorials to human intervention on the planet. Creatures that never have been or should be are pieced together from human and animal skeletons. The bones are carved and relief-carved with text taken from several sources, including the Bible, the Koran, and various sources. Inscribed in English, Arabic, and Chinese, the texts serve as warnings to the two largest industrial nations in the world of the damage being caused to the planet.
Related to the Chinese practice of bonsai, or long-term manipulation of a living tree to one’s will based on aesthetic and stylistic choices, Shaomin has also used bonsai in past works as a metaphor for human intervention upon nature.
In an interview with the University of Sydney’s ARTSPACE CHINA, Shaomin explains the terror he hopes to evoke in his skeletal works, “China’s current situation is very much like my bonsais. At first glance you will find it beautiful, but once you look more carefully you’ll see there are terrifying things behind that beauty. China has over a billion people, but over 800 million of those people are peasants. A peasant’s standard of life in China is still pretty basic. They say that if every one of those 800 Chinese peasants showered every day it would take more than all the water on the planet. That’s a scary thought.” (via myampgoesto11)
Michael Carbonaro creates really tight paintings that embody themes of horror and demons! Check out some more of his work after the jump!
Over a decade before Lady Gaga thought about wearing bizarre costumes, collaborating with artists, and being a walking sculpture björk was busy creating work that was challenging both to your eyes as well as your ears. It’s great to see that she’s still as quirky as ever in her new video for Moon,complete with red afro (with a chinstrap) and a harp belt. Watch the full video for Moon after the jump.