Misha Hollenbach lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. Using found and created objects he presents the viewer with absurd and alarming “artifacts” in which the eloquent clashes with the primordial. Swiss publishing company Nieves describes his work as “…merging contemporary culture with tribalism. Working across the mediums of collage, screen-printing, painting, sculpture and installation, his work is often driven by carnal desire, and a return to the basics/basis of human existence.” While speaking of his motivations Hollenbach frames his body of work perfectly stating that “Things can always be a bit more insane.”
Swedish design studio Tomorrow Machine experiments with unusual materials to create revolutionary food packaging concepts. Pursuing the modernist principle of form follows function, Tomorrow Machine unites visual appeal with highly innovative and operational technologies to create both aesthetic and pragmatic design.
Their project This Too Shall Pass addresses the increasing issue of environmental pollution and recycling. Using biodegradable materials, studio has created food packaging that shares the symbiotic life span with the food housed inside. Vividly colored and minimalist in shape, these concept containers for oils, dry foods and liquids disintegrate when the contents they store are used.
“Is it reasonable that it takes several years for a milk carton to decompose naturally, when the milk goes sour after a week? “This Too Shall Pass” is a series of food packaging were the packaging has the same short life-span as the foods they contain. The package and its content is working in symbiosis.”
Besides their environmentally friendly attempts, Tomorrow Machine creates interactive product packaging to shape the innovations of tomorrow. Collaborating with Swedish research company Innventia, designers created self-opening and self-expanding packages based on the use of the 100% biodegradable material they developed together. According to Tomorrow Machine, “this is the new generation of sustainable package design, using materials that are both smart and environmentally friendly”. (via Packaging | Uqam)
Looking through Brooklyn-based artist Steven Ketchum’s illustrations is like watching half of a television show interrupted by an unfocused screen. The figures in his drawings seem confused….either by themselves or each other.
C E R A S O L I Gallery presents a selection of works by three artists working with collage as their medium, MATT PHILLIPS ‘Out Through The In Door’ in Gallery One, MARIO WAGNER ‘Some Are Here And Some Are Missing’ in Gallery Two, and SETH CURCIO ‘Beyond A Shadow’ in Gallery Three at Cerasoli.
Utilizing a multi-faceted approach to painting, Matt Phillips’ large-scale, oil and collage on canvas artworks reference op-art, pattern painting, mosaics and textiles. Phillips approaches his multilayered, dynamically textured, collage paintings as both object and illusion. Prismatic, lively and rhythmic, accessible cube-grids and diamond quilt-piece patterns are viewed through transparent cracks, sketchy loops and crooked squares. The artist’s intentional interruption of patterned space fractures his already frenetic compositions into kaleidoscopic abstractions. Plays on shape, color and movement result in paintings that are both formal and lyrical, quirky yet familiar. Originally from Roanoke, Virginia, Phillips received his degree in visual art and art history from Hampshire College, where he has taught as a visiting professor.
In Mario Wagner’s collage on canvas works, high contrast images of 1960s cool are layered onto large-scale vintage settings, tinted in lurid colors and populated by men in three piece suits and girls with shiny hair, clustered hands and disembodied eyes. Wagner draws from familiar Modernist techniques such as Dadaist collage and photomontage to create his paper collage and acrylic on canvas works. Created using ‘analog’ processes with scissor, glue and acrylic, Wagner’s surreal scenes of intrigue and glamour exude an underlying false sense of nostalgia for a bygone era of an overindulged society. Wagner, a German-born artist and illustrator, has been shown in numerous international exhibitions and his illustrations and artworks have been commissioned by Esquire, Playboy, Vanity Fair, and The New York Times Magazine.
Seth Curcio implements Xerox and laser copiers, billboard pasting, enamel paints, and screen prints — what he describes as “the accessible materials of mass commerce” — in the construction of his mid-sized collages on paper and wood. At first glance, Curcio’s pictures resemble familiar contemporary landscapes. But, on further inspection, a perplexing multiplicity imbues Curcio’s images with hallucinogenic static. Kaleidoscopic explosions splinter a high-rise building into a shadowy house of cards. At other times, patterns multiply like mushrooms within celestial landscapes that mirror both the surface of the moon and the interior of the Large Hadron Collider. Disquieting and complex, Curcio’s works resemble photo-real environments shredded and then pieced together from memory, an intricate mesh which captures the claustrophobic, endlessly reconstructed nature of our contemporary culture. Curcio worked as director of Redux Contemporary Art Center and is the founder of the art blog Dailyserving.com.
Opens June 13, 2009, 6-9pm
Remains on view through July 8, 2009
8530-B Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
Marc McAndrews’ simple and relaxed style lends a sense of familiarity to his portraits. It’s almost as if you could look in your family photo albums at home and find these people staring back at you. The motel owners, waitresses, and every day folk he makes his subjects are often haunting. At the same time, their gazes even more piercing than trained models.
Since 2011, Raptor Blood (Blackie Burns) has been following a group of urban explorers (going by the name of Cave Clan) around the tunnel and cave networks underneath Sydney in Australia and photographing what they see, where they dwell and how they live. Connecting with the group through their shared interest in urban decay and abandoned architecture, Burns is able to access areas that are usually closed off to outsiders. He says of his first encounters with some members of the group:
The two dudes I met with seemed pretty cool and were informative about the group and had a strong appreciation for the architecture of the tunnels we visited. Although, our expedition was a little worrying when I was walking between the two going down a drain that was barely my shoulders width. We were walking for about 10 minutes, [and] as the tunnel got deeper, hotter and more humid, our conversation started to get a little strange. The guy walking behind me started to talk about masturbation and how he liked to watch himself through a mirror… I asked to leave and luckily enough nothing too strange ended up happening.
Cave Clan thoroughly live their passion of exploring underutilized and forgotten spaces. They turn the most understated corners into homes, personalized with objects of meaning and importance. Burns talks about his surprise of how comfortable some of the dwellings he visited were:
The first, which is located under a huge castle looking sandstone bridge was equipped with electricity, bbq and bar. The area was dusty though, to the point where anybody would feel sick from being in there too long. The second was in a connecting chamber in a network of tunnels running underneath one of Sydney’s secondary CBDs. The drains were surprisingly dry with no bugs. Any Storm water was directed from the living areas and during summer it was surprisingly cold down there, really not a bad place to live!
Michael Massaia is a photographer from New Jersey whose black-and-white imagery has an uncanny way of making the familiar seem unfamiliar: ordinary scenes are transformed into stunning portraits of isolation, desolation, and mystery. Two series are featured here: Afterlilfe and Sheep Meadow: Vertical Abstracts. The former documents vacant amusement piers along the New Jersey coastline, and the latter comprises vertical portraits of people sleeping in Central Park’s Sheep Meadow. While the subject matter is drastically different between the series — urban landscape photography and portraiture, respectively — both convey Massaia’s unique style: the haunting documentation of ordinary things that resonate with a deep sense of reflection and a yearning for connection.
Started in 2008, Afterlilfe features amusement piers in states of vacancy and ghost-like deterioration, photographed in the quiet hours between 4 and 6 o’clock in the morning. Most of the images were shot in FunTown and Casino Pier in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. In environments usually known for noise and elation, silence prevails; carousels lie dormant, and the architectural bones of roller coasters and ferris wheels loom against cloudy, darkened skies. Many of these structures were destroyed by hurricane Sandy in 2012. Shooting before and after the catastrophic event, Massaia’s unearthly photographs trouble us with their radiating atmospheres of stillness and absence.
Sheep Meadow: Vertical Abstracts is an extension of an earlier project titled Deep in a Dream. Massaia photographed people as they lay alone or in pairs on the grass. None of the subjects knew that they were being documented, allowing for candidly peaceful, reflective, and intimate postures. Vertical Abstracts sees photos of sleeping couples turned vertically and flipped backwards, making it appear as if they were floating or dancing through an otherworldly void. Massaia describes how the final prints “are gold-toned silver gelatin prints . . . [and] the grass is severely ‘burnt in’ to isolate and give the look of suspension to the subject” (Source). The strong contrast between the bodies and the surrounding darkness illuminates moments of beautiful (and strangely anxious) connection between the reclining couples.
I am transfixed to Jason Matthew Vivona’s dense, psychedelic portfolio of work. There is just so much going on! At first glance I thought I saw a parade of body organs, but upon closer inspection, I noticed beautiful works of intricate detailing, patterns, colors, etc. It’s kind of difficult to imagine this is all from tea, wine, coffee, or whatever Jason was drinking at the time. I wonder what he is drinking right now…