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El Gato Chimney Paints Symbolic Visions Of Fantasy Worlds Infused With Alchemy, Occultism, And Folklore

El Gato Chimney - Painting

“My Black Heart” (2014.) 100 x 71cm, watercolor and pencil on cotton paper.

El Gato Chimney - Painting

“Speak The Truth” (2014). 50 x 71 cm, watercolor and pencil on cotton paper.

El Gato Chimney - Painting

“L’offerta” (2014). 80 x 60 cm, acrylic on canvas.

El Gato Chimney - Painting

“The Catcher” (2014). 60 x 70 cm, acrylic on canvas.

El Gato Chimney is an Milan-based artist who paints imaginative and symbolic scenes that explore the dualisms and crossovers between good and evil, life and death. Populated with anthropomorphized animals, fire-breathing demons, and masked religious-type figures, Chimney’s work resembles the kind of metaphorical, fantastical visions you might imagine on a medieval tapestry, where every detail is interwoven with a hidden significance. Intensifying the scope of his art is the fact that his paintings syncretize spiritual traditions and practices from around world and throughout history, including alchemy, occultism, and folklore. Brimming with wit, insight, and imagination, Chimney’s work is a modern interpretation of ancient art and ongoing philosophic themes.

One of the most compelling aspects of Chimney’s symbol-filled imagery is the apparent moral ambiguity. The creatures inhabiting the vast, melancholic landscapes are unclear in their intentions, with their strange, chimerical bodies appearing both gentle and wicked. Many of them are preparing for abstract duals with one another, the reasons for which remain unknown. In a statement provided on Chimney’s Bio page, this confounding of good and evil, darkness and light is eloquently described:

“The universe he portrays is dual and deceptive, like a good nightmare: a world constantly split between a daytime Arcadia and an inhabited and unquiet night, where the dividing line is clearly visible and easy to cross, both a danger signal and an invitation to disobedience” (Source).

If you look throughout the landscapes, the backdrops are frequently divided by bold demarcations of light and dark, with no apparent barriers between them; one can “switch sides” with a surprising ease. What Chimney seems to be depicting here is a pervasive ambiguity, a hybridic reading of morality and spirituality that reveals there is no singular conception of good and evil; instead, we are all just navigating the joys and misfortunes of existence. As the above statement continues, “the artist wants to assert that celebrating life and escaping death is what joins all beings” (Source).

Visit Chimney’s website and Facebook page and immerse yourself in his dualistic, symbolic visions, the interpretations of which are quite literally endless. His work will be exhibited at the Stephen Romano Gallery in Brooklyn from March 5 – April 30. (Via designboom)

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Pedro Paricio

 

Pedro Paricio recently sent me his catalog in the mail- some nice, colorful works from Barcelona. My fave is the study after Francis Bacon above- more works on his site!

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Brad Troemel Collaborates With Ants To Create Colorful Abstract Installation

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Multihued translucent Plexiglas rectangles hang from the ceiling in Brad Troemel’s latest installation LIVE/WORK. They’re pleasingly abstract, reminiscent of sunsets and seashores, but look closer: each is a self-contained ant universe. The gel is edible for the ants, a commercial variant of NASA’s soil replacement, and as they tunnel and work they create patterns and movement in the art.

“Each team of ants is working on behalf of three not-for-profit organizations. The striped colors of the homes represent the colors of the not-for-profits’ logos. These organizations range from the Earth Liberation Front to Edward Snowden’s Legal Defense Fund to Planned Parenthood. At the end of this exhibition, each home’s piled up refuse from tunneling is weighed as a proxy for which team of ants did the most work digging. Whichever team’s displaced gel weighs the most wins the prize for their three organizations, splitting 10% of the proceeds from this exhibition three ways.”

The press release for the show is concerned mostly with the ants. “One must wonder – when will ant labor evolve to incorporate collaborative just-in-time tunnel building strategies, or even Fordist production lines?” It asks. “Are disruptive innovations even possible species-wide if made within isolated habitats? These are just some of the questions this generation of ants faces.” The questions are somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but they raise other issues. If Troemel is relying on the ants to produce constantly changing works of art, what happens to his installation if they stop working? What if they die? The three large blank checks hang on the wall opposite the ants, underlining the financial impetus of the show. Living insects+art=profit. It’s an unusual equation, but a surprisingly lovely one. (Via Lost at E Minor)

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Intimate And Intense Photos Of Shaolin Monks

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Shaolin Kung Fu, developed in China beginning in 495AD, has infiltrated popular culture in the West. Depending on your age, you might be familiar with the 70s TV show “Kung Fu” or Mortal Kombat : Shaolin Monks. Neither captures the essence of Shaolin Kung Fu. Based on Buddhism, its major forms of expression are martial arts and techniques. Shaolin emphasizes meditation, development of the body through rigorous training, and pain endurance.

Training in Kung Fu is mostly done without an opponent, as it was never meant to kill, and the poetic names of the moves imply that it is more of a meditation than a fight. However, the only difference between breaking a clay jug and smashing a human skull with one’s bare hands is consciousness of will. Despite the commercialization, Kung Fu retains a mystical character closer to a monastic discipline than to the performances of modern gladiators.

Tomasz Gudzowaty captures the monks in artistic black and white. The classical composition of these photographs only serves to enhance the amazing strength, endurance, and concentration of the monks as they train. Gudzowaty doesn’t use effects or manipulation to increase the impact of the images—he doesn’t have to. The monks provide all of the interest themselves: walking up walls, standing on their heads, balanced on a foot and an elbow. They seem fully immersed in their training—oblivious to the camera, wholly in the moment.

“Sports fascinates me as a spiritual practice, which is not readily visible today in mainstream events. I made it my long-standing quest to photograph peripheral, exotic sports.”

This series is a masterful match of content and form, skilled subjects and talented artist.

Via The Mind Unleashed

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Herbert Baglione

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Herbert Baglione, a native from Brazil, has brought to light the strong culture of graffiti from the streets of Sao Paulo to the rest of the world. The art that lives in the streets of the South American country is very well portrayed in his artwork as he brings to life the monotonous urban environment that we pass by every day. He takes on the task of making it part of his canvas.

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Customized USB Drives By Memory Direct Gives The Freedom Of Choice To Photographers

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Customized USB drives have swept the photography industry by storm in the past few years. They’re a creative, fun way to connect with customers and potential clients, while also solving one of the biggest problems photographer’s have had with digital delivery.

In the past, professional photographers like Marirosa Anderson usually gave out copies of their photos on CDs because they were cheap and easy to burn. But she soon began to notice, like many others in the industry that began to hurt her brand image. After spending so much money with a shoot, clients felt as though this was a rather dull way to have their photos delivered. Not to mention, more people everyday can’t use CDs since the new laptops and desktops aren’t coming with optical CD/DVD drives anymore.

At the same time, simply sending an email proved to be difficult, time consuming, and didn’t offer photographers like Jayson Mullen any opportunity to really spread his brand and company image.

Custom USB drives from USB Memory Direct are a creative, original way to freshen up your digital delivery. They take your logo or brand artwork and customize it just the way you want it onto one of their hundreds of usb styles. Can’t find something you like? UMD can also create customized 3D shaped USB drives as well, so you can basically make your own style.

They do all the work, but you have all the creative freedom to make them fit who you are just right.

Visit usbmemorydirect.com today and receive 10% off on your first order of 50 to 1000 drives. Just use the promo code: 10%DECAY2015

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Jimmy Joe Roche

Today, I got an email from Jimmy Joe Roche that read: “Every once in a while I feel like I can bend reality by focusing on a white dot of energy in the center of my chest or middle abdomen.” Looks like Mr. JJR got a new haircut, new magic powers, and a new video. Careful, kiddies, it has graphic language. (But hey, it’s art, right?) While his older works played with mysticism from a kitsch aesthetic (embroidered Peruvian ponchos paired with cheap vid effects, like stock image howling wolves), these new videos verge on dead-faced psycho internet 2012 stoner-conspiracy theory. I don’t know whether to laugh or run.

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Tomoo Gotika’s Abstracted Playboy Girls

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Tomoo Gokita’s abstracted erotic paintings have a very nostalgic feel. As a child, Gokita snuck to read his father’s playboys, which he says are still a big influence on him now. His father created the images for advertisements in Playboy for its launch in Japan in 1975. Gokita now keeps the entire collection in his studio, and this influence shows heavily in his work. The curves and teasing stances of his characters are obvious references to such imagery. The forms and colouring make for a very retro feel, but the strange dot-eyes or the patterned zigzag head of the tuxedoed man have more of an Internet age vibe.

Gokita never reveals faces, except for the subtle suggestions in the dots.  Often he flattens them completely or creates intestinal-looking deformities oozing from their head. Gokita says that he doesn’t depict faces because he became tired of them, and now he is instead interested in masks: “to hide a face and to become a different character.” This too seems to relate to his fascination with the women in Playboy. Although the images are extremely revealing, they’re also highly composed, and act almost like a mask of sexuality. Both the paintings and the images they are inspired from are a fantasy or a caricature of a woman’s true and much more deeply complex sexuality. Gokita’s paintings reduce them to be even more elemental, and also reveal their oddity. This is done very acutely due to his respect and love for the imagery. It’s a fascinating way to examine the inner workings of commercial erotic images. (Via Hunted Projects)

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