Photographer Antonia Basler‘s series Content Aware makes use of a Photoshop tool of the same name. The content aware tool is used to erase objects from images and replace the space with content the program judges to be appropriate. Basler’s series begins with old family photos. She’s highlighted the faces of the photo’s subjects and applied the tool, then highlighted the inverse and applied the tool for a second image. The resulting images are a cyber sort of surreal, like a creepy reality glitch. [via]
Crazy small drawings from Edinburgh-based artist Paul Chiappe. Recreating graphite versions of early 20th century photography, the artist meticulously produces his works within tiny confines. Many of his drawings fall below the 4×4 cm. mark. Looking at the sad faces of our forebears given life by Chiappe’s drawings, you get the sense that they might easily have been forgotten by the world. His efforts celebrate those we’ve lost in a really unique way. Check out more below. (via)
Fiona Curran lives and works in London. From her artist statement: “Fiona Curran’s paintings, installations and assemblages explore the impact of new digital technologies on our experience of landscape space. The works reveal a recurring utopian impulse, formal idealism and sense of escapism that registers in a palette borrowed from the computer screen and advertising. There’s a sense of spatial precariousness at work as objects and forms are broken down and reassembled. Paintings break away from their frames becoming sculptures and existing works are re-placed and dis-located through new configurations and assemblages of value. Splinters of the natural world appear in the use of hardwoods and veneers alongside plastics, fabric, hand-stitched fragments and found images. Formal compositions explore how angles contend with and counterbalance one another in shifting spatial planes. The titles of the works often give a further clue to their origin in this push-pull between fragmentation and ambiguity, loss and longing where all is not quite as it should be in the bright and beautiful image-world we inhabit.”
The work of artist Caroline Attan examines how objects form a part of our memory and personal history and identity. By combining hand-written text with delicately folded, colored paper installations, Attan plays with separate ideas of poetry, text and form, each “that function as loaded repositories of the past.”
Installed with text written directly onto the wall and the origami-like paper notes arranged in circular patterns, the results are visually reminiscent of mandalas (which represent wholeness, inter-connectivity and an organized cosmic diagram) or the sacred geometry found in Islamic art, Attan illustrates poetic language, and at the same time, brings attention back to the beauty of the words.
Says the artist, “Tantalizing snatches of memories and desire revolve endlessly over collaged backgrounds, encouraging the viewer along multiple strands of thought. The technique allows for ingenuity and flexibility. Some compositions disrupt or loudly announce their text or subtexts, while others absorb them into a calm coherent whole.” (via myampgoesto11)
Text phrases, words and letters abound in contemporary art, ranging widely from direct witty phrases to text that has become illegible in its adaptation. With increased crossover between different fields of art, the craft of editing text in literary arts is a skill and practice that has been incorporated into the visual arts more frequently. Jenny Holzer is an artist who comes to mind in this regard.
However, in this article I am examining the other polarity of text in art. As an artist who regularly uses text in my own art work, I am always interested in discovering the ways in which other artists step beyond the all too prevalent witty-one-liner on the wall into an artistic language that is far more expansive and uniquely cultivated. The artists included here demonstrate the beautiful grey area that emerges between abstract painting, graffiti, constructivist painting and the written word, to name a few. Here text becomes a vehicle for additional forms of communication, used as a foundation to expand upon with the artist’s particular vision or agenda.
Wendy White, Feodor Voronov, Glenn Ligon, Annie Vought, Jose Parla and Jel Martinez are all artists whose work takes text and language and pushes way outside the box. Wendy White’s use of the lines and structure of letters themselves is deconstructed and echoed in lines that emerge within her abstracted and color washed work. In the images of her work shared here, I particularly love the way in which she goes beyond the canvas in architecturally reconstructing the text-like elements along the border.
It’s hard to categorize the work of Boo Ritson. Is it photography, sculpture, painting or even performance. Boo creates photographs of figures doing all sorts of things from sitting on a park bench to sunbathing. But what makes Boo’s work remarkable isn’t just the formal qualities but her involved process of covering her subjects with head to toe “masks” of paint by literally painting on their clothes, face, and all their features. The result is a resurfacing of sorts of the subjects exterior, completely reimagining who they are, how they dress, and what they look like.
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It’s Halloween season, and campy macabre aesthetic surrounds us, making the general public a little more open to the darker parts of our existence. Reflecting back on the origin of this holiday, All Hallow’s Eve and Samhain, the pagan celebration, it’s clear that death and the unseen world is the foundation. Our ancestors believed that the veil to the other side became thin or disappeared completely on this night, allowing the spirit world to comingle with the physical and living world. There are many people and cultures that still hold this belief and practice today.
In light of the season I began searching through aesthetically significant contemporary art that finds its foundations in death and dying. This is Part 1 of 2 of the scope of art about death, ranging widely in medium and other interwoven themes. Damien Hirst, Angelo Filomeno, Joel Peter Witkin, Konrad Smolenski and Doris Salcedo all embrace the subject of death and dying in a widely varied manner. As well, all are highly revered in their own right for their individual continuums of art produced over the years.
Damien Hirst is no stranger to controversy as an artist. He always delivers shock value well and does not shy away from creating work that makes viewers squirm. Materials he used to create the pieces featured here range from dead flies, to animal carcasses, formaldehyde and maggots. Hirst’s works don’t just discuss the business of birth, death and dying- they display it in action right before your eyes, in a way that some of the work nearly becomes about life itself.
Renata Raksha is an amazing young LA-based fashion photographer whose work has been infused with a strong sense of narrative – secret getaways, furtive glances, mood defining shadows and light. One of the things I find to be most beautiful about her photos is the texture overlaid on top of strong composition. Having worked with and collaborated with a broad range of clients from VANS to local noise band HEALTH, I can definitely see more projects in the future in which she can showcase her talent.