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Marc Quinn’s Provocative Surrealist Sculptures

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Marc Quinn’s surreal sculpture work is undeniably provocative and captivating. While he uses many different materials for his sculpture and installation work, he always seems to address the idea of bodies and their boundaries, the materiality of the human condition, or the relationship between nature and culture. Quinn’s 2004 exhibition, The Complete Marbles, is a collection of marble sculptures depicting amputees and disabled individuals that alludes to the style of Greco-Roman statues. Quinn recently donated his paradoxical sculpture from 2008, “Planet,” for permanent display at the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. Very large and heavy, this sculpture depicts his son as a sleeping baby and appears weightless, almost floating. His most recent solo exhibition, All the Time in the World, is currently on display at Mary Boone Gallery in New York until June 29th.

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Roa’s Massive Street Art Animals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Street artist Roa keeps things large and in charge with his massive animals. Whether it’s dead gators, or skinned rabbits Roa brings the carnage of the wild into the urban streets for all of us to enjoy.

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Emotional Portraits Of Black Dogs Who Are Often Left Out Of Adoption

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Dogs of all shapes and sizes have hearts of gold, and yet it’s said that black dogs are routinely ignored and denied adoption based on the color of their silky fur. The photographer Fred Levy hopes to shatter negative stereotypes about the dark hued animals, perpetuated throughout our culture perhaps by the ominous depictions of the creatures in media, with the Black Dog Project. Capturing furry friends ranging in age and experience, the artist pins his regal subjects against a black backdrop, narrating a poignant story of canine love and courage.

Set against the soft darkness behind them, the animals appear lonesome and curious. Presumably told to sit for the shot, they cock their heads, let drop their downy ears, and look to the viewer for approval. The moving, miraculous tension in the animals’ bodies recalls the ever-willing canine anticipation the blessed “come,” a nod of recognition, an offer of affection, a release from being alone.

Levy’s stunning lighting records the nuances of the black fur, celebrating the shade that is so often overlooked; the silky stands catch the light in such a way that haloes their faces, gives heavenly, royal meaning to their curved backs and furrowed brows. Levy maintains each subject’s rich personality; the wizened senior Faith perks up her ears, and the therapy dog Max patiently holds our gaze with intent amber eyes.

Says Levy of the project, “I’ve found that it’s really important to share the idea that there are always so many dogs in need of a good safe home, regardless of what the dog looks like […] Maybe someone will see this and consider the gravity of owning a pet, no matter what color it is.” To learn more about the Black Dogs Project, check here, and take a look at some of the enchanting photos below. (via Huffington Post and Design Taxi)

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Cara DeAngelis Paints Roadkill in Satirical 17th Century Still Lifes

 

Cara DeAngelis paints found roadkill in “compositions that both pay homage to, and satirize 17th century Hunting Still Lifes”. “The still lifes and portraits of animals on aristocratic laps explore the long-standing confrontations between the domestic and the wild.” But DeAngelis’ black magic goes a little further than that. The artist, who takes care to incorporate the “Tragic and the Infantile” within her work, includes children’s toys and dolls in her compositions to create an “absurd union“- nostalgia vs. violent death, innocence vs. murder. These paintings are done in oil, which somehow seems appropriate for the heavy concept scale within DeAngelis’ work. Ms. DeAngelis received her MFA from the New York Academy of Art in 2011.

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Documentary Watch: Ink & Paper

 

Ink & Paper is the tale of one of LA’s oldest letterpress printshops Aardvark Press and Los Angeles’ oldest artist paper distributor McManus & Morgan Paper.  These two shops were once part of the thriving printing community but with the advancement of cheap (and poor quality) digital presses and inferior low price paper they have lost the booming business that they once had. Hear how these two historic Los Angeles landmarks stay in business and help one another survive in this era of “Cheap Is Better” and If you’re in the Los Angeles area make sure to stop by and support them! Watch the full documentary by Ben Proudfoot after the jump!

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Cat Obsession Has A Long Multi-Cultured History In Japan

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Our obsession with cats has a long and multi-cultured history. Long before Grumpy, Garfield and Felix, the Japanese were depicting cats in their artwork. A new exhibit set to open at New York’s Japan Society entitled “Life of Cats” studies the feline’s depiction during the Japanese Edo period. The period comprises a little over 250 years between 1615-1867, that saw a prolific use of cats (hi harmony), particularly in pieces made from Ukiyo-e woodblock prints. The printing technique was initially introduced to distribute texts of Buddhist scriptures. In 1765 a new technology made it possible to produce a single sheet using up to 20 colors. This allowed artists to take full advantage of palette and soon cats were appearing in a multitude of roles.
The first cat surfaced in Japan around the sixth century. They were brought over from China on ships transporting sacred scrolls written by monks. The Buddhists believed cats were mindful creatures and when an enlightened person died they would first come back as a cat before reaching nirvana. The exhibit at Japan Society is divided up into 5 categories: Cats and people, Cats as people, Cats vs. people, Cats transformed and Cats and play. Since the woodblock prints mainly depicted courtesans and Kabuki actors we see these figures in numerous works interacting with cats. The colors are exquisite and most of the scenes between human and feline is endearing. Some of the weirder prints are hybrid looking cat people and as mentioned earlier stems from the Buddhist belief of an enlightened being transforming into a cat before reaching nirvana. A popular motif was the common leisurely activities of a village, in these we see cats role playing as people relaxing at spas and playing in parks.  (via hyperallergic)
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Nicolás Lamas’ construction of an artificial habitat


Nicolás Lamas’ work is created to contrast the perception that we have about what belongs to the natural order with dislocated structures that respond to the pressures and strains of contemporary culture.  As part of this process, he builds fragmentations in the organization of scientific knowledge that result in hybrids that demonstrate an ongoing clash between nature and artifice, between reality and fiction.
Nicolás is primarily interested in exposing the artifice that is implicit in any system of representation of living forms, revealing–and not concealing–the falsehood inherent to the process of construction of knowledge in modern times and its utopias. Thus, he questions the logic and rational procedures that have always been applied to classification systems, including the management of collections at museums of natural history and their predecessors, the cabinets of curiosities.

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Stacey Rozich’s Macabre Folk Tale Paintings

We have featured Stacey Rozich‘s delightfully macabre paintings (here) in the past. She continues to explore various themes with her pattern clad creatures and masked figures. Her work is mostly fantastical although she occasionally delves into the mundane. Her characters can be seen wrecking cars, shooting rifles, playing records, and consuming alcohol. This is a welcome addition to her scenes of magic and mythical beasts in the midst of various adventures.       

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