Beautifully designed costumes sets the stage for artist/photographer Uldus Bakhtiozina’s pictorial essay “Russ Land”. Shot in a rural setting, Baktiozina, recreates a narrative based on Russian folklore. Through magic and her own designs she sets forth in capturing a time when the earth was occupied by knights, fair maidens and the forest. She features characters called Baba Yaga (the old woman with knowledge) and Mikulishna (the beautiful), who are familiar figures in fairytales known throughout the world.
The photographer’s hand made costumes are elaborate variations on a theme, most notably in the head dress which the artist emphasizes with great detail in this series. The intricate construction embraces the forest itself, ranging from crowns made of nest like sticks to black and white spider webbed veils. She works with a generation of young Russian artists, who she claims is the inspiration for her pictures and continues to challenge stereotypes in “Russ Land” by showing women as knights and a fair maiden as lothario(a).
Bakhtiozina was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia from a mixed religious background. She received her education from the University of the Arts London and is credited as the first Russian speaker at TED. She frequently features herself in her work first gaining recognition for a project called “Desperate Romantics”, a series of ironic self portraits. Instead of a digital camera, Bakhtiozina prefers using analog stating ‘it’s better suited at capturing the nature of an object’. She currently runs a studio dedicated to the visual arts in her native Russia. (via demilked)
When I dropped by his sunlit Brooklyn studio Aaron Johnson was busy preparing for his show at Stux Gallery in Chelsea, which opens Thursday September 15th. In this new body of work Johnson invites us to chow down on a writhing smorgasbord of Americana: severed heads, demonic Uncle Sams, sausage crucifixes, fried eagles, mashed guts, f-burgers, camel roast, and mutant sea creatures sucking down oil oozing fresh from the rig. His new work is opulent and glitters like jewel-encrusted Faberge eggs despite picturing disturbingly grotesque and violent imagery – totally Beautiful/Decay!
Australian photographer Greg Briggs‘ new photoseries Melbourne Cleaners highlights the often nameless faces that clean and restore the seemingly untouched galleries, theaters and museums. By focusing on the people who keep these spaces pristine, Briggs not only acknowledges the work of these people, but also takes the viewer behind the scenes to an even more quite, contemplative place, rarely seen by most museum-goers.
Taking place via a virtual tour of important architecture and places throughout Melbourne, Australia, Briggs’ photoseries was captured over six months. Capturing these workers who generally work alone, they are seemingly oblivious to the camera, and are caught in intensely private moments alone with their work. One cannot help but notice how these abandoned, quiet, spaces might be a better way to actually appreciate all the works of art we often walk right by during busy open hours.
Katie Hosmer at My Modern Met writes, “The artist captures what seem like voyeuristic moments as cleaners go about their work in some of the city’s important and iconic buildings including St Paul’s Cathedral and The Queens Hall, Parliament House. Surrounded by classic architecture andfamous artwork, each individual concentrates on the task at hand and seems completely unaware of the camera’s presence. Viewers can almost hear the low hum of polishing machines, the soft whoosh of feathers dusting across the nooks of a picture frame, and the splatter of bottle spraying cleaner along the surface of glass.” (via mymodernmet)
David Mesguich (previously here) is known for his enormous polyurethane and recycled plastic public sculptures, bearing line and shape work that is reminiscent of both geometric or vectorized patterns. The Brussels-based artist’s latest work, PRESSURE 1.0, was installed on an elevated freeway which is known to be the gateway to the French city of Marseilles. The artist explains, “The story of “pressure”—it’s the story of people who are on the fence, in between worlds, those who are both on the inside and on the outside. My inspiration came from two sources: a family history that steeped me in a violent, carceral universe during my youth and more than 10 years of trespassing with graffiti.”
Created with the geometric features of a woman’s face, the statue seems to stare, both blankly and longingly. Meguich describes the placement as “… a non-place where the sculpture could look in the direction of Africa and face the whole city at the same time.” Because the statue was not authorized by French authorities, it was technically illegal, but Megiuch explains that his work is as much an unorthodox ‘gift’ as it is illegal. “Pressure is a non-profit project, it was not made to be sold. As with my previous public space sculpture, LUZ 1.0[a large-scale sculpture created for the Nuit Blanche Festival in Clichy, a suburbs of Paris], it was created as a donation to the city.”
According to writer Sara Barnes at My Modern Met, “Despite its illegal placement, the sculpture remained untouched for two weeks. After a bad storm, however, the sculpture fell to the ground and was seriously damaged. The weather lasted a week, and everyday a new part of it was broken until nothing remained” (via mymodernmet)
Assume Vivid Astro Focus, an artist collective oozing in an overflow of psychedelic energy, has been making a name for themselves within the art scene since 2001. They have recently published a book that documents six years of their projects, which consists of a combination of multimedia installations and performance art.
Painter Jen Garrido’s work is bold, simple, yet elegant. Her work reminds me of papercuts, but I love seeing the slight paint texture in each piece. Her work is a combo of small textural paintings, and small minimal works that seem to fit together just right. Her two styles compliment one another instead of challenging. I’d be curious to see what she can do with much larger works in the future.
The future predicts a change in the definition of gender as we know it. The new work of Can Pekmedir, a Turkish artist, could not fall at a better time. In his series “Bone Structure” he is examining how the human face would look like with distorted features and a seamless flesh.The result is intriguing and repulsive. The flesh and individual hair seen so close creates a feeling of discomfort. He manipulates photographs using an algorithm and three dimensional technology. Through 3D, the viewer has the freedom to examine the visuals, whereas when it’s in 2D, he is following the artist’s point of view.
Coincidence and failed experiences are at the premise of these artistic discoveries. Can Pekmedir is instinctively morphing recognizable body shapes to get harmony. “My studies are focused on reconstructing and deforming bodies by altering the physical conditions in which the entity exists and/or treating them as test subjects for virtual experiments”.
If these creatures are perceived as mutants, then in no time we can imagine being close to sci-fi and fantastic inhabitants populating the earth. The artist isn’t telling us a story, he is delivering a brutal reality of his artistic vision. We have the liberty to accept or reject it, but the fact that a change is yet to come in the way the human race will evolve is a crucial point to investigate. (via designfaves)