Artist Xochi Solis‘ work combines painting with collage into smartly layered pieces. Rather than spreading the elements throughout the composition, Solis places them all at the center. She layers each piece on the on top of the one before it, revealing only pieces of found images or painterly strokes. The round images almost appear cellular though still resisting easy interpretation or identification. The Austin, Texas based artist’s materials range from acrylic and oil paint to found images and acetate.
New York-based photographer Josephine Cardin’s poignant images examine the beauty of the human body as well as the complexity of the mind and emotions. Cardin’s series, featuring self-portraits, is titled Between Lock and Key . It explores “the dichotomy of how we have both the ability to mentally imprison ourselves, while simultaneously holding the key to unlocking our freedom,” she writes. Muted, vintage-esque compositions showcase her donning a long, black dress in elegant poses (she’s a trained ballet dancer). Cardin is surrounded by expressive, distressed marks and multiple hands that read as both soothing and troubling.
The marks that surround Cardin’s body are visual representations of the mental blocks that we all face from time to time. Thoughts clouded with anxiety prevent us from moving forward with life and seeing things clearly. Cardin draws scribbled clouds around her head and crosses out her eyes using short, energetic strokes.
While there’s a lot of visual strife in Cardin’s series, there’s hope, too. The same lines that hold her down lift her up. It’s as if she’s overcoming adversity and doubt to rise to her true potential. (Via Asylum Art)
French artist Olivier Ratsi’s alterations of high rise structures reexamines ideas of preception and deconstructs the familiar.
Roland Topor (1938–1997) was a French illustrator, painter, writer, filmmaker, actor and whatnot mostly known for his macabre and surreal cartoons. His illustrated book “Les Masochistes” was first published in 1960 and features a number of absurdly humorous masochistic actions that people perform on themselves.
The grotesque situations depicted in “Les Masochistes” perfectly convey Topor’s artistic style and approach towards the world. He infuses the grim reality of Nazi dictatorship (Topor and his family were Polish refugees of Jewish origin) with humor which was probably the best coping mechanism at that time. As described by Bernard Vehmeyer, a quote from Topor’s novel “The Tenant” perfectly sums up his world view:
He was perfectly conscious of the absurdity of his behavior, but he was incapable of changing it. This absurdity was an essential part of him. It was probably the most basic element of his personality.
Most often, Topor’s illustrations were based on surreal scenarios with deeper allusions to sex, erotica, rotting mankind and such. According to closer friends, artist had repetitive periods of extreme depression where he would balance on the verge of death and it reflects in his work.
Eric Standley’s work is made out of hundreds (yes hundreds!) of sheets of paper that are laser cut with dense geometric patterns. Looking like 3D stained glass from far away, these layered images transport you to another time and place with their meditative quality. What’s most fascinating about Standley’s works are the areas where the paper floats over from one side to the other creating deep caverns with up to 3 inches of depth. (via visual news)
Los Angeles–based photographer John Divola is perhaps best known for this series of photographs documenting the gradual destruction of an abandoned and oft-vandalized beachfront property at Zuma Beach in Malibu. Without a studio of his own in the 1970s, the artist roamed Los Angeles in search of vacant properties that he could photograph. Using them as his canvas, he sometimes spray-painted his own designs onto their interiors, photographing them before the buildings were destroyed. Reflecting his painterly manipulation of the physical site, Divola’s Zuma photographs skillfully frame spectacular sunset views within these dilapidated structures, making his visually compelling, color-saturated photographs more than just pure documentation. See Divola’s work in Under The Big Black Sun currently on view at MOCA until February 13th, 2012.
After being a commerical photographer for the past 20 years, Christian Chaize came to discover a specific stretch of coast in Portugal that both revolutionized his life and his subject of photography. He has been photographing this same stretch obsessively since he found it on vacation in 2004. His series is haunting and lovely, each piece beautifully treated and composed- focused on time and space.
Collaborative artist group L017 uses waste materials and discarded objects to create their work. My favorite pieces are these record jesus works.