San Francisco-based artist David Berezin creates still lifes by manipulating low-res stock photos, often found on Google Images, and Photoshopping the disparate parts into coherent collages that mimic commercial photography. Berezin’s use of “new media” methods of making produces an ironic contrast between contemporary, post-internet life and all that cultural baggage left by the Twentieth century’s top-down, capitalist media. These digital assemblages make the ha-has by reconstructing the out-moded logic of genre narratives through the use of culturally-loaded objects that rely on vocabularies of cliché developed in pop forms like B-movies and boilerplate novels.
James Turrell is one of the most important artists in the world dealing in light and space. Born in Los Angeles in 1943, Turrell studied mathematics, psychology and sensory synesthesia as well as art at university. He flies around the desert in little planes and has devoted the best part his working life to turning a volcano into a piece of land art. “The spaces you encounter during flight can be amazing: meeting the dawn or watching the Aurora Borealis,” he says and describes an experience of taking off once at dawn and seeing the sunlight trapped between ground fog below and cloud cover above. These words paint a perfect portrait of his work.
I’m really enjoying the bit mapped illustrations and designs of Marcello Velho A.K.A Kingdom. His stacked illustrations look like unexplored levels of 1980’s video games that one would play while taking massive amounts of acid.
If you’re the type to stop and smell the roses you probably have some appreciation for the natural world. Unfortunately, in this age of technology, less and less people take time to connect with our natural surroundings, which makes the works we’re featuring here so important. The works of Jeff Koons, Ackroyd and Harvey, Binh Danh and Portia Munson all take plant-life and re-contextualize it; the viewer is faced with something familiar cast in a new light. In the cases of Koons and Ackroyd and Harvey, the scale of their works looms over the viewer to remind them that the nature of all things are continually evolving, even that of human civilization. With Portia Munson’s Garden installations, we literally walk into a new world that is groomed yet overgrown, familiar yet psychedelic. Binh Danh’s plant-based portraits balance the fragile surface of the leaves with the powerful imagery of the victims of the 1970’s Cambodian unrest. Though the works are largely different, one thing binds them together, the power of nature to communicate a feeling and a message without words.
Katherine Sherwood creates sumptuous paintings that visualize, in a lyrical and esoteric fashion, the age old metaphysical concerns of the body, life after death, and the tenuous relationship between art and science. Sherwood’’s works exhibit a Buddhist, Zen-like approach to color, form and composition, elegantly balanced and unafraid of both dense areas of joyous, swirling patterns and passages of silent, empty space. Just below the seemingly abstract planes is a latent structure of corporeal diagrams, such as angiograms, brittle tree-like linear nerve endings, and mystical Solomon’s seal, lending the paintings a religious, even ecstatic talisman-like quality.
In the series Paint Job, Spanish art director Nico Ordozgoiti infuses some color onto Renaissance statues. He digitally paints them in a hyperrealistic style and brings them to life. Iconic sculptures like David and Venus de Milo are now fair-skinned with chestnut brown hair instead of their usual off-white exterior. The visual effect is similar to the colorization of black-and-white photographs, and Ordozgoiti’s vibrant colors are offset by a gray base.
Ordozgoti writes, “When Renaissance masters discovered and copied the hyper-realistic sculptures of ancient Greek and Rome, they didn’t know that some of these works had originally been painted to make them even more life-like.” Ultraviolet light reveals how these pieces really look. He goes on to explain, “This made me think about how adding color to classic and neoclassical sculptures could give us an interesting look at what some of those artists might have had in mind.” (Via Ufunk)