I recently discovered Tara Donovan’s work and was blown away by her microcosmic creations that reference organic forms. Using mundane objects such as simple plastic buttons or number 2 pencils, she finds beauty in multitudes. Like schools of fish banding together to seem much larger than they are, Donovan transforms the singular and ordinary into grand and ostentatious.
Like ghosts working in the still of night the impressions of Simon Schubert appear as faint memories. Appearing as something akin to haunted palaces they linger on the surface like dim shadows under candlelight. Mainly using old architecture as subject matter the nuances Schubert attains have eerie effect. He uses interiors of old European buildings to accomplish this. Hallways, staircases and large rooms make up the narrative. The vague images are created by folding paper to create indentations resulting in stunning pictures which speak to loneliness, isolation and impermanence. At times the pictures look like they were created with light pencil marks. This is the remarkable accuracy by which Schubert folds the leaves which eventually turn into open ended stories.
Schubert has done several installations using the folded paper. These have included large pieces covering walls with the folded Images. These seem to take the viewer into another realm perhaps representative of what came before still lingering in another form.
Earlier this week, a sold out capacity crowd saw Chet Faker aka Nicholas Murphy take the stage for his first US performance at the Echo in Los Angeles. He released his debut EP, “Thinking In Textures” early last year and has been working non stop ever since. Fellow Aussie Flume had him sing, “Left Alone” on his debut and the Swedish/Australian group Say Lou Lou featured him on their b-side, “Fool of Me“, but it was his cover of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” that he released a couple of years ago that started it all.
“This songs about sex”, quipped Nick as they played my personal favorite, “Love & Feeling” midway through his short, but very sweet set. Other stand out songs included the opener, “Archangel”, “Terms & Conditions”, “I’m into You”, and of course ending the set with “No Diggity”. The crowd while talkative, sang along to every word. Taking a break from his keyboard for the encore, Chet played his new single, “Melt” sans singer Kilo Kish, but still a very nice ending to a fantastic first show.
Chet Faker is currently on a North American tour that will take him across the country including an upcoming show at New York’s Webster Hall with recent collaborator Flume on September 11th. He’ll also be joining Bonobo on their tour starting October 31st at the Complex in Salt Lake City. Check him out now before he moves on to bigger venues like I know he will.
The title of Joseph Gerhard‘s series Unmade Beds is self-explanatory. Gerhard says he thinks of these photographs as “portraits by proxy of the person who just slept there.” It is interesting to think of these as art — no two alike, ever-changing, telling a story about your form and movement — a daily unintentional installation that speaks on your behalf.
Aartjan Venema is a Dutch illustrator with some really crazy ideas. Venema uses a lot of digital elements in his work but maintains a really nice aesthetic that evokes some of the brushwork characters and text elements of Raymond Pettibon’s drawings. He also packs a whole lot of narrative into one image. Nazi dinosaurs? Stonehenge murder mysteries? I’ll take it. (via)
Nicolas Kennedy Sitton‘s Twisted series uses photographic manipulation to distort the architecture of San Francisco. The photographer adds concentric circles to the images to form new shapes, with the buildings seemingly folding and toppling into themselves.
Although most of America (currently enduring one of the worst winter cold snaps in nearly two decades) would like to ignore this fact in for favor of bundled layers and heated blankets, sometimes even the dire cold, snow and ice can provide the tools and inspiration for those who brave it’s elements. Famed land and installation artist Andy Goldsworthy (previously here and here) has often utilized ice, frost, snow and frozen earth to create his trademark land interventions. And rather than avoiding the elements, Goldsworthy is only able to create these delicate and precise sculptures by embracing the cold.
In Goldsworthy’s 2004 documentary, Rivers & Tides, several scenes document the difficulty in attempting to harness the cold’s elements. One scene shows the artist, braving the winter elements for hours at a time in finger-less gloves (so as to be able to properly feel and hold the materials) fusing together icicle chunks together with warm water, holding them in place while they freeze together into naturally-made though unnatural shapes. The smallest temperature changes, light, and even chance cause the ice sculpture to collapse, repeatedly, which is all part of Goldsworthy’s process. Says the artist, “Movement, change, light, growth and decay are the lifeblood of nature, the energies that I try to tap through my work. I need the shock of touch, the resistance of place, materials and weather, the earth as my source. Nature is in a state of change and that change is the key to understanding. I want my art to be sensitive and alert to changes in material, season and weather. Each work grows, stays, decays. Process and decay are implicit. Transience in my work reflects what I find in nature.”
Goldsworthy’s process is only captured through the use of photographs, and the often detailed notes (below) which the artist uses to document the difficulties and triumphs of each individual piece.