For this 1998-2000 series of portraits, photographer Shizuka Yokomizo left anonymous letters on the doorsteps of random ground floor apartments with the message:
I am an artist working on a photographic project which involves people I do not know…. I would like to take a photograph of you standing in your front room from the street in the evening.”
These letters gave simple instructions for when the artist would come and take the photograph. The only contact she had with the subjects of these voyeur portraits was when Shizuka sent the subjects a print of the image and her contact info in case they didn’t want the photograph exhibited. (via sympathy for the art gallery)
Jesse Kanda has earned his stripes as a digital artist, creating album artwork for the edgy pop artist FKA Twigs and working closely with producer Arca (who has produced for Kanye). His figures move in an oddly distorted way, sexual but also mildly disturbing. They’re coloured either in deep bruise-like hues, or glowing and shining whites and blacks. Although they are perturbing in their deformity and colouring, the figures are ethereal and set in tantalizing positions.
One image, made for Arca’s cover for Thievery, shows a woman with large hands running up her thighs chased by a deep black shadow. The lighting illuminates the rest of her body in blinding white so she appears like some kind of porcelain. For the same song, Kanda also created a music video of a woman with green, purple, and white skin slowly and sensually twerking. It’s kind of mesmerizing to watch.
Kanda interviewed for Fader magazine, and spoke about his process:
When you work with a computer, every frame has to be created and calculated, so it’s prone to mechanical results. I try my best to set up my working environment so that accidents can happen. A good [method] is working really quickly. Like making large brush strokes to start with and then adding/subtracting details later.
This is another advantage I have working with computer graphics: the control I have over lights. I have complete freedom over how many lights I have in a scene, where to put them, even whether to automate them. Sometimes they can have a life of their own, like the light itself is a character. (Via Fader)
Deenesh Ghyczy’s fragmented figurative paintings take the human figure and weave it in and out of itself as if dozens of film negatives were laid on top of one another to create a constant state of motion. This technique serves as a metaphor for multi-layered identity and a look at individuals as living structures with more than one center. (via)
Dark and stoic work from Dutch artist Desiree Dolron. These images remind me of portraits by the Old Masters, especially Vermeer and Rembrandt – the extreme stillness in each frame helps you focus on all the small details that make the image really pop when you look close. Find more at Galerie Gabriel Rolt.
Lee Stoetzel carves fast food, life-size VW buses, vintage Mac computers, and even fine art from wood, recalling iconic objects, and ironically, examining worn-out symbols or ideas in contemporary art, initially cultivated from the likes of Chuck Close, Rube Goldberg, and Claes Oldenburg.
Whether its mesquite or cypress, each renewable resource favors sinewy flaws or wood marks that, according to Stoetzel, feel comparable to brush strokes, providing another layer of texture and pop of craftsmanship.
Check out the video of Stoetzel discussing his work in his studio and see a few more stills after the jump.
British artist Mike Nelson‘s installations feel a bit like you’ve stumbled onto a movie set. He sets up eerie scenarios that are very minimal, but impactful. His piece To the Memory of H.P Lovecraft (1999,2008) saw him bashing holes in the pristine white gallery walls and freestanding plinths, as if some creature had torn it’s way through the room. Leaving the narrative vague and bare, Nelson leaves it up to the viewer to react to his installations as they want to. Nelson plays with simulation, representations of the real, replicas and objects placed in new contexts. By recreating something quite simple, but in a new and unexpected way, he is able to make us feel at odds with the space.
Nelson rebuilds interior scenes as well as destroying them. In The Projection Room (Triple Bluff Canyon) in 2009 he blocked the access to a replica of a typical south-London Victorian terraced house and forced the visitors to peek through a window. Objects spewed out of one tiny split in the wall in a very bizarre fashion. Nelson talks about his practice:
I’ve always had a slight fear of piles of junk that function purely as decorative ephemera but only act as a signifier of a certain type of installation…I think it’s a constant worry that you’ll make this amount of effort to have something that just becomes spectacle, as opposed to something which moves somebody or encourages somebody to empathize with what you’re trying to lure them into, or coax them towards. (Source) (Via Sweet Station)
Using an off key palette in his latest series of paintings The Inevitable, Hong Kong based artist Simon Birch fuses gestural marks with the figure. His pictures of young subjects twist through various painted emotions trying to break free of youthful angst. In the process they achieve a rebirth witnessed through thickly impastoed swatches. All the faces in Birch’s paintings seem disguised and obscured by paint thus suggesting an inner life. He depicts his subjects as breaking loose or apart from something. The marks obscuring the faces seem to be attacking Birch’s figures and become powerful metaphors concerning age and maturity. The underlining violence in his work can be taken a number of ways. It can be viewed as the violence we bring upon ourselves due to insecurity and peer pressure. Since most of the work in his current series either focuses on the nude body or just the head, we are reminded that the brain rules the body not the other way around.
Birch is a British born artist that has lived in Hong Kong for the past twenty years. He has had a long career engaging in everything from painting, video to installation. Along with visual art he has been involved with urban dance music, organizing club nights in the UK, Australia and Hong Kong where he showcased the scene’s most prominent DJs. An interesting fact about Birch is that early on in his art career, he took a job in construction as a way to make money helping to build the Tsing Ma, the world’s ninth largest suspension bridge. (via myampgoesto11)
Kant, in “The End of All Things,” suggested that the imagination is more active in the dark than in the light. The current exhibition at Matthew Bown gallery explores this concept for its current group exhibition. Taking its title from Baudelaire’s description of his Creole lover, “noire et pourtant lumineuse,” (black and yet luminous), Matthew Bown literally “turns the lights off” in the gallery, shrouding it in total darkness, to present a group of artists who explore concepts of lightness/darkness within their work. Alexander Brodsky, above, creates an organ griding machine that plays the Beatles, and encases a lit-up city in the murky depths of an tank aquarium tank. Gunda Forster’s work consists of a wedge of intensely bright light, shining through a crack between the door and the floor- referencing the great divine mystery of that which lies beyond. The exhibition runs until May 25 in Berlin.