Get Social:

Rudy Shepherd’s Paintings Make Us Think By Feeling

Rudy Shepherd - Paintings

Rudy Shepherd - PaintingsRudy Shepherd - Painting

On the surface, Rudy Shepherd’s work appears simple, some might even argue amateurish. However, spend a little more time with these pieces and the lines starts to deepen with a raw energized intention, especially when paired next to one another in a specific series such as this one titled “Psychic Death.”

What is a psychic death? It sounds devastating. I look this up on the Internet and discover it’s a term relative to fearing one’s own physical death, a collection of energy manifesting negatively as anxiety in the body. To experience psychic death is to endure a dualistic sense of panic and release– or to embrace a deep personal concept of power and loss. This is what Charlie Sheen, Osama Bin Laden, and Columbine have in common, and these painted images are not just about them, but us as a society. How do we as a nation move beyond headlines and examine our own psychic death? Rudy Shepherd doesn’t just want us to think about it, he wants us to think by feeling, and this is what great art does.

According to his website, Rudy Shepherd’s work “involves investigations into the lives of criminals and victims of crime. He explores the complexity of these stories and the grey areas between innocence and guilt in a series of paintings and drawings of both the criminals and the victims, making no visual distinctions between the two. By presenting the people first and the stories second a space is created for humanity to be reinstilled into the lives of people who have been reduced to mere headlines by the popular press.”

Currently Trending

Advertise here !!!

Susan Copich Stages A Darkly Humorous And Disturbing Family Life In “Domestic Bliss”

Bath Time

Bath Time

Mommy Time

Mommy Time

Happy Days

Happy Days

Reaching middle-age, photographer Susan Copich was feeling disillusioned with her acting career, disenchanted with her marriage, and, when she noticed her absence from every family photo, as if she were disappearing. Her solution was to create the series “Domestic Bliss,” staged photos featuring her in darkly humorous scenes from an exaggerated life.

“I use proverbs, idioms, and biblical scriptures as a conduit to reach my inner creativity while grounding it to something real. Social observation continues to fuel my inspiration. The use of humor allows me to mock the worlds I traipse through while permitting the viewer to live vicariously through the character. I project my thoughts into a frozen a moment in time, allowing the story to continually unfold in front of you.”

She tackles topics like unsupervised children with access to guns, women and food, and homicidal anger, as well as lighter topics such as Christmas cards and crying over spilt milk. Some of the images are very dark, indeed, such as “Bath Time” with its implication of double murder/suicide, and “Anger Management,” which depicts Copich, with unkempt hair and Diane von Furstenberg dress, in the act of wringing the family dog’s neck in front of her daughters.

“I dwell in the dark thoughts and recesses of my mind to create character and subject, in order to project them into a frozen moment of time, allowing the story to continue to unfold bilaterally for the viewer. I feel a certain freedom to live vicariously through these characters to engage, seek to navigate (and, no less, avoid), both my own personal imperatives as woman, artist, mother, and wife, as well as those – personal, social and cultural – that are imposed on me by others.”

The photos are funny and disturbing, polarizing and attention-grabbing. It seems that Susan Copich is in no danger of disappearing any time soon.

All photos by Susan Copich, courtesy of Moen Mason Gallery. (Via Demilked)

Currently Trending

Advertise here !!!

Patrick Martinez’s (Pop) Culturally Poignant Neon Signage

a dream deferred

A Dream Deferred

American Melting Pot 1 Chinese Mexican

American Melting Pot 1 Chinese Mexican

shit is sweet

Shit is Sweet

 

Los Angeles-based artist Patrick Martinez (previously featured here) not only works with the messages that are seen daily on Any Major Inner City Street USA, he also uses the favored communication method of the majority of these messages to give additional contextual weight to his artistic turns of phrases. While Martinez has been lauded as The Man in Art & Design 2013 (Complex Magazine), Latinos on the Rise as well as Artist on the Rise at Scope Miami, it seems to sell the artist’s work short by boxing it in to an ethnic or inner-city-only messages, considering the crux of his work focuses on themes (consumerism, globalism, mental and physical health, violence, money, race, and a multi-cultural future) which effect the broadest ranges of a global society. To simply state that he uses the vernacular of the disenfranchised would be limiting the unique, darkly-egalitarian perspective Martinez brings to his work, as well as the implication against an unnamed force that keeps the Everyman (no matter their ethnicity or background) from achieving the most basic of human goals. Martinez expands on this idea, “People feel it’s accessible, complex but it still invites. It’s like a kiss on the cheek and a punch to the gut all at the same time.  It’s not elitist, but relatable.”

While many of the artist’s works freely delve into multimedia (the combination of still-life realism painting with neon sign craftsmanship), Martinez’s works statement claims a simpler message. “Patrick focuses on the phenomenology of his surroundings. He brings sublime beauty to things that aren’t thought of as conventionally beautiful. He uses subject matter such as everyday people that aren’t usually painted into the limelight and elements of the city that would be thought of as objects we take for granted.”

Martinez’s upcoming exhibition, Buy Now, Cry Later at Public Functionary in Minneapolis, MN, promises to continue this tradition simultaneous cultural exploration and criticism. By focusing a glowing eye on the viewer, Martinez builds metaphors of consumption and the unending needs of Capitalism and the Human Spirit in the modern world. Buy Now, Cry Later opens Friday, November 15th and runs through Friday, December 20th.

Currently Trending

Rune Olsen at Johansson Projects

65

Rune Olsen has created an installation for Johansson Projects in Oakland, CA. The piece addresses the issue of children on leashes, with a nod to Duchamp’s Mile of String. Apparently, Olsen and myself have both become skeptical of this rather primitive method for controlling one’s child. I mean, this is 2010, Lindsay has a scram bracelet, Coco the Pomeranian is accosted with high-pitched buzzing from her collar every time she barks–where are the similar techie solutions to child rearing? Oh right, normally we reserve that sort of methodology for criminals and dogs.

Olsen approaches the issue with a similar sense of humor, while creating a highly confrontational space for the viewer to interact with. A playful installation, addressing a serious concern.

Currently Trending

Antony Gormley

Antony Gormley, photo credit Todd Heisler

I heard about a new public art installation called Event Horizon set to debut in the area around Madison Square Park in New York, so I decided to go check it out for myself, not simply because Event Horizon is one of my all time favorite horror flicks, but because it also sounded like an amazing way to spend a beautiful friday afternoon. English sculptor Antony Gormley cast 31 different molds of himself, and has placed them on a series of rooftop perches along the city skyline. There are supposed to be more of these naked men standing on the grounds of Madison Square Park and on the sidewalks in the surrounding area, but I could not find them when I was out and about. It was pretty cool to spot one of these guys from far away, but I’m not sure I would’ve noticed them if I wasn’t already looking. Nevertheless, very very cool. I dug a little deeper, and it turns out Gormley is an extremely accomplished artist, with museum shows all over the world, and several prominent public sculptures, including The Angel of the North located in Gateshead, England. He also won the Turner Prize in 1994, which if you didn’t know, is kind of a big deal. I strongly suggest going to check it out!

Currently Trending

Anna Marinenko Matches Sound Waves With Their Environmental Manifestations

marinenkodesign4 marinenkodesign marinenkodesign2

Merging sound and landscape, Ukrainian architect and designer Anna Marinenko has created a series of images – called “Nature Sound Form Wave” – that presents juxtapositions of sound waves alongside panoramas of sky, water, mountain, and tree lines. Marinenko’s pairings demonstrate the synchronicity and parallels to be found in different patterns among natural and manufactured designs, the similarity between the forms remarkably uncanny. Because Marinenko meticulously lines up the designs and maintains the same color palette throughout the images, ocean waves, flight paths, and landscapes appear to be transforming into the sound waves, the transition nearly seamless. (via design boom)

Currently Trending

Alexey Kondakov Photoshops Classical Paintings Into Contemporary Urban Settings

Alexey Kondakov Alexey Kondakov Alexey Kondakov Alexey Kondakov

Have you ever wondered what a modern day Bacchus would look like? Or where Hercules and Hera would make out if they lived in a city? Well now you get to visualize it thanks to the imagination and talent of Ukrainian art director Alexey Kondakov. In his series The Daily Life Of Gods, he has photoshopped different classical gods, nymphs, angels and cherubs into various settings and locations we are all familiar with in our age.

We see Romans who sit in the middle of subway stations wearing laurel wreaths and playing the harp, like it is just another ordinary day. A forlorn damsel sits in diner pining over a lost lover, drinking a hot cup of coffee. A scantily clad couple make out on a sidewalk, in the dim street lamp light, surrounded by nosy cherubs. The different scenarios Kondakov has created are oddly surreal. Although they are far fetched, the scenes are not too unfamiliar. The figures, who would appear graceful and ethereal in Renaissance paintings, are, in their new settings, distasteful or tacky. The groups of these mythical figures are almost like drunken party tourists in any modern metropolis; looking like they are causing trouble and up to no good after a Friday night pub crawl.

Kondakov talks about his project a bit more:

….Then I thought, ‘What if I invite these [gods] into our reality and imagine they are on streets of modern Kiev?’ Then I wanted to transform a noisy company of cheerful kids who gathered to spend time together in the city or go to the movies. And in these heroes I saw the work of other artists. ….My project is about life. I really want to avoid talking about the social commentary. (Source)

But however they may seem, Kondakov’s fictional scenarios are definitely amusing, entertaining, and perhaps let us see the street dwellers of our own cities in a different light. (Via We The Urban)

Currently Trending

Jan Kallwejt Updates

Long time b/d pal and featured artist Jan Kallwejt updates his illustration portfolio with lots of graphic goodness!

Currently Trending