One of my favorite artists, Matthias van Arkel, (who will be appearing in Book 3, btw) recently designed some amazing fabrics and a site-specific painting for the Stockholm Furniture Fair. Matthias usually creates these spaghetti-esque, rubbery abstract-expressionist sculptural-paintings. This aesthetic translates nicely to these flat works…has a very contemporary-Swedish clean feel, beautiful!
Once again, Björk has blown our minds. In her newest music video, Mouth Mantra, Björk teamed up with Jesse Kanda (known for his epic collaborations with artists FKA twigs and Arca) to create something truly unique, psychedelic, and well, frankly, a bit horrifying. The concept behind the video is quite literally being inside of Björk’s mouth. While being given a 3D scanned inside look of Björk’s molars, gums, and tongue, the picture plane twists and twirls, distorting the viewers concept of space and reality, ultimately creating something that is outstandingly awesome, yet simultaneously a little hard to stomach. In an interview with Dazed, Kanda explains, “if there’s one thing I’d like for people to take away from this video, it’s the power of vulnerability.” The push and pull in and out of various modes of discomfort and emotional states gets straight to the heart of Björk‘s new album, Vulnicura (meaning “cure for wounds”). Many of the artist’s songs and lyrics tend to do with more open ended and abstract modes of conceptual thinking, however, this album is much more emotionally driven as it is in reaction to her divorce with artist Matthew Barney. There is, along with her other videos released from this album, a true emotional rawness and purity that cannot be denied. Kanda further explains,
“it’s about having the courage to express yourself and seeing yourself in that mirror. Doing something that scares the shit out of you and sharing it, growing from it, spreading love and courage to others and making the world a warmer place to be and relate to each other.”
The intimacy of this work is something to be in awe of. Björk, a master at shock and obscurity, uses each video to take the viewer into her strange yet beautiful and clever world. The intensity of her heart wrenching vocals paired with a montage of visual distress and alien like images mimics a sense of anxiety, confusion, and isolation. Despite her bizarre take on expression, the artist, who is undoubtedly one of a kind, always perfectly gets her point across clearly and profoundly.
Kanda thanks Prettybird UK, Dentsu Lab Tokyo, Rhizomatiks Research, and One Little Indian for helping out with developing the technology used to create the video. He and Björk plan to release a 360º version. (via The Creators Project)
Usually I don’t get too excited about shows on PBS but I have to say that Art:21 is by far the best thing i’ve ever watched on public television. If you’re not familiar with the show, Art: 21 is the only prime time show dedicated exclusively to contemporary artists. Each season follows 14 of the biggest names in the art world as they walk you through their conceptual process, studio practice and share rare behind the scenes footage of work in progress. Some of my favorite episodes from previous seasons include the legendary interview with Barry Mcgee and his wife Margaret Kilgallen and LA painter Lari Pittman. This is a must see show for anyone interested in the international contemporary art world.
I received a preview copy of Season 5 and I’m happy to announce that it does not disappoint with another set of interviews with art legends such as John Baldessari, Cao Fei, Cindy Sherman, Jeff Koons, and many more.
Season 5 premieres Wednesday, October 7, 2009, at 10:00 p.m. (ET).
More Art:21 trailers after the jump.
It’s almost dinner time in LA and I’m thinking about skipping the main course and going straight to dessert. It’s going to be one hell of a feast folks. It will most likely look something like this video by Castrovalva.
London based production team Sam&Sam have created a great mini documentary on British illustrator Jake Blanchard that gets into the artists process of printmaking, his anxieties of being a freelance illustrator, and his favorite projects. Watch the full documentary after the jump.
Chinese artist Chen Wenling’s massive sculptures are completely grotesque, perverse, and completely fascinating. In other words one of our favorite finds for the week!
Previously B/D interviewed artist Erik Mark Sandberg recently sent in this beautiful new print! I believe its a cosmic rainbow-vision ghome appearing between two prismachrome portals, that also happened to let in a couple visitors from beyond. Just a guess. Some detail shots below- now hanging in my office!
Apparently McDonalds is embracing graffiti with full force and using it as part of their greasy interior decoration. This is only happening in France and Japan so far but if we’re lucky we’ll have some graffiti wallpaper in the Boise Idaho stores in no time. What’s worse than graffiti in the crappiest fast food spot on earth you ask? Graffiti in the crappiest fast food spot on earth being used without the artists permission or compensation. Sure the graffiti writers didn’t ask for permission to paint your city streets but something about this just doesn’t feel right. Next thing you know we’re going to be eating a McBansky or a Space Invader fries. What do you think? Should the artists get compensated or can Mcdees do as they please?
Read more background info about McDonalds graffiti campaign after the jump.