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ENRIQUE MARTĺNEZ CELAYA opens at Simon Lee Gallery

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London’s Simon Lee Gallery presents a new exhibition by ENRIQUE MARTĺNEZ CELAYA titled The Open. The show runs through April 1st – May 12th, 2010, opening March 31st 2010 6-8pm.

Simon Lee
12 Berkeley Street
London W1J BDT
T +44 (0) 20 7491 0100

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Kirsten Stingle’s Gleefully Macabre Miniature Sculptures Will Leave You Breathless

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For her series of ceramic sculptures titled Shadow Circus, Kirsten Stingle draws upon her extensive training in the theater to create subtle narrative pieces. Incorporating found objects with her considerable technical ability, the artist summons dreamy stories through her command over gesture and shape; the blend of rusted objects and newly formed faces stands in for any physical movement normally employed to convey the passage of time.

Shadow Circus is evocative of miniature puppetry works like Alexander Calder’s legendary circus, where only the slightest details make the inanimate appear human. The narrative power of the circus lies of course in motion, which Calder once evoked with his pulleys and threads; Stingle impressively avoids the performative, and her painfully still works appear as if frozen, on the verge of animation.

In this way, each figure reveals itself like a funerary figure, meant to accompany not Cleopatra but the modern woman into her tomb, bringing with her objects useful in some imagined underworld: a machine-horse hybrid motorbike, a foreboding rowboat with wheels. The work’s religious iconography further realizes this thrust toward an otherworldly eternity; a Catholic-style papal mitre makes an appearance, surrounded by delicate symbols of the cross.

The artist also seems to pull from the work of women artists like Georgia O’Keeffe, combining fatalistic bleach white bone with the seductive prettiness of a pink rose, red lipstick, or a baby doll wearing pale bunny ears. Placed firmly within this feminine aesthetic, Shadow Circus is simultaneously blossoming and fertile and eerily disquieting; Stingle’s nuanced work appeals both to a fear of death and a hope for rebirth. Each piece, with its antique aesthetic and meticulously fashioned visage, is poignantly left eternally waiting for the movement and life that feels so inherent within her. (via Hi-Fructose)

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Safwat Saleem’s Bunch Of Crock

Safwat Saleem’s Bunch of Crock project is a response to the current public discourse and the political landscape in the US. Being a Pakistani immigrant living in Arizona, Safwat has been inspired by both by his location and his experiences as an immigrant. His body of work includes beautifully designed prints, video installations, audio installations, and a game (aptly titled Fling Some Shit Game) . For more info visit his site and help him raise awarness about the absurdities of the political system and the unfortunate role of minorities.

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Made For Glory Sign Co.

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Derek McDonald & Scott La Rock are keeping the art of the hand-painted sign alive at Made For Glory Sign Co.! I had the opportunity to watch these two in action last weekend at the Tiger Rose Tattoo & Music Festival where they demonstrated, in person, their steady hands and their unique art form. This duo hails from the California’s Bay Area but their work can be spotted around the world; from Barcelona, to Spain & even Japan

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B/D’s Best of 2010- Cut Paper, Part 1

Peter Callesen, "Fall", 2008

Peter Callesen, "Fall", 2008

You might have already read our series on food artists. B/D has decided to feature another 3-part series on cut paper artists! The art of paper-cutting evolved from the traditional Chinese craft, stretching back to the 6th century. Today, contemporary paper artists have pushed this art-form into focus once again. Armed with their X-Acto knives, (and nail scissors?), these artists have redefined the meaning of intricate. (Some actually believing they’ve only completed a day’s work once their hands shake with fatigue, waking up sore the next morning!) Though it can be frail, finicky, and prone to tearing, their choice of medium is deliberate; they’ve claimed paper as a way of using an ordinary material to express themselves in unconventional ways. Check out the three cut paper artists of the day!

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Northern Italy Street Art

Got this mini documentary in my inbox today about graffiti artists in Northern Italy. It’s so interesting how graffiti has been morphing, changing and evolving in the last 10 years. I’m not even sure if the name street art or graffiti applies to this. Is it outdoor art, street art, graffiti, illegal brush painting? I’m confused!

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The Beautiful Songs of Mutual Benefit, Love’s Crushing Diamond

Photo by Danny Dorsa

Photo by Danny Dorsa

Jordan Lee aka Mutual Benefit is giving Justin Vernon a run for his money. His debut album, Love’s Crushing Diamond out on Other Music Recording Co. is a beautifully crafted, lush sounding pop record that falls somewhere in the neighborhood of Fleet FoxesBon Iver, and Youth Lagoon.

The songs are heartfelt and powerful with Lee’s fragile and beautiful voice as the centerpiece, and the recordings are an instantly engaging blend of high and low fidelity, mixing lush studio productions, featuring keys, guitar, violin and banjo, with clattering homemade percussion and found sounds. While the album is certainly Lee’s brainchild, the recordings are very much a collaborative effort featuring contributions by friends and others met along the way.

Mutual Benefit is currently on a US tour with European dates to follow. Check out his video for Advanced Falconry and then catch him live this Tuesday, January 28th at the Center for the Arts Eagle Rock in Los Angeles. He’ll also be playing some East Coast dates in early February before heading off to Europe.

 

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Cordy Ryman Behind-The-Scenes Interview

Cordy Ryman at Mark Moore Gallery

Cordy Ryman at work at Mark Moore Gallery

Beautiful/Decay recently had the opportunity to go behind-the-scenes at Mark Moore Gallery while artist Cordy Ryman was installing his latest exhibition, “Hail to the Grid.” As the show title implues, Ryman both riffs off the conceptual  frameworks of minimalism and abstraction, and simultaneously playfully transgresses some of the movements’ core philosopies. While minimalism delights in the precision and rationality of its more reductivist tendencies,  at the very core of Ryman’s sensibility is an opposing sense of spontaneity and free-form creation. Many of his works are self-referential, responding to their own materials or processes as sources of inspiration and thematic vocabulary. For instance, the cast off remnants of Velcro used to install a piece to the wall are later integrated into a grid-like abstracted collage, which, in turn, becomes the subject matter for a painting.  Ryman delights in the elegance of distilled form, though instills a sense of sincerity in their physicality: hand-cutting, painting and fashioning his constituent parts with an affectionate hand. While a minimalist like Stella, for example, savored the steely finality of his imposing black paintings, Ryman in contrast frequently re-works his pieces, allowing chance and flexibility to enter into the work at any time. Even the installation of works are constantly in flux–shortly after Beautiful/Decay snapped up photographs of Ryman’s installation in process, Ryman called to inform us that one of the pieces was now on the wall and the entire exhibition looked different! Be sure to visit Ryman’s exhibition, opening this Saturday and running until Dec. 21 to see the final results!  Full interview with Ryman, including his process for creating works, installation and outlook on art, below.

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