The paintings of Whitney Van Nes are narrative portraits that recall the flatness and oddly elongated static figures of Byzantine art. Yet Van Nes’s unique aesthetic and iconography do not emulate any historical style — her approach is at once naïve and sophisticated. Van Nes paints from her imagination and her intimate personal knowledge of things, never drawing from found images, models or other visual references.
Her works are simultaneously autobiographical and universally relevant. While the images and narratives suggested in the work are drawn from the artist’s personal experiences, they serve merely as the impetus for the exploration of archetypal themes. One such issue prevalent in many of Van Nes’s paintings is the power struggle between authority and the subjugated. This adversity takes many forms, and Van Nes’s depictions of discontented figures leave the role of subjugator intentionally vague.
York Christoph Riccius’ work is proof that commercial photography doesn’t have to be dull and boring. York photographs for some of the worlds biggest brands and manages to push the boundaries of what corporate America will accept for their campaigns.
Improvised Making is and was an interactive installation by artist Dominic Wilcox. Created for the Making Together exhibit in Milan, Wilcox began the installation/sculpture with a single chair. He invited the public to donate sticks for the project and sticks of all sorts were brought to the gallery. Over the course of six days, Wilcox taped all of the sticks as they were brought to him to the chair. Carefully balancing and taping each piece to the structure, he only allowed the four legs of the chair to touch the ground and support the structure. Prior to moving the completed sculpture into another gallery, the structure’s shadow was documented in red on the wall and floor.
Emma Löfström is a Swedish illustrator and artist whose work is eerie, narrative and has an otherworldly depth. Each of her pieces has this air of mystery behind it with subjects ranging from nature to magic to surrealistic creatures. Some of her works seem like a storybook which I for one would be enamored to get my hands on.
Marion Peck‘s paintings are all just a little bit twisted — and that is one of my favorite things about them. Peck has been a prolific painter these past few years, and now the art world is starting to show her some love. Her works juxtapose fluffy creatures and noble ladies with an assortment of creepy crawlers and obscene gestures. With such a mixture, there is bound to be a little something for everyone.
Will Kurtz lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Kurtz is well known for his life size sculptures made out of newspaper. He recently opened a solo exhibition at Mike Weiss Gallery NY entitled Another Shit Show. From the press release: “Using the empty gallery as a site on which to stage operatic, all-encompassing mise-en-scene, Kurtz makes an ambitious, multi-part figure installation that throws the facade off human nature – albeit in canine terms. Constructed of unlikely materials such as newspaper, glue, wire and wood, more than 20 dogs of every breed, size and color, strain and cavort off the leash of a single human handler, each rendered more expressively than the next. Kurtz, a master of anatomy, achieves an utterly believable aesthetic by building up layer upon layer of yesterday’s news, held together by exposed grommets and endless amounts of masking tape.” The exhibition is on view through April 27th, 2013.
Catching and throwing light from all the right angles, the peculiar, prismatic acrylic pieces from sculptor Phillip Low look like something from outer space. Tip-toeing on the line between art and design, these objects make excellent use of the medium—giving a sense of weight, depth and cellophane-like luminosity to the dense material. The expertly carved shapes combine crystal-like angles and precise areas of coloration to create a series of constantly-shifting reflections that use simple daylight to dazzling effect.