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Emily Hoxworth’s Narrative Worlds

Let’s hop into the mind of Washington DC based artist, Emily Hoxworth. At the core of each of Emily’s pieces, as she states on her portfolio site, is an interest in biology, but specifically the idea that the core of our biological purpose is to reproduce our genetic material. This greater purpose, Emily explains, is a starting point for her explorations which largely take the form of alternative, narrative, worlds. The imagery is a bizarre mashup of mythology, nature, and medical illustrations. The result – a kind of psychedelic series of landscapes and scenes that are very much alien, yet somehow familiar – I like to speculate that these images are akin to the scenery we might experience upon birth. A kind of visual experience that is forgotten upon arrival. Check out more of Emily’s work after the jump.

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Best Of 2012: Chen Wenling

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!

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Elisa Johns

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Elisa Johns has a new selection of oil paintings up at Mike Weiss Gallery. Within the exhibition, entitled “Huntress,” Johns draws from mythology, in particular the female goddess/heroine, for her subject matter. Her fragile, waifish women reference today’s “revered” paradigm of female beauty, the high fashion model, while her delicately dripping washes set within soft, sparse canvases call to mind the minimal compositions of Japanese scroll art. The exhibition will be on view until May 9th.

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Brendan Monroe’s colorful paintings explore the process of becoming who we are

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Oakland based artist, Brendan Monroe, creates bizarre compositions that feature imaginary ‘moving’ landscapes and faceless, alien looking creatures that resemble the human body. Monroe takes inspiration from the study of science and his interest in existentialism and self-discovery.

His characters, often portrayed in purple and reddish hues, find themselves in these  multilayered, remote landscapes that present themselves as chaotic, or always in motion. The stringy, cool colored worlds precisely double their existence as a wonderful yet confusing space. Monroe is also interested in presenting his funky characters the same way he does his landscapes, as intricate forms that are always in motion.

We can take Monroe’s aesthetic and conceptual approach as one that tries to visually explore what it means to be human in a world that is contingent upon the variety and complexity of our actions, state of mind, or simply the passage of time and the progress it brings with it.

Each is a way of looking at and figuring out life. It’s that human question of what and who we are, how we are here. I also like the emotion and feeling of discovery and also the solving of a puzzle that was not known before. I lean in the direction of sciences I think mostly because I was raised that way, and I like to do my own investigations and draw conclusions.

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David Mesguich’s Enormous Vectorized Sculpture, ‘Pressure 1.0’

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David Mesguich (previously here) is known for his enormous polyurethane and recycled plastic public sculptures, bearing line and shape work that is reminiscent of both geometric or vectorized patterns. The Brussels-based artist’s latest work, PRESSURE 1.0, was installed on an elevated freeway which is known to be the gateway to the French city of Marseilles. The artist explains, “The story of “pressure”—it’s the story of people who are on the fence, in between worlds, those who are both on the inside and on the outside. My inspiration came from two sources: a family history that steeped me in a violent, carceral universe during my youth and more than 10 years of trespassing with graffiti.”

Created with the geometric features of a woman’s face, the statue seems to stare, both blankly and longingly. Meguich describes the placement as “… a non-place where the sculpture could look in the direction of Africa and face the whole city at the same time.” Because the statue was not authorized by French authorities, it was technically illegal, but Megiuch explains that his work is as much an unorthodox ‘gift’ as it is illegal. “Pressure is a non-profit project, it was not made to be sold. As with my previous public space sculpture, LUZ 1.0 [a large-scale sculpture created for the Nuit Blanche Festival in Clichy, a suburbs of Paris], it was created as a donation to the city.”

According to writer Sara Barnes at My Modern Met, “Despite its illegal placement, the sculpture remained untouched for two weeks. After a bad storm, however, the sculpture fell to the ground and was seriously damaged. The weather lasted a week, and everyday a new part of it was broken until nothing remained” (via mymodernmet)

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Paul Parker’s Incredible Living Map Of Birds In Flight

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Paul Parker‘s video “Seagull Skytrails” shows a living map of bird flight, charting their paths like free-wheeling weather patterns or miniature time-lapsed jet planes. In some parts of “Seagull Skytrails,” the birds almost look like patterns on a zoetrope or frames of some life-sized GIF. The effect is playful, as though we’ve been allowed to look behind the scenes.
Parker also uses After Effect, a piece of video editing software, to blur the birds’ paths into pulsing dark ribbons, looking almost like ocean currents transposed onto the sky. These “skytrails” offer us a peek into the transit system of another world: the freeway of birds.

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Kira Ayn Varszegi Uses Her Breasts As Paintbrushes

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The painter Kira Ayn Varszegi substitutes her own 38DD breasts for traditional brushes, covering them in paint and pressing them to her canvas. For Varszegi, fun is an essential element in art making; she hopes to inspire amusement and smiles. Though her work has of course been criticized and cast aside as “frivolous,” the artist has made a name for herself, boasting at least one painting purchased in each American state.

Before we give in the the impulse to judge, let us take a minute to appreciate the product of Varszegi’s efforts. Her paintings quite resemble the work of abstract expressionists like Jackson Pollack or Mark Rothko; she, like them, hopes to inspire more primal and visceral emotions with her marbled surface of color, texture, and form.

But unlike most (but not all) of the 1950s trailblazers, Varszegi is a woman, and that fact is essential to her art making process. Where many modern art movements have been dominated by an idealized machismo, the boob artist embraces what some might call the feminine or the sentimental. Here, the breasts, symbols both of female sexuality and fertility, are the means of creation, as opposed to the paintbrush, an instrument whose form is vaguely evocative of the phallus.

The artist’s compositions mirror the “feminine” tenor of her process, their soft, glittery tones forming elusive and symbolic butterfly and floral shapes. Paint drippings and splotches swirl together in an evocative, orgiastic blur. Take a look, and let us know what you think of the project. It is groundbreaking or silly? (via Oddity Central)

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Japanese Public Uses The Power Of Memes To Respond To ISIS Threats

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Last Tuesday, the militant extremist group ISIS released a video threatening to kill two Japanese hostages, journalists Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa. They requested a $200 million ransom of which Japan refused to pay (Yukawa has said to have been killed). The Japanese public has responded to these threats by using Twitter to mock ISIS with Photoshopped memes. While this isn’t exactly art, elements of design, digital collage, and illustration are being used for political and social reasons. The images, viewable with the hashtag  #ISISクソコラグランプリ, translates to ISIS crappy collage grand prix. This popular tag presents exactly what it says – the terrorists, rudimentarily cut/pasted/drawn on, are seen in spaceships or cartoon characters. One image even features Mickey Mouse.

While the hashtag has received criticism from some, many see this parody as a way to react to the threat without bowing to terrorism. Peter Payne, owner of the online shop J-List, sums the hashtag up up by tweeting, “You can kill some of us, but Japan is a peaceful and happy land, with fast Internet. So go to hell.” (Via Dazed and Buzzfeed)

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