Even through a computer screen Tauba Auerbach‘s work is wonderfully confusing. To answer the question that you may likely be asking right now: Yes, these are paintings. Auerbach folds, rolls, crinkles, and otherwise manipulates the canvas prior to stretching it. She then sprays it with various colors of acrylic paint from different angles. The resulting paintings are definitely two-dimensional work. The process, though, produces an extremely realistic three-dimensional effect, as if the painting were indeed folded and wrinkled then lit by colored lights.
We’re calling it “Lucky Threes” because 3 lucky entrants, picked for the most part at random, will each win a shirt (that’s 3 teeshirts) if they can come up with 3 bullet points or examples of what our newest, relaunched issue, Book 1, will look like.
To enter, please send Shirts on Sale your three answers via their handy-dandy anti-spam email automator before 12:01 PM EST Sunday May 22th. Only one entry per person will be accepted and your first guess counts!
John Jerome O’Connor’s playful psychedelic abstractions are not just inventive in markmaking and composition but also use inventive and sometimes bizarre premises/rules to conjure up the imagery .
Here’s a description by John about how the above piece was concieved: “This work is based on cultural differences in interpersonal space – the actual space people create between themselves and another person in casual conversation. Specifically, I used a study from 2004 in the Journal of Social Psychology of Dutch, English, French, Irish, Scottish, Greek, and Italian conceptions of personal space. The study looked at gender, pairs of people, and groups. The literal space was recorded for each group studied, and then averaged. I used these measurements to create the structure and patterns in this work. The length of the lines and sizes of shapes in my drawing correspond to the actual spaces (measured in the study) between people of different cultures. The patterns I made also reference these differences. In the center, I used photographs I took and found of people moving through crowds at parades – their patterns trying to navigate these spaces.”
Pierluigi Fracassi is a multidisciplinary Italian artist. He works in everything from photography to sculpture. In his installation work, Fracassi uses mirrors, bones, and thread to great effect. He also uses a lot of text in his works, like the mirrored piece, “Verresti al ballo con me?” (will you go to prom with me?). Cold and humane at the same time, definitely some interesting stuff going on. Click through to see more from the artist.
In his paintings and installations, Georgia-born artist Travis Somerville references the inherent history of racism toward black individuals in Southern politics and culture. With motifs spanning Jim Crow to the Ku Klux Klan and Abraham Lincoln to Martin Luther King Jr., Somerville tackles a wide range of race relations in American history. While most of the themes and narratives of the sculptures—which are often made of wood and typically feature drawn or painted portraits—are rooted heavily in the past, Somerville, a white male, uses historical relics and bygone references to challenge his audiences and invite them to question America’s current state.
In light of recent instances of race-related controversy in the news—namely, the murder of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri—the commentary presented through Somerville’s sculptures has become increasingly prevalent. Brown, a black teenager, was shot and killed by the white officer while unarmed, and his death has sparked civilian outrage and unrest both locally and throughout the country. While the depravity of racial profiling and its potentially fatal consequences has dominated the news since Brown’s death in August, Somerville addressed its historical reality three years prior, with Ballad of George Stinney 2011.
Comprised of two classroom chairs featuring a graphite portrait, tied together with rope, and hanging suggestively from the ceiling, the piece references the tragic tale of George Stinney, a fourteen-year old African American boy executed in 1944. Killed for a crime against a white individual for which, after his death, he was eventually deemed innocent, he remains an example of the systemic racism present in America.
Ultimately, while killed exactly seventy years prior to Brown and still unknown to many, Stinney, through Somerville’s art, is presented to the public as a reminder of America’s prejudice past—and, unfortunately, as a reflection of its present, too.
Be sure to check out his work at Senator Corey Booker‘s office in Newark, New Jersey for a group exhibition featuring Kara Walker and Mickalene Thomas (January 2015), at ARCOmadrid (February 2015), and at a solo booth at VOLTA NY (March 2015).
Mustafah Abdulaziz’ Memory Loss is a series of photographs captured throughout the United States. His photographs vary widely in content from landscapes to individual portraits to candid groups. They each in some way, though, seem to portray a disarmingly frank American identity. Among other photographs in the series, Abdulaziz groups together an image of little girls returning from a princess tea party with a gathering of tribal elders on an Indian reservation. Indeed, his statement explains that his work “explores social identification and how our ideas of self representation create instances of cultural disconnect.” In 2010 Abdulaziz became the Wall Street Journal’s first contract photographer and in 2012 he was named one of PDN’s New and Emerging Artists to Watch.