Enrique Marty’s grotesque sculptures are three-dimensional portraits based on molds taken from real people. They are a new form of sculpture, based on a recombination of aspects of puppets and statues, and on a deep understanding of the meaning of Western figurative sculpture. Being theatrical objects and sculptures at the same time, they serve as tools with which the artist can control the psychology of the viewer, and structure a show.
Modeled after the iconic Terracotta Warriors, artist Prune Nourry’s series Terracotta Daughters is an installation featuring eight life-size sculptures modeled after eight Chinese orphan girls. It’s meant to reflect upon gender preference in China through the familiar symbolism of the soldiers, and Nourry created an army of 116 figures using the same clay that was dug up over 2,000 years ago for the original warriors. In this project, the artist also learned the local copyists’ technique based off the ancient practice.
Together, India and China represent ⅓ of the world population and both have a similar gender imbalance. This is because of the preference that parents give to having a son; the number of single men has been increasing since the 1980’s as well as the misuse of ultrasounds to choose the sex of the child. This has detrimental consequences for the women in Asia including kidnappings of children and women, forced marriages, prostitution, and more.
Nourry met the 8 orphan Chinese girls that inspired the artworks through the non-profit organization The Children of Madaifu. She photographed the girls during her visit to their villages in August 2012 and used the portraits as models for the sculptures. Nourry series that go beyond the sculptures and does good, too:
With the idea of continuity in mind, Prune works hand-in-hand with The Children of Madaifu to support the education of the 8 little girls for a minimum of 3 years thanks to the sale of the 8 original sculptures. In addition, each one of the little girls will be invited to the exhibition in Beijing in order to meet their terracotta double. The girls will also receive a 30 cm artist proof of Prune’s Mini Terracotta Daughter.
Thus, each collector who acquires one of the 8 unique original terracotta sculptures supports the project, as well as 3 years of the education of the little girl depicted in the Artwork.
Terracotta Daughters has travelled the world, and now they are in New York City. From September 11 to October 4, you can find them at China Institute.
In today’s environment, it’s often hard to get noticed if you only do one thing. Even if you do it very well. It seems, sometimes, you just gotta do it all. NYC resident James Moore seems to have his fingers in almost every mode of expression imaginable. And he’s not afraid to get them dirty. Really nice to see a guy who’s bringing as much raditude to his graphic art as he is to mind-blowing sculpture and installation work. Moore is fresh off a great group show at Kunsthalle Galapagos in Brooklyn, and my eyes can’t get enough of his new work.
Artist Sheida Soleimani has translated her frustration with her home country Iran and it’s politics into a captivating and symbolically complex photographic series called National Anthem. Her parents fled the country in 1979 after the revolution that overthrew the pro-western Pahlavi dynasty took place. (Both parents were targeted for actively opposing the regime – her mother tortured, and her father escaping across the border.) As a political refugee in America, Soleimani observed her country transition through several fundamental changes and decided to express her disdain visually. Each photographic scene is an exploration of cultural themes and symbols all representing different aspects of the last 35 years in Iran, and the many different dictators and leaders the country has seen. Soleimani says:
In my photographic scenarios, cultural symbols and signifiers are appropriated to create a narrative in regards to my position as an Iranian-American viewing the Middle East from an outside lens. The usage of specific colors and political figures form a symbolic lexicon that runs throughout the series, while party supplies hint at the doctrines of ‘political parties’. Each of the photographs addresses a specific time in Iranian history, while alluding to how both the East and West have responded to societal occurrences. Through incorporating multiple layers, the lexicon can be read and refashioned by the viewers’ ideologies, creating images that remain coeval, while acknowledging former origins. (Source)
Combining collage, installation, performance and object assemblage, Soleimani creates powerful, emotional art-as-activism. The fierce mark making, scrunched up images, burnt candles, and mutilated cultural objects all have the hand of an aggrieved survivor. Managing to turn her deeply personal history into a series of clever, sarcastic visual puns, Soleimani’s artistic therapy is beneficial to us all.
Erin McCarty paints from somewhere deep within. Her colorful, chaotic paintings often channel fear, anguish, and desire in ways that are palpable. The bold leaf- and crystal-like motifs used throughout seem somehow magically charged. All in all, I find it hard to believe that this artist is fairly fresh out of art school. It must be that the cold, crisp air of Alaska stimulates her creativity.
The technicolor world of Tae-Jin Seong rests meticulously on a carved piece of wood. Beneath his brilliant colors are hidden texts, symbols and scratches adding a secret aura to the painted surface. Combining that with a scroll-like comic book effect adds unique ability rarely seen in this day and age. Seong’s work points to the old traditions of woodblock printmaking. Except here, the prints are missing and a picture is permanently rendered onto the surface. There is contextual balance in his narrative combining newspaper funnies, scroll painting and comics which he uses as fertile playing ground to tell everyday stories about love, honor and happiness. His cast melds into old Ssaurabi figures (similar to Samurai) with everyday people and western superheroes. He creates a dual reality which borders on what is and what one perceives it to be.
From certain perspectives, Seong’s paintings explore quilt traditions with their sense of bright color and patchwork due to the under carvings. The tradition of quilt making includes the element of native story telling which Seong does to positive effect honing in on the daily life of small villages in his native Korea. In the end his work becomes a foray of hope turning vibrant eye candy into humorously thought provoking commodity. (via thecreator’sproject)
I am really enjoying Jane Benson’s work. One series in particular of hers I find to be quite intriguing; The Chronicles of Narcissim. Its narrative takes a closer look at people’s preoccupation with material and identity transformation as well as the tension that exists between both the natural and the artificial form of beauty. Benson was born in Thornbury, England and lives in both London and New York.