Something is not quite right with Nandan Ghiya‘s portraits. Indeed, several are titled Download Error. Ghiya’s antique portraits of upper class men and women from the past seem to be physical manifestations of garbled JPEG files. Each portrait is collaged and each frame carefully modified in a ways that resemble corrupted digital photographs. The now forgotten subjects of these portraits may have sought posterity through these images and the artist seems to communicate this in a familiar visual language of the digital. He uses life documented through JPEG’s, glitches, and error messages to reflect the modern plastic identity.
Artist Kristen Schiele produces vibrant paintings and shadow boxes. Schiele richly layers her work both in her medium – paint, thread, collage – and in narrative. Her work merges indistinct structures and landscapes with rays and patterns of color as well as collaged human figures. Each piece seems at once to be about stories and tell one of its own. Speaking about the sources for her layers of images she says:
“I do keep a sketchbook. I also have a library of images printed out, some scanned in from libraries. They are from years of collecting. I get ideas and start folders of images for different paintings. I narrow the folders down into a show.” [via]
Photographer Jeremy Kost isn’t ashamed of being under the influence of Warhol, a fellow Polaroider. Like Andy Warhol, Kost’s subjects often embody contrasts. His photographs are at once staged and candid, glamorous and gritty, confident and apprehensive. Kost’s photo-collages capture larger scenes by piecing together fragments of it – in a way a metaphor for Kost’s subjects, Warhol’s style, even post-modern identity.
Fittingly, Jeremy Kost explores lust in the ‘seven deadly sins’ themed Beautiful/Decay Book: 9 – check it out to see more work from Kost and other awesome artists.
The work of art collective Ghost of a Dream uses lottery tickets and romance novel covers to mezmerizing effect. Often employing thousands of dollars worth of scratch-off tickets ($70,000 worth of tickets in the last installation alone), the work conjures a culture of hyper-materialism. The gaudy coloring of the tickets and cheap imagery of romance novels reflect the nature of the object they cover. Like the dream of striking it rich, the art of the collective is hypnotic and absorbing.
If you want to see more work from Ghost of a Dream be sure to check out their exclusive feature interview in Beautiful/Decay Book 9. The collective explores Greed in this Seven Deadly Sins themed edition.
Enrico Nagel‘s Secret Garden is a series of collage portraits. High fashion models are contrasted against a plain paperboard background. Each model’s face is replaced with a garish arrangement of flowers, jewels, and other ephemera. Nagel juxtaposes what he terms as the “artificial imagery” of the fashion world with the natural imagery of flowers. Each bloom seems like a nearly violent coup of the subject’s identity, the clothing being the only remnant of the former glossy fashion mag photo.
San Francisco-based artist David Berezin creates still lifes by manipulating low-res stock photos, often found on Google Images, and Photoshopping the disparate parts into coherent collages that mimic commercial photography. Berezin’s use of “new media” methods of making produces an ironic contrast between contemporary, post-internet life and all that cultural baggage left by the Twentieth century’s top-down, capitalist media. These digital assemblages make the ha-has by reconstructing the out-moded logic of genre narratives through the use of culturally-loaded objects that rely on vocabularies of cliché developed in pop forms like B-movies and boilerplate novels.
Berezin’s artwork is on display in The Art of Cooking at the L.A. gallery Royal T until August 1st; and a video loop of Berezin’s, Fun For a While, is showing at the Columbus Museum of Art in Columbus, Ohio, until June 30th.
Feast your eyes on the highly amusing creations of Massachusetts-based photographer Nadine Boughton. When the artist came across a collection of vintage men’s adventure magazines (…think “Weasels Ripped My Flesh!” and “Chewed To Bits By Giant Turtles!”) at a flea market, she was inspired to combine their over-the-top renderings of burly men saving damsels-in-distress with the clean interiors spotted in contemporary Better Homes and Gardens.
About the series, the artist says: “Here is a collision of two worlds: men’s adventure magazines or “sweats” meets Better Homes and Gardens. These photocollages are set against the backdrop of the McCarthy era, advertising, sexual repression, WWII and the Korean War. The cool, insular world of mid-century modern living glossed over all danger and darkness, which the heroic male fought off in every corner.” (Via Flavorwire)
Chad Kouri always dreamed of being a designer, and he took the first major step towards making that dream a reality with a freelance gig at the age of sixteen. Ten years later, he has become what some refer to as a cultural engineer. A founding member of the Chicago-based art and design incubator, The Post Family, previous Art Director of Proximity Magazine and recognition as one of Chicago’s Newcity Breakout Artists of 2010 are only a few of his numerous accomplishments. Kouri has been involved with more than thirty different projects over the last two years, and shows no signs of slowing down. For many, there is still a huge chasm between the worlds of design and fine arts, but this distinction is of no interest to Chad Kouri. Un-phased, he continues to breakdown the walls attempting to separate the two industries. A recent collaboration with artists Stephen Eichhorn and Cody Hudson at the Patty and Rusty Rueff Gallery marks his first foray into exhibiting at an institutional level, but with an upcoming solo show at the Rochester Museum of Fine Art slated for the winter of 2012 it will obviously not be his last. Kouri describes his practice as having, “equal interests in conceptual art, consumer culture, typography, design, jazz and the gray areas between these fields, my body of work is more a collection of various ongoing projects, thoughts and experiments tied together by a strong sense of composition, concise documentation and an overall vibe of optimism than a seamless display of a style or genre.” I am excited to watch this process evolve, and I wish him good luck for the future – but somehow I don’t think he’ll need it.