Kevin Cooley’s Stunning Photographs Of Fire And Smoke

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Kevin Cooley creates Controlled Burns, a series of striking images that showcase swirling and imposing clouds of black, white, and gray smoke. Inspired by the communicative purpose of smoke signals during Papal conclave, the series focuses on ideas and actions dealing with communication, specifically human interactions with nature.

Cooley creates and manufactures the images himself, the smoke is real, and so is the fire creating it, but the artist here is rendering an image, controlling it and taking charge of something that can potentially be uncontrollable. The project is indicative of something we are well aware of, particularly our impotence yet possibility to control natural, powerful elements in our world. The paradox makes us contemplate on something we know, but do not really think about often.

Fire is a powerful natural force that we harness for greater good, and it is the only Classical element that we can create on demand. Yet, when out of control, it has the potential for grave destruction. Controlled Burns is a visual representation of this inherit duality, symbolic of our desire to conquer and control, reminding us that sometimes we must fight fire with fire.

Beginning January 11th, 2014, the Kopeikin Gallery will present Cooley’s work in UNEXPLORED TERRITORY, an interdisciplinary exhibition that explores “the limits of human exploration and our desire to conquer and control nature.” Themes range from colonial exploration of the American West, harnessing fire in the form of combustion to launch rockets into space, to anthropomorphic actions of everyday objects such as box fans, and helium balloons.

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Ambitious Two Year Street Art Project Tackles Suburbia

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Ian Strange: SUBURBAN from Ian Strange [KID ZOOM] on Vimeo.

Australian artist Ian Strange‘s ambitious project two year in the making is difficult to pin down.  SUBURBAN isn’t quite installation, photography, performance, or video art – its really more than all of these.  The project is really Ian Strange’s investigation of and interaction with the idea of suburbia.  The sidewalk, front yard, middle class, ubiquitous rows of homes have grown with a generation of young people, and now with a second and third.  The neighborhoods and houses themselves have become symbols of something beyond their function that Strange’s work seems to seek and find.  Check out the video to get a preview of the upcoming exhibit.

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Steve Spazuk’s Drawings Created With Fire

Artist Steve Spazuk creates drawings with a medium usually reserved for destroying things: fire.  Using a candle or torch Spazuk works the flame much like a pencil drawing with the soot left behind on the canvas.  In a way akin to automatic drawing, he doesn’t direct his hand but accepts the chance images  that appear on the surface.  Spazuk then “sculpts” the soot left on each canvas into its final image.  Speaking about his unique flame drawn process he says:

” This in-the-moment creative practice coupled with the fluidity of the soot, creates a torrent of images, shadows and light. Fueled by the quest of a perfect shape that has yet to materialize, I concentrate in a meditative act and surrender to capture the immediacy of the moment on canvas.”

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