French/Italian artist Sonia D’Argenzio sent over some of her new abstract ‘anti-photographs’ this past week, and i’m more than impressed. Her ability to pull an excellent image from film before/after/without processing is unrivaled (at least to my Tumblr eyes), and i’m even more convinced by her devotion to the analog process. She might just be the real deal.
French artist Gregory Chiha’s gripping and curious works conjure dark, imaginative inquiry. Realistic backgrounds are populated by vague, distorted figures depicted with thick, abstract, primary-colored strokes of paint. Dense forests and calm interiors stand solid and immortal in stark contrast to the fleeting vision of denigrating souls that vaporize amidst forces unknown. At times they seem aware of their morphing physicality, holding up their hands as if to shield their faces; other times they stand with arms loose and at their sides, giving in and letting themselves be overtaken by this unstoppable force. Some subjects appear to be participating in everyday motions when the event occurs: lounging in the living room, playing in a room strewn with children’s toys, staring into a mirror; others are roaming through sylvan groves – perhaps they went outside to address an unnerving sound or vision? One figure sits at the kitchen table staring at a loaf of bread; the subject ignites, though the bread, indissoluble, withstands. Are these figures ghosts trapped in limbo? Are they in the midst of taking their own life, or victims of an unspeakable tragedy such as a modern day Pompeii? Could these paintings be the depiction of the exact moment of death? Whatever is the nature of their contents, Chiha’s paintings lead to an abyss of theories subjective. However, their immediate intuitive impact stands inarguably emotional and compelling, dark and disturbing.
Chiha is represented by The Lloyd Gill Gallery.
Parisian artist Suzy Lelièvre makes some fascinatingly illogical and decidedly nonfunctional objects. (Unless being awesome can be considered a function?) Chief among her objects are variously contorted tables and benches, along with a set of what she calls “gravity dice.” Her appropriations of ordinarily useful items are a bit surreal; in fact, the work of another French native, Marcel Duchamp, comes to mind, who mastered the art of strange-making one overturned urinal and stacked bicycle wheel at a time.
French artist Antoine Corbineau does a little of everything–painting, graphic design, video. Regardless of the media, his pieces “feel like carnivals or boardwalks, bursting with energy and life.” Corbineau’s organized chaos is achieved through bold injections of text and a bright but controlled color pallet.
Damien Arnaud (graphic designer) and fellow artists Florent Berthaut, a.k.a Hitmuri (artist) Claire Soubrier (photographer), and Max Boufathal (artist) collaborate on various projects, bringing their individual sensibilities and specialties together to create a multimedia dynamic that entices all the senses.
French design group HELMO (Thomas Couderc, Clément Vauchez) has an amazing knack for using the simplicity and elegance of photography in design.
Earlier last week, 1.5 million people filled the streets of Berlin, Germany to watch a several-day performance by France’s Royal de Luxe street theatre company titled “The Berlin Reunion”. Part of the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Reunion show featured two massive marionettes, the Big Giant, a deep-sea diver, and his niece, the Little Giantess. The storyline of the performance has the two separated by a wall, thrown up by “land and sea monsters”. The Big Giant has just returned from a long and difficult – but successful – expedition to destroy the wall, and now the two are walking the streets of Berlin, seeking each other after many years apart. Go take a look at the pictures on boston.com in all their large-sized glory. There were so many amazing ones I didn’t know which ones to post!
French artist Marie Blanchard draws nice illustrations with what appear to be markers (I can’t tell as the site is in French). I like how minimal they are; she really explores just how little can be in an illustration and still have it be a legitimate piece. She also runs a book imprint called Shining Books, which recently published her latest book, entitled Echoes.