People are on the move in the installations of Clinton De Menezes. Large crowds of people seem to be trudging through a white field – a snowy plain or salt flat. The exodus, though, plays out on the side of a wall. The South African artist’s model migrations exhibit patience and attention to detail. Each figure is hand painted before being placed and plastered to the wall. De Menezes’ installations illustrate the personal and collective drama of human migration. His work is clearly influence by the ever shifting and complex social landscape of the land of his birth.
The installations of Michel Blazy grow, flow, and froth. Like much of his work, Blazy’s latest installation, titled Bouquet Final, makes use of white foam. Inside a French Medieval church, the foam tumbles from high scaffolding to the floor. The pliable, moving, and ever changing foam contrasts with the sense of permanence in the centuries old cathedral. Blazy alludes to a change and mortality by using materials such as foam, an unstable medium in perpetual transformation. The foamy flow could also reference the earth and neglect for its environment. The installation resembles uncontrollable detergent suds – a product that is at once used to clean our homes and also a poisonous pollutant to the earth and its waters.
Artist Patrick Jacobs creates highly intricate dioramas. His dioramas, once created, are installed inside the gallery wall and fitted with a large lens. Gallery visitors can spy on each of the miniature scenes through these lenses. Jacobs’ dioramas are often of idealized landscapes or peaceful indoor scenes carefully detailed to appear as entirely separate worlds. Hidden lighting glows as if entirely natural while the foreground seamlessly blends with a background and further to the horizon.
Ricardo Bojorquez is an artist and graphic designer in Los Angeles. His latest artwork, Feedback Occurrences, uses standard materials, common techniques and everyday electronics to create an inventory of interactions. As a graphic designer, Ricardo’s practice is messy and defiant of the typical grid-like structures and legibility we are all taught to praise in design school, while still feeling so deliberate and well communicated. Ricardo received his MFA in Media Design from the Grad Media Design program at the Art Center College of Design in 2012. In 2011, Ricardo was invited to the Werkplaats Typografie / ISIA workshop in Urbino, Italy, where he studied under the mentorship of Armand Mevis, Maureen Mooren, Leonardo Sonnoli and Karel Martens. Ricardo is a partner at The Rare Studio, a studio for design and research that works within graphic design, interaction, and architecture. All of this work payed off as just last week he was honored with the prestigious recognition of being named a “Young Gun” by the Art Directors Club.
Sakir Gokcebag is a Turkish artist who creates elegant installations from the most ordinary objects. Coat hangers, toilet paper, wicker baskets, levels, and jewelry are a few of the many objects he plays with to make his charming studies of form and materials. They’re reminiscent of how in the menial jobs we all have at one point or another, we keep ourselves sane by making towers, sculptures, and patterns out of the objects around us, and in doing so re-discover their formal elements–this chocolate bar is a rectangle, that coat hanger is a bow, these salt shakers are kind of like Kokeshi dolls, etc. Gokcebag takes this impulse and runs with it, turning it into some great visual poetry. (via)
Over the weekend I had the pleasure of dropping by my neighborhood museum, the Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA), to check out new work by Guillermo Bert. The digital age has managed to find its way into places the mechanical age was never quite able to get to. In the exhibition’s accompanying essay, Peter Frank claims that this phenomenon has resulted in the poor becoming “confident operators” of this advanced technology. Of course accessibility is a good thing, but one can also argue that the arrival of this kind of technology can also put indigenous culture and tradition at risk. By combining QR Code technology with the very traditional art of textile weaving, Bert is bringing this infiltration of culture to the surface. The codes, when scanned with your mobile device, play one of a series of documentary films that contain several engaging protagonists who help unfold the story of the Mapuche people. Throughout history, textiles have been used by indigenous cultures to pass on the story of a culture from generation to generation. Perhaps Bert’s “encoded textiles” are a strange evolution of that tradition.
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.
The installations of Peruvian artist Antonio Paucar utilize a rather uncommon material: dead flies. By suspending dead flies from nylon string as well as meticulously placing them on the ground Paucaur painstakingly builds each pieces. The swarm of flies loosely forms the image of a human figure. The hazy form created by the collective flies imply the memory of a person, particularly in relation to the space it inhabitants. Further, the flies seem to suggest the idea of death or decay. The last four photos are taken from a piece installed in Germany’s Sacrow palace, a building dating back to the 17th century. The grounds had been inhabited by Prussian aristocrats, high ranking Nazi officials, as well as communist secret police.