Image maker Suzy Poling seems to believe in the unreal. Her work breaks the formalities of typical photography, by utilizing many different methods for production. Some of her work has hints of Andreas Gursky, while other parts have the the surreal air of Tim Walker. Her work feels like a documented rapture, where nothing exists where everything once did.
Andreas Fischer’s “Ghost Town” is currently on view in our lovely city of Chicago. Ghost Town, which is on view at two separate venues, Hyde Park Art Center and The Gahlberg Gallery, shows us two distinct selections of Andreas’s portraiture and imagined landscapes. There is a nice anonymous quality to these locations and figures, with titles like “Original Location” and “Sunday Best”. Plus, the work actually becomes more engaging after you read about it, which in my opinion, is often not the case.
Ward Roberts was born in Australia and currently lives in Hong Kong and Australia. His work of quiet images depicting various lonesome landscapes are impressive. His contemporary eye has caught active locations and made them obsolete. Pretty neat.
Dutch photographer Bas Princen is interested in capturing desolate landscapes throughout the world. Shooting in China, the US, and elsewhere, Princen seeks out areas where man has attempted (and usually failed) to shape a stark and harsh natural environment into a more livable space.
The embedded video above comes from the latest project by Montreal-based media artist Jon Rafman. Kool-Aid Man in Second Life offers to give Internet users free guided tours of Second Life by Rafman’s avatar, the Kool-Aid Man. The aforementioned video is a promotional video showing scenes of the tour (by the way, apparently some of this may not be NSFW, though I watched the first minute or two and didn’t really notice anything bad). The subtlety of the video, and the entire project, is what makes it so engaging. There are all sorts of questions raised here: about the role of crafted pop culture icons in the new era of user generated content, about the nature of scenic beauty, about our interaction with kitsch. Someone take the tour and let us know how it is!
PS: Check out this essay Rafman wrote on Google Street View. Very compelling stuff.
Nicholas Bohac is a San Francisco based artist who works with printmaking methods and acrylic based media. His two-dimensional paintings and drawings are an investigation of human influence on nature, and natures influence on humans. Bohac has created his own version of a modern day landscape, encouraging his audience to think about the ecological climate and human stweardship.
San Francisco-based photographer has a few different ongoing projects, but the one I like the best is the tentatively named “The Inhabited West.” The series consists of aerial photographs parts of the American landscape: “pursuing themes of mapping, vertigo, human impact on the land, geology, and various aspects of the sublime.” Some interesting points on how we’ve constructed our world around nature, and how the two interact.
New York-based photographer Oliver Wasow works mostly with digital photography, having taught it at Bard and SVA. He creates hyperrealistic, crisp landscapes that at times can look like portals into another world. And while he’s refrained from it recently, his composite work from the late 90s is my favorite.