Miranda Donovan explores the invasion of graffiti from the exterior world of landscapes and buildings to the interior one– of bathrooms, bedrooms, and yes, even galleries, where street artists are finding more and more of a home these days. However, Donovan’s work is not just about street politics or the art of tagging here– each piece also examines the quality, textures, associations, and contexts of walls themselves.
Of her work, in Cool Hunting, Donovan states, “The point of departure is a wall, which so often people just overlook . . . It’s something in our daily space constantly, internally and externally, and there’s a romanticism in that, which draws me in. The different combination of languages, the grid, the broken plaster breaking up that grid, the colors, the erosion, is something that really excites me. It’s about combining those languages to tell a story about the passage of time and the analogy of the human psyche, peeling back the onion layers to find the core.”
Robert Josiah Bingaman is the master of beautiful dark landscapes. Bingaman states about his work: “My studio practice is an idiosyncratic teeter-totter; a shifting set of consistent obsessions. The first, to be “out there”, in the distant places, and the second, an anxious need to permanently mark the rare, fleeting moments that originate from those places. The scenes I paint are the result of an indulgent desire to regain the innocence and satisfaction I once associated with the subjects depicted. Yet, in the offing, these paintings reveal my struggle to name what I haven’t found.”
Peruvian artist Cecilia Paredes gives new meaning to the term “wallflower.” In her recent collection of photographs, entitled “Landscapes,” Paredes seamlessly disappears into a dizzying array of patterned wallpapers, using only paint and, in some cases, simple costumes to complete the transformation. Paredes’ self-painting is so precise that, oftentimes, the only hint of her presence is a flash of sleek brown hair or a pair of gleaming white eyes peering out from the background. Through this disappearing act, Paredes explores themes of displacement and migration, illustrating the difficulties of blending in to new surroundings without completely casting off one’s roots.
You can’t help but feel like you’re the last person on the face of the Earth when you look at the blurry, skewed and foreboding work by American photographer Todd Hido. Well known for his photographs of houses at night, Hido’s landscapes are categorically different from his best hits; instead of a voyeur, you’re the lost soul. Take the leap to see more. Hido captures that inner mood of the sometimes depressing and surreal landscape contained in the northern states. I can always feel nostalgic about cold weather and the pleasant variety of loneliness the winter brings. If you see that moment, forget the tripod mounted cam- shoot through the windshield and give photographic impressionism a try.
In a series entitled “Paper Mountains,” NY-based photographer Brendan Austin shoots crumbled paper in an abstracted, decontextualized way as to create the appearance of mountains. It reminds me of when I was a child and I would look at the natural folds, hills, and canyons created by my bedspread and imagine they were gigantic landscapes.