New York-based designer/illustrator/art director/what have you Mario Hugo is a talented guy. Working mostly in print, he creates work that utilizes his painting skills in a way that feels very sophisticated and contemporary. Mr. Hugo is also the co-owner of an artist management firm called Hugo & Marie.
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.
Born in 1948, New York based artist Marilyn Minter has been creating these sensual, borderline pornographic images since the 80s. Her process involves taking photographs of her subjects and then (usually) painting them on a huge scale using enamel paint on metal. Yet, as Emily Davidow says, “…the paintings feel more real than the gorgeous photographs that inspire them. Illuminating the moments when things fall apart, the paintings get more interesting as your gaze lingers on after that first arresting glance and you discover the imperfections. Hand feathered layers of enamel on metal render sweat, stubble, wrinkles and freckles lush, tactile and luminous.” The paintings are huge. I can only imagine what they look like in person.
New York artist Alison Blickle creates interests paintings in which female nudes (which I think are roughly self-portraits) are pictured in the majestic beauty of nature. While this might not sound all that revolutionary on its own, there is an interesting, almost cartoonish aesthetic in the paintings which creates a sort of off-putting sense of abstraction/simplification, as if this reality is very far from the artist’s life.
Bird Falls Near Chinese Garbage
Minneapolis born John Lurie is a jack of all trades. He was originally a musician, playing sax in NYC no wave group Lounge Lizards. Later, in the 1980s, he moved on to acting, having a number of memorable roles in Jim Jarmusch movies like Down By Law. Mostly recently however, and especially since isolating himself due to what seems to be Lyme disease, Lurie has been a painter, creating dark, absurdist works with unusual titles. If you like his work, I recommend adding him on Facebook. His online updates are little gems of black humor, just like his paintings.
Tomokazu Matsuyama was born in Japan. He moved to the US when he was around ten years old, not speaking any English, and being overwhelmed by the culture shock of 1980s Los Angeles. His work is a reflection of this upbringing. Matsuyama’s paintings envision traditional Japanese imagery through the lens of American pop art, creating a unique and beautiful hybrid.
New York sculptor Thomas Doyle works in miniature, creating detailed scenes capturing specific moments in his tiny people’s lives. Some of these moments are rather mundane, while others are epically dramatic. What all these sculptures share however, is best put in Doyle’s words:
The pieces’ radically reduced scales evoke feelings of omnipotence—as well as the visceral sensation of unbidden memory recall. Hovering above the glass, the viewer approaches these worlds as an all-seeing eye, looking down upon landscapes that dwarf and threaten the figures within.
Conversely, the private intensity of moments rendered in such a small scale draws the viewer in, allowing for the intimacy one might feel peering into a museum display case or dollhouse. Though surrounded by chaos, hazard, and longing, the figures’ faces betray little emotion, inviting viewers to lose themselves in these crucibles—and in the jumble of feelings and memories they elicit.
Semen/New York Post collage
A nod to the passing of prodigious asinine youth culture documenter, Dash Snow, who reportedly fell victim to the same choice of poison as his photographic subjects. Most of his images are too gnarly (snorting cocaine off a penis, sexual escapades, general urban debauchery) to post on this blog but I’m sure you’ll find them very well & easily if you just Google him. Here’s some of tamer ones after the jump…