Walter Robinson creates amusing sculptures that work as witty social criticisms about consumerism and popular culture.
I’m fascinated by the human drive to possess material objects and by our intransigent attachment to the things we own. In my work I investigate the ways that consumer products have been crafted to perpetuate hunger for more. Brand and corporate logos, mascots, cartoon characters, advertising text and signage are the semiotic sources I draw from.
Robinson subverts meanings of familiar brands and Western cultural symbols by tweaking their scale, context and color.
With marketing and adverting psychology in mind, Robinson uses seductive surfaces, saturated color, bling and glitter to draw his audience to examine their own relationship to consumer culture and it’s effect on the environment and world events.
Just in time for the election season Steve Lambert brings his iconic signage based sculptures to Los Angeles for It’s Time To Fight, And It’s Time To Stop Fighting, opening at Charlie James Gallery on September 15th.
The centerpiece of Lambert’s upcoming show is Capitalism Works For Me! True/False (pictured above), which is on a nationwide tour of museums, non-profits and public spaces in 2011 and 2012. The sign has been exhibited in Cleveland, Boston, San Diego, and Santa Fe, NM so far this year, and its travels will continue after the gallery show concludes in October. The Capitalism project is among Lambert’s most ambitious to date, in both its scale and its level of provocation. The sign itself blares a question seldom posed so clearly, while also serving to divine public opinion and understanding about capitalism. At every stop on the sign’s aforementioned tour, Lambert interviews viewers about their experience of the piece, posing whether capitalism does in fact ‘work for them’. These video-captured testimonials illustrate how people define and understand capitalism, and their relationship to it.
Lambert will also present five new sign sculptures that amplify the question(s) posed in Capitalism. If the Capitalism project asks its question to the ‘man on the street’, this group of five new sign sculptures speaks directly to the demographic of people equipped to acquire them. Reflecting a fresh awareness that a broad swath of corporate and individual 1%-ers have collected his work over three years of gallery and art fair exhibitions, Lambert has decided to create visual reminders, admonitions, and encouragements to those in positions to collect the work.
On May 1st three american art students decided to jump the barriers surrounding Ai Weiwei’sSunflower Seedspiece at the Tate modern’s Turbine hall. This action was in protest against the barrier, against the original intentions of the work being inhibited by health and safety (originally museum visitors were to walk on the seeds), to support the release of Ai Weiwei by the Chinese government, and promote freedom of speech and art. The biggest surprise in the video comes when dozens of other museum members joined the three students in a spontaneous group protest. Now that’s power to the people! Watch the full video after the jump!
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, written by Mark Twain, has been the source of much controversy over the years due to the frequent use of the “N word”and other racial slurs. In this piece, An artist called Someguy has blacked out the entire text of the book, except for the 212 instances of the word.
This piece brings to light many interesting points in the debate of censorship and hate speech. It was announced in the begining of 2011 that one book publisher with rights to ‘Huckleberry Finn’ will re-release the book with all instances of the word replaced by the “slave” instead. What do you think about this situation? Should this hateful word be stricken from the pages of all books or should we not censor the works of authors and writers?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve heard about the arrest of prominent Chinese artists and activist Ai WeiWei by the Chinese Government. Ai Wei Wei and dozens of bloggers and artists were arrested earlier in April for “inciting subversion of state power,” a catch-all term used to jail anyone critical of Communist Party rule. Apparently The government is concerned that activists want to launch a “jasmine revolution” similar to the protests taking place in the Middle East.
Yesterday NPR released a great story about graffiti popping up all over China supporting the artist and demanding for his release. Street art is at its best when used to expose corruption. Taking your cause to the streets is one of the only ways to let your voice be heard In a country where the government won’t give a legitimate platform to its citizens. Lets hope that more people stand up to the government and demand that not just Ai Wei Wei but all political prisoners are released and that an open discussion can begin between the Chinese government and the countries 1.4 Billion residents.