Kristian Burford’s art installations meditate on the postmortem state of sexual arousal without a partner present. Nestled in a messy realistic setting, each carefully constructed wax figure seems to sigh inward, recollecting him or herself after an erotic whim has been satiated. However, the intention does not stop there: it seethes and penetrates with primal implications. Encountering each diorama, our own interior worlds are challenged and heightened as we find ourselves cast to confront not so much nudity, but even more so, our own erotic inclinations as possible voyeurs.
Romulo Sans creates a dramatic aesthetic using political and cultural iconography. Sans’ photographs address issues of dominance, passivity, aggression, capitalism, and sexuality. Also of note are his blends of Western and Eastern imagery, asking viewers to consider the various absurdities within these contexts. Sans’ background in art direction and interest worldwide politics ground his work. These photographs convey Sans’ attempt to understand disparate cultural elements through a visual medium. Originally from Barcelona, Sans spent some formative years in Cuba, where he admittedly watched the Al Jazeera news outlet regularly, as it was one of the only available news outlets.
Genevieve Blais, a photographer based in Toronto, borrows imagery from classic art history paintings to unpack sexual politics relative to today’s contemporary palate.
Of her intention, Blais states, “The aesthetic/topical dissonance aims to elicit an uneasy response in order to subvert the implicit authority and sanctity of the icon.”
The result confronts and critiques art culture by sitting in an uneasy space between not only imagery, but also mediums– cameras and brushes, forcing us to clearly see the model as the true determinant– a staged powerful variant that has been with us since Caravaggio’s rule, humanizing the myth.
Kim Tucker’s ceramic sculptures are burly messes of gender– exorcising primal desires, akin to a Bukowski or Fante novel, with a dash of Freud, but crafted with more of a surrealistic feminine charge. Each nude, for example, sexually and emotionally gestures at our gentle need for communion from one body to the next, illustrating psychologically how we bleed failure, rejection, isolation or loss.
KCRW’s Laura Schumate laments on each figure’s soft absorption: “There’s a desire to protect them like your own children or a friend, while acknowledging their familiar sorrow within yourself.”
On that note, the entire menagerie evokes not only Tucker’s inner children, but also our own, as they engage in “psychological storytelling”– narrating open wounds we are inclined to protect, lick, mother, or share: a deep commiseration over the tragedy of bodily confinement.
Check out artist Mark Whalen aka KillPixie’s magical worlds, exploring communication, sexuality, and ritual, littered with masked patterned people, mythical animals, and an eerie landscape all their own. His pieces incorporate mixed media ranging from paint to pen and ink to newer works with resin. He’s recently collaborated with musicians The Grates on their album Secret Rituals which seems to be a beautiful fit for them both.