Richard Renaldi – Beautiful Strangers

Posted in Photography on November 3rd, 2011 by Moose – Be the first to comment

At first glance, Richard Renaldi’s portraits taken across the United States are little more than candid portraits taken with a really nice single-lens reflex camera. Obviously the portraits are well thought out and put together; the portrait artist definitely knows how to frame a photograph. Sure they capture a beautiful part of Americana, with the normal subjects in their mundane tasks or living their average lives to which everyone can relate. What stands out in these photographs is the relation of the subjects chosen for the photographs.

Sondra and Erin, PA, 2011

Sondra and Erin, PA, 2011

There is none. In his collection Touching Strangers, Renaldi’s focus was to find two complete strangers who happened to be near each other who, for one moment, would meet, share a photograph, and then go their separate ways. It is likely that the subjects might never meet again. Yet in the brief instant the artist catches on film there is a familiarity and comfort between some of the models who despite all appearances have only met just before the photograph. Note that this is only for some of the models, as many of Renaldi’s pieces show a stiffness about them where some participants are undoubtedly uncomfortable with their present situation.

Elizabeth and Brandon, PA, 2010

Elizabeth and Brandon, PA, 2010

Julie and Xavier, IL, 2007

Julie and Xavier, IL, 2007

It is simple to understand the awkwardness of some of the photos despite the amateur models. The one condition that Renaldi required of all of his subjects is that they must be touching in some fashion in the photograph. The contact helps visually confuse the knowledge that the models are strangers with evidence of some sort of feigned relationship. When all is said and done, the compositions bring forth the question of our interpersonal relationships, and whether there is pretense in the connections of family, friend, and lover.

Eddie and Winnie, NY, 2011

Eddie and Winnie, NY, 2011

Tim, Victoria and Derek, NY, 2008

Tim, Victoria and Derek, NY, 2008

Portraits, or mere snapshots? You make the call.

Richard Renaldi’s personal website and photography blog.
Richard Renaldi on Time

(4) (2)
6 votes

Maurizio Anzeri – A Stitch In Time

Posted in Embroidery, Fiber, Photography on November 1st, 2011 by Moose – Be the first to comment

What do you do with old portraits? Portraits of people long forgotten. Portraits ready to be thrown in the bin, or filed away in a drawer that will likely not be opened again for a long time. Many people truly enjoy the nostalgia of black and white photographs, even if the subjects are unknown to them. But whence comes the artistic value of the photograph? It would appear that Maurizio Anzeri has found this unique aesthetic and would very much like to share it with us.

Round Midnight

Round Midnight

Following a study in ink drawing and embroidery, the Italian-born artist began stitching on photographs, using the unique geometry of the figures to direct the outcome of the final product. Symmetry, rhythm, form, function, order, and cacophony—all hidden behind the familiar lines of the human form. The focus of Anzeri’s photo-sculptures (a term he coined for his pieces) is often solely the face of the subject. Crafting masks with fiber, Anzeri paints a new character on the old portrait, one found burrowed beneath the formality of the camera displaying solely what it can see.

Marcel

Marcel

Robert

Robert

The compositions flow between the bold and the beautiful, highlighting features about each figure. The color choices are often striking, standing out against the monochromatic or sepia tones of recorded light from times forgotten.

Nicola

Nicola

Rita

Rita

Anzeri works now out of London and has been featured in the Saatchi gallery as well as BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and his work has been featured in original commissions for Dazed and Confused.

Nadia

Nadia

Should the needle and thread be left to the tailor, or can you stitch emotion into a still frame? Vote below.

Maurizio Anzeri at Yatzer, Saatchi Gallery, BALTIC, and Dazed and Confused.

(3) (2)
5 votes

Shain Erin – Delicate Dolls

Posted in Mixed Media, Sculpture on September 2nd, 2011 by Moose – 1 Comment

Lots of people love dolls. Children and adults alike are transfixed by the bundles of ceramic and fabric that have brought joy and comfort to so many. It’s easy to see that these objects can often be more than just an item of affection, but also an extension of the owner’s personality and self-view. Commercial dolls, however, can sometimes be too aesthetically pleasing. No one is without at least a blemish or scar of some sort. And not everyone fits into the classical view of beautiful, pretty, or even normal.

Conjoined Triplets

Conjoined Triplets

Shain Erin has created a unique collection of non-traditoinal art/fashion doll sculptures that many describe as creepy or disturbing. His mixed media creations explore the ability of the doll to emulate living entities more so than a painting or drawing, and still remain an object fashioned out of inanimate parts.

Fallen

Fallen

Study for a Portrait of a Human Soul (Female Figure)

Study for a Portrait of a Human Soul (Female Figure)

Shain refers to his pieces as “morbid fine art” and “monsters” that often resemble a collection of medical oddities, though only Babette (following) seems to be loosely based on a real medical condition, hypertrichosis, famously belonging to Kung Fu grandmaster Su Kong T’ai Djin and sideshow performer Stephan Bibrowski.

Babette, the Beastly Beauty

Babette, the Beastly Beauty

Not all of the dolls resemble living creatures, though Shain will argue the dolls are likely more a representation of the soul more than a body. Edgar Allan Poe’s last poem, “Annabel Lee” is the inspiration behind Shain’s doll of the same name. The distinguishable bright eyes of the poem’s fallen maiden are haunting on the doll’s visage, and her gaunt appearance and pale skin beg the viewer to wonder if the form is a spectre or a corpse found in the sepulchre.

Annabel Lee

Annabel Lee

Many of Shain’s sculptures, dolls, and poppets now belong in private collections as the artist, through the use of several online outlets, has made his art easily accessible to those who appreciate it.

Sentinel

Sentinel

Creepy or captivating? Tell us what you think below.

Photos courtesy of the artist’s website.
Shain Erin on: Artbreak | Etsy | DeviantArt | Flickr

(2) (1)
3 votes

Tim Noble and Sue Webster – Nasty Projectionists

Posted in Installations, Light/Illumination, Sculpture, Shadow on April 19th, 2011 by Moose – 1 Comment

Nasty. There really isn’t another word to describe the works of Tim Noble and Sue Webster. The British duo have collaborated on projects since 1996 that have spanned the realms of light and shadow, illumination and the dark, yet are, for all intents and purposes, trash.

Dirty White Trash (With Gulls)

Dirty White Trash (With Gulls)

Don’t assume that this is any critique of the work from the connotation of the word. The artists may take the statement as a compliment. While Noble and Webster create many lighted sculptures, another oft-used medium of the pair is that of used goods (i.e. trash). The work that Noble and Webster display, however, is not just the created pile of trash (which in the case of Dirty White Trash was 6 collected months of the artists’ trash and a pair of dead seagulls), but the projection of the shadow of the work from a fixed position. Their first shadow sculpture, Miss Understood and Mr Meanor, drew huge crowds when they exhibited it in 1997.

Miss Understood and Mr Meanor

Miss Understood and Mr Meanor

Keeping with the theme of heads on pikes, Noble and Webster presented Dark Stuff over a decade later: another pair of unfortunate crania, this time crafted out of 189 mummified animals including rats, crows, and a fox.

Dark Stuff

Dark Stuff

The shadow work of the artists is not always as macabre as impaled, disembodied heads. Quite a bit of their work, both light and shadow, is lighthearted and easily relatable, or at the very least, uninterested in the topic of death, at least on the surface.

Wasted Youth

Wasted Youth

The Original Sinners

The Original Sinners

A common focus in their shadow sculptures are couples (Noble and Webster having been partners for some time before marrying in 2008 may have played a part in their subject matter), many which are seen as self portraits. Each work is painstakingly created out of innumerable pieces of trash, each painstakingly placed to ensure the shadow is created with striking detail. But not all of their works are based on a pair of lovers or compatriots. Sunset Over Manhattan brings a skyline to life out of aluminum cans, peppered with holes created by air pistols.

Sunset Over Manhattan

Sunset Over Manhattan

While each work is designed to be viewed from a certain perspective for the shadow to appear properly, not all works have a single shadow. For Cheap and Nasty, an electronic mechanism rotates the pair of faces between two different views. The work at once shows duality within a person, a being and a façade, each hidden in the shadow of the other.

Cheap and Nasty

Cheap and Nasty

Cheap and Nasty (alternate view)

Cheap and Nasty (alternate view)

Yet, at the very heart of their pieces, there is a universally dirty, yet natural and accepted, quality to their work.

HE/SHE

HE/SHE

Are Noble and Webster’s sculptures nasty, or are they just plain rubbish? Let us know below.

Article found via WebUrbanist.
Photos courtesy ofDeitch and Gagosian.
The artists’ personal webpage.

(4) (0)
4 votes

John Baldessari – Colorful Silhouettes

Posted in Lithograph, Photography, Screenprint on April 15th, 2011 by Moose – Be the first to comment

John Baldessari’s Nose/Silhouette series may not be as dramatic as his cremation project, but they paint a solid represenatation of Baldessari’s work thus far. Baldessari experiments with casting images in solid color silhouettes, leaving details to be filled in by the mind’s eye. Often a work can have a lot more complexity when the details are left out rather than included.

John Baldessari - Orange

John Baldessari - Orange

John Baldessari - Green

John Baldessari - Green

John Baldessari - Blue

John Baldessari - Blue

As with many of John’s silhouette groups, Nose/Silhouette focuses on a repeated subject, though never the same image between the pieces. What stands out among these silhouettes is that the hair of the models obscures the silhouette but does not have shape itself in the image outside of it’s intersection of the solid color. The resultant image becomes an exercise in creativity and a subconscious attempt to recreate the image despite the mind lacking any useful background information of the photo itself.

John Baldessari - Yellow

John Baldessari - Yellow

John Baldessari - Red

John Baldessari - Red

Prints of Baldessari’s Nose/Silhouette series are available in a limited edition of 50 from Gemini G.E.L.

John Baldessari - Purple

John Baldessari - Purple

How do silhouettes hold up in the field of visual arts? Your opinion counts, make yourself heard below.

Images courtesy of Gemini G.E.L.
Video interview of John Baldessari at The Met, courtesy of Tate Modern and Tate Media.
The artist’s personal webage.

(2) (7)
9 votes

Paul Kolker – Sculpting Light

Posted in Light/Illumination, Sculpture on April 13th, 2011 by Moose – Be the first to comment

Geometric shapes and neon lights befitting of the next TRON reboot fill the studio space of this Brooklyn-born artist. Paul Kolker has made a name for himself out of his integration of mathematical theory and scientific concepts to his painting and other artworks. It’s no surprise that this former chief of cardiothoracic surgery applies so much quantitative process to his works to depict them qualitatively.

Paul Kolker - Infinity Vortex of Light Sculptures

Paul Kolker - Infinity Vortex of Light Sculptures

A number of Paul Kolker’s works implement his own color and art theory he has dubbed “fracolor.” This process transforms an image into pixelated dots of fractal components of the original. The result is a very clear representation of the image from afar but a very fractured and almost abstract grouping of circles when viewed closely. In his current installation, Let There Be Light!, Kolker displays a selection of his unique light “sculptures,” exploring depth and physical space in concrete forms via illumination. Similar to the fracolor experience, the lights in each group are little more than individual dots alone (even less than the paintings as their very being is a testament to their impermanence) yet create an image much more substantive than the shape it is symbolizing.

Paul Kolker - Iterati Triangulare, Green

Paul Kolker - Iterati Triangulare, Green

Paul Kolker - Star Light, Star Bright

Paul Kolker - Star Light, Star Bright

Kolker’s “sculptures” are simply meant to be seen to be wholly appreciated. The fullness of Kolker’s Star Light, Star Bright for instance is difficult to capture in a photograph, especially when depth and angle are such intricate facets of the work. The best living example of this is this photograph of the above mentioned work.

Can light have form, or will Kolker’s work vanish into darkness? Make your choice below.

Photos courtesy of Opening Ceremony.
The artist’s personal website.
Let There Be Light! can be viewed at Studio 601 through May 5th.

(2) (0)
2 votes

Peter Halley – Four Decades of Drawings

Posted in Drawing, Film / Video, Kodalith, Painting on April 12th, 2011 by Moose – 1 Comment

Day-glo acrylics are not the sole medium of this New York-born abstract artist. Abstract may not be the appropriate term to use, though—the artist himself prefers to call his work “diagrammatic” because of the concreteness and deliberateness of each element in his paintings and drawings. Though Peter Halley’s works are often remembered as a number of his earliest, bright, minimalist pieces, Halley has run through and around different methods to craft his compositions. His latest exhibit, Drawings: Four Decades is a collection of much of the driving force behind his work, including paint studies on paper, digital animation, and photomechanical prints—many of which have never been exhibited before.

Peter Halley - Tree in Landscape, 1977

Peter Halley - Tree in Landscape, 1977

Despite the variations in Peter’s work, much of it can be described with the same qualifiers and often has very similar messages; straight lines symbolizing prison cells or strict order drawing our attention to those things that control or enslave all of us. Several of his line drawings from the eighties draw this theme out again and again, particularly comparing apartment complexes to penitentiaries.

Peter Halley - Prisons: Indoors and Outdoors, 1981

Peter Halley - Prisons: Indoors and Outdoors, 1981

Peter Halley - Apartment House, Prison, 1981

Peter Halley - Apartment House, Prison, 1981

Currently exhibiting at the Gering & López gallery in New York through April 23, Drawings: Four Decades includes works done using a photomechanical process on kodalith, an oft forgotten monochromatic film. Of the selections in the exhibit made in this process, the gallery press release reads:

Also in the exhibition is a variety of works from the early 1980s in which Halley maps his developing concern with post-industrial space — first in a series of simple mechanical pen drawings on graph paper, then in his “Kodaliths.” In these, Halley’s drawings are printed on mylar as photographic negatives, thus yielding an ethereal clear line on a film-like black background. As Halley’s work with Kodaliths progresses through the mid-80s, he focuses less on articulating his new world of prisons, cells, and, conduits, and more on the re-presentation of simple words and phrases taken from the realm of packaging and highway signage in works like “Digitally Mastered” and “Maintain Speed”.

Peter Halley - The Meaning of Production, 1981

Peter Halley - The Meaning of Production, 1981

Peter Halley - Voyage to a City, 1981

Peter Halley - Voyage to a City, 1981

Among the expected line drawings, post-modern paintings, and film work are a pair of large-format flowcharts. Created in the mid-1990s, Halley’s emphasis fell on society’s attention to processes and the automation of once organic actions and thoughts.

Peter Halley - Is Response Improved?, 1995

Peter Halley - Is Response Improved?, 1995

A number of the more recent pieces in the collection resemble very much the space he explored with his early Day-glo pieces; order, chaos, interconnectedness, and separation all explored within the same constraints of minimalist lines and square shapes.

Peter Halley - Untitled, 2008

Peter Halley - Untitled, 2008

Peter Halley - Untitled, 2010

Peter Halley - Untitled, 2010

Are Halley’s works post-modern masterpieces? Make yourself heard below.

Exhibition page at Gering & López.
Article from Contemporary Art.
Peter Halley’s personal website.

(3) (3)
6 votes

Camille Rose Garcia – Fairytale From The Black Lagoon

Posted in Drawing, Mixed Media, Painting on April 11th, 2011 by Moose – Be the first to comment
Camille Rose Garcia - White Swan With Potion

Camille Rose Garcia - White Swan With Potion

Camille Rose Garcia is most popularly known for contributing the illustrations to the New York Times bestseller Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. This Los Angeles-based, lowbrow artist, however, has a far wider-reaching career than reinterpreting the works of Lewis Carroll. Over a dozen gallery exhibits and three books across the last decade have made Garcia’s style and tone recognizable to even the more casual art enthusiasts, even if unaware of the artist’s full body of work.

Camille Rose Garcia - Mirror, Black Mirror

Camille Rose Garcia - Mirror, Black Mirror

“Sneewittenhen und die Schwarze Lagune” or “Snow White And The Black Lagoon” was displayed in the Michael Kohn gallery from March 12 to April 9, 2011. Garcia has included among the collective works in the exhibition glitter-and-gold-leaf paintings in acrylic, ink and pencil drawings on tattered paper, and mixed media portraiture in vintage frames representing mirrors. The gallery press release says of Garcia’s exhibit:

Referencing the classic German Fairy tale, as well as the animated film by Walt Disney, Garcia weaves a monstrous modern and dysfunctional narrative using cartoony, Jungian archetypes, a psychedelic saturated color palette, and an obtuse combination of action-painter brush strokes and carefully controlled, calligraphic line work. Gold leaf and black glitter hang out together on the paintings in an uncomfortable but tolerated relationship. Leaking black castles, oily witches, and a gang of tired and dizzy dwarf miners accompany the Snow White and her fragile entourage of forest and lagoon animals as they traverse through caves, lagoons, and compromised natural landscapes, searching for an elusive happy ending.

Camille Rose Garcia - Hunters and Warriors

Camille Rose Garcia - Hunters and Warriors

Camille Rose Garcia - Dreamtime Battle

Camille Rose Garcia - Dreamtime Battle

Camille Rose Garcia - Children Wake Up

Camille Rose Garcia - Children Wake Up

Garcia is generally classified as producing gothic fairytales, with unsettling cartoons and a downright creepy tone throughout her oeuvre. Definitely fitting the mark are the vintage framed works within “Black Lagoon.” The mixed media works are set into the frame forming the image of a reflection in a looking glass of sorts, the subject of each attempting to frame an allegory between the familiar märchen and our current relationship with nature and society.

Camille Rose Garcia - Leaky Empires

Camille Rose Garcia - Leaky Empires

Camille Rose Garcia - Slow Ghost

Camille Rose Garcia - Slow Ghost

Is the exhibit deserving of a royal wedding, or is it more suited to dine on poisoned apples? Cast your votes.

Exhibitions at the Michael Kohn gallery.
Selected works from Sneewittenhen und die Schwarze Lagune.
Camille Rose Garcia’s personal .

(5) (0)
5 votes

Laurie Simmons – Playing With Dolls

Posted in Photography on April 10th, 2011 by Moose – Be the first to comment

Laurie Simmons is no stranger to the world of photographing dolls. Laurie’s career has been shaped by her work with fashion dolls and figurines, and even making a film starring Meryl Streep opposite several ventriloquist dummies, But the subject matter of her most recent work is of a much larger scale to her usual models.

Day 8, Lying On Bed

Day 8, Lying On Bed

“The Love Doll” is the newest photographic exhibit from the New York-based artist. Simmons’ subjects in the series of photographs are Asian-manufactured “love dolls”: high-quality, anatomically correct, silicone dolls.

Day 9, Shiso Soda

Day 9, Shiso Soda

Many companies in the United States and overseas manufacture these dolls for prurient interest as well as to be used as life size fashion models, but a number of the most lifelike (and therefore, most expensive) examples hail from Japan. Simmons was first introduced to the dolls while visiting Tokyo and learned of their construction and customizability. These dolls are a far cry from their plastic and latex predecessors featuring realistic skin texture and generous (though stiff) joint articulation. “The Love Doll” features two of these customized dolls from Japan in a series of poses attempting to animate and humanize the inanimate.

Day 11, Yellow

Day 11, Yellow

Much of Simmons’ work follows the tradition of fashion doll and ball jointed doll photography, inserting the characters into their own worlds and creating a fantasy setting, history, and journey for the characters. But Simmons’ characters aren’t 55 centimeters tall. Their world doesn’t exist on a desktop or a dollhouse or diorama. The lifesize dolls were created to fit in our world to serve a purpose alongside people, in some cases as a surrogate for a living person. The scenes in which the dolls are cast are, for the most part, natural to us, which is simultaneously the most logical and the most irrational place for the characters to exist.

Day 20, Bride

Day 20, Bride

Day 25, The Jump

Day 25, The Jump

The simple truth behind the existence and use of the dolls, however, is present in some of the photographs. Simmons included an image of the second doll in the collection on its “birthday,” at its unboxing. Dressed in a nightshirt and packaged in a plain brown box, little doubt is left as to the destiny that would have befallen this doll and that lies waiting for so many other love dolls shipped to customers around the world.

Day 27/Day 1, New In Box

Day 27/Day 1, New In Box

Day 29, Nude With Dog

Day 29, Nude With Dog

Simmons has created an array of situations in which the dolls exhibit their comfort and demeanor in specific surroundings. Swimming, resting, sleeping and playing are all given their domain in which the subject expresses their actions. Other works highlight the detail of the nude dolls’ bodies, innocent and helpless of their situation, but what some may consider perverse and unnatural for their presence.

Day 30/Day 2, Meeting

Day 30/Day 2, Meeting

Nearly-living works of art, or just “living” in a really expensive dollhouse? Vote below.

The artist’s personal webpage, page on the exhibit, and images of the photographs.
Article on designboom.
Article at NYTimes.
Salon94 exhibition page.

(2) (2)
4 votes

Theosophy Of The Urethra – Gilbert and George

Posted in Collage, Postcard on April 9th, 2011 by Moose – Be the first to comment

The unorthodox art duo Gilbert and George first experimented with postcards as a medium for art almost 40 years ago. Since that time they’ve always maintained their status as a unique force in the art world, having delved into topics like sex and nudity and highlighting subjects like feces and urine in a blunt and forward manner. Now, The Urethra Postcard Pictures deals with the artists ideas about nature, sexuality, reproduction and being through their postcard work.

George and Gilbert - Big Ben Flagsky

George and Gilbert - Big Ben Flagsky

The entirety of each piece in the 564 strong collection is unlike their past collages. Each work is a series of 13 identical postcards arranged in the same manner: twelve postcards aligned in a rectangle with a thirteenth in the center of the rectangle, accompanied by the title and signed by the artists below the images. The shape which the postcards form is claimed to be an angulated representation of the theosophical symbol for a urethra, one supported by Charles Leadbeater who made a professional habit out of masturbation. The symbol that Gilbert and George attribute to Leadbeater had, in fact, existed as a symbol representing air, the sun, and eventualy harmony within a male and female union prior to the theosophist’s use of it, so it is nevertheless a fitting representation for their topic.

George and Gilbert - All Kinky

George and Gilbert - All Kinky

The postcards cover a wide body of subjects such as nationhood, civic identity, sexuality, prostitution, and being and are taken from regular tourist stands to handbills advertising adult services. Gilbert and George highlight that all of these topics are interdependent on the human condition, all having been conceived from the urethra which carries sperm, symbolizing the impregnation of life to all of their subject matter.

George and Gilbert - Bloody War

George and Gilbert - Bloody War

The collection of telephone box cards is quite varied and paints a sordid and unique history of London where their presence was second nature, unlike in other countries. However, considering the time it took to collect these pieces, they may showcase more of a historical than a living portrait of British culture as the prevalence of the handbills is waning. The postcards have been on tour in several galleries across the country, most recently having been exhibited for a few days at Lehmann Maupin.

George and Gilbert - Buses

George and Gilbert - Buses

Do Gilbert and George accurately reflect the interconnectedness of all things or are their postcards best saved to be used by the post office? Sound off below.

Video interview of Gilbert and George at The Telegraph.
Review from their exhibition at White Cube.
Exhibition feature from The Independent.
Interview from Dazed Digital.

(1) (5)
6 votes