Photography

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

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.

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.

Peter Halley – Four Decades of Drawings

Posted in Drawing, Film / Video, Kodalith, Painting on April 12th, 2011 by Moose – 5 Comments

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.

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.

Dust to Dust – Ujin Lee and Tom Edwards

Posted in Photography on February 11th, 2011 by Moose – Be the first to comment

Marianne Moore once proposed that beauty was everlasting but dust was only for a time. Australian artists Ujin Lee and Tom Edwards would likely argue that dust’s time can hold everlasting beauty of its own. “Dust” is an ongoing photography project that captures projections of a billowing substance in a number of different settings. The extremely high shutter speed photography captures the changing and fading dust in a state not normally viewed, frozen in motion before crashing to the ground. The results of the project can not adequately be described in words, but must be viewed to be fully appreciated.

Ujin Lee and Tom Edwards - From the project 'Dust'

Ujin Lee and Tom Edwards - From the project 'Dust'

Ujin Lee and Tom Edwards - From the project 'Dust'

Ujin Lee and Tom Edwards - From the project 'Dust'

The use of light and shadow in each shot helps draw a strong sense of depth to each photograph giving a sharp sense of substance to fine particles rarely given a second thought and often dismissed as a nuisance.

Ujin Lee and Tom Edwards - From the project 'Dust'

Ujin Lee and Tom Edwards - From the project 'Dust'

Ujin Lee and Tom Edwards - From the project 'Dust'

Ujin Lee and Tom Edwards - From the project 'Dust'

The ghostly-looking focus of each shot is haunting amid its cold and simple presence. And while each shot contains the same basic principles, each selected work showcases the “dust” in unique and profound form.

Ujin Lee and Tom Edwards - From the project 'Dust'

Ujin Lee and Tom Edwards - From the project 'Dust'

Masters of the beauty in the unusual or just having too much fun beating chalk erasers together? Vote below and give us your opinion.

View Ujin Lee’s website here.
Found through TrendLand and FIELD

Zwelethu Mthethwa – Apartheid and Lasting Segregation

Posted in Photography on March 12th, 2010 by Moose – 1 Comment

In 1994, following a series of negotiations dismantling the policy of apartheid in South Africa, all citizens of South Africa voted in the nation’s first general election held absent of racial limitations. The historic vote placed the African National Congress in power and began a powerful change in the exposure of South Africa to the rest of the world. Following the end of apartheid, the culture and art of ethnic Africans was no longer subject to the censorship of the ruling parties. Photography, especially that displaying the social and economic disparity between the classes, was brought to wide-spread, world attention.

Zwelethu Mthethwa - Untitled

Zwelethu Mthethwa - Untitled

Zwelethu Mthethwa - Untitled

Zwelethu Mthethwa - Untitled

Zwelethu Mthethwa - Untitled

Zwelethu Mthethwa - Untitled

Zwelethu Mthethwa of Durban has chronicled the history and current state of his country in several series of large-format photographs which have made their tour of galleries worldwide in ongoing conversation of the cultural identities of the disenfranchised and the relationship of South Africa with the global community.

Zwelethu Mthethwa - Untitled

Zwelethu Mthethwa - Untitled

Zwelethu Mthethwa - Untitled

Zwelethu Mthethwa - Untitled

The Aperture Foundation and its publishing arm have recently chosen to feature Mthethwa in a comprehensive monograph of the artist’s work to date. Scheduled to be released on 31 March 2010, Zwelethu Mthethwa takes the viewer across the landscapes and fields worked by rural denizens and into the homes and places of worship of native South Africans in an attempt to paint an accurate portrait of South African life to balance world perspectives on progress in the nation and afro-pessimism.

Zwelethu Mthethwa - Untitled

Zwelethu Mthethwa - Untitled

Zwelethu Mthethwa - Untitled

Zwelethu Mthethwa - Untitled

Pictures and information courtesy of African Colours, Aperture, and Art Slope

Social survey, or simply snapshots? Select below.

Olaf Breuning – “Brian” and “Sibylle”

Posted in Photography on March 4th, 2010 by Moose – Be the first to comment

The University of Texas is hosting an art exhibit studying the theme of Desire—its meaning and portrayal. More than 3 dozen artists are featured in the exhibit at the Blanton Museum of Art on campus. I had the pleasure of being able to see the Desire exhibit at the Blanton a couple of weeks ago, and I stumbled across the work of New York-based Olaf Breuning of Switzerland. Olaf boasts an impressive catalogue of works on his quirky website (bonus points if you find the links that take you to his old website, no cheating). His work is as quirky and odd as the website itself. For those of you having difficulty finding Olaf’s contributions (named in the title) to Desire on the site, I offer them here for you to view.

Olaf Breuning - Brian

Olaf Breuning - Brian

Though similar in scope, the two photographs were taken more than a decade apart. Sibylle, the older sister of Brian, was taken in 1997. Brian hails from 2008. These large-format photographs are currently hanging alongside each other in the Blanton exhibit.

Olaf Breuning - Sibylle

Olaf Breuning - Sibylle

Desire can be seen at the Blanton Museum of Art on the University of Texas campus (map) Article courtesy of Art Culture.

How would you rate the siblings? Vote below.

Light Graffiti – Ben Matthews

Posted in Photography on February 26th, 2010 by Moose – Be the first to comment

Some artists work on canvas. Others in cast metal or clay. Increasingly, more young artists have turned to the art of light painting as a way to decorate or alter a landscape or setting temporarily, capturing the effect on film to preserve permanently. Never seen it before? Here is an example from a young, British dentist, Ben Matthews.

Ben Matthews - Light Graffiti

Ben’s use of light coupled with a slow shutter speed is hardly a new medium—most photographers with single lens reflex cameras have experimented with this “technique”—but Matthews goes further than most with the creation and composition of a scene. His images are not merely the wild waving arms of someone with a glowstick in the dark, and many of his works include the figure of the artist himself.

Ben Matthews - Light Graffiti

Ben also must ride skateboards, or have friends who ride, as a number of his creations revolve around halfpipes. The following displays the trail of a boarder, whose path is traced in light back and forth across the structure.

Ben Matthews - Light Graffiti

Juvenile delinquent, or clever painter? Make your choice.

Read and see more on TimesOnline and Telegraph.co.uk.