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Against The Grain This Saturday!

Eddie Martinez,Untitled 2012 Oil and spray paint on paper, 10" x 7"

Arches and Rembrandt, leading fine art material manufacturers, present Against the Grain, a one-night art auction to raise grant funds for one Los Angeles-based student artist. With more than fifty participating artists, Against the Grain will feature works on paper that showcase diversified studio practices through a shared medium. Unlike any other charity arts auction, Against the Grain pioneers an artist community-based project in direct support of the next generation of emerging artists.

From the frenzied tableaus of Eddie Martinez  to the illusory oils of Annie Lapin, the works donated to Against the Grain will have a humble starting bid of $100. Each participating artist will be provided with newly developed archival paper by Arches paper mill (France) that does not require gesso before painting with oil colors, a key advancement for the painting practice. Additionally, the artists will be given a selection of the finest quality Rembrandt oil colors from Dutch color maker, Royal Talens. Additional sponsorship of gift certificates and cash awards will be provided by local participating fine art stores, announced the night of the event.

Local curatorial entity, 5790projects, and curator Amir H. Fallah will select one student artist from a surrounding university to award funds raised from the silent auction– a grant that can be used for studio practice, tuition, or supplies. A pool of student artists will be nominated by each participating university’s Studio Art faculty, each of which will receive a studio visit from event producers 5790projects and Fallah in order to determine the prizewinner. The grant recipient will be announced at the close of the event on August 25th, 2012 at the sponsoring venue, Mark Moore Gallery (Culver City, CA).

The opening reception will also feature live DJ sets, food trucks, and beer tasting by Brouwerij West. Event tickets are $10 – and can be purchased at the link below.

See more preview images of work on auction after the jump!

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Holly Stewart, Kansas City Grandmother, Loves Crafting Penises

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Kansas City grandmother Holly Stewart is arousing lots of love and laughs over her current art show at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, featuring intricately crafted penises. Some beaded, some quilted, they range in size and shape, as do those which they are modeled after. Using Kickstarter to fund this show, which is titled “Local Grandmother Quilts Giant Penises,” she has had no trouble drawing in a crowd. Her impetus to create these sorts of pieces came from a past job working in a sex toy factory, where Stewart de-molded dildos. As a painter, she was exploring penis themes when one day she randomly had an impulse to put pins into some foam core in a certain assortment, which her professor told her “looked like a dildo.” And thus craft penis-ing was born.

“Local Grandmother Quilts Giant Penises,” is up now until September 19th at the UMKC Gallery of Art. One reporter spoke very highly of the show, saying:

“Now that the exhibition is up and running, we can officially report that the massive, quilted man parts are more wondrous than we ever imagined. The works are as feminist as they are hilarious, as affirmative as they are transgressive. Sparkly, colorful, big and small, hard and soft, the penises on display truly capture the manifold possibilities of a phallic shape when separated from the shackling confines of human flesh.” (Source)

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Michaël Aerts Paints It Black

I love Michaël Aerts black and white sculptures. If black metal bands made art it would look something like this.

Dirty Projectors’ Brought Major Excitement To A Small Club

Dirty Projectors’ David Longstreth performing at the Troubadour February 5, 2013.

Dirty Projectors‘ recent sold out show at the Troubadour in Los Angeles was filled with hardcore fans that even surprised singer David Longstreth, “You don’t see a lot of moshing at a Dirty Projectors show”, but that was exactly what was happening about mid-way through their set. The band who usually performs in much larger venues were definitely in high spirits for the hour and a half show that included many songs from their latest release, Swing Lo Magellan as well as songs from their lengthy discography.

“This is the most reluctant catwalk I’ve ever seen”, Longstreth shouted out referring to the Troubadour’s very small center stage extension as he began to do a little rock star posing of his own. They really shined during their three song encore playing one of their most popular singles, Stillness Is The Move that had everyone in the crowd wildly dancing. They finished with their song, Impregnable Question from their latest which was the perfect ending to one of the best shows I’ve seen them perform.

No other dates have been announced, but last year Longstreth wrote and directed a short film produced by Pitchfork.tv and YouTube called Hi Custodian which stars the band and features the music from Swing Lo Magellan, it’s just over twenty minutes long and is a must see.

Scott Hove’s Installation “Cakeland” Transforms Interiors Into A Wonderland Of Sweets

Scott Hove - Cakeland Installation

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Imagine using your wildest imagination to create your dream fortress. What would it have inside? Scott Hove has taken a fairy-tale, dream-world created entirely out of what appears to be pastel sweets and turned it into an reality. His sickening sweet installation, titled Cakeland, uses sculpture, installation, and paint to construct a dramatic scene of cake-like decoration with a rococo flair, only instead of stucco molding, this sugary paradise is composed of delicately placed oranges, strawberries, and swirling, white icing. His elaborate work completely fills the building that holds it, which is labeled with an appropriate bright, neon sign displaying the word “Cakeland.” I cannot decide if Hove’s work is so alluring because of its fluffy, pastel details or the fact that it looks exactly like it is made up entirely of delicious, edible cake!

Hove explains that his process involves taking dark undertones and transforming them into something inviting and beautiful…and what is more pleasant than a place that surrounds and engulfs you in this never-ending, candy-colored comfort food? Hove’s artistic process uses endless imagination and creativity to allow his ideas of Cakeland to come to fruition.

I walk around my house, and see imaginary pieces on my wall, and then pick out the ones that I would most like to actually see hanging on the wall. Then I use every and any type of material to scratch the piece into existence. So much about making a piece of art is creating problems and solving them.

Dreamy Sculptures Based On Familiar Objects From Artists Home

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Canberra, Australia based artist Jacqueline Bradley creates artwork that is perhaps best described as dreamy – sleepily strange.  Her sculptural work is squarely based on familiar objects that recall a house and the home life inside.  Yarn, glasses, dinnerware all seem to diverge subtly but perceptibly from normal use.  In this way the sculptures seem more like playful memories of objects than the actual objects themselves.  Bradley’s work explores the home as a place and the way people engage with it.

Tim Noble And Sue Webster Assemble Trash Heaps That Project Images Of Gluttony

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Tim Noble and Sue Webster are a creative duo who assemble trash heaps that project shadows of recognizable—and often grotesque—forms: lumps of scrap metal cast the shapes of fornicating rats, and elsewhere shattered wood pieces align into a bickering couple. As a critique of human consumption and waste, their work falls under the category of “Gluttony” in Beautiful/Decay’s Book 9: “The Seven Deadly Sins.” Also featured in Book 9 are Tom Dilly Littleson’s wrathful portraits of self-mutilation (who we wrote about last August) and illustrator Brendan Danielsson’s crude, bloated portraits of sloth.

The concept of gluttony in Noble and Webster’s works arises from the idea of “perceptual psychology,” which concerns itself with how humans identify and interpret images. As it states on their biography page:

“Noble and Webster are familiar with this process and how people evaluate abstract forms. Throughout their careers they have played with the idea of how humans perceive abstract images and define them with meaning. The result is surprising and powerful as it redefines how abstract forms can transform into figurative ones.” (Source)

The junk heaps and their shadows produce startlingly different (yet somehow thematically similar) images—a ball of congealed road kill, for example, projects a human head impaled on a stake. This disparity compels the viewer to produce an interpretation and discern how the images are related. Bridging the gap, one may read the figurative signs of human over-indulgence, waste, and destruction.

To learn more about Noble and Webster and how other contemporary artists explore the seven deadly sins, grab a copy of Beautiful/Decay’s Book 9. Limited copies are still available at our shop.

Patrick Gries’ Photographs Of Skeletons Combine Art and Scientific Inquiry About Evolution

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Patrick Gries’ collection of skeletal photographs are part of his book, “Evolution,” that seeks to make the case for evolutionary theory in a way that has not yet been captured so eloquently through the medium of photography. The project spanned 6 months and involved Gries shooting the photographs of over 250 skeletons at The Museum of Natural History in Paris, as well as 4 other locations in France. These monochrome photographs of skeletons were shot with strong directional light and appear almost sculptural in their presentation, asking viewers to consider the boundaries of scientific study and aesthetic event.

In the book, Gries’ photographs are accompanied with text written by scientist, documentarian, and professor emeritus at Paris’ Museum of Natural History, Dr. Jean-Baptiste de Panafieu. This text describes the skeletons, suggesting how to understand them in the context of history and the patterns of evolution. “New forms have evolved from old ones. Stubby amphibian feet have been transformed into hooves, bird wings and whale flippers. Yet many of the bones in those original limbs have not changed their relationship to the rest. They have just been stretched, flattened or reduced to vestigial knobs. Along the paths of evolution, the vertebrate skeleton has been transformed into similar forms many times over — aardvarks in Africa and anteaters in South America.” You can purchase and see more photographs at Éditions Xavier Barral. (via unknown editors, ny times, and the guardian )