Bill Dunlap: A Host of Malformed Mugs

Bill Dunlap‘s portfolio is a wealth of revulsion.  These images, from Dunlap’s “Black” series, look like viscera made of paint and bad moods.  Woe betide the five-year-old who finds one of these faces lurking under their bed at night.

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Christopher Gideon

Christopher Gideon’s work is an ongoing collection of exorcisms, casting out the fears, ideologies, and suppressed visions implanted by American Culture.  This expulsion is often expressed in imagery that’s as satirical as it is socially relevant.  He searches for concepts that have counteractive potential, where religious and political iconography are  reincarnated in the secular and mundane: unfolded boxes, bathroom tiles, and in this case, baseball cards. By extracting these symbols of ideology and placing them into foreign contexts, they become self-deprecating and defeated.

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Laurent Craste: Porcelain Beatdown

Laurent Craste - Sculpture (14)

The work of Laurent Craste lies at the crossroads of two mediums.  It participates in the world of visual arts, but never crosses its borders. This is explore in his use of ceramics.  The form, linked by tradition to crafts, requires a technical knowledge and know-how so restrictive that artists are prompted to remain within canonical forms, never pushing their limits.  In this series of ceramic sculptures, Craste has used porcelain vases, representative of certain upper class tastes, and laid into them with a variety of blunt objects, essentially critiquing the fusty conservatism of both this group and the medium itself.

Chrissy Angliker’s Meaningful Drippings

The focus of Chrissy Angliker’s painting style lies in creating a balanced relationship between the controllable and the uncontrollable.  Paint drips from every deliberate brush stroke, challenging it.  By contrasting form and free-falling dribble, she seeks to illustrate the duality in life between our best-laid plans and the host of chaotic shit that can befall them.

Eric Perriard’s Urban Souls

Sure to put some bees in the anarcho-primitivist bonnet, I’d wager that mass urbanization is one of the prime inevitabilities of the twenty-first century.  Obviously, the emergence of the megacity will have a serious environmental impact.  But consider the psychological impact as well.  What does it mean to be isolated–or to simply find a place to be alone–when we’re all sardined together? Through a combination of chance shots and staged photographs, photographer Eric Perriard examines this idea of private space within urban landscape of Seoul, a city spread over a mere 0.6 percent of South Korea’s land, yet crammed with nearly a quarter of the country’s population. 

Nicky Devine – Burlesque is More

Stripping is pretty cool, but stripping to songs takes it that much further.  Imagine, if you will, the H.M.S. Pinafore with g-strings.  Or just imagine burlesque, which combines showmanship, rump shaking, and a generous pinch of snark to create one saucy form of theater.  But performers are more than the sum of their tassels, and photographer Nicky Devine has been smart enough to document the burlesque community from behind the scenes, giving us a candid look at those who spend their lives in service of this bawdy entertainment.

Wang2Mu’s Retro Grotesque

Thinking about my 80s upbringing, I’m not too sure if life has really changed all that much between then and 2011.  True, kids today don’t call each other on the landline, and have also seen more cat videos than I ever did at their age, but hey, small potatoes. China’s post-80s generation, on the other hand, born on the cusp of their country’s breakneck economic development, have experienced some truly seismic stuff, with much about life today being nearly unrecognizable from the distant past.  Wang2mu is an illustrator living in Guangzhou who explores post-80s themes and nostalgia through a warped “schoolhouse” aesthetic.  Crowded by urgent slogans, his grotesque children straddle rockets, robots, and other generational emblems.  

Luo Yang and the Allure of Youth

Luo Yang is a photographer from Shenyang, China, now living in Beijing.  Working strictly with film and rarely doctoring her photos, Luo Yang’s work is an exploration of youth: longing, uncertainty, spindly-limbed awkwardness, and, of course, an endlessly enviable sense of cool.   In her shows, highly staged portraits, casual poses, and spontaneous shots all appear alongside on another, blurring the inherent truth of the medium of photography.