While finishing up a job in set building, make-up artist/photographer/designer Adam Tenebaum was given three chandeliers by the client. Finding the chandeliers were to large for his house he naturally hung them in the tree outside. Having a contracting license, Tenenbaum was easily able to light them. Many chandeliers later the tree is now coin operating allowing passersby to enjoy the warm light (and partially offset a very large electric bill). After passing the Chandelier Tree for some time Filmmaker Colin Kennedy decided to contact Tenenbaum and film a documentary about the neighborhood project.
With the help of a huge swarm of flies, John Knuth transforms decay into creation. Flies have long symbolized death and rot in art as well as popular culture. In medieval times, for example, it was popularly believed flies were born out of carcasses rather than eggs as larvae. Knuth, though, emphasizes the flies productive role in the larger cycle of life and death. He creates his work by first feeding the flies water mixed with sugar and paint. The flies largely digest their food outside of their body, Knuth’s flies doing this directly on the canvas. While digesting, each fly leaves a small mark of pigment, a small piece of the larger record or the swarm. Check out the video to see Knuth’s process and more of his finished paintings.
The portraits of of Gregory Jacobsen hover somewhere between grotesque and sadly real. He focuses in on the peculiarities that makes each face unique. These peculiarities, our physical insecurities, are strangely exaggerated. Though the faces may look ugly they’re also somehow familiar. Jacobson says of his work:
“I paint figures, focusing on the little bits that obsess me…a little flab hanging over a waistband, ill-fitting shoes, underbites and exciting flags held in dainty orifices…The work is absurd, grotesque and a bit brutal but I try to bring the viewer in with lush and glowing surfaces. Essentially the work is about human failure and weakness groomed and developed to be an asset.”
As a part of his latest solo exhibit, Robert Barta‘s new installation CROSSING HALF A MILLION STARS is impressive looking as an installation. Barta means the number literally. The floor of the gallery space is filled with 500,000 ball bearings – that’s half a million eight millimeter steel balls. However, the installation is also a means to a performance and audience engagement. Visitors are invited to walk across the field of bearings…very carefully. The visitors pay extra care and attention to the typically simple task of walking. CROSSING HALF A MILLION STARS allows visitors to consider the space, their actions, and each other just a bit differently. Really, this theme persists through the exhibit in its entirety.
The Billbored series of artist Dan Bergeron (also known as fauxreel) undermines the all to common visual language of advertising. His hijacked billboards, particularly his series featuring Carl the Plastic Baby, challenges passers-by to consider what they see more deeply. Like much of his work, Billbored investigates identity, consumerism, and the places they intersect. Carl the Plastic Baby, for example, playfully offers an an easy alternative to actual children. A website accompanying the billboard offers visitors the opportunity to buy a “child” of their own – their very own Carl delivered to their home.
Much of the work of Brandon Vickerd carries an uneasy quality about it. They often feel as if a situation is suddenly shifting from normal to worst-case-scenario. Vickerd’s work reveals the death and disaster hidden beneath the mundane we take for granted. For these pieces, The Passenger and The Passenger II, Vickerd creates life like sculpture from previously living material. Taxidermied animals appear to make up the body of a person that is otherwise waiting. The sculptures were installed in public areas wearing normal clothing.
The artwork of Hans Kotter is decidedly centered around light. Here Kotter creates tubes of lights that appear to stretch on infinitely into the wall. He uses color changing LED lights that shine behind a warped one way mirror. The backing mirror then duplicates the LED lights infinitely. Kotter’s piece are continually changing as the color of the lights gradually shift and as the viewer moves about the room. Though technically constructed from Plexiglas, mirrors, and diodes, it is really the light endlessly bouncing between the mirrors that compose Kotter’s work.
This is the first in a series where each week we’ll gather some of our favorite street that you definitely won’t want to miss. This week we have a mural from Blu that, like much of his work, utilized features of the building. You’ll also find one in a series by Herr Nilsson of some fiendishly violent princesses, a smart wheat paste piece from Peter Drew, as well as new pieces from INTI, Seth, and Ever. Finally, we have Lego block interventions from Jan Vormann, European historical figures with the heads of Olmec statues by Mata Ruda, and a kitty piece from Jesse Olwen. Enjoy!