Artist Chris Dorosz uses a unique painting technique. He drips paint droplets onto plastic rods. When arranged the rods form a three dimensional image, a pointillism like sculpture. Step back from the screen for a moment – the disparate dots congeal to from images of people. The fact that this is similar to the way a low resolution digital image works is not an accident. Dorosz revels in the idea of the drop as a basic unit of constructing a painting. He says:
“Out of material discovery I began to regard the primacy of the paint drop, a form that takes shape not from a brush or any human-made implement or gesture, but purely from its own viscosity and the air it falls through, as analogous to the building blocks that make up the human body (DNA) or even its mimetic representation (the pixel).”
In her upcoming exhibit at Ambach & Rice, artist Ellen Lesperance intently and painstakingly reconstructs the sweaters of feminism’s heroines. Hand drawn and hand knit, the installation serves to attach these women’s politcal ideals and activism to their personal identity. Lesperance lovingly presents the objects nearly as if they were relics. Indeed, throughout the exhibit Lesperance alludes to ancient heroines in connection with these modern ones. In that light, the sweaters become a sort of “soft armor” in a struggle that extends from ancient female warriors to today’s feminist activists. Appropriately, the title of Lesperance’s exhibit is It’s Never Over.
The ‘carcasses’ of Tamara Kostianovsky are made entirely of her own clothing. She ‘cannabalizes’ her clothes to create life size racks of meat, fat, and bone. Using unwanted clothing, Kostianovsky emphasizes the human body and its constant physical demands. The work becomes a kind of parable for the nearly violent cycle of consumption. She says of the series:
“My intention is to confront the viewers with the real and grotesque nature of violence, offering a context for reflecting about the vulnerability of our physical existences, brutality, poverty, consumption, and the voracious needs of the body.”
Photographer James Florio created the series Homeless in Orlando. Alternating between slides of text and black and white photographs. The series captures the home and life of a homeless couple, Robert and Heather. Robert and Heather live in the woods of Orlando, Florida. The words and images describe the events that led to their home among the urban forests of the über-developed tourist hub.
The series feels much more like a film with its strong and touching narrative. Using a minimal amount of words and elegant photographs, Florio presents Robert and Heather in a way that is surprisingly emotionally engaging. He shows how typically simple tasks such as taking a shower, can become absurdly challenging. Homeless in Orlando provides a rare insight and is especially affecting. The rest of the Robert and Heather’s story unfolds after the jump. You’ll want to see it through to the last image.
The medium of artist Caroline Slotte is a familiar one. Dishes commonly found in homes and thrift shops become surprising dioramas. The simple images usually hidden under food become multilayered narratives. The many memories associated with family meals, dinner parties, milestone celebrations aren’t lost on Slotte. She says of her medium choice:
” Objects in our private sphere stir feelings in us and connect us to our history. They are tangible reminders of the past, of our own life story, and that of the family. In this way the most humble object can function as a key to the past, as a key to our inner.”
Matt Perrin believes in the magic of classic photography. Perrin decidedly does not use Photoshop or manipulate his photographs once the shutter clicks. Rather, he fully utilizes the simple features of his camera and experimental lighting to create his dreamy images. His photographs glow like cosmic abstractions. Perrin is intentionally ambiguous as to the exact nature of his subject matter. Rather, he encourages a more open reading similar to abstract painting. He says of his process:
” Any object seen, in any photograph, was physically in front of the lens when the shutter opened and closed. It’s the twists and turns that have occurred between those points that have brought you here today.”
Randy Grskovic rearranges family photographs. He slices found photographs into geometric abstractions. What were once cherished images of memories are now emptied of their sentimental meaning. Grskovic’s collages draw attention to the process of photographing ourselves – making images of ourselves for posterity. While photographs are often considered true and trusted documents of past events, Grskovic’s work encourages viewers to be skeptical of the idea of their objective nature. He says:
“The memory has changed and so has the document. The photograph as well as any other document is never an accurate depiction of truth.” [via]
The work of Stéphane Vigny is often humorous in its subversiveness. Vigny often undermines the purpose of objects to create amusing but thought provoking new ‘purposes’ (like a BMW turned into playground equipment). Other times Vigny alters objects in a way that make them profoundly useless (such as a chair on wheels the size of the room it sits in). Commodities and inanimate objects are typically entirely defined by their purpose, what they do. Vigny’s installations, though, force viewers to set aside their expectations and approach the familiar in a new way.