Artist Steve Spazuk creates drawings with a medium usually reserved for destroying things: fire. Using a candle or torch Spazuk works the flame much like a pencil drawing with the soot left behind on the canvas. In a way akin to automatic drawing, he doesn’t direct his hand but accepts the chance images that appear on the surface. Spazuk then “sculpts” the soot left on each canvas into its final image. Speaking about his unique flame drawn process he says:
” This in-the-moment creative practice coupled with the fluidity of the soot, creates a torrent of images, shadows and light. Fueled by the quest of a perfect shape that has yet to materialize, I concentrate in a meditative act and surrender to capture the immediacy of the moment on canvas.”
Artist Kristen Schiele produces vibrant paintings and shadow boxes. Schiele richly layers her work both in her medium – paint, thread, collage – and in narrative. Her work merges indistinct structures and landscapes with rays and patterns of color as well as collaged human figures. Each piece seems at once to be about stories and tell one of its own. Speaking about the sources for her layers of images she says:
“I do keep a sketchbook. I also have a library of images printed out, some scanned in from libraries. They are from years of collecting. I get ideas and start folders of images for different paintings. I narrow the folders down into a show.” [via]
Spanish artist Javier Riera produces what he calls “light and geometry interventions” on landscapes. Using powerful light Riera projects geometric patterns on to natural vistas. The projections can appear to transform a treeline into a two dimensional plane. At other times the light seems to add strict geometric shapes to the wilderness. The light and patterns disrupt the perception of the view they cover. Riera’s transposing geometric patterns onto natural scenery partly alludes to language, matter, and the way the two interact.
Artist Allen Hampton‘s drawings are foreboding as they are. The medium for this series, though, makes them especially grim: blood on paper. Obscure texts, doilies, birds (both flying and dead) fill each sinister landscape of the Blood Drawings series. The blood at once references itself as splatters in its liquid form and a versatile ink staining each yellowed page. Hampton also turns his attention to the portrait, ironically drawing the human body with the fluid that animates it on the page and biologically.
Finnish illustrator Konsta Ojala‘s new drawings are large and frightening. Seriously, nearly measuring at five feet on each side, Ojala works the aesthetic of disturbed (and perhaps drug induced) doodles expanded to obsessive sizes. His drawings often feature familiar cartoon characters taken to their logical misanthropic conclusion. From a syringe-clutching Mickey Mouse to a bleary-eyed and violent Bart Simpson the characters seem to be reappearing after spending a few years on the streets. Rendered in harsh black and white and imposing sizes, the drawings are unsettling while still strangely nostalgic.
Photographer Jeremy Kost isn’t ashamed of being under the influence of Warhol, a fellow Polaroider. Like Andy Warhol, Kost’s subjects often embody contrasts. His photographs are at once staged and candid, glamorous and gritty, confident and apprehensive. Kost’s photo-collages capture larger scenes by piecing together fragments of it – in a way a metaphor for Kost’s subjects, Warhol’s style, even post-modern identity.
The art of Christopher David White seems like it could be found decaying in the forest at the end of your street. However, the gnarled wood, patina copper, rusting metal is all meticulously worked ceramic. White’s work is at once quietly peaceful and playful dealing out a subtle surrealism. He offers curious find on objects that would normally be passed over. Regarding his ultra-realistic style and themes of deterioration, White explains:
“Through the use of trompe l’oeil, we look closer; we rediscover the amazement, joy, and tranquility that come from our environment…Neither good nor bad, decay is simply a natural process of our world that at times can produce deeply moving and beautiful effects.”
Italian-based artist Noubeda Carbone is known typically for her award-winning illustrations. Her sculptures, however, are similarly colorful and meticulous. The Disease Sculptures and Wearable Pills series each include pieces painstakingly crafted from pill capsules. While her 3D work may exude a technicolor lightheartedness, the medium itself is disquieting. Particularly in the Wearable Pills series, the modern shift from pharmaceuticals as medical items to vanity products is especially striking. Carbone may be highlighting the visually pleasant nature of the pills as it’s connected to the dream of personal transformation.