Victorine Müller Performing Inside Her Sculptures

At times called ‘performative sculpture’ Swiss artist Victorine Müller combines sculpture and performance art to intriguing effect.  Her large but airy PVC sculptures stand ghost-like, glowing in the light and disappearing in the shadows.  Müller herself sits or stands peacefully inside the sculpture.  The title of her most recent exhibit “Wild at Heart” sheds some light onto her work.  Müller temporarily inhabits the inside of an animal – the guts, the heart, the womb, the soul.  Though simple, each performance connects easily with the viewers communicating, as Müller says “something that is not said and cannot be said, but that is.”

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Olivier Ratsi’s Presidential Deconstructions

So you’ve endured months of deconstructing every sentence of each presidential candidate’s rhetoric.  It’s only fitting that on the eve of Election Day we also visually deconstruct the president, both past and present.  French artist Olivier Ratsi produced these presidential digital collages – glitch-like reconstructions of the presidential portrait.  Each piece of the series Once Upon a Time the Presidents is made up of various facial features of past American presidents.  For example while a portrait’s eyes may have been snatched from Harry Truman, his mouth may be Barack Obama’s and his hair Teddy Roosevelt’s (or is that that John F. Kennedy’s?)  The clean shaven cheek, toothy smile, and neatly combed hair appear repeatedly and feel eerily ubiquitous.  Ratsi forgoes overt political references in favor of a subtler idea.  Each portrait doesn’t so much portray past presidents as it does the idea of the presidential image.

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Salão Coboi’s High Fashion Monsters

The 9 Worthies is a series of sculptures produced by art project Salão Coboi.  Each sculpture highlights pieces from the autumn/winter 2012 fashion collections…as worn by polymer resin monsters.  The creatures model clothing from brands and designers such as Maison Martin Margiela, Jil Sander, Raf Simons, ACNE and Paul Smith.  Sculpted, hand painted and signed by Salão Coboi, each piece is part of an edition of twenty.

Salão Coboi (Portuguese for Cowboy Salon) is the personal project of artist Apolinário Pereira.  Originally, the project began as a “collective that was born in 2009 two days after Michael Jackson’s death in the European Wild West (Portugal)”.  Pereira now operates Salão Coboi as a solo project.

Qie Zhijie’s Oil Barrel Dragon And Tree Sculptures

Chinese artist Qie Zhijie is known for working in mediums as diverse as calligraphy to performance art.  Much of his work, though, is tied together by a subtle mischievousness.  These two sculptures constructed by Qie, Oil Can Dragon and Cash Cow, are no exception.  Both sculptures are entirely built from skillfully cut oil barrels.  Considering the dragon and the tree are both symbols strongly tied to the natural world it’s clear Qie’s choice of using oil barrels wasn’t a trivial one.  In Cash Cow, an imposing tree of six stacked oil barrels, Qie contrasts birds perching on boughs and cut from metal lids with an airplane high its branches.

Mustafah Abdulaziz’ Photographs of America

Mustafah AbdulazizMemory Loss is a series of photographs captured throughout the United States.  His photographs vary widely in content from landscapes to individual portraits to candid groups.  They each in some way, though, seem to portray a disarmingly frank American identity.  Among other photographs in the series, Abdulaziz groups together an image of little girls returning from a princess tea party with a gathering of tribal elders on an Indian reservation.  Indeed, his statement explains that his work “explores social identification and how our ideas of self representation create instances of cultural disconnect.”  In 2010 Abdulaziz became the Wall Street Journal’s first contract photographer and in 2012 he was named one of PDN’s New and Emerging Artists to Watch.

Rebecca Glover’s Sinister Installations

British artist Rebecca Glover works in several mediums, but it’s her installations that are especially striking.  The three installations pictured here – Space Invader, Flat 51, and The Inhabitant – invades the insides of an apartment and galleries.  The calming, almost mesmerizing, color of the spikes clash against the installation’s overall sinister nature.  She describes the installation in interview:

“I had an idea to create a sculpture that broke through the space and played with this idea that there’s something latent in the walls; playing around with what lies beyond what you can see.” [via]

The second series of photos are taken from the Market Estate Project in which seventy-five artists worked with residents to install art in a soon to be demolished housing estate in London.  The work and apartment buildings were destroyed the very next day following the art’s installation.

Rebecca Baumann’s Party Streamer Installations

Australian based artist Rebecca Baumann often uses what appear to be party supplies to build sculptures and installations.  Her art interacts with the surrounding air – the space it occupies and even the breeze that makes it dance.  From a bus station teeming inside with colorful streamers to vibrant books flapping in the wind, Baumann’s work is unexpectedly playful.  However, the temporary nature of her materials and the relatively short-lived ‘performances’ of her installations hint at something much more weighty behind each piece.

Sascha Braunig’s Hypnotic Paintings

Portland, Maine based artist Sascha Braunig is a portrait painter of sorts.  She uses traditional baroque portraiture techniques with a nod to Op art and a wink at Surrealism.  Braunig’s figures seem to barely emerge out of a hypnotic (and nearly seizure inducing) patterned background.  Her canvases are striped with colors that contrast so much they nearly appear to glow.  The effect is hallucinatory and almost a bit haunting.  The gallery statement from her current exhibit describe the various concepts at play saying:

” Braunig’s geometric figures have a visual fluidity, as if their delicate skins can barely contain their bodies. Subject and background merge, creating ambiguity and optical tension. An alliance is forced between flat patterned designs and observed, mimetic representation.”

Sascha Braunig is exhibiting her work through December 22 at Manhattan’s Foxy Production.