Artist Lauren Gallaspy creates unique and dynamic ceramic sculptures that play with notions of fantasy and duality. Her work, beautiful, adventurous, and full of a sense of wonder, invokes magical moments of nonsensical, yet somehow perfected, chaos. Her intention lies in finding balance in seemingly irrational binaries. She explains, “the things that I love and the things that I fear refuse to balance out. They scrap like cats, cloak and conceal like kudzu, terrify and delight, like a large, shaky lake or a dog swimming hard towards a floating ball.” The artist uses this tension to create creative and inventive ceramic sculptures, which are not only experimental by nature, but break boundaries of traditionalist methods of pottery. Experiencing Gallaspy’s work is like an investigation. Each color, each angle, each new treatment of material is expressive and fascinating. Her work screams out for a quiet attention, being open ended yet intimate. Her work emphasizes the complexity of humanity, the ups and downs of just simply being. She explains;
“My work is about that imbalance: the vulnerability of living things and the sometimes violent, sometimes pleasurable, almost always complex consequences that occur when bodies and objects in the world come into contact with one another. I use ornamentation, obsessive mark-making, and decorative imagery as a kind of devotional or transformational act, a way to render interior spaces and intense psychological experiences physically.”
Brooklyn based artist Matt Phillips creates colorfully complex paintings that act as vibrant odes to the ordinary. Phillips’ practice meditates on his comprehensive observance of classic aesthetics, including modernist abstraction, folk art, and African textiles. Drawing notes from these traditions, his paintings meld low and high brow art, creating contemporary pastiches that are just as colloquial as they are clever.
Phillips’ uses notions of pattern, textile, and the decorative to hint at referential codes that allow the abstract to take on tangible, even comforting forms. It is the moment in which each work switches from foreign to recognizable, that invites in humor and endearing relatability. For example, his piece Bungalow (Spring) depicts a warm tonality along soft river blues on a overtly sunny day, and hums the delicate, independent flow of a melodic riddle.
The artist paints with a pigment and silica blend — this mixture results in each brush stroke becoming dry instantaneously. Due to the lack of forgiveness within this process, his work not only speaks about the traditional observation of light, but also to economical choices and purposeful mark making. Although each painting begins as a mapped geometrical formation, his method of building composition pushes through routine constructs of painterly semantics and becomes playful with common structures such as the grid. Phillips has a true touch for quiet beauty and perfected moments of yearned memories.
Check out Matt Phillips’ spectacular solo show, Comfort Inn, at Steven Harvey Fine Arts Projects in New York, running until February 6th. The exhibition is taking over both of the gallery’s two locations located at 208 Forsyth Street and 237 Eldridge Street.
Canadian artist Kit King and her husband Oda collaboratively paint unbelievable photorealistic portraits that pose questions on beauty, identity and sexuality. The artist couple, who met on Instagram after posting identical drawings, create each of their pieces as complete equal partners, something sort of unheard of for photorealistic collaboration. King and Oda’s work aims to address complex issues about character and selfhood. For example, their works Facelift and Our Little Secret, depict amazingly detailed close ups that provoke feelings of unsettlement and confront the complexity of appearance and eroticism. While Facelift outlines the lengths we are willing to go to for physical perfection, Our Little Secret faces issues of beauty, lust, and objectification. King, in her artist statement, states,
“through a focus on hyperrealism, my paintings are reflections of the ephemeral visual relationships around us. Capturing fleeting moments that affect our emotional state from a singular glance, under the aegis of a heightened sense of reality. My current bodies of work are heavily focused on light and shadow, and how the element of light can alter the relationship of a viewer and subject. The goal being to propel the audience to connect to one transient moment, captured through mood, established from the control of light and shadow.”
Aspen Valley based multimedia artist Tania Dibbs has created an epic series of barnacle infested sculptures. Her work, generated with various materials such as resin, paint and found objects, acts as a timeless collection of discovered underwater treasures. The beauty of her pieces lay in the simultaneous precision and playfulness within the materiality. Each sculpture demands a second look, an investigation, a questioning of origin and time. Dibbs‘ work, which ranges well beyond sculpture, also touching media such as oil and encaustic, holds a constant theme of questioning nature and man’s relationship to it. With pieces such as her denatured alcohol containers, rusted waste cans, and bottles being infested by, if not entirely submerged, in tentacle-barnacle-algea reminiscent formations, she forces perspectives on how and why. Where it is the made man objects that take on the action of being disturbed and manipulated, it is, in fact, the object that does not belong. Dibbs transforms every day garbage into fragile and precious works of art, concurrently creating an environmental debate. Her work, she describes, portrays an “unstoppable nature, creeping along and encrusting and covering” (via Hi Fructose).
Australian born and now London based artist Nick Sheehy illustrates awesome quirky, street art inspired scenes of fantastical hybrid characters. His work marries ideas from both aspects of low and high brow art; the playfulness and sort of dark humor moments of skeletons and overwhelming string that is reminiscent of veins (or, perhaps they are veins that are reminiscent of string?) winks to the aesthetic from both graffiti and comic book culture. Yet, there is a true classic beauty within each drawing, highlighting Sheehy’s talent and admiration for traditionalist draftsmanship. It is clear from his work that his attention to detail and disciplined drawing style has been developed from an intense labour of love, employing master technique and classic methods. Sheehy originally studied bronze sculpture “in the wilds of Tasmania,” (perhaps giving him the inspiration for such inventive animal-creature centered work!). He then “gave up on art only to re-discover his love for drawing whilst living in London.” Each of his pieces is unique to his practice and full of imagination, cleverness, and sophistication. Sheehy‘s work, he notes, “explores the dreamlike, sometimes semi-autobiographical scenes and oddball characters that echo from his childhood imagination.”
Philadelphia based artist Matthew Cox embroiders iconic characters, images and symbols on x-rays, creating moments of satire, dark comedy, and reflection. His work blends the universally known with notions of the seemingly the unknown, forming postmodern mash-ups and hinting at the absurd reality of the human condition. His work takes a chance on being highly referential using playful antics such as titles like “playboy” and “heartthrob” for works that portray faces of silly cartoon characters or ex-presidents. Cox’s work pulls his viewer in by creating fun in forging connection. But beyond the contextual discord, his work also takes on the impression of pastiche via the physical materiality of the work. While the hand craftsmanship of the stitches provokes feelings of comfort, nostalgia, and quaintness, the x-rays provide the opposing sense of sterility, coldness, and discomfort. This sort of push and pull between the ages, various levels of technologies and traditions, as well as reformatting iconographic persons, personas and ideologies, does indeed perfectly outline and reflect what it means to comprehend ones surroundings in the twenty-first century. While living within the age of the internet, where anything and everything can be within our disposal in the moment of desire, time does not seem to distinctly go forward or backward. We have been given the option to chose in which decade we’d like to exist in; we choose our music, our dress, our ideologies, our fantasies, all through a network of access to the past (and perhaps for the real techies the future), no matter how deluded it may be. But it is not just our own obsession with the internet, it is the universal obsession; it is the knowledge that our peers will understand which decade we refer to, and in that universal nod, knowledge and understanding, we are enabled to live timelessly. Matthew Cox has created a clever series of inherently postmodern works, using absurdity to reflect on modern reality. (via artfucksme)
RIP David Bowie, who was a postmodern trailblazer for us all.
Artist Hillary Waters Fayle creates delicate stitched collages using found leaves, branches and pods. The artist’s work transforms natural elements into tiny keepsakes using traditional methods of needle work. She coats her source material with a non-toxic preservative, allowing each piece to remain unharmed. The use of her hands during her artistic process invites in a recognition and romanticization of man’s interactions and relations with the nature. Her work aims to explore and encapsulate the complexity of this relationship, proving it to be one that is simultaneously “tender” and “ruthless.” Each of Fayle‘s pieces, with their intimate details and delicate disposition, almost create an aesthetic of Victorian jewelry, yet are in of themselves completely timeless. Each work truly acts like a tiny object that can transcend the notion of time and place. Within her artist statement she notes:
“The way I think about and make art mirrors the way I think about my life and how I walk through the world. What I do is about elevating details. It is about noticing cycles and connections. It is about regarding a familiar object in a new way. It’s about seeing things and considering their connection to you, their potential futures and possible pasts. There is a depth and an importance to what is present, and what is absent. Invisible narratives are woven into and around each piece, each interaction. As I gather materials with which to work, I consider what connections might exist between us, or how each object might be related to another.”
While most painters have probably assumed their line of work is safe from the technological take over — bitPaintr, a portrait painting robot, has proved them wrong. The robot has been designed by Pindar Van Arman, a technology artist, who over the last 10 years has designed a series of 5 artistically inclined robots. BitPaintr, the most recent of the group, uses a mixture of artificial intelligence as well as human direction in order to paint portraits with a brush on canvas. The machine gathers it’s source material from photographs that have been uploaded by it’s users. It then analyzes the photographs using value based algorithms and begins working on the painting. BitPaintr has made portraits of Gandhi, Einstein, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Martin Luther King Jr, just to name a few. Pindar Van Arman plans to use this mechanism to create a interactive exhibition. Within the exhibition, the robot will be present and at the disposal of the audience to upload their own photographs, giving anyone a chance to interact with bitPaintr and collaborate with it’s artificial intelligence. The robot has different styles ranging from 5 minute sketches to a 24 hour studies. Probably the most frightening thing is that upon first glance, there would be no way to tell these portraits were not done by a human. They have a sort of amateurish but, dare I say it, genuine quality. The process of building color through layers of tonality does not vary much from the technique used by many printmakers and graffiti artists. The, perhaps, most important question, (besides, can this machine think?) that it raises is, is all art, in a way, formulaic? Perhaps even the most artistically talented among us all do still, in a sense, have an algorithm to make their works of art. Perhaps creativity is not, well, as creative, as we think it is. (via HYPERALLERGIC)