The work of Nicola Samori depicts dying corpses and mysterious portraits scraped, scratched and torn on the surface, unveiling layers of contrasting paint. Dark and intense paintings, covering layers of existing work, like flesh covering the accumulation of past experiences and traumas. The artist chooses to damage his previous paintings on purpose. He feeds the canvas, daily; until the texture becomes ’intense and palpable’. Using his fingers or a knife to destroy the apparent layer, the result of what feels like a painful process is a magnificent harmonized agony. By scraping his paintings, Nicola Samori tries to search for true identity. A person’s face on a painting is not a valid representation of who this person really is. It doesn’t give a true essence of its inner personality and soul. Exploring what’s underneath the surface is the purpose of the artist.
Body, death and painting are, for Nicola Samori, subjects of obsession. By punishing the three altogether on the canvas, he opens the wound and sets himself free. His layered macabre creations are the structure for his catharsis (act or process of releasing a strong emotion into an art form or any extreme change in emotion that results in renewal and restoration). Apart from the fact that the artist doesn’t fancy working with colors, according to him; the source of darkness does not reflect a state or a belonging; what is made from it is what’s interesting. A rough process symbolizing metamorphosis of deep emotions into meaningful and empowering art pieces
Segawa 37 pays tribute to Japanese art by creating Gifs from the original work of traditional Japanese woodblock prints, “pictures of the floating world’. Most of the time, he only animates a few parts, adding a realistic and modern add-on to the art piece. In other images, he blends in futuristic elements, denaturalizing the first intention of the historical painting. Originally, Japanese woodblock paintings, also called Ukiyo-e, were depictions of everyday scenes in Japan. Affordable, they represented the possibility for the mass to access art. Segawa 37 gives a new life to these prints by altering their core. From hyper realistic to surreal, the artist offers to the modern world a new way of looking at a classic form of art.
The most emblematic representation of Japan, a contemplation of movements; calm and serene, but always intense remains within those wooden prints. The artist’s reinterpretation of Katsushika Hokusai’s images is disturbing the stillness and tranquility of the scenes. The Shinkansen, a Japanese high-speed train is passing by travelers resting at a station, a person is driving a segway in the middle of a road field, a couple of people, watching mount Fuji are also seeing a extraterrestrial flying saucers passing by. What is meant to be admired in almost a meditative state is now entertaining.
Maricor and Maricar, two twin sisters based in Sydney, design and hand stitch vivid colored quotes and phrases written in bold typography. The result is fresh and bright. They work as a team on sewn animations, illustrations and hand embroideries, coming up with unexpected color combinations. They work is most of the time commissioned for renowned international magazines within the publishing and advertising field. The latest embroidered pieces the artists created were quotes and bold statements. The words Love, You gotta keep cheering, Not everybody’s cup of tea and Shut up I’m dreaming are playfully displayed on monochromatic backgrounds.
Their embroidery making process starts off with a sketch. With the help of digitalization or the use of watercolors they fill the typos with vibrant gradient schemes. The design is usually traced onto cotton or linen based fabrics before the needle work; rendering a tactile 3D effect. Both equally involved in projects, they make sure their ideas are always original and pushing the technical limits of embroidery. They find inspiration in other designer’s work and take great pride in the fact that they have a unique and talented skill.
A book filled with natural, unretouched images of naked women. Matt Blum and his wife Katy Kessler have both collaborated on the Nu Project, a concept and a book re-defining the beauty of the body. In the intimacy of their own homes, women over 21 unveil their bodies, as it is, with no artifice. Matt Blum, the photographer, shows up without knowing anything about the woman. The only requirements are no clothing, no make-up and only natural lighting.
There’s been nothing but positive feedback from the women involved and the women witnessing the project. In a digital world where the use of photoshop is standard, it is refreshing to watch women feeling comfortable within their own skin. The Nu Project is changing the way women see themselves. It gives them the opportunity to relate to other women’s insecurities and hopefully realize that their body is beautiful. These photographies of ordinary women shot in their environment reflect honesty. They do not only show their body as it is; they also reveal their inner personalities, the soul behind the flesh; sending the message that a body is an envelope and that true beauty is what shines and enlightens the shot.
The project launched in 2005, and a book has already been printed. As the phenomenon continues to grow on social media, Matt and Katy decided to edit a sequel which will come out if enough funds are collected, follow the instructions on the Nu Project website to help a beautiful project come to life.
Emerald Rose Whipple captures innocent moments and transforms them into large-scale oil paintings. The result is a modern dream-like landscape reminiscent of Monet’s Impressionism. The subjects are the artist’s friends and models she knows from her former career in fashion. The loose strokes applied to the color scheme chosen by the artist create a tie and dye effect around the portraits, creating an eerie atmosphere.
Looking like photographies, the pixel paintings combine the aesthetic of classical 19th century paintings with modern snapshots taken by an smartphone. The purpose of Emerald Rose Whipple is to stay away from any medium that’s disposable. To perceive and project the essence of each individual on a canvas is an intense process requiring the artist to meditate before a painting session. She doesn’t want to inject any negativity into her work as it would translate immediately.
She is inviting the viewer into a world of reverie and to let go of any misconception. Obsessed with the painter Balthus and especially with the painting Thérèse Dreamingrepresenting a young lady sitting in a nonchalant pose, she is fascinated by the original non sexual intention of the painter. She is suggesting that the viewers, when looking at her artwork, disconnect from their reality to dive into the reality of her paintings; reflecting from far and coming up with their own interpretation and visualizing natural beauty.
An animatronic busty dancer lasciviously moves and converses with the public, speaking with a men’s voice and hyper sexual tones. The life like robot imagined and produced by Jordan Wolfson, dressed up with a leather dress and white thigh-high vinyl boots, sassily swivels her hips and watches her spectator through her dirty greenish mask. The dirt reveals the past of the robot; she has escaped from something but isn’t hurt; she’s here with us and she’s ready to put up her show. Like a real spectacle, the public is only allowed for a couple of minutes with the dancer.A closed set, a twosome controled by an assertive and repetitive speech and a powerful vision.
Jordan Wolfson is interested in the strange. Therefore he is not focused on the meaning of his art. He is aware of the influence of You Tube and other social media platforms within its generation but he is fascinated by the power of images, the way they are thrown at us and the way we accept it, with or without consequences. The artist works in a non associative way, giving us a non judgmental rendering of his vision. Like his life in Los Angeles where he now resides, his pieces are intuitive and fictional. His concept and art statement has lead the public and the art world to label him as a provocative contemporary artist. “I’m not telling anyone what to think. I don’t have that responsibility. I’m expressing myself. It’s as simple as that.” He uses art as a safe place where he can express, without fear, his traumas and anger.
Jordan Wolfson art work is exhibited as part of a group show at the Whitney Museum in New York until September 2015, and at the Serpentine Gallery in London this fall 2015
Michael Ferris Jr. designs mosaic immortal portraits. Made out of reclaimed wood, hand painted with vivid and brilliant colors, he translates the voyage of a mortal becoming a semi-god, confronting the humanistic presence to the abnormal traits he acquired. The technique used is intarsia, where the fields of different colors and materials appear to be inlaid in one another, but are in fact all separate pieces. He says he was greatly influenced by the inlaid gaming tables from Middle East which used to ornate his home as a child. He insists he only uses discarded wood and acrylic pigmented grout, creating an intricate geometric pattern which overlays the surface of the busts and faces.
The artist is influenced by Chinese tales of immortal beings. He imagines simple mortals like people he knows going through a physical and a spiritual transformation towards immortality. This rebirth into eternity is materialized by the complex language of drawings Michael Ferris Jr. is unveiling on the sculptures. He highlights the contrast between the remaining humanistic presence with the classic form of a portrait and the singular vibrant embellishments. We are influenced to react to a conventional human normality that has become something other than normal. ‘Ultimately my aim is to express the psychological and spiritual complexity of my subject’.
Irregular shaped stones layered in their natural environment, creating an organic sculptural landscape. Each stone, carefully chosen, is placed on top of another stone; no tricks or artifice used, only pure balance. Artist Miha Brinovec doesn’t make a difference between creating and meditating. He uses this time to come closer to nature and to create a “connection between water, rocks and me”. He calls this approach ‘Gravity Art’. A concept in which he only seems to be a sort of magical hand that puts up beautiful sculptures and gives all the credit to mother nature.
Miha Brinovec selects divers types of stones; all of irregular shapes and a special one for the top. He then needs to find three points in order to link each stone, one to another. This process is a time for reflection and introspection. An inner conversation with himself and with nature during which he becomes one with all the natural elements surrounding him. The meditation associated with the art of balancing stones offers the perspective of clearing the mind and finding peace. A methodical, creative difficult endeavor that becomes a vital, repairing balm.