Brad Kahlhamer Combines His Native American heritage And Post Punk Sensibilities In His Explosive Paintings And Sculptures

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Brad Kahlhamer uses his Native American heritage and post punk urban culture to paint large abstract symbols across canvas’ and create his own spiritual dolls. He is interested in culture and identity and through his art is building a world where he fits in. His artwork has an undertone of darkness meets the real world. A “third place” as Brad Kahlhamer calls it, where two opposing personal histories meet.

His paintings are filled with totems, poles, teepees, hawks and weaves combined with images from different cultures. It unveils an obsession for his ancestors and the modern life he is living. He is influenced by rock music and multiculturalism which is reflected in his paintings by the tone of colors and the display of the elements throughout the canvas. The dolls are a logical continuation of the artist’s train of thoughts.

Brad Kahlhamer has decorated the dolls with recycled and organic elements; feathers, bicycle-tire inner tubes, his own hair, discarded clothing, rope, and leather. Originally, the dolls are Katsina dolls, cottonwood carvings of Katsinam, spiritual beings in the Hopi religion. Respectful of the amalgam his pieces might have caused in terms of culture appropriation, the artist, always gave credit to the origin of his influences. The tribe he has created is carefully constructed. Blending geometric shapes, nails and wired legs to the essence of the Katsina dolls, the artist is empowering the individuals and blurring the lines between multiculturalism and abstract modernism.

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Micaela Lattanzio Unveils A Site Specific Installation Of Hundreds Of Pieces Of Sky Covering The Floor Of An Art Space

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A site specific installation made out of hundreds of hand cut hexagonal sky photography pieces laying on the sand-covered floor of a gallery. Michaela Lattanzio is presenting her new artwork ‘SandCloud’ and previous other key pieces from her Fragmenta collection at Bi-Box Art Space in Italy. The artist’s Fragmenta mosaics of human portraits where already pushing the limits of traditional photography, an intricate work described previously on Beautiful/Decay.

By fragmenting the images of a sky, Micaela Lattanzo invents a new metaphorical language. The perception of the elements, as we know it, is deflected to another kind of appreciation. As we observe and identify the small pieces, we slowly move away from judgment and can explore the full meaning of this representation. That is the purpose of the artist’s work; influence the brain to follow an emotional contemplation.
To symbolize the fragility of such a process, Micaela Lattanzo uses paper, a mean that can easily be reduced to dust and evaporate in the sky.

The intangible sky opposed to the solid sand creates a dichotomy materializing on one hand the body and on the other hand emotional thoughts. Our eyes go back and forth both elements the same way our need to create a connection does with art or human relationships.

Micaela Lattanzo’s retrospective will take place starting September 4th 2015 until October 4th 2015 at Bi-Box Art Space in Biella, Italy.

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Michael West’s Bicycle Made Out Of Wood, Willow And Stinging Nettle

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A bicycle made out willow, ash and stinging nettle found in it’s organic and primal form in nature, near the artist’s home in Somerset, England. Michael West has built an intricate sculpture as a self portrait. Imitating each and every components of a real bike from the handlebars to the tires. His process of creation excludes all boundaries, he lets the imagination interpret the symbols he left out on the bike to understand the meaning of his art.

He was influenced by Van Gogh’s chair, where the empty chair is used as the personification of its owner. “I chose the bike as society often uses anthropomorphism to reflect themselves within everyday objects, for example a car may be male or female and often given a personality and sometimes even a name”.

Michael West believes in playing with the subconscious to create. Blending an adult and a child’s vision, he gathers many layers, clue information such as symbols, signs and colors to clarify his intentions and his claims towards society and politics.This process creates a dynamic relationship between the artist and his object. The details characterized by a slow construction, attention to detail and means chosen carefully mirror the artist’s personality. This assembled bike, at first and abstract piece; becomes the reality of Michael West and soon an extension of himself.(Via Junkculture)

Emilio Gomariz Choreographs His Mac Folders To Create Colorful Gradients Visuals

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Emilio Gomariz is opening his world of digital rainbows moving in circles, up and down and side to side on the screen of his Macintosh desktop. An animated choreography of colored gradients pops out on the interface. It is the result of a scrupulous folder sorting and positioning on the screen. Each animation is captured and transmitted on You Tube; revealing how the tricks operate.

The Macintosh Lab Series is Comprised of four digital animations, Opening Folders, Nyan Folder, Deep Gradiant and Spinning Beach Folders. They all operate the same way. The folders are selected with cmd (A) or by dragging the cursor.
The placement of the folders is key as it will determine the order of appearance of the windows. Therefore they are located on the corners, in the middle; aligned vertically or horizontally. A simple action such as selecting and opening files becomes for Emilio Gomariz an accumulation of astonishing complex visuals.
Even in his previous work inspired by a bug from the OS X, the windows froze when opening a folder, shows that manipulating an error or a simple task can produce an eye catching concept. As the color hue of the gradient changes, the image generates kaleidoscopic frames, tunnels, and flow.

The videos are the living proof that we are totally immersed into technology. We understand the artist’s technical process, the rendering and most importantly we are doing it everyday. Conceptualism is the idea that results in art prevail over tools and components. In our digital era, we have replaced the canvas for the screen. We are now the authors of our own performances. (via Triangulation)

Liz West Creates A Fantasy Room Filled With Mirrors And A Rainbow Sky

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A rainbow colored sky as a sole view. This is the dream-like scenery imagined by English artist Liz West. In a room where nothing else can be the attraction other than a multitude of colored neons reflected on mirror covered floor and walls. A place where senses and emotions relay thoughts and worries.

‘An Additive Mix’ installation is part of the group show Light Fantastic: Adventures in the Science of Light at the National Media Museum in Bradford, UK. It is a tremendous piece of art comprised of 250 fluorescent lights and 199 different colors. Aware that she has chosen to express her creativity through a rare medium she is proud to have found her signature in using light and colors. The large scale installation reflects the genuine palette the artist wanted to use in order to design an astonishing environment for the public.

An aesthetic Liz West has been nurturing for a long time. Fascinated by colors, and the way they mix together, releasing beams and streams of perfect white light. She wished the viewer could be amazed, tip toeing before entering and being part of the art itself. The purpose being to place the body into a foreign context, powerful and mysterious.
‘I have designed An Additive Mix to be an overwhelming, intense, immersive experience.’

Liz West’s ‘An Additive Mix’ is currently being shown at the National Media Museum in Bradford, England until November 2015. (via The Creator’s Project)

Stephanie Calvert Transforms Decades Of Trash Collected By Her Hoarder Parents Into Sculptures

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Discovering Stephanie Calvert’s artwork is entering her world of shame. To break free from the memories left from her childhood, the feeling of discomfort due to her parent’s hoarding and her denial through all these years; she has come up with large sculptures on which she accumulates the symbols of her heavy past.

Stephanie Calvert was raised in a school house in the middle of a prairie in Colorado. With no electricity or hot water, she grew up feeling embarrassed of her living situation. Her parents were hoarders, piling up junk in every corner of the house. After she, her siblings and parents left their home town to pursue their life, the school house was left abandoned, in the middle of the prairie.

The artist eventually moved back for a while to explore the house ruins and the deep hole it had created inside of her. White taking care of her mother who had encountered a severe bike accident, Stephanie Calvert decided she needed to rekindle with her family, therefore her past. This process meant that she would have to dig into herself and face the feelings she had avoided during all these years. She went back to the school house and lived there, back to her childhood lifestyle. She then started to create, paint, collage and carve; letting out harsh feelings on the canvas. The sculptures are the expression of her past, shame and hope. They imitate the hoards she witnessed, although this time they represent the future, a message of promise and optimism to the ones that can relate to her story.

Stephanie Calvert is currently looking to exhibit in NYC next November 2015.

Baptiste Debombourg Creates A Celestial Installation Made Out Of A Thousand Chairs

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A thousand chairs creating chaos in the middle of a plaza. Baptiste Debombourg is the messenger from the skies. With his installation ‘Stellar’ he transports us above and beyond infinity. A snapshot of a movement, dancing chairs all linked in the air to connect with the public once landed on the ground, is the artist’s vision for this temporary installation.

It took Baptiste Debombourg 1200 chairs, 300 meters of steel tubes and 11 months to set up the installation in the middle of plaza du Bouffay in Nantes, France. Chairs are an important part of the six coffee shops symmetrically facing the plaza, they are the symbol of conviviality. Imitating that concept, he created the installation, structured yet taking us elsewhere, a relaxing place. From each coffeeshops, the sculpture can be perceived from a different angle; creating a different point of view.

Baptiste Debombourg was inspired by the French artist Robert Delaunay’s installation exhibited in 1937 (see the black and white photo far below). The shape’s roundness and exhilarating feeling is reproduced, except the artist chooses to incorporate ordinary materials: chairs that come in six different colors. His purpose is to nourish the eyes, to get a reaction and to defy specific contexts. In many of his installations he is not afraid to deconstruct and recompose, preferring being close to reality and see his work alive.

Baptiste Debombourg’s ‘Stellar’ installation can be viewed at the plaza du Bouffay in Nantes, France until August 2015.

An Imaginary Ferocious Tale Of Brave And Hopeful Little Girls Is The Magnificent Story Of Author Henry Darger

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Henri Darger left 15,000 pages of stories and more than 700 pages of illustrations created in the dark. A fantasy tale blending horrific scenes of war and colorful innocent boys and girls all drawn with penises as the main characters. A world full of meanings and feelings where the silver lining is survival.

In order to understand the illustrations painted by Henry Darger, we need to understand his story. His mother died while giving birth and his father sent him to an asylum where he was allegedly abused at an early age and from where he escaped at age sixteen. He spent the rest of his life working at Catholic institutions by day, secluded in his room by night where he would secretly enter his imaginary make-believe world, a pen in his hand. A self-taught man, he learned how to draw by collecting advertisements, newspaper illustrations. He made collages, layering and tracing the outlines of his precious characters. 

The interpretation of the drawings, lets us inside of Henry Darger’s inner turmoil. The heroines are the Vivian girls, blond cute little girls defying furiously and heroically adults, the Glandelinians. They appear dressed up with colorful outfits or naked with a penis. They lead armies, hide, and spy on their opponents; crossing fields of strangled, disemboweled and dismembered children’s corpses.
Suffocation and awkwardness emerges from the scenes and let us feel a glimpse of the strong harsh almost cruel and unbearable emotional state the author endured.

Henry Darger says in his autobiography, In the Realms of the Unreal that he hated the perspective to watch himself become an adult. He never wanted to to grow up. The chaos of his narrative, combined with his violent drawings all turned against adults are the terrifying trace of his past. Never able to recover, he chose to shut down this part of his spirit to any kind of other human beings only to let it come to life as pure art.
He demonstrates the powerful reason to be of art: to express with any kind of means the distress trapped in a human’s soul into something beautiful.

Henry Darger’s illustrations are currently shown at Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris until October 2015.
© Eric Emo / Musée d’Art Moderne / Roger-Viollet