The artist Ashkan Honarvar, previously featured here, is transfixed by the gruesomeness of the body and cruelty of human nature; in his multimedia creations, he asks that we come face-to-face with the painful, dark cavities of our minds, painting a visual diary of fear, violence, and revulsion. His series Faces 5 hopes to capture the trauma of soldiers whose faces have been deformed and marked by war. Sandwiched between the comparably somber Faces 4 and 6, the series presents subjects with tragically mutilated features dripping in uncomfortably sweet confections made of paint and candy.
As the delicious veers into the grotesque, seemingly saccharine sweet-shop elements become markers of unknowable trauma and nightmare. The gluttony of mankind for violence and brutality are laid bare, and the hunger elicited by the images is tinged with guilt. Our craving for cruelty is equated with the natural and relatively innocent desire for sweets, and the instinctual impulse to do harm is seen as disturbingly tempting, seductive, and indulgent.
In these painfully intimate and personal portraits, the sugar-coated wounds become windows into psychological injury inflicted by violence, evoking in viewers anxious feelings of nausea and disgust. The unnerving pepto-bismal hue of thick, gooey paint highlights the desperation of a mouth blown-off, and coils of green licorice swirl across the face like snakes. These injuries are seen as parasites; the sugared treats stick hard to the face, as if to multiply and remain there to rot the flesh beneath. Take a look. (via HiFructose)
Premiere website builder Made With Color and Beautiful/Decay have teamed up yet again to bring you exclusive artist features. Each week we join forces to bring you some of the most exciting artists and designers working today who use Made With Color to create their clean and sleek websites. Website builder Made With Color doesn’t just help artists create minimal and mobile/tablet responsive websites but allows them to do so in a few minutes without having to touch a line of code. This week we’re excited to bring you the exciting collaborative work of Linville And McKenzie.
Los Angeles based artists Annelie McKenzie and Tina Linville have been collaborating since 2011 under the name Linville And McKenzie. They work together to create site responsive installations and artworks that blur the distinctions between painting and sculpture. Using a mix of found objects, studio constructions, and contributions from viewers the duo creates order out of chaos with their multimedia works that not only fill the gallery space but transform it into a colorful and at times grotesque world.
‘Pataphor (pictured above)
East Gatov Gallery
Where a metaphor is the comparison of two different things to reflect their similarities, a ‘pataphor starts with the similarity in order to open up a new world, something completely its own. This exhibition’s starting point was our own individual art practices. Where our inquiries overlap might also create its own new world, our own collaborative ‘pataphor.
Sculptor Andy Yoder spent nearly two years on his piece, Early One Morning, painstakingly applying thousands of painted matches to create a globe with the implied potential to catch fire. The matches, which were individually hand-painted, recreate the continents and oceans, but also swirling weather patterns (of note, Hurricane Sandy is seen off the west coast of North America).
The wooden matches are connected to a food and cardboard base, held together by a plywood skeleton (as a precaution, Yoder covered the piece a flame retardant chemical). Yoder’s piece can be seen Winkleman Gallery at this year’s PULSE New York Contemporary Art Fair, May 8–11. (via from89 and junk-culture)
The artist Stephen Irwin’s work reinterprets the erotic; by scratching away and obscuring unnecessary content from found vintage porn imagery, he constructs a more emotionally climactic vision of love making. Like faded, far away memories of sexual encounters, his images only recall the most poetic and visceral sensations: the insertion of a finger, the flicking of a tongue, private moments of masturbation.
Unlike the work of someone like Von Brandis, Irwin’s images challenge the pornographic inclination to objectify the body, evoking moments of mutual bliss that transcend the material form. Irwin’s hands, limbs, and genitalia stand in for individuals, blurring their identities and ultimately pin-pointing a moment of worshipful self-actualization. The point of orgasm is elevated to spiritual heights when mouths cry out to the heavens. In a particularly sensual piece, the careful insertion of fingers into the vagina harkens back to illustrations of the doubting Thomas fingering the wounds of Christ.
These moments of ecstasy, however, are painfully brief; body parts emerge for an infinite blankness, vanishing just as soon as they appear. A deliberately messy black marker erases the figures, leaving only shadows in its wake; again, a shaded limb fades into whiteness, as if pushed down by a firm hand on the buttocks. The artist’s choice to use vintage images operates as yet another reminder of the temporality of climax.
These images are gloriously unstable and unreliable; for many, it’s impossible to tell if the original pornography was a sketch, painting, or photograph. Here, the lines between fantasy and recollection, between the corporeal and the spiritual, are miraculously indistinguishable. (via Juxtapoz)
Athens, Greece-based artist HOPE is well-known for his use of large-format collaged pieces, both in the streets and in the gallery. Taking the ruins of the classical sculptures of his homeland, HOPE returns these images to decaying buildings, using large stickers applied outdoors. Though he found his fame in the streets of Athens, the mixed-media artist has been transitioning towards exhibiting his works more indoors, both in decrepit public spaces and in white-walled galleries. Describing his style of using and remixing classical and recognizable sculpture, HOPE says, “My works are marked by mythology. They are sculptural images inspired from the past with a new aesthetic rule.”
HOPE continues, “What interests me about street art and public art, in general, is that it can exist as a forum/platform for dialogue. We live and think within the public space. When you place an artwork in the public domain, you’re interacting with the public. This makes you think about the public order. You’re given the opportunity to express your opinion politically and sociologically through a work, the longevity of which is determined according to the public opinion… But the main reason I got involved in street art was the feeling that I was creating an anti-monument, a new kind of creative model which escapes private places. Sometimes, when public art is effective, it can even change the world.” (via artnau and yatzer)
After searching through the deepest corners of the internet pornography universe, the South African mixed media artist Von Brandis blanked out the carnal content in an attempt to reinterpret sexual imagery. The project, titled “Obscene Interiors” somehow heightens the voyeuristic thrust of the erotic images; behind a shield of white, sexual activities become more mysterious and forbidden, forcing the viewer to examine the images with more self-consciousness than the original porn might elicit.
The series also works to redefine the erotic. As blanked-out figures magically flatten and morph into a single two-dimensional being, signs of intercourse and movement disappear. In contrast to the white-out bodies, which often appear to be pasted onto the photographs, the space of the pornography sets do indeed become the “obscene” photographic content, inviting the eye to penetrate their depths. The pornographic subject becomes the interior itself: the cheesy bedding, the slightly parted curtain, a glistening clock radio, a stained rug.
The images, if slightly dehumanized by their alterations, maintain their intense sexual charge; the off-kilter frame suggests movement within the room, an amateur pornographer’s fast and anxious shots. Shadows billow from the white shapes, hinting at the breath, dimension and passions of the human form.
The series, with its censorship, paradoxically becomes more suggestive and uncomfortable. Forced to consider the erotic impulse and visual fetishization, the viewer cannot help but feel awkward about our engagement with the porn. In this way, this powerful piece touches on contemporary debates about the medium: is porn a healthy, natural human activity, or is it objectifying and morally ambiguous? What do you think? (via Lost at E Minor)
Seung Hoon Park’s photographic work is created using strips of 8mm or 16mm film that’s woven together to form larger images. For the series Textus, he depicts well-known and iconic landmarks from all over the world. After the “tapestry” is assembled, Park photographs it using an 8×10 camera to creates a more texturally seamless surface. The result creates cognitive dissonance; We expect it to look tactile, while it only appears flat.
The discolored edges of the film provide a vintage feel to the overall work, as they tinge it in yellows, blues, and generally desaturate all of Park’s landscapes. The smaller images that make up Textus fracture the larger photograph in a way that it appears as a victim of some sort of disaster. They’ve been pieced so that’s almost put back together, but there’s still part of it that’s off and will always remain a little off because of it. (Via Feature Shoot)
Hugo Germain, a French student who studies math and physics in order to become an engineer, also creates images and animations inspired by these very fields of study. Germain typically comes with a concept and makes a quick doodle before he begins to create his gifs using After Effects or Cinema 4D. Germain explains,
“Each gif has its own story but mainly it’s a way for me to provide inspiration and make people question basic things we take for granted. I often wonder “What if this or that was different/existed ? What would that look like ?”. Being able to actually create an answer to that question is very exciting for me, and I guess that’s also what people like about it.”
Applying his engineering skillset to the art of animation, Germain’s gifs are a playful fusion of wonder and execution. (via really shit)