Santa is not the only one you telling you to be good for goodness sakes. In today’s word, that is, in today’s virtual, and real life panopticon, you have no other choice but to be good for the sake or yourself, your life, your job, etc. Your success as a human being depends on your good (or bad?) pubic, and well documented, behavior. Everyone is watching, everyone is judging.
Taking its name from Vincent’s large-scale work installed in the gallery, “Be Good for Goodness Sake” pushes audiences to question their stance on surveillance and privacy in the age of social media.
Nathan Vincent’s six-foot crocheted doily acts as Big Brother and it invites the spectators to to sit on a bench flanked by security cameras, while Kathy Halper and Iviva Olenick create embroideries that question the psychosocial impacts of intimate over-sharing via social media. Inspired by her own Facebook feed, Olenick uses embroidery and watercolor to render her own “selfies” and portraits of others. Halper’s work similarly questions the disappearing space between public and private online through embroidered drawings of found images from teens’ Twitter and Facebook accounts.
The exhibition, “Be Good for Goodness Sake” will be on view at the Muriel Guepin Gallery in New York until January 19th, 2014.
István Szugyiczky is a digital artist currently living in Budapest. His recently updated portfolio employs a simplified palette and strong, almost structural forms. The lines and forms are elusive and seductive mixed against the grainy glow offered in many of his illustrations. Take a moment to enjoy the dark world his pieces have to offer.
Documentary photographer Cristina de Middel’s striking new series, This is What Hatred Did, displays a collection of beautifully cinematic photographs that bend the boundary between reality and magic. Her photographs are both playful, yet inherently insightful. The series acts as a photographic narrative of Amos Tutuola’s book, “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts,” a novel loosely based on Yoruba folklore. Written in child’s prose, the book follows a 5 year old Nigerian child whose village was attacked by soldiers, leaving him without his mother, and provoking him to flee in order to avoid the chaos. He manages to find his way into a magical bush where no humans are allowed. The novel follows him for 30 years, during which he achieves many states of being. Tutuola’s book, published in 1964, caused him to flee the country due to a violent reaction, leading him to open a new path for African literature. Cristina de Middel explains the series; she states:
“The series “This Is What Hatred Did” (derived from the mysterious last sentence of the book) aims to provide an illustrated contemporary version of the book, adapting the characters, and ambiance to the current situation of the country. The “Bush” is now the Lagosian neighborhood of Makoko, a floating slum with its own rules, commanded by Kings and community leaders, often the subject of popular media coverage. A place where logic does not prevail and forbidden for those who do not belong. With the conviction that contemporary issues should be described in a way that includes the agent’s traditions, perspectives, fears, and hopes, this series documents the enhanced reality of one of the most iconic places in Nigeria.”
Cristina de Middel, a spanish born artist now living on London, is known for her important, self-published photo book, The Afronauts, 2012.
Anne Lindberg is interested in creating work that resonates with non-verbal primal human conditions. Seeking to make work that is subtle, rhythmic, abstract and immersive Lindberg finds beauty in creating disturbances by layering materials to create varying tones, densities and pathways.
The architecture and design practice, Serie, created an amazing installation for the Maximum India Festival on the ceiling of the Monsoon Club at the Kennedy Center in DC in 2011. Incorporating over one million threads the piece is a 3D carpet that was inspired by the traditional flat woven rugs in India (Dhurries).
Gabriel Dawe’s breath-taking, mind-bending large-scale installations are made out of nothing but thread. The works are created using sets of string that can be up to 50 miles long. They play with space, dimension and perception.
Brian Wills is also interested in perception and rhythm and the way the brain processes pattern. His hand-made works are created by individually winding threads around board, or other material. Creating dynamic surfaces his works are engaging and beautiful.
French artist Sebastien Preschoux makes thread installations in sections of the forest. Capturing the installations for posterity via photography the results are stunning. We imagine the works sitting quietly in the forest, as if created by a spider from another world, delicately vibrant against the natural backdrop waiting to be discovered.
Ana Kraš, born in Belgrade and based in NYC, uses basic structures and everyday materials to design “what people would need and like to use.” Her bonbon lamps or lanterns are handmade and no two are exactly alike. Kraš laboriously loops each bit of thread around the metal frames, creating a color-blocked pattern with a folk sensibility reminiscent of the 1970s.
In a recent feature by Avant Garde Interviews, Kraš suggests such careful repetitious attention is meditative, allowing her room to focus on the details or a “shy little gesture you try to add to a very basic thing.”
Nathan Mabry’s work makes me laugh out loud like when I was still a wee little tot. This LA based artist is clearly doing his best to represent for the west coast, in the tradition of Ken Price, John Baldessari, and Robert Arneson.
New York based artist, the theatrical Cai-Guo Qiang, is yet another artist I dream of to meet one day. He is mostly known for his gunpowder explosions, where the guided impact of exploded gunpowder creates beautiful marks on the paper it is placed over. Proof how beauty and violence are sometimes intertwined with each other, a concept Cai-Guo works with often.