Playing with the viewer’s sense of spatial perception, artist Leah Wolff‘s works quietly pique curiosity and bend the mind. Wolff explores visual paradox through several small series of medium-specific artistic investigations. By giving her mind-bending drawings, sculptures and relief works the element of visual confusion, Wolff’s creations cause the mind to try to connect the dots over and over again—creating a mental feedback loop that’s hard to ignore. The immediate presence of the artist’s hand in these works is at times the most interesting part of the series, how she chooses expressive movement when most artists would strive for complete, flat, graphic perfection. Her use of each medium is intuitive, yet raw, leaving a curious series of entry points for the viewer to tackle each small, imaginary space.
From the artist: “Discoveries in modern science have lead the individual to a space of intellectual disconnect from their surroundings. I want my practice to resist this, as a new method of research where I find meaning through making. However, If our universe is truly infinite, then how can we possibly understand it? It is important to remember that this is a spatial concern that can be addressed and worked out intuitively through the physical act of creation. For me, this is the point and ultimate goal of my practice.”
Some people just have a knack for color and Toronto based Liz Wolfe is one of those people. Here bold still life and photographs radiate with electric colors in every corner and her juxtaposition of gorgeous floral motifs with dead chickens, maggots, and flies is the perfect mix of the sweet and the grotesque. (via feature shoot)
Afraid of certainty, 2009, acrylic, ink and graphite on canvas, 58.25 x 71.25in, image via feuer site
A couple months back Zach Feuer Gallery hosted an exhibition by artist Dasha Shishkin and it blew me away. There’s a variety of elements in this show that combined together made it so convincingly complete and mesmerizing. Upon entering the gallery you’re greeted by a cascade of paintings that are assertive, bold, and large. Starring into each one I was moved by the riveting flow of shape and colors, the figures and non-figures flowing, floating, mending and blending into and atop each other. There is a golden hue behind each painting, creating a glow and brightness that accentuates without being loud or attention-bearing. The patterns found in the background, whether floor, or wall or objects are intermingled and webbed together with the patterns of clothing worn by figures outlined in blue, black, green and red. It’s a collage of disturbed action, with no clear narrative or motivation, all suggesting some odd surrealistic dream that is subtly sexy and violent, elusive and suggestive, simultaneously jarring and soothing.
Holy weird marker on mylar drawings! I love Miriam Brumer’s half stoner, half new age hippie-dreamscape, half crystal batik visions…oh wait that’s one too many halves…but considering her work is trying to channel a new planar dimension, I figure following ordinary mathematics would be boring anyways.
Ruben Plasencia settled on the idea of photographing the blind when contemplating how to approach the subject of prejudice as an artist. He felt that blind individuals are unique because they are subject to prejudice, but don’t generate prejudice against others the way people who can see do. His series, Obscure, forces viewers to look directly into the eyes of people who cannot return the stare.
Racist prejudices and stereotypes continue to dominate our societies — judgments which are made at a level that is only skin-deep. In “Obscure”, I created portraits of the blind. These faces create a mockery of our unthinking dependence on vision. A blind person seeks more reliable ways to read between the lines and understood essences, no longer able to fall back on their eyesight as the only reliable means.
I composed the portraits in a simple manner: a figure and a ground. I wanted to eliminate as many external factors as possible and leave behind only what’s most important to me: “The Look”.
Far from being a simple visual appetizer, this project ventures to convey the deepest intimacy of the look. By gazing upon eyes which cannot see, I want us feel deeply what it means to have sight. Despite having the gift of vision, we manage to blind ourselves every day. We are all given the great opportunity to observe and I hope we can appreciate its value. (via LensCulture)
Portland, Oregon based artist Caitlin Ducey uses plastic drinking straws as the focus of her sculptures. In her exploration of material, process and pattern, Ducey appreciates the simplicity and accessibility of the straw. She notes that it is such a mundane, everyday, disposable item. For her the idea that it is so commonplace is part of the appeal. The act of devoting so much time and attention to something as simple as a straw becomes part of her process.
To create her pieces Ducey carefully stacks each straw usually using no glue or adhesive. Her method is obsessive and detail oriented. It also gives the sculptures a fragility that makes them all the more alluring. As a viewer passes by her works she will experience a kind of tunnel vision, only able to see through the straws immediately in her path. It is this feature that gives the sculptures the life-like quality that I found most captivating. Ducey manages to transform an ordinary plastic object into an entrancing sculpture with a remarkable organic quality.
For those of you who haven’t had a chance to hold a copy of Beautiful/Decay Book: 5 in your hands here’s a short video sneak peak that shows you the wide range of artists and designers we’ve featured. Remember that we have about 150 copies left available for purchase and they will sell out. Watch the full video after the jump!