Artist Megan Straeder’s most recent work is a hanging installation, a display of brilliant light work in intricately woven nets placed descending a staircase. Appropriately on display at the Brisbane Powerhouse, her work breathes modernity and is reminiscent of 3D blueprints and 1980s computer technology. She cites Portal and the 2002 film Teknolust as visual inspirations for her work, she works with a lot of neon lights and futuristic elements. She plays with light and dark in this project, and makes use of a necessary darkness to be able to create such a stunning display of lights.
Straeder describes her piece as a “space age environment” inspired by “visions of the future”. Her work does reflect heavy inspiration from such decors and it might even remind you of Tron. Straeder describes this installation as a “vortex of light and color” and, the fact that the piece is hanging in a staircase reinforces its ethereal aspects. Enrichment Center constitutes the perfect décor for a houseparty featuring a futuristic techno soundtrack and probably lots of drugs.
The power of this pieces lies both within its sources of inspiration and the fact that, through these sources and her own creativity, Straeder has created a transmedia art piece and a reflection on what we perceive as futuristic imagery.
Sculptor Thom Puckey has a new exhibit on now at the Museum Centro Pecci in Prato, Italy, called Extreme Beauty. The unexpected combination of classically-sculpted figures paired with implements of death are a definite comment on where society has taken us since Neoclassicism. “The presence of modern weapons in the sculptures makes them seem contemporary in a cheap kind of way, this I realise. I like this suggestion of cheapness, I play into it. Chicks and guns,” explains the artist. Puckey makes “cheap” look pretty amazing, don’t you think?
Yesterday on our Twitter we got some nice podcast suggestions, most of which were Hip-Hop oriented — shout out to all the heads out there that support B/D. To extend on the topic, I thought it would be nice to highlight the talented Steve Smith (an illustrator, animator, and all around video guy). Steve recently put together a short animated flick for the Stones Throw video contest, more specifically for the late great, J Dilla. Smith’s video for the classic Donuts cut “Geekdown” has been getting an insane amount of rotation since last weeks release, so if you haven’t checked it out yet do yourself a favor.
Bethany Krull’s ‘Dominance and Affection’ revolves around the exploration of this duality as it can be seen in the relationship between humans and the rest of the natural world. In today’s increasingly nature-deprived society, our most intimate connection tends to be with plants and animals that we ourselves have drastically altered through the process of domestication. We have turned wild animals into companions, genetically sculpting them into sweeter, cuter, less dangerous versions of themselves. We shower our pets with love at the same time we cage and contain them and it is this affection contradicting complete control that Krull is interested in illustrating in her work. For no amount of love lavished upon these creatures will erase the fact that the success of the relationship lies in our complete domination over all aspects of their existence.
I’ve always hated zoos. They are so cold, artificial, and sad. I personally only support animal sanctuaries as they actually take care of the animals instead of treating them like cheap objects on display. Daniel kukla’sCaptive Landscapes documents 8 different zoos in the US, capturing the artifiicial spaces that we create for these poor animals so that we can look and point at them.
Brushing the edges of Pop-Surrealism, Bill Dambrova’s expressive paintings explode with color and anatomical imagery. His work is hard to ignore, as his cartoon-like style hits you in the face with exaggerated facial and bodily features. Each piece is like a louder, more graphic and fun illustration from a medical or anatomical textbook. His technique is both abstract and representational, as he paints unnaturally colored organs and molecules moving through his compositions. Pulling inspiration from physical healing and spiritual growth, Dambrova’s work explores the stories and memories held in each of our biology, exposing humankind internally. The artist’s work uncovers not only human anatomy, but the insides of animals as well, unifying our biology. Each painting beautifully shows us the commonality in the biology in living things, while still exploring the unknown. This Phoenician artist investigates themes in science, animism, and archetypes in his work.
Although Dambrova’s work holds traditional imagery, such as animals and a human heart, they are shown in a different light. In his work, bodies are split open, organs function outside the body, and rays of organic light flow through each being. Each composition Dambrova constructs is as intricate as the human anatomy itself, with each color and shape intertwined with the next. The very talented artist is one of the recipients of the Contemporary Forum award given to emerging artists in Arizona. His work can be seen on view now through May 31st at the Phoenix Art Museum.