For more than several years now, Rosemarie Fiore has painted with fireworks. She does so by creating machines that produce an action, like lighting a combustible container to produce smoke. The results are colorful, non-representational images that are very gestural, as if the artist is taking us on a journey. Fiore writes about her work, stating:
My drawings are created by containing and controlling firework explosions. I bomb blank sheets of paper with different fireworks including color smoke bombs, jumping jacks, monster balls, rings of fire, and lasers. As I work, I create imagery by controlling the chaotic nature of the explosions in upside-down containers. When the paper becomes saturated in color, dark and burned, I take it back to my studio and collage blank paper circles onto the image to establish new planes and open up the composition. I then continue to bomb the pieces. These actions are repeated a number of times. The final works contain many layers of collaged explosions and are thick and heavy.
Fiore’s machine is built out of mixed media and found materials. It is fitted with wheels and is comprised of multiple connected containers. When lit, the machine creates a combustion that releases smoke at different intervals.
There’s no doubt that Fiore’s work is labor intensive, as she describes the physical and repeated process of building her images. Knowing this information provides for a greater appreciation of the work itself; It transcends what’s on paper and becomes the product of ingenuity.
Liza Lou’s art making process seems a bit obsessive, to say the least. She first came on the art radar when she exhibited Kitchen (1991-96), at the New Museum of Contemporary Art. A 168 sq. ft. beaded “kitchen” that took five years to create and incorporated 30 million beads, Lou created the ultimate homage to the domestic. The space contained beaded walls, tables, cereal boxes, etc. –everything created from glass beads.
In 2002, at age 32, Lou was awarded the MacArthur “genius” award. In 2005 she founded a collective with Zulu artisans in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Although she doesn’t incorporate specifically African beadwork tradition, she finds within it a commonality in the process of working with beads. Creating her works becomes a kind of meditation—the final products representing the impossibility of perfection—something Lou refers to as “the culpability of craft.”
Much less showy and, if not for the same medium, actually completely different, I am actually more drawn to Lou’s recent works. Minimalist and hauntingly beautiful, they appear to be Agnes Martin’s, or Ellsworth Kelly’s re-imagined as beaded canvases. And because of the beads there is a delicate, feminine sensibility to them. They walk the line between fine art and craft without needing to be one or the other. With them, Lou has fully embraced her method as meditation, placing process over content (although the final products are still pretty wonderful).
As part of our ongoing partnership with Feature Shoot, Beautiful/Decay is sharing Alison Zavos’ article on Photographer Hal.
When looking for couples to model for both this series, Couple Jam, and his ever popular work, Flesh Love, Tokyo-based Photographer Hal goes to underground bars in Shibuya and Kabukicho (Tokyo’s Red Light District), places he describes as “luscious nighttime bee hives”. Musicians, dancers, strippers, service workers and businessmen are all fair game as models as long as they are willing and able to contort their bodies to fit in the confined spaces Photographer Hal obviously has an affinity for.
These photographic “events” take place in the models bathrooms. Photographer Hal explains, “I think of the bathroom as being one of the most private and intimate place in anyone’s home, this provoked a shyness in the models, and created a unique excitement and inspiration in the scene.”
Chef Ken has taken Mac Fanboy-dom and food sculptural likenesses to a…ahem…cheesy new level. Savor the delights of Steve Jobs head on an appetizer platter, in a sizzling plate of “iPad Thai” or in a festive nacho concoction. A big ghastly when his head melts all over the chips. I can’t really say much more.
Even if you’re the type of individual to deny most slightly cynical (or perhaps they’re just simply honest) thoughts, you’ll too appreciate Joseph Barbaccia’s tangible commentary. In his Integration Series Joseph presents integrated objects, each representing one single, yet highly loaded idea: Obesity, Marriage, Blame…
Japanese photographer Daisuke Takakura creates a carousal of interactive humans. Double your pleasure. Double your fun. His pieces challenge you to focus and rest your amygdala—puzzling you with more questions than answers; energizing your eyeballs to pounce in all directions. His reproduction of clones create a maze-like quest in his photography.
The duplicated self is positioned in a variety of stances; each with their own agenda. Whether a day in the office, playtime in the city, resting on dinosaurs or in a female basketball court frenzy—the multiplication of bodies in these settings create an unbalanced curiosity in trying to interpret what each person is doing. Repeating the “self” into many selves provides more than one imagination to be analyzed or identified with.
In one of his monodramatic photos, women are seen running from a building covered in scarlet red, which appears to be blood down the front of their dresses. In the background, other women rest at the building entrance parading sea foam green umbrellas over their heads.
Shi Jindian makes wire sculptures that are precise, intricate, and collect to form impressive items in their actual size and shape. The Chinese artist uses steel wire to twist together these delicate pieces, which encompass the complexity of the actual item whether it be the human body, a motorcycle, a bicycle, or a cello. To create this ethereal effect, Jindian first makes a wire covering over the actual object, then destroys and removes the object from within it to have only the shell leftover. Viola! A sculpture is born.
As another arts writer commented,
“The result, he says, is a kind of fiction, a virtual reality that can be walked around and touched. His Blue CJ750 (2008) is a replica of the Chiangjiang [Yangtze], a military bike based on an early BMW and for decades reserved for the military. Beijing’s Shadow (2007) translates the chassis of an army jeep into an object of pure contemplation, an airy fantasy which a car long was for millions of Chinese. Each of the works is accurate to the smallest detail. They took years to make, but he found serenity in the toil. When people touch his sculptures, he says, they also touch ‘the state of mind that emerges from the labour of my hands: tranquillity and calm’.”(Excerpt from Source)