French artist Daniel Buren‘s long career has been focused on both questioning and criticizing the relationship of art to the structures that frame it. Buren’s work has delved into installation, critical writing and interventions. From the artist’s statement: “All of Buren’s interventions are created ‘in situ’, appropriating and coloring the spaces in which they are presented. They are critical tools addressing questions of how we look and perceive, and the way space can be used, appropriated, and revealed in its social and physical nature.”
One of his most powerful interventions Perimeter For A Roomwork in Situ. 2011, was installed at Lisson Gallery, the London Gallery who represents Buren and who specializes in conceptual, Minimalist art. Created with sheets of clear acrylic colored with self-adhesive filters,and punctuated by border stripes of black vinyl, Perimeter investigates the nature of the room which houses work, and identifies with the idea of being work. Says the artist in an interview with Wallpaper*’s Emma O’Kelly, “It’s so simple. It follows the perimeter of the room, which is an unusual L-shape, with varying heights. It’s a complicated space, but more exciting to work with than a white cube. Playing with the idea of the perimeter – something I have never done before – I built the piece in-situ, as always…The colours are simple – I could only get four colours of Plexiglas. I arrange them in alphabetical order depending on the language of the country I’m in, so for this piece, they are arranged as they are spelt in English. I always apply this system as soon as I start using more than two colours.” (via wallpaper*)
Working with one of the most socially relevant and controversial topics of recent years, artists Pascal Leboucq and Lucas De Man have installed a clever take about what it means to be surveilled, to survey and to be under surveillance. Their EYE project consists of 5 enormous eyes built into the sides of different buildings around the Dutch city of Den Bosch that viewers are able to inhabit and experience a dramatic view of the city from.
Once inside the different buildings of the project (including a theater, a modern hospital, an old building ready to under go construction, a monument and a corporate building), observers are ushered to a seat, fastened in and wheeled out into the hanging structure. They are then immersed into a multimedia sound and video experience altering the way they are able to see themselves, their peers and their environment. Artist Lucas De Man says about the metaphor of eyes in this project:
A city with eyes is a city that looks and shows itself. No closed doors or shut windows, but open. We gave the city eyes so you can hang in the air above the world and look. Just look. (Source)
Lucas also talks about his desire for a more connected existence within cities, and how important it is to have these immersive experience to change our interaction with each other and within our shared environment.
Man wants to be heard and seen and has the need to share his vulnerability every now and then. The city must accommodate this need by being a place for, of and by people. (Source)
The Eyes are still open for viewing until November 1. They will then be on tour in 2015.
Amos Coal Power Plant, Raymond, West Virginia 2004
Massachusetts-born photographer Mitch Epstein has been documenting life in America since the early 1970s. As Rachel Esner says, “much of Mitch Epstein’s work is…a reflection on America, on American values and ideology, on America’s place in the world today. It is the formal and associative elements in Epstein’s images that lift them to a higher plane. These are not documents in the strict sense, because they transcend and reinvent the objects photographed and in the process invest them with symbolic meaning.” Well said, Ms. Esner.
Derek M Ballard just announced that Drippy Bones Books is releasing CARTOONSHOW once December comes around. Judging by his past body of work this book couldn’t be anything but amazing. Somehow he’s married erotica with angularity, which is no easy task, and the result is just downright sexy perpetual motion. In this interview, Derek fleshes out his influences, his process, and his awesome past occupation. To see more of his work, just head down here. Dude’s gonna get huge any day now.
The work of Laurent Craste lies at the crossroads of two mediums. It participates in the world of visual arts, but never crosses its borders. This is explore in his use of ceramics. The form, linked by tradition to crafts, requires a technical knowledge and know-how so restrictive that artists are prompted to remain within canonical forms, never pushing their limits. In this series of ceramic sculptures, Craste has used porcelain vases, representative of certain upper class tastes, and laid into them with a variety of blunt objects, essentially critiquing the fusty conservatism of both this group and the medium itself.
Raised a Catholic, and using obvious religious iconography, Liz Maw like to paint other-worldly and sublime beings. By combining the faces of celebrities or people she knows and admires with pseudo-mystical relics she glorifies them. Maw draws on many different periods and styles, mixing contemporary symbols with techniques from the Old Dutch masters, her subjects in poses akin to many Renaissance works. It is this mix of old and new; mundane and divine; hyper-realism and fantasy; sacred and profane that makes her work at once beautiful and comical. As one critic said:
“Her sleek paintwork resembles air brushing in its precision, offering a surrealism somewhere between Salvador Dali and the kind of hot-rod paintings which stretch across panel vans. Liz’s paintings are drenched with a sense of desire, beauty and power.” (source)
Her “Colleen” painting features a beautiful naked woman perched on a cloud surrounded by floating seashells and in a glowing sky illuminated by lightning. Intentionally referring to The Immaculate Conception painting, Maw manages to rework something old and accepted with a kitschy, slightly erotic spin. Talking about what is “distasteful” and what isn’t, Maw likes to challenge people’s standards. She says she doesn’t understand why some people will accept a painting of a figure with one breast covered, and others would think it to be inappropriate.
“I think that female sexuality is a very mystical thing… I don’t think that romance goes seamlessly into sex for women really. Maybe it can, maybe it can’t. A lot of women disconnect romance from sex. I don’t know why that is. “
She wants to paint to encourage more warmth and softness, and less judgement. And I think one painting at a time she will.