As a musician myself I am always fascinated by the intersection between visual art and music. Jim Lambie is a musician who played in the Glasgow band Teenage Fanclub, and was also shortlisted for the Turner prize. His colorful installations often reappropriate pop cultural items in fresh ways. In this video he discusses his installation “Zobop,” which used vinyl tape on the floorspace of the Tate, to reveal the idiosyncrasies in the architecture in a dazzling floor display. Check out the Bay City Rollers album in his studio!
There’s something at once lighthearted and sad about Benoit Paillé‘s photographs in the series Jour du Déménagement (translates from French as “Moving Day”). Discarded furniture, boxes, mattresses and other household items sit in piles waiting to be picked up by the garbage truck. The photographs are taken in the dark, seemingly in the middle of the night, and the trash lit by a single bulb. Little attention is paid to garbage on the curb; at night while everyone is sleeping it’s completely forgotten. Regardless, items we’ve lived with often for years quietly sit there all night. The scene is reminiscent of food in the refrigerator, and wondering what happens when the door closes and the light goes out.
Allie Pohl uses the measurements of an ideal woman (36-24-36) to engage in a number of conceptually driven art projects. Taking this ‘perfect form’, she fabricates a mannequin torso to represent the prototype for her conversations. To Pohl, this middle area constitutes a place of birth, renewal and assists the artist in her studies about self esteem, image and determination. In one project, the form is used as a chia pet showing the grass growing in the torso’s genital area. In another, the form is created using a red mirrored material and placed on a pedestal.
Pohl reassesses our idea of beauty and reflects on what women deem important. Some of her other work has examined the torso in the bathroom where she photographed a model on the toilet in gallery and museum restrooms. Her intention was to show the amount of time woman spend in the john. Another saw her take on the high heel. In 6″ shoes with a strap-on camera she went hiking. The result bore an all too familiar metaphor to the extremes women go to achieve physical perfection.
The hairier sex has also been the subject of Pohl’s studies. Using male mannequin legs from different eras, she created a group sculpture. The idea was to show what the perfect ‘male leg’ looked like throughout the years. Most recently, her torso has been used for philanthropy through a line of jewelry where all the proceeds go to various women’s organizations where Pohl lectures and discusses these important issues.
Keith Lemley is an American artist who builds sculptural, light-based installations that explore the crossroads between nature and technology. Featured here is “The Woods,” comprising a dimly-lit room with illuminated axes lain against chopping logs and cracked cement walls. The scene is eerie yet serene, mixing bright-light modernity with the dark, cobwebbed corners of rustic life. The lights bring a sense of warmth and presence where there is otherwise cold stillness, calling upon our own memories of the forest while also estranging them with urban glamor. In the following statement, Lemley describes his desire to transcend time and environmental boundaries:
“My work is about seeing the unseen—the invisible presence which exists in our minds and surrounds all objects, experiences, and memories. Working in my studio in rural Appalachia, I have developed a keen interest in being part of and observing natural systems, time and the process of life and death, and an aesthetic sensibility synthesizing the organic and the machine.” (Source)
Other works by Lemley similarly explore the beauty of the natural world, manifesting it beyond normative representations; “Arboreal” is a speculation on the geometry inherent in nature, whereas “Past Presence” uses light to enhance the ragged dynamism of driftwood. Lemley’s goal is to shift our perspectives on the environment, and he does so by fulfilling the adventurous spirit and infusing physical images with the resonance of personal experience. Lemley’s installations renew familiar landscapes with meaning and excitement; as he writes, “one [ultimately] walks away more self aware and delighted in everyday visual ephemera and the experience of being a living, breathing being” (Source).
Winter is coming! Well, not so much in Los Angeles (although it did get down into the 40s last week), but across the country it seems to be looking a lot like Christmas. One of any creative-minded individual’s favorite winter pastimes is making snowmen. The four artists listed below take the art form to another level, incorporating the usually ephemeral figures into their art oeuvre in unique and intriguing ways.
Tony Tasset’s snowmen are partly funny, partly sad and partly just amazing sculptures. Made from glass, resin, brass, enamel paint, poly-styrene, stainless steel and bronze the snow replicas are surprisingly convincing. Catching a viewer off guard in a gallery setting, the snowmen freeze (pun intended) in time a phenomenon that is never the same—unlike in real life, Tasset’s snow personalities might last forever.
Kristina Solomoukha lives and works in Paris, France. Her process is a reflection on urban space. She pulls from codes and vocabulary from urban environments, combining them with her personal ideological view to create individual works and installations. Playing with words and the absurd, her works, such as Discobaba, magnify and exaggerate existing aberrations.
Identified as a Young British Artist, Gary Hume, now 51, creates his snowmen images and sculptures by reducing them to their simplest forms. Stacked spheres, the shapes are mere implications of a snowman, allowing a viewer’s mind to complete the association. Titling the series “Back of a Snowman,” Hume’s works take on a melancholic mood. We suddenly picture the snowman contemplating his own mortality, which in turn, might make us reflect upon our own.
Described as a pseudo Pop artist Todd Hebert’s meditative paintings apply airbrushed acrylic and super-realistic renderings to common holiday imagery. The effects are narrative in a way that allows a viewer to be reflective about life at the various points of the year marked by the holidays.
Helena Kvarnström “write[s] and take photographs and [is] interested in trees, water, bodies,
ghosts, loneliness, stillness, secrets and hidden threats,” according to the artist. And that’s exactly what her images consist of: women in the wild in striking black and white, lonely in their honesty.