When the cold and snow are as harsh as this winter, the idea of an outdoor art fair sounds less than ideal to most. But, when cabin fever kicks in, anyone stuck indoors for too long understands the need to take drastic action to make the Hibernation Months bearable. Taking inspiration from the omnipresent winter ice fishing communities that spontaneously gather upon frozen lakes and ponds across the Midwest, the Art Shanties Project groups together to various themed ice shanties into a small winter attraction to give warm-blooded (and hot chocolate drinking) Minnesotans something to get through the cold months.
Proposals for these art-minded ice house are selected by committee, and run by volunteers for a few weeks in the dead of winter, creating an outdoor happening which explores the potential of new ideas in community-driven art. As the Shanties’ mission statement explains, “Art Shanty Projects is an artist driven temporary community exploring the ways in which relatively unregulated public spaces can be used as new and challenging artistic environments to expand notions of what art can be.”
Taking place in Minnesota since 2006, and operating every other year to protect the water quality and natural wildlife after the ice’s thaw, this year’s was the first on the ice of the Twin Cities suburb of White Bear Lake (hence the 25 foot, Bear-shaped bicycle-powered Pedal Bear). Each shanties’ theme range from winter-related like Ice Ice Maybe (which encases boutique items in ice) and the history museum/training course Curling Clubhouse Ice Shanty, to more participatory (such as the boogie-down Dance Shanty and the kite-making Wind Shanty) to the more conceptual (the Lost Found and Wanting Shanty, which collects actual lost belongings as well as existential yearnings). Citing artist-audience involvement to the spontaneous community which gathers on the ice as its main goal, the Art Shanties Project “…provides a unique opportunity for artists to interact with their audience, and vice versa, in an un-intimidating, non-gallery like environment.” (via l’étoile)
Photographer David Emitt Adams‘ series Conversations with History captures images and time. Adams collected discarded cans from throughout the Arizona desert. The cans, eroded and reddish-brown, are as much as forty years old. Using wet-plate collodion, a 19th century photographic process, Adams develops the desert scenes directly onto the cans found there. The timelessness of the deserts emerges through the images on the can, the decades of corrosion on it, and the antiquated photographic technique.
Antwerp-based Sam Vanallemeersch has that rare ability to work in two distinct styles that feed and grow off of each other’s strengths. His one style, full of nuanced detail and dense atmospheres, can entertain the eye endlessly. His other style, which relies on simplified forms that tend to become entangled in a puzzle piece manner is equally as effective. Consistent throughout is an accessible body of work that retains all integrity no matter what approach he takes. His unstoppable production is the reason he has two separate websites packed to the gills, here and there. Jaw-droops.
Alejandro Guzman focuses his artistic practice on the idea of creative misunderstandings through art. Guzman uses performance, sculpture, painting, drawing, photography and video to explore his interest in human nature, behavior, migration, consumption and materialism. A Puerto Rican artist living and working in New York there are cultural and historical references to indigenous folklore traditions, colonialism and storytelling combined with European and American modernism throughout Guzman’s work.
Also interested in shared human experiences, Guzman designs performances and art objects that offer experience and provoke thought. For his exhibition, Intellectual Derelict, Guzman created a sculptural performance object, a dual character, one half covered in colorful flowers and drawings and the other in mirrors and black-and-white drawings. The figure was involved in three performances that were meant to enhance a viewer’s experience with the natural world. For another performance for AD Projects, Guzman wore a modified Vejigante mask. El Vejigante is a historical figure generally part of Puerto Rican festivals. He was born out of Spanish Christianity, West African Yoruba rites and Taino aesthetics. The figure both embraces and resists his multifaceted roots and represents the ability to live both inside and outside society.
Always incorporating industrial and natural materials as well as his own drawings and sculptures, Guzman’s creations and performances are thoughtful, insightful and visually engaging.
I haven’t seen a show that has blown me a away in some time so it was amazing to see the current show at Ace Gallery by John Millei. I wasn’t familiar with Millei’s work but apparently he’s been making abstract painting for a while, working in various styles and techniques. I had a few minutes to walk through the show but I can easily say that this is some of the most important abstract painting being done in the last 10 years. My favorite pieces in the show were the black, white, and silver paintings from the Quicksilver, and Maritime series. These are massive paintings that command attention in both their complex compositions and masterly paint handling. The photos just don’t do the work justice as the subtle colors and layering are lost in translation. If you’re in the LA area do yourself a favor and check out this show. I already have plans to make a second and third trip myself.
Thanks to all the artists who submitted work to our Future Perfect call for submissions. We had well over 250 submissions for every single state in the US varying in medium from kinetic installations to drawings. It’s going to be extremely difficult to select only 70 artists from all the amazing submissions. In the next week we will be contacting artists who have made it into the book as well as announcing the grand winner who will get their very own exclusive interview in Beautiful/Decay Book: 6. Thanks to our sponsorToyota Prius Projectsfor working with us to make the Future Perfect book happen and to promote and support new and emerging artists!
Our favorite watch makers Casio G-Shock and RESPECT. Magazine team up to bring you an inside look into the creative process of the people driving creative culture. This time, we clock in with the Grammy Award–nominated production team The Stereotypes. The L.A.- based crew—Jeremy “Jerm Beats” Reeves, Ray “RayRo” Romulus and Jon “JonStreet” Yip— discuss how they came together and what lead them to lose their day jobs and chase their passion full time. They also discuss their love for G-Shocks and why the brand has been a consistent accessory in their lives as they keep on creating in the studio.
As glossy, digital, full color perfection becomes the norm on brochures and other printed matter, the photocopier has become more of an artistic medium than a simple reproduction system. Jakob Johnsen’s collages and image manipulations are sublimely composed and pull on dark, thought-provoking subject matter.