Brooklyn based artist, Erik Jones, paints vibrant portraits marrying the female nude with abstraction. His new series, In Colour, juxtaposes traditional figure painting with digital-grafitti-esque mark making. His work is simultaneously inviting and confrontational — we enter the picture plan via recognized moments of breasts, hair, and lips, yet, are then pushed away by bold 2-D elements floating through a seemingly 3-D space (or perhaps, is it the other way around?). His paintings are endless fun for the eye, constantly provoking the viewer to make sense of a nonsensical atmosphere. He states:
“The figures are used as an aesthetic anchor, holding the viewer’s attention to a recognizable form, while exploring colorful, nonrepresentational abstractions. In a way, the figures make the chaos palette-able. I wanted the graphic aesthetic to take on digital qualities and appear to be more naive and childlike in the approach. As if an inexperienced, non-artistic person were exploring a digital drawing program for the first time.”
The “digital drawing” effect mimics contemporary approaches to fashion prints and graphic design, giving off an editorial-like feel. While his work is very playful, it also feels precisely calculated and particular. Jones is able to create a hyper specific effect using a plethora of media, including; watercolor, colored pencil, acrylic, water-soluble wax pastel and water-soluble oil, making sure that each mark he makes is rendered the exact way he intends.
Gustavo Godoy‘s Fast Formal Object: Big White, opened last Saturday at Honor Fraser Gallery, and I’m happy to say that I was there for the opening. The first thing I noticed when I came in was big and white. Everything was white from the walls to the actual sculpture, even the event postcard. The sculpture is big and takes a big amount of the space in the room. Once you go in the room, the only space left is to walk around the big sculpture and little by little the details of the piece unfold as you maneuver your way around it.
Calling Robin Rhode a ‘street artist’ is a bit misleading. It just so happens that most of his art is made in the street, but this multidisciplinary artist makes his mark in a variety of ways. Much of his work is performance based, not in the traditional sense, but rather through a process in which he acts in a 3D space and at the same time utilizes the illusion of a drawn object… and then the entire process is photographed, leaving the viewer with a consolidated mixture of mediums, spaces, forms and ideas.
Instead of traditionally traveling the world, photographing the sights with a camera as he roams, Fabian Rook accumulates different snapshots via the comfort of his own home – with the help of his computer and Google. His photographic series is the result of entering key place names into his search bar and documenting where he ended up. By using the online digital tools of these search engines and satellite images to produce Fine Art, Rook is questioning the role of authenticity in image production and selling.
His photos are not dissimilar to those of landscape photographers Stephen Shore and Joel Sternfeld, but have a much different intention behind them, and another way entirely of being produced. Rook says this regarding his purpose:
“By reverting to the auto-produced landscape images taken by Google Street View and by not putting in an appearance of myself either as the author of an image or as an eyewitness, I highlight the meaning of the authorial and witness role in the production of photographic images.” (Source)
He not only exhibits Google-sourced landscape images as the finished project, but also superimposes elements from photojournalism and changes our understanding of what a place is. For example, he takes scenes of protesters from Iran and Greece and replaces them in a new setting of Sao Paulo. Or the street kids we see could either be playing together on the street, or running away from some authoritarian figure. Rook goes on to say:
“The locations and details converge and are exchangeable, while the pictures have the same variability and arbitrary quality that enables the user to switch continent in Google Streetview with a single mouseclick.” (Source)
His images are questionable and ambiguous, and this is his main aim – to point out how untrustworthy these sources are that we take at face value.
Laurent Chéhère’s photo series of floating buildings and homes takes these once permanent structures and shoots them off into the sky like a light weight balloon fill with helium. Inspired by the French film The Red Balloon, these playful and whimsical photographs are at once powerful surreal images and a masterful blend of analog photography and digital wizardry. (via)
German artist Claudia Rogge digitally transforms her photography to create patterned and rapturous images of masses of people. Often the subject matter of her work appears bleak or apocalyptic, but ultimately portrays the vulnerable beauty of these deliberately arranged human figures. Even in the photographs that are a bit more chaotic, you can sense Rogge’s careful attention to the patterns she creates, and the order contained within them. Her meticulously composed photographs evoke both a sense of euphoria and foreboding while demonstrating the fractal-like beauty of people en masse. One of Rogge’s biggest challenges in her work is creating a scene that looks genuine and believable with digital effects.
Of her work, Cluadia Rogge says, “The fascination the theme “mass” exerts on me lies both in the content as well as in the formal and aesthetic aspect. As regards content, it is indeed exciting to live in a time that on the one hand trains people for absolute individuality, but an individuality that is defined by mass media, mass consumption, mass tourism etc. Aesthetically, the patterns and rhythms developed from masses are unique. You can find them in shoals and flocking birds as well as in major gatherings like military parades, processions, concerts etc. Regarding this, I do not resort to already existing masses in my works, but simulate my own.”
Marci Macguffie’s work ride the line between relief sculptures and wall paintings. My favorite works are her When Animals Attack series (pictured above) which have a great playful nature to them while dealing with issues of space and abstraction.
Paul Sloan‘s simple marker drawings seem all the more intimate as a result of minimalism – as if they’d been ripped from the pages of Sloan’s personal sketchbook. They have an unfettered ease about them that suggests they went from conception to paper in a matter of moments, preserving Sloan’s original ideas without editing or alteration.