Shelley Heffler is a mixed media visual artist and educator based in Inglewood, California. Interested in globalism and the shifting of political and social boundaries, she creates “Altered Paintings,” painted sculptural objects that resemble road networks and natural topography. Using sharp lines mixed with layered tones, her works invoke everything from urban sprawl, to forested hills, to reinterpretations of famous landscape paintings (readers will be able to identify Van Gogh’s The Starry Night above).
In the following artist statement provided on her website, Heffler describes territory as at once fluid and ideological:
“Cartography and abstraction are two languages used in my work. I am interested in engaging the viewer on a journey that preexists language and generates ideas and messages that relate to the viewer personally and metaphorically. The works explore global concerns and shifting boundaries of society and politics. Imagery is derived from a variety of resources such as transit systems, ancient ruins, floor plans, city grids, topography and geography; time and space coexist in a compressed world.” (Source)
From a geological perspective, the structure of the earth is determined by strata, tectonic plates, and natural changes over time. Human society has overlaid these formations with urban habitats and demarcations of nation and identity. What Heffler seeks to explore in her work is the interplay between these natural and artificial concepts of terrain, deconstructing borders and thereby opening a discussion about our spatial relationship with each other and the lands we inhabit.
Galleries come in all sizes, even in a really, really tiny scale. Swedish graphic designer and illustrator Henrik Franklin has created an installation that’s something you’d be more likely to see in a dollhouse than anywhere else. But, instead of a bedroom, it’s located at the Odenplan underground station at Gallery 1:10 in Stockholm, Sweden. The group exhibition is titled If You Tolerate This – an exhibition about resistance. Franklin’s piece features a library of colorful books, all small enough that you can hold between two fingers.
In a show centered around worries of the future and the holding on to hope, Franklin’s tiny books represent how important literature is in our development. It teaches us the lessons of the past so we won’t be doomed to repeat them; prose also encourages and inspires us to dream and to think differently.
If You Tolerate This – an exhibition about resistance is on view until December 6.
Ukrainian illustrator Vasya Kolotusha has a great eye for pattern, texture and color. Taking inspiration from fashion blogs and models, she captures a playful essence in her sketches and animations. With a clean aesthetic, and a slight 80s twist, her images are cool, stylish, classic and quietly humorous. Illustrating for magazines, bands, and posters, Kolotusha’s lux style is a popular one.
Her latest experiments with adding neon light tube details to her sketches are a good match. They are reminiscent of 80s hairdressing signs, a piece of art from a time when sign writing was champion. She has a very simple yet effective technique of isolating her subjects and placing them inside a very graphic background. Her drawing style is so detailed and rich, they succeed in being intriguing, and translate well into animations.
Experimenting with the GIF format, Kolotusha is exploring the process of sketching – making visible to us viewers the preliminarily lines, the building up of color. We can almost see her hand adding background detail and extra flair and then continue on to edit everything we have seen her create. By exposing the whole drawing exercise, she captures our attention, rather than boring us with fussy detail.
Following on from her previous series of people wearing helmets, this series of illuminated girl portraits are a promising sign of things to come. This illustrator is one to watch!
Our friends in Egypt are still protesting day and night for freedom and democracy from the Mubarak regime. They have defied curfews, been beaten, killed, and assaulted for the rights that most of us get to enjoy every single day. Today is said to be the day that they make their final push to get Mubarak out of office. Lets all join in solidarity in supporting their efforts!
Rosa Borreale is an Italian artist who graduated with a degree in Modern Literature. She’s worked as an actress and performer, but eventually decided to teach herself oil painting by copying the Old Masters. Her work is hyperrealistic and self-aware, depicting layers of thoughts and perceptions. Her paintings that feature street art and images as a background to human activity are her most compelling. These juxtapozed images highlight the contrast of real and virtual worlds. In most of them, she includes a small mouse pointer image of which she says, “The presence of the mouse pointer in the paintings symbolizes the illusion that a click would be enough to change the order of things.”
Photographer Bernhard Lang captures an aerial view of the Opencast Coal Mining Pit in Germany, which is one of the largest man-made holes in the world. At nearly 1,500 feet deep and covering almost 22 square miles, everything is at a giant scale. Massive machinery, the size of a 30-storey office buildings, scoops out coal, sand, and dirt to mine and move it about.
It’s hard to imagine something of these proportions, and through Lang’s sweeping landscape photography, he minimizes its grandiose scale. When looking down rather than upwards, it’s hard to get a sense of just how big these things really are. At times, they look like patterns of ant farms rather than the handiwork of humans. Perhaps it’s part of the point to say that these hulking machines and sprawling cleared paths aren’t as important as we’re lead to believe.
The real visual impact of these photos comes from their abstract qualities: the different colors of dirt that have been piled next to one another; the lines that are made by machines as they drive down the road; and the hills and valleys themselves. Through Lang’s careful framing, he’s captured their unintentional beauty.
At first glance the above image might look like a digital collage where a simple cat doodle is drawn atop a photograph of an interior. But if you look closer you’ll see that the cat image is actually painstakingly drawn with tape in perspective to create the illusion of flatness. See more of Samantha Schubert’s optical tape doodles after the jump!
Robert Therrien recontextualizes everyday images and objects by exaggerating them. His larger-than-life sculptures of tables, chairs, and dishware offer viewers an alternative perspective of these usually mundane and overlooked domestic elements. Therrien’s work simultaneously validates and absurdifies these simple objects by calling attention to their existence. In addition to enlarging items, Therrien also warps them or physically places them in a thoughtful context, commenting on the boundaries of the functionality, design, and purpose of these simple objects and images. Accompanying the inorganic images are organic ones, such as a 51 inch tall beard and a 47 inch long stork beak with bundle. Therrien has lived in Los Angeles since 1971.