Beth Livensperger’s painterly canvases are full of confusingly convincing visual miscues. Fluorescent lighting, mirrors, and expanses of reflective glass complicate vision by blinding, doubling, and flipping what we see. Livensperger uses these illusions in ways which prompt the question “what exactly am I looking at?” She makes us pay attention to places we would normally ignore, like store fronts, wood shops and laundry rooms. In the process bringing us into a one on one confrontation with our sense of sight.
Brent Harada and Rusty Jordan have a bi-coastal collaboration going where they make zines by alternating panels. Their pages are a cartoon documentary of a gnarly, drug induced mystic state where everything veers unpredictably from panel to panel, and there is isn’t a story – it’s more of an experience. I like the 60’s underground comix meets Monty Python’s Flying Circus animation vibe, and feel that these two put their own stamp on it.
Spanish photographer Eugenio Recuenco has taken the timeless and iconic work of the notorious artist Pablo Picasso and translated it into contemporary photography. He models each photograph in this series after a single Picasso painting, recreating it as a seductive, contemporary photograph. Each painterly photograph is taken in such a way that even these real life women seem to be painted onto a canvas. Having had his hand in commercial and fashion photography, the influence from modern high fashion can be seen. Because Picasso’s work contains such vivid colors and a strongly recognized cubist style, the model’s make-up and clothing are a vital part of what allows the photograph to imitate Picasso’s paintings.
Cubism, the artist’s most famous stylistic period, is achieved by dissecting parts of the subject in the painting, and breaking them down into geometric forms. In this case, the subjects in the photos are women covered in geometric patterns imitating Picasso’s paintings. Recuenco brilliantly achieves this reference to Cubism not only by the women’s clothing, but also by the perfectly placed photo fragments. Several of the photos in this series are altered so that there is an abrupt crop in the image, with extra limbs on the other side. This cleverly recreates Picasso’s ever-popular figures with extra legs, arms, or eyes. Some may say that there are just some things you can do in a painting that you cannot do in a photo. Recuenco proves this wrong with his incredible and imaginative use of make-up to mirror Picasso’s fractured portraits and misplaced facial features. In one photo, an entirely new eye is created, while in another, a sharp, black line dissects a woman’s face. Intelligent and original creativity is of no shortage in this photographer’s unbelievably beautiful series paying homage to a fellow Spanish artist.
Make sure to check out Eugenio Recuenco’s new project, a short film titled “A Second Defeat.”
Yorgo Alexopoulos is a New York-based artist who creatively uses media to construct immense installations and artworks. He combines his paintings, drawings, photographs and films with digital animation and sound to generate works that often comment on transcendental themes. Generally using multiple monitors or projections, Alexopoulos’ installations have a life to them that relies on rhythm, synchronization and movement. For instance, at Norman Foster’s Bow Building in Calgary, Alberta, Alexopulos created a 27 channel video installation that is otherworldly and stunningly beautiful (even just in images).
For his last solo show at Cristin Tierney gallery in New York, Transmigrations, Alexopoulos was inspired by his early paintings. Using the Constructivist movement formed in Russia in the early 20th century as his point of departure, Alexopoulos investigated a narrative based on folklore, magic and spirituality. Alexopoulos incorporated images, videos and paintings to create an animated journey. Part Moholy-Nagy kinetic sculpture, Jennifer Bartlett’s Rhapsody, and early landscape painting, Transmigrations is, as stated in the press release for the exhibition, a “contemplation and reverence of nature and all aspects of our universe that are beyond comprehension.”
Alexopoulos recently completed a permanent video installation for Chicago’s IBM building that is equally engaging and mesmerizing.
With found Flickr photos as his source, Jeremy Rotsztain‘s series Obsessions (Flickr Pets) “document the love and obsession that people have for their pets.” The individual images are color-blocked and reductive, verging on abstract in some instances, yet the subject matter keeps them recognizable and full of personality. Each still is the result of animations made in C++ using the openFrameworks library — which just sounds impressive for a series from 2008, right. Rotsztain’s catalogue has a wealth of series that explore the overlaps of technology, culture, behavior and art.
Conceptual artist Can Pedekmir creates digital portraits of imaginary creatures. According to the bio on his website, he works on the “deformation of human and animal body using various methodologies,” one of which he lists as applying “mathematical equations.” Other methodologies seem to include using hair. Lots of hair.
Pekdemir’s portraits are in stark black and white and appear like artifacts from an alternate dimension. His subjects are creatures with no distinguishable features; instead, their faces and entire heads are coiffed, tangled masses of hair and other biomatter. The result looks something like Where the Wild Things Are by way of Edward Gorey. Alternatively, it’s as though an entire forest undergrowth developed sentience and decided to pose for some erstwhile photographer.
Pekdemir’s work was featured most recently at the Unseen Photo Fair in Amsterdam, which ended late last month. He’s listed as a photographer, which only serves to highlight the eerie surreal quality of his art. Part photography and part elaborate fiction, his work blurs the lines between what is and what could be. (via Hi-Fructose)
Artist Xochi Solis‘ work combines painting with collage into smartly layered pieces. Rather than spreading the elements throughout the composition, Solis places them all at the center. She layers each piece on the on top of the one before it, revealing only pieces of found images or painterly strokes. The round images almost appear cellular though still resisting easy interpretation or identification. The Austin, Texas based artist’s materials range from acrylic and oil paint to found images and acetate.
Camgirlsproject was created by former fashion student Vanessa Omoregie who began the ongoing series about a year ago. The project seeks to investigate the female image within the context of the internet by presenting images of classic paintings that feature webcam selfies in the place of the painted nude female form. All images are user-submitted and present the viewer with a reappropriation or reclamation of female nudity as something to be celebrated and not shamed for.
The term – camgirl – originally applied to anyone who recorded themselves via webcam doing anything, not just sexual acts, but has been more currently associated most strongly with sexual behavior. Omoregie says, “The name has connotations of its own.The project hopefully makes people rethink what they know about the term and how they view girls who choose to be in front of a camera -sexual or not.”
Something you may notice about the submissions is that these modern-day nudes overwhelmingly represent lean, white, hairless bodies, almost a complete reflection of the bodies in the classic paintings. As a black woman, Omoregie is disappointed that more women of color and varying body types have not submitted to the project, although she has herself participated and tries to encourage more women to submit. Her hope was that women who are not typically represented by the media would feel more comfortable presenting their bodies in this sort of space, but so far, submissions of more variance have been few and far between.
While not currently taking submissions, Omoregie will be inviting followers to contribute to future projects of hers through this project’s site. She has also suggested that people follow her personal blog in order to keep up with forthcoming projects. (via telegraph and animal)