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Brian McCarty Recreates Children’s Drawings Of War-Torn Countries

Gaza Cinderella Drawing

Gaza Cinderella Drawing

Gaza Cinderella

Gaza Cinderella 

Mother of Violence

Mother of Violence

Mother of Violence

Mother of Violence

Photographer Brian McCarty combines the innocence of childhood with the horrors of war in his series WAR-TOYS. Violent scenes are reenacted with toys; Bombs are dropped on a pink plastic house, while toy soldiers gun down a giant-headed doll.  McCarty’s source material is the drawings of children who live in war-torn areas like the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel.

The artist travelled to the sites where the children had been, which adds another level of sadness to these images. This project is not just the undertaking of McCarty, but he pairs with other aid workers as well. From his artist statement:

Employing principles of expressive art therapy, my process begins with observation and guided interaction with children under the care of humanitarian organizations operating in areas of active conflict. Specialized therapists and caregivers conduct art-based interviews on my behalf, inviting children to draw pictures about their lives and experiences. The resulting illustrations serve as art direction and basis for photographic exploration.

McCarty tries to involve the tiny artists, too, and uses toys that are acquired locally. You’ll see that a Disney Princess is in the line of fire. He writes:

When possible and under the guidance of specialists, I invite the children to actively participate and use the photographic process as a form of therapeutic play. The resulting photographs provide an interpretive document of witnessed events and context for the children’s accounts.

McCarty plans to continue this project and travel to  Afghanistan, Sudan, and Colombia. (Via Huffington Post)

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Slava Fokk’s Surreal Art Deco Inspired Paintings

Slava Fokk - Painting Slava Fokk - Painting Slava Fokk - Painting Slava Fokk - Painting

Russian painter Slava Fokk creates surrealistic art with elegant lines and bold colors. Inspired by art deco, Fokk’s work inhabits a geometrical world filled with stunning detail. Fokk also draws inspiration from a range of sources, from the Netherlands in Jan Van Eyck to Germany in Otto Dix. According to his biography, he explores “allusions, paradoxical and phantasmagoric combinations” in his artwork, using Russian symbolism in some to evoke deeper meaning.

Much as his style is eclectic, Fokk himself has himself traveled internationally. He’s showcased his art in Arizona and California, though he has now returned to his native Russia. According to Tutt’Art, he says of his background: “I felt that the atmosphere where I was living was pressing on me. It seems to me that everyone at some point in time needs to leave…to live somewhere else, far away. As a native of Krasnodar, I knew that I would have to work to adapt to another city, another culture. I knew that it would be very useful.” (via I Need a Guide)

Photography, Performance, Video, And Cardboard Cut-Outs Combine For One Volatile Installation

Katya Grokhovsky photography8

Katya Grokhovsky photography1

Katya Grokhovsky photography7

Katya Grokhovsky‘s series Untitled Heroic is deeply complex and familiarly conflicted.  For the series Grokhovsky makes use any medium necessary – photography, performance, video, and even a cardboard cut-out installation.  The artist seems to attract and repel.  The series is at once confrontational, seductive, and wonderfully volatile.  By way of her statement, Grokhovsky says that Untitled Heroic is, “A series of performances for photography and video, culminating in a large-scale cutboard cutout installation, whereby a female artist is dealing with frustrating desire to both attract and reject the notion of a male gaze.”  Grokohovsky’s work is also the subject of an upcoming solo exhibit at New York’s Galerie Protégé.

Nicolas Kennedy Sitton’s Twisted Architecture

Nicolas Kennedy Sitton‘s Twisted series uses photographic manipulation to distort the architecture of San Francisco. The photographer adds concentric circles to the images to form new shapes, with the buildings seemingly folding and toppling into themselves.

Wizard Smoke

Personally, I never understood how dudes could sit in perfect rapture in their basements, eating cereal and wearing vans, watching other dudes ride around on wooden planks with wheels for hours on end. (OK, I secretly wanted to be one of those dudes.) Anyways, thank you, Salazar for creating a dusty, semi-mystical video with colored smoke and potions that at least, for an instant, made me feel what it’s like to be one of those dudes.

Kristian Kozul’s Fetishized Metaphoric Stories

Moving artistically into photography as a natural extension of his sculptural practice, Kristian Kozul meticulously builds and then photographs, physical dioramas of extraordinary detail designed to tell metaphoric stories and reconstruct histories. As with his earlier sculptures, where concept meets articulation a kind of fetishized totem results. Each piece is based on a certain historical figure that Kozul leverages in pursuit of his cause. Like Captain Ahab and Moby Dick, or famously Don Quixote and his windmills, the fixations and obsessions of Kozul’s protagonist’s speak to universal themes of mania, obsession, and denial.


bloodlines_small Bobo is an art collective that emerged out of the Providence scene post-Fort Thunder.  I really love Bobo’s poster “The Global Order of the Youngbloods,” it’s an overdose of occult and conspiracy infotainment.  Bobo has managed to create a fun scene on their own terms.  They ran a space in Philadelphia for a while, but now seem to be arranging/curating shows in New York, and performing as a band.  Annie Pearlman brought them to my attention when I was doing a studio visit with Brian Belott.