I like how UK based artist Anthony Zinonos plays with substitution- many of his pieces play with Minimalism and subject by playing off size, color and shape variations. I also like that something as simple as a triangle becomes the inspiration for a series. Anthony works alot with photo-collage but you can also find a few other media gems on his site, including a short video montage.
SpY is a Madrid based artist who playfully disturbs urban signs and signifiers, often confiscating them, transforming them, then installing them on the street. I love his really simple gestures, like putting orange construction cones on a sculpted bull’s horns–they just have the hilarious edge of an adolescent prankster (who went to art school and secretly adores Duchamp.)
Holly Coulis’s still lives and portraits all share an idiosyncratic relationship between background and subject; with their hodgepodge of complex patterns and vibrant color, her paintings combine a witty sense of humor with a deep regard for craft. On top of bright layers of complimentary orange, she arranges people from old photographs, animals, and plants in a flat style reminiscent of Alex Katz. Coulis brings a modern sensibility to traditional modes of representational painting.
Step into the world of photographer Phebe Schmidt, where everything is carefully constructed into a sickening sweet perfection. Her candy-colored world is filled with Barbie-like subjects, some even encased in plastic. Each hyperreal photograph seems almost too good to be true, like we have stepped inside a house of a Stepford wife. This draws the viewer in closer as we inspect the dark undertones of each photo that are surrounded by cheery colors. The objects in Schmidt’s photography, including her figures who look more like inanimate objects than people, are flawless and glossy, making everything seem like an advertisement. This viewpoint and concept is no doubt a comment on commodities and how contemporary culture is overcome with it. It has been said that “plasticity” is a term that defines Schmidt’s style.
Her work has a stylized plasticity and bright surface that acts as a mask that plays with ideas of self, theatrical role-playing, and what lies beneath. Plasticity is a key term Schmidt uses to describe her work and marks a contemporary obsession with homogenized, generic beauty ideals that conform to gender, social, and cultural norms.
It is true that generic beauty ideas are very apparent in Schmidt’s body of work. Each person shown in her photography seems nameless and ambiguous due to his or her impossible perfection. The figures do not look toward the camera, but out into space with a numbingly blank stare. This absence of humanity creates a futuristic atmosphere where commodity and beauty have altered our state of being. Schmidt’s seductive and incredibly intriguing photography evokes both a sci-fi future, and a mod, mid-century feel. Each photograph filled with sweetly colored backgrounds and flawless subjects keeps us curious in what lies beneath the generic beauty.
Phil Hale, a London based illustrator, knows what to do. His illustrations are incredibly rich with disjointed movement, explosive energy, and raw masculinity that which all combines into an overwhelming visit to drama itself.
Caleb Larsen must be one of those really smart people that thinks really really hard all the time. His piece “A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter” is a sculpture that is programmed to reauction itself off on eBay every 7 days, and if you buy it, you are required to immediately put it back up for auction again, so the cycle keeps on repeating. Any attempt by me to explain this work in a paragraph or less is going to fail miserably – check out this excellent interview with the artist after the jump to get a better idea of what is really going on. If you are in Seattle, go see for yourself at Lawrimore Projects, Larsen’s show “Everything All The Time Right Now” is up until February 13th.
David Mascha, an artist based in Vienna, Austria, has been working with different design studios since 2005. He has also done work for international clients, print magazines, fashion and design labels, and books. David has also had work displayed in exhibitions in Asia and Europe. I really like his diverse but defined style. Every piece he does is bold in its own way.