Tucked away in the middle of California’s Mojave Desert is a tiny pool whose location is unknown to the public, identifiable only by guarded GPS coordinates. It was imagined by Austrian artist Alfredo Barsuglia, and is technically open to the public. If you want to swim in it, all you need to do is ask the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in West Hollywood about the longitude and latitude points and obtain the special key to open the pool’s cover.
The four-foot by 12-foot body of water is available for 24 hours to any one person or small party, and you must bring a gallon of water per person to replenish the pool. Its minimalist stylings are painted white and stands out against the sandy and arid terrain. Alone in the desert, it’s an oasis for a weary traveler or nomad. Barsuglia calls it Social Pool, and meant for the swimmer to consider the societal ramifications of this outdoor installation. A description of the project reads:
The work embodies the massive socio-economic changes that have taken place in the last forty years. It thus understands itself as the product of an economy in which privacy and immateriality have been fully commodified… For many a consumer, art is expected to operate according to the principles of the service economy rather than following humanist ideals of intellectual or moral stimulus and education.
Whether or not this pool encourages this deep thought or is simply a well-thought gimmick remains to be seen. (Via Huffington Post)
Christopher Bucklow is one of the leading figures of the contemporary British ‘cameraless’ photography movement. His other-worldly photographs of radiant men and women set against grounds of color are made through a complex multi-step process which begins with the artist projecting the shadow of his sitter on a large sheet of aluminum foil and tracing its outline. He then makes thousands of small pinholes in the foil silhouette. Using a contraption of his own device that places the foil over a large sheet of photographic paper, Bucklow then wheels his homemade “camera” out into daylight and pulls the “shutter” to briefly expose the paper to direct sunlight. Thus each finished picture becomes a unique photogram silhouette composed of thousands of pinhole photographs of the sun. The intensity of light on a given day and the length of exposure create unique color variations on how the resulting piece appears.
Ryan Samuel Carr is a native artist/illustrator of Ventura, California. Ryan’s beautiful line work and dreamy figurative elements remain a constant reoccurring theme throughout his extensive body of work. When I look at Ryan’s work, even if the subject matter is just the roots in a pile of weeds he always seems to capture a rare and very sincere moment only hinting at whatever secrets the particular root, or bed of flowers have to say. Ryan’s unique line work evokes so much feeling and emotional manifestations. Ryan shares a bit of his mark making process in this direct quote from the talented young artist himself:
“I think a lot about the ‘immediacy’ of drawing (with ink and pencils), and the individual mark in a moment of time; what that all says…it’s very mystical and meditative for me.”
Peter Pincus is a New York-based ceramic artist whose relatively simple forms are punctuated by blocks of color. The clean and modern pots, urns, and cups are mostly gray with accents of blue, yellow, salmon, and more that are laid side by side in thin strips. Occasionally, gold lines the edges.
The forms are very structured, as are their designs. Colors are evenly portioned and thin lines, contrasting-colored divide gray sections of the ceramics. If we were to remove the surface designs from the clay, they could stand alone as abstract paintings. And, that’s partially the point of Pincus’ work. He writes in an artist statement:
I produce three-dimensional paintings out of pots. The studio challenge is to determine a way to create containers that belong not only on the dinner table, but also elsewhere in the home. Many of my pots are status symbols saved for special occasions, generally deemed distinct because of the value of what they hold rather than for what they are. But to me, in between such occasions, they become canvases that visually illustrate the defining spirit of the times, despite their being utilitarian and made of clay, not canvas. They still need to do their job; to be genuine, they must be functional as well as opulent. But they can be so much more.
One of the most integral aspects of photography is the utilization of light. For his series, “Visible Light,” photographer Alexander Harding uses this vital resource as his subject. Harding manipulates natural sunlight, refracting it to create ethereal spaces filled with the soft luminescence of the sun’s rays. Harding says,
Whether it is acknowledged or not, we all have a strong relationship with the sun. Its light enables our visual perception and at times, shapes our emotions. Although the sun affects how we feel, its light remains mysterious and ephemeral. We can feel it on our skin and in our eyes, but it seems intangible to us. We cannot hold or preserve it.
Through my work I explore the sun’s physical presence and quantitative character, attempting to give sunlight an environment to travel within and record its behaviors. I primarily use photography to make my work as its apparatus promotes a very critical and literal type of visual perception and it is processes are controlled by light itself.
Harding’s work asks viewers to consider the centrality and importance of sunlight, and to think of this primary energy source as an art object in and of itself. (via lens scratch)
Nick Blinko is considered an outsider artist. He also leads the relic punk band Rudimentary Peni. No one knows much about him other than a few smapshots of him and a few documents recording the time he spent in a psychiatric ward as a youth. subsequently, he believes that the anti-psychotics prescribed to him obstruct his creative impulses and spends long periods off of his medication, recording and creating detailed compositions of faces, coffins, figures, handwritten notes. I think appreciating his work helps if you are familiar with his music too. Surprise! he never made a website either.