Artist and clothing designer Jerry Gretzinger reveals the process and philosophy behind his decades-long mapping project. Watch the full video after the jump.
Gaia (Brooklyn and Baltimore) pastes huge lino cut prints of animals and other naturally infused imagery onto walls. Massive in scale but not overly so, the works cause us to question our role in nature and our connection to animals. Gaia’s also referencing a lot of renaissance art lately, and the newer works bring a really calming element to the locations in which they’re installed. The artist recently took a degree from MICA — maybe production will be amped up now that the artist has more freetime?
Wow wow wow, Richard Coleman’s work leans towards the magically mysterious, while exhibiting complex combinations of color and form. He’s part of an impressive list of artists included in the very first show at THIS Gallery which opened this weekend in Los Angeles, so if you are in town go check it out!
Last week’s London Design Festival featured a prototype for a futuristic sleep-aid. During the Digital Design Weekend at the V&A museum, one of the highlights was Digital Futures UKMX. The event is a two day cultural exchange between designers, artists, makers, and engineers from the UK and Mexico. The event centered around themes of innovation, collaboration and civil awareness. The aim is to enhance each community by learning from the other.
One of the projects presented was by Octavio A. Martinez Garcia, a Mexican robotic engineer who works for COCOLAB. He showcased a prototype for a product called Napz, a sleep mask created to help gain access to more efficient sleep. The mask is made from infrared sensors, Neo Pixels, and the Arduino Lilypad. The invention does not just simply help to attain better sleep, but does so by allowing the user to actively lucid dream, a state of dreaming in which one has control over his or her actions. He states:
“The prototype is an eye mask designed to measure REM, using LED lights to gently stimulate you and bring you to the border of consciousness and unconsciousness so you can begin to play with your dreams. Today people get a lot less sleep, and of a much worse quality. Napz is a wearable device intended to schedule lucid dreams and thus produce actual rest and better patterns of REM sleep. Its interface allows the programming, design, and analysis of dreams. As everybody is different the device needs to be calibrated to each individual. The inspiration came from my own experience of lucid dreaming.”
(via The Creators Project)
The work of Miller Rodriguez, a.k.a Pretty Puke, is photographic foray into the raunchy underbelly of LA’s nightlife. An encounter with his work is often an experience of knee-jerk repulsion, followed by a driving curiosity; it is not uncommon to see people urinating in dark alleyways, devouring fast food, vomiting, or expressing themselves in shamelessly hypersexual ways, but you can’t stop looking. And even though his technique may initially seem lo-fi, this is part of his distinct style and brand: to present raw, unedited, unglamorous life by hyperbolically representing the experiences and vices relevant to today’s urban youth — those of Generations Y and Z.
When I spoke with Miller about his work, he was a bit vague. As a voyeur to insanity and subversion, so much of his creative identity is founded on a need to remain aloof; even his photo captions are encrypted with what has been accurately described as “an other-worldly hip-hop vernacular” (Source). He did, however, provide me with some glimmering shards of insight into his political and artistic goals, which add new dimensions and interpretive possibilities to his dark repertoire. His perspective on Generation Y (and Z) is particularly illuminating, in that he views their forms of (mis)behavior as symptomatic of their uniquely digitized upbringings, in addition to the reproachful influence of older generations:
“Gen Y lives on the internet, in an entirely different universe. We communicate and express ourselves online in a completely different sphere that older people aren’t aware of. […] Older generations may look down on Generation Y for being too obsessed with technology/internet, too sexually deviant, too entitled, but they are the ones who made us who we are. […] They raised us, and created the shitty economic situation in which we have come of age, and this is the result.”
In many ways, Pretty Puke can be seen as the “found footage” for Generations Y and Z. And even though it seems to only represent a small section of LA-based youth, his work appeals to people across various subcultures as a greater visualization of dissidence.
What makes Miller’s work even more engaging is his approach towards body image, or what he identifies as the “ugly aesthetic”:
“I want to create a world with people who aren’t flawless. […] I don’t have a reaction to perfection. I’m an advocate for the ‘ugly.’ I’m exaggerating and holding up a mirror to showcase how silly we are for making everything look perfect. We all have flaws, and that’s what interests me.”
Photography is often a medium wherein the subject is groomed, propped, and airbrushed to a level of unattainable, hyper-real perfection; for Miller, this artificial manipulation of the body is “more degrading than what [he’s] doing.” He continues: “The fact that you’re carving into a person via Photoshop is mind-blowing to me. I use shitty equipment so I don’t veil the flaws in my subjects. I want to see them how they are.” The moments of cultural rebellion he presents, then, are not only signified by unintelligible and obscene behaviors, but also by the bodies themselves, written on the skin as deviations of “perfection” and conformity.
Check out Pretty Puke on his Tumblr-based website and Instagram, and follow his burgeoning, self-titled genre of stimulating and ephemeral photography. As his sociological insights reveal, his work is open to interpretation and analysis. And if you have contentions with his forms of representation and/or the politics behind them, you are encouraged to express them; the purpose and power of Pretty Puke is to provoke and engage — and not to simply placate.
Norwegian-born, Seattle-based artist Sail Uselessarm has a somewhat comic-like and dark style of illustration. Most of his work is labeled as mixed media, with use of gouache and acrylic, amongst other mediums. What really stands out in his work is the stark contrast between the background and the subject, the intense and heavy shadowing within the scene, and how this tight control of light creates an ambiance of film noir that feels very photographic and, in the same breath, filmic. His tendency to off-center the compositions reveals an implied motion that is also quite cinematic.
Concerning his work, Sail related the importance of the narrative:
“I try to tell a story with each piece or at least hint at a larger narrative. Suggest a history, a movement, even if you’re only seeing a moment… I think the weight of that history should exist in that moment. We’re defined by our experiences. I don’t think art is any different. Pulling from folklore and mythology as I do a lot of these characters come with a story, so it’s hard to not have some of that come through in trying to represent them.”
I’d say that Jacob Broms Engblom is having a blast with his work. He definitely inserts his sideways sense of humor into his… pieces? Designs? Interactive animated post-modern brain benders? I need an appropriate label! Regardless, I’m thoroughly enjoying myself.
More images after the cut but really you just need to check out his sight for the full experience!
But no, really, Matthew Yake’s series “237 Pieces of Trash Around the Bleachers” is anything but a trash collection. His photos are poignant, clear, and powerful. He’s got other equally awesome series including one of artists in their studios that holds it’s own against other interior powerhouse sites like “The Selby“.