Marco Nicotra is a graphic designer from Milan, Italy. Much of his style is collage influenced with many textures and layers. Nicotra has done work for Super 8 Magazine, Heineken Jammin’ Festival, and Nitepeople Magazine.
The other day I ran around to get some food and look at some art. But before I got the art viewing festivities started, I decided to go down to the nonofficial “Bicycle District” to get some food and more importantly some delicious dessert. If you live in LA, you know how quickly this neighborhood has transformed in just a couple of years. Everyone loves this area as evident by the above graffiti.
Today I remember just how much I enjoy Cal Lane’s work. Visually stunning, her sculptures are easily accessible yet deeply intellectual, but hey, that’s what you get when you work with a plasma cutter and 55 gallon oil drums. Amazing that she’s able to coax such ethereal work out of such crude material. Taking the reigns from the Smith’s and Serra’s of the sculpture world is no easy task, but Lane is seemingly running as fast as she can.
“Choi Xooang is an artist who sculpts concrete bodies. This may sound somewhat banal at first, but we come to be surprised at his ability to grasp the world pathologically. Choi’s understanding of the world began with his 10-20 cm miniature figures displayed at this first solo show. These miniature figures, suffering from an expansive delusion, do not realize their relative diminutiveness, and tend to overstate their ability and situation. They have a bloated musculature, partly enlarged bodies in macho-like gestures suited for revealing such megalomaniacal symptoms. Their effort to emphasize their existence through bragging and exaggerated gestures at times seems pompous, but they are too diminutive to impact the world, despite their attempts.
Choi’s concern with society’s pathological state later moved to an interest in vegetative states those making utmost efforts in living everyday life undergo. A person in a vegetative state cannot perceive or affect his surroundings at all due to serious brain damage, although he looks like he’s breathing, laughing, weeping, and awakening himself. Choi likens an individual’s mental state intimidated by an unidentified force, to a person in a vegetative powerless state. The artist’s perception of this state is confirmed in the work titled Vegetative State displayed at his second solo show. A bare tree grows from the head of a vulnerable man who has fallen down. This work, depicting a man changing into a vegetative state, like Daphne who transformed into a laurel, appears realistic and elaborate in its finishing, through its amazing figurative imagery and the meaning of the title.”-Ki Hye-kyung, Curator of National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea
Korean artist Kyuin Shim creates work that your pupils will interpret as a straight up science fiction novel. One body of work in particular, “Black Black,” is a series of gruesome depictions of black mannequin bodies gone haywire. As a digital artist and sculptor, he works compiling 3D renderings of real images. These sculptures, with the glossy stature of high fashion, the black mannequins are enrobed in large blisters. In varying states of vulnerability, his sculptures are suffering implosion and meltdown; a person who has ripped his head off gives himself fellatio, another is on his hands and knees, expelling their entire insides. Shim’s creatures come across as gross exaggerations of real emotional states, and it is not always easy to interpret how they are intended, but it is evident that they are referential to the individual struggle that we all face.
Another series of his, featuring only white mannequins, is titled “Small Place,” and references interpersonal relationships and the implied metaphors within them. The white series emanates an atmosphere of tranquility and calm. Mannequin lovers with bowls for heads pour water between one another, while others sit pensively. There is not the searing prospect of suffering that “Black Black” encompasses. “Small Place” is meditative and inviting. Although parts of Shim’s series have been cited as representing dysfunctional relationships, there is no real hostility in the work. It is interesting to look at both series of his work side to side and to take note of the drastic shift in tone.
Wendy Ploger is a New York-based photographer. In her series, INSIDE :: OUT, each piece is a pair of photographs that play off of each other. One photo was taken outside while one was taken inside, but that’s really the least interesting part. Placed next to each other, each photo complements the other with an obscure tension — pointing out each other’s beauty and flaws, commonalities and differences. None of the photos were staged which also sets up a contrast between the spontaneity of what each individual photo captures and the calculated pairings for presentation. Couldn’t have been easy.
Marc McAndrews’ simple and relaxed style lends a sense of familiarity to his portraits. It’s almost as if you could look in your family photo albums at home and find these people staring back at you. The motel owners, waitresses, and every day folk he makes his subjects are often haunting. At the same time, their gazes even more piercing than trained models.
Japanese designer and all around nice guy Susumu Fukuzaki just sent us a cool little book of us work that he calls his “new anthology” on his blog. Some fairly unusual work…I’m sort of at a loss as for any possible references to describe it. It sort of reminds me the kind of stuff the Church of the Subgenius or Negativland did in the 1990s.