Justin Bartlett is self proclaimed black ink warlock from the grim and frostbitten ravenrealm of Southern California who enjoys thee grimm riffs, vberkvlt metals, and other dark musick, times of solitude, skulls, and scotch. He’s done work for indie (and I mean indie) bands and record labels. Pretty awesome. Here’s a quote he leaves you with: “EMBRACE VISUAL HELL!!!”
Nestled around a fire, inside a cozy cave, the first painter picked up some charcoal and drew a Mastodon. The Cave is also the place where Plato described the world unenlightened people view as “shadows of the images the fire throws” against the back wall. Courbet painted his cavern, The Source of the Loue, with an oarsman like the mythical Charon, ferrying people across the river Styx for a coin. Caves are mysterious places, tied into our deepest roots: metaphors for our experiences, fears, and knowledge. Melissa Brown, who we did a studio visit with a few months ago, has been working with an interesting group of printmakers at Random Number. She has a new silkscreen out – Cave View. Check, it, out.
Marc-Phillipe Coudeyre’s line, “Black Renaissance,” combines the Rococo-ruffled sensibility of cocoon-puffed panier hoop-skirted volume, the gold-stud, gold leather, feather fur glam-rock aesthetic of Ziggy Stardust, and the morosely black capelets characteristic of Victorian mourning attire. The end result is a collection that is fit for a bizarre, alien Avian-human hybrid from the future. I definitely wouldn’t mind living on one of his planet’s black moons. Hailing from Antwerp, Coudeyre epitomizes the Belgian progressive aesthetic. Courtesy of the Flanders Fashion Institute, he will be showcasing his designs at New York Fashion week, at Showroom Antwerp.
Juan Travieso‘s work is a sort of contemporary nature painting. His paintings of monkeys, bears, birds, seem to be falling apart into garbled digital information. Travieso appears to be capturing the animals a moment before they degenerate into unintelligible pixels of color. This could reflect an environment that is falling apart despite (or perhaps because of) constant technological progress. Travieso captures a sense of urgency in the paintings, an irretrievable moment soon to pass.
Maskull Lasserre’s creations are tributes to the process of creative inquiry, while also existing so confidently within the world of the craftsman. His conceptual propositions are incredible inverted thoughts that require a certain inquisitive disposition from its onlookers. Within the work exists the same double-take of mind required by the French surrealists, while also asking questions of skill equally as challenging. Within each incisive action of sculpting exists a test of otherwise practical objects and casts them in perfectly intentional new contexts.
The point is that there should be no limitations to the questions one can and should ask, if only because the point of art itself is to serve as creative cognitive dissonance. The inquiries within are about emblazoning images on the mind while inviting logic to skip a beat, thus opening up a brand new set of possibilities. Seemingly unhindered by any technical obstacle, Lasserre’s art is a bold testament to creative evolution, pushing the philosophical envelope while clearly exceptional insofar as vision and craftsmanship. It’s always been about the ideas, but the impeccable execution within makes one question whether or not this artist is confined at all; After having asked the following questions, ir’s clear he isn’t in the least.
Portrait paintings or portrait embroideries? Cayce Zavaglia wants us to wonder and question the technique she is using. ‘About-Face’ is actually a series of embroideries. And they depict exclusively the artist’s close friends and family members. When flipped around, the portraits become abstract art pieces. “an attempt to show both sides…in hopes of initiating a dialogue about the two sides we each possess: the presented and the private self.’
As a former painter Cayce Zavaglia knows the impact of a brushstroke on the canvas and is therefore able to meticulously transfer the effect onto the tapestries. She begins the process by roughly taking a hundred pictures of her futur subject. She wants to catch the right expression. After selecting just one picture she starts working with one-ply embroidery thread on Belgian linen. She is able to render via fabric and thread the intricate details of blended colors and the texture that imitates oil painting.
The artists wants to create a dialogue between the viewer, the subject and herself. From far, the viewer might perceive the hyper-realist portraits as paintings and that’s ok. Up-close, they realize the mean used is embroidery. And by looking at the reverse side of the piece the viewers can begin to connect with the subject. The back of tapestries were historically never shown to the public. Cayce Zavaglia is making an exception. Because abstraction blurs the boundaries between the viewer and the art piece he/she is looking at and that’s when the dialogue begins to become interesting.
Cayce Zavaglia’s work will be displayed at Lyonswier Gallery in New York from November 5th until December 6th 2015. The artist’s daily process is updated on her Instagram account.