Beautiful/Decay recently had the opportunity to go behind-the-scenes at Mark Moore Gallery while artist Cordy Ryman was installing his latest exhibition, “Hail to the Grid.” As the show title implues, Ryman both riffs off the conceptual frameworks of minimalism and abstraction, and simultaneously playfully transgresses some of the movements’ core philosopies. While minimalism delights in the precision and rationality of its more reductivist tendencies, at the very core of Ryman’s sensibility is an opposing sense of spontaneity and free-form creation. Many of his works are self-referential, responding to their own materials or processes as sources of inspiration and thematic vocabulary. For instance, the cast off remnants of Velcro used to install a piece to the wall are later integrated into a grid-like abstracted collage, which, in turn, becomes the subject matter for a painting. Ryman delights in the elegance of distilled form, though instills a sense of sincerity in their physicality: hand-cutting, painting and fashioning his constituent parts with an affectionate hand. While a minimalist like Stella, for example, savored the steely finality of his imposing black paintings, Ryman in contrast frequently re-works his pieces, allowing chance and flexibility to enter into the work at any time. Even the installation of works are constantly in flux–shortly after Beautiful/Decay snapped up photographs of Ryman’s installation in process, Ryman called to inform us that one of the pieces was now on the wall and the entire exhibition looked different! Be sure to visit Ryman’s exhibition, opening this Saturday and running until Dec. 21 to see the final results! Full interview with Ryman, including his process for creating works, installation and outlook on art, below.
Artist Peter Combe transforms household paint swatches to create stunning 3D portraits. Using the full color spectrum of 1,100 colors, the artist prepares his palette material by manipulating the swatches either into tiny discs by punching or miniature strips by shredding. He often works in series of repetitions, allowing him to recreate the same image with the aim of experimentation. The potential of each renderings is endless as he uses color based on tonality and not on hue and can transform each work quite drastically depending on his choices. Combe is interested in “how the implementation of a single colour, when applied to a small incremental tonal range, can transform a work either subtly or substantially.” His work, formulated through an intense and meticulous layering process, can be compared to a pointillistic method of translating color, tone, and space. His work is also reminiscent of early printers, xerox and copy machines, in which images are built through a separation of color, resolving the picture one hue at a time. Another aspect of the work, Combe explains, “is the constant change and flux that is mostly produced by the viewers changing vantage points, an effect that is difficult to imagine whilst not being present before the work. These artworks do not photographer well. It is Impossible to capture the kinetic element – an element whereby the viewer’s motion or movement dictates the artworks transformative component.” There is a notion of fleeting reality when experiencing the work— just as each portrait is in of itself physically fragile — each image, as it becomes manipulated through movement, light, and space, becomes precious, as the viewers’ experience of the work is consistently shifting, making every interaction with the work unique.
Manjari Sharma’s newest project, called “Shower Series,” takes her subjects into an area that is usually private and very intimate; the shower. In this new series, the subject is invited to her apartment where she photographs them in her bathroom. The experience, Sharma says, was one in which, “.. every new person in the shower became a brand new allegory. With every new visit I had a new protagonist; A new plot and a new parable of hurt and heroic that came undone under that shower – My Shower.”
Manjari Sharma was born and raised in Mumbai, India. She has worked as a photojournalist with many respected magazines in India as well as been featured on the cover of many publications. Her work can be seen on her website.
Grenoble, France’s Aurelien Arnaud‘s art work is not something you would walk by without looking twice. Arnaud’s designs are sharp, bright, and some, a little risque. Interesting none the less. Not only a very skilled designer, Arnaud founded PNTS studio with Denis Carrier.
Very cool show from artist Louis Cameron at I-20 in New York. In my humble opinion, there are few subjects that have as much cultural significance as the American Flag, so it doesn’t surprise me that artists continue to try their hand at reinterpreting the ‘Stars and Stripes’. The paintings in this show depict flags that were created in the 1960’s as a response to the Pan-African Flag (designed by Marcus Garvey), and were meant to symbolically represent the African-American experience. So there, you get some art and a little history lesson on a wonderful sunday afternoon!
Dolls are an appealing motif for artists because, as artist/ doll-maker Marina Bychkoya says, “I’m not content working in just one medium such as painting or sculpture, and dolls offer me a very diverse and satisfying tactile experience. To create a doll I get to do it all: sculpture, industrial design, painting, engraving, mold-making, drawing, metalwork, fashion and jewelry design.” Combining multiple interests and talents, these five artists create some of the most fascinating, bizarre, beautiful and awesome, in the truest sense of the word, dolls I’ve ever seen.
Freya Jobbins says that she is inspired by Guiseppe Archimboldo and his fruit and vegetable paintings; Penny Byrne’s ceramic creations, Ron Muek’s giant people, Gunther Von Hagen’s plastinated corpses, and of course the Toy Story Trilogy. Combining these inspirations with a technique that incorporates plastic doll parts and toys, she creates assemblages of faces, heads and larger busts. Provocative, humorous and perhaps slightly disturbing Jobbins’ assemblages explore the relationship between consumerist fetishism and the emerging recycling culture.
Ana Salvador was born in Barreiro, which is a small town in Portugal. She now lives in Amsterdam and has a passion for sculpture, drawing and painting. Inspired by the human body, antiques, ornaments, fabrics and laces Salvador creates fantastical sculpted figures with distinct personalities.
Marina Bychkova is a Russian-Canadian figurative artist who founded Enchanted Doll so that she could devote her time to creating exquisite porcelain dolls. An artist through and through Bychkova is concerned with each detail on her dolls, from their costumes to their facial expressions.