Russian artist Salavat Fidai creates miniscule sculptures with a ubiquitous yet unusual material – graphite pencils. Their tips are fashioned into figures of pop culture like Yoda, Bart Simpson, Batman, and many more. The amount of detail that Fidai achieves is impressive considering the scale of these figures. Eyes, feathers, and the draping in Yoda’s robe is all expressed through angular carving. Considering how dark the graphite is and all of the characters’ tiny features, Fidai might’ve used a softer lead for his work. A pencil in the “B” would probably be easier to cut and form.
Brooklynite Gallery has been on some sort of weird hiatus for a while, apparently to focus on making arts related films. Well, they do make good shorts. This is one from a while back when they had an exhibition from collage artist DAIN. So there’s this unassuming elderly guy, right? Well he happens to be a fairly prolific street artist who makes collage work out of portrait photography. Just watch the video. And the next time you find yourself in a discussion lamenting what “Street Art” has become, remember DAIN, who pastes work on the street because it’s as natural to him as breathing. To him, it’s not about money or cool factor, this is just something that gives him a lot of satisfaction. Dude knows what it’s all about.
Evan Robarts lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. His playful sculptures are constructed from found objects and industrial materials. Robarts reinvigorates everyday items like brooms, hockey sticks, and bicycle frames when he transforms them into vibrant compositions. In one piece the combination of cake sprinkles and plaster results in a dazzling abstraction that looks good enough to eat. Another body of work utilizes Popsicle sticks and ink to imitate a plane of freshly melted treats. Robarts’ zestful work triggers multiple senses and reminds us that exuberance can be found in all things.
Step into the world of photographer Phebe Schmidt, where everything is carefully constructed into a sickening sweet perfection. Her candy-colored world is filled with Barbie-like subjects, some even encased in plastic. Each hyperreal photograph seems almost too good to be true, like we have stepped inside a house of a Stepford wife. This draws the viewer in closer as we inspect the dark undertones of each photo that are surrounded by cheery colors. The objects in Schmidt’s photography, including her figures who look more like inanimate objects than people, are flawless and glossy, making everything seem like an advertisement. This viewpoint and concept is no doubt a comment on commodities and how contemporary culture is overcome with it. It has been said that “plasticity” is a term that defines Schmidt’s style.
Her work has a stylized plasticity and bright surface that acts as a mask that plays with ideas of self, theatrical role-playing, and what lies beneath. Plasticity is a key term Schmidt uses to describe her work and marks a contemporary obsession with homogenized, generic beauty ideals that conform to gender, social, and cultural norms.
It is true that generic beauty ideas are very apparent in Schmidt’s body of work. Each person shown in her photography seems nameless and ambiguous due to his or her impossible perfection. The figures do not look toward the camera, but out into space with a numbingly blank stare. This absence of humanity creates a futuristic atmosphere where commodity and beauty have altered our state of being. Schmidt’s seductive and incredibly intriguing photography evokes both a sci-fi future, and a mod, mid-century feel. Each photograph filled with sweetly colored backgrounds and flawless subjects keeps us curious in what lies beneath the generic beauty.
I’ve been looking at abstracting the human figure in my own work lately so it was a nice surprise to find the work of Gillian Lambert in my inbox. Gillian’s self portraits contort, bend, twist, and pull her face in every which way creating surprising, grotesque, and beautifully awkward images for us to enjoy!
David Herbert has such a strange and beautiful way of playing with material, form and imagery within his works. They reveal a kind of innocently childish love for the imagery of a boyish youth–star trek maquettes, space ships, odd automobiles, and copious “Disneyland” references– as well as an adult understanding of the architecture and connotations behind them.
Danish artist Rose Eken’s miniature drum kits and guitars are tiny monuments to rock and roll. With over a 100 drum kits and 100 guitars made out of cardboard and arranged in neat grids, these miniature objects are delicately made by hand showing Eken’s fascination, adoration, and passion both for the music and for the people who make it. Like a true music junky Rose Eken has created the ultimate shrine to rock music with replicas of every rock legends instrument from Jimi Hendrix’s guitar to John Bonham’s drum kit.