In 2004, artist Kim Alsbrooks began painting regal portraits on discarded cans in a series titled My White Trash Family. The work, which features both male and female subjects dressed in elaborate wigs, stately ascots, and enormous hats, is a juxtaposition of literal trash and fine portraiture. It was as initially inspired by Alsbrooks’ friend, a women’s history professor, who pointed out the historical biases that are present in art. In response, Alsbrooks’ tiny paintings mimic those that you’d find in museum collections. The fact that these exquisite works are produced on trash rather than quality materials is both ironic and amusing.
My White Trash Family is prolific; Alsbrooks has produced over 600 paintings since it started. All beverage cans are pre-flattened, mostly by passing cars or trucks. She describes her technique, writing, “One cannot flatten the trash. It just doesn’t work. It must be found so that there are no wrinkles in the middle and the graphic should be well centered. Then the portraits are found that are complimentary to the particular trash. Generally I depict miniature portraits from the watercolor on ivory era (17th-18th century more or less). The trash is gessoed in the oval shape, image drawn in graphite, painted in oils and varnished.”
Part of the success of this series is found in the dedication to craft, and the fact that she paints miniature portraits really well. But, what ultimately makes these works appealing is not necessarily tangible. The reference to high society and its traditional paths challenged by cheap, “lower class” items is instantly recognizable and relatable at a time when the one percenters rule the world. (Via Booooooom!)
Thick abstractions and text based paintings by Dennis Hollingsworth.
The idea behind “Smile On Your Brother” is to inspire people to think about their first skateboard and what it meant to them. For many skaters, this still represents a pivotal moment in their lives, with every last little detail, fresh in their minds. Bringing together contemporary artists both in, and affected by the skateboard industry to help raise funds to go towards the first goal of Contributor which is to donate 100 skateboards to disadvantaged youth across Canada in 2009/2010. The show will travel throughout Canada, starting in Vancouver and ending in Quebec City.
There’s some really awesome artists participating in the show, you can check them out here on the artists page, including myself (though excluded from that “awesome artists” list- its the one on the 6th column and 5 rows down). In accordance with the physical tour itself, “Smile On Your Brother” is also holding an online auction ending October 25th 2009. You can get a nice picture of how many skateboards there were contributed- take a look and get some personally customized boards that also benefit charity- win win! I put some of my personal favorites after the jump.
A while back I had a chance to do an interview with artist Kim Dorland- and was excited to learn that his show will be opening at Mark Moore gallery this Saturday, March 20th! I haven’t gotten a chance to see them in person yet, but these works are gorgeous. Dorland makes use of a sumptuous impasto creating narratives that are visceral, expansive and nostalgic all at once…all the more reason to see them in person.
I love me a good cut paper illustration and Jared Andrew Schorr’s portfolio is jam packed full of them. My favorites have to be his typography work which brings to life a wacky cast of characters to create beautiful text pieces.
Brought to you by the source for online calendar printing, Next Day Flyers.
Canadian artist Jesjit Gill’s screen printing. Awesome band flyers and posters!