Zoe Buckman: Mostly It’s Just Uncomfortable

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Mostly It’s Just Uncomfortable is part of Buckman’s response to the attack on Planned Parenthood in the United States, the consequent deprivation of access to free sexual health care for underserved women, as well as the attempted curtailing of a woman’s right to make choices concerning her own body.

Examining the cold and harsh material quality of gynecological instruments, Buckman finds a way of reversing her negative perception of these objects turning them into playful more tactile sculptural entities through the process of Powder Coating. This in-progress series of sculptures examines the physical discomfort women have to endure via these necessary and sometimes life-saving instruments. Also working with boxing iconography, Buckman has cast her own boxing gloves, hand wraps, and mouth guard in glass and metal, further marrying the stereotypically masculine to the feminine, and the fragile to the resilient. This dialogue between polarized materials is typical of Buckman’s work, yet the combat pieces speak to a new and more confrontational discourse in the artist’s process.*

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What’s Going On: Buckman is fresh off the latest group exhibitions “Off the Wall – For Freedoms”, at the Monique Meloche Gallery in Chicago, IL.

Next Up: Harlem Postcards Fall/Winter 2016-2017, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY
•SoundScape Park Evening Film Program 2016, Art Basel Miami Beach, Miami, FL
•PULSE will also present the following works as part of the PROJECTS program: Zoe Buckman’s Champ, 2016, a neon work created in response to the attack on Planned Parenthood in the United States, the consequent deprivation of access to free sexual health care for underserved women, and the attempted curtailing of a woman’s right to make choices concerning her own body.

*statement from artist website

 

Shifting Consciousness with Chiharu Shiota

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"The Locked Room" 2016, KAAT Kanagawa Arts Theater, Yokohama, Japan, photo by Masanobu Nishino “The Locked Room” 2016, KAAT Kanagawa Arts Theater, Yokohama, Japan, photo by Masanobu Nishino

‘A sleepy mystery intertwined with beauty’, is how I like to think of Chiharu Shiota’s intricate large-scale installation pieces exploring the relationship between body and mind. Her work feels like being let into remnants of someone else’s dreams.

She tethers her memories to objects with lengths of tangled, crisscrossing black threads, securing them in a physical realm. Here we are offered the questions, the quandaries of an woman who dreams herself in and out of reality without ever really leaving the suspension of time.

It’s rare to see Shiota’s installations come towards the U.S., although (claps) her 2017 exhibition calendar has a solo show booked for Feb 21 2017 – Aug 6 at the SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, GA / U.S.A.

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Conscious Sleep, Venue: Cockatoo Island, 22th Biennale of Sydney, photo by Paul Green

Conscious Sleep, Venue: Cockatoo Island, 22th Biennale of Sydney, photo by Paul Green

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“When I dream, I feel the dream as reality. I can’t distinguish between dream and reality. When I wake up, I have the feeling I’m still dreaming.” -Chiharu Shiota

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I found a pretty amazing time lapse of “After the Dream” being installed at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery during the ‘Lost in Lace’ exhibition in London back in 2011.

DISCOVER: THE COMING UNDONE OF ANA TERESA BARBOZA

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Textile Artist, Ana Teresa Barboza is onto new things – embroidered landscapes and plants. But I’ll be forever attached to her series, BORDADOS, where she explores the art of embroidering the body and skin.

It’s visually intoxicating to imagine the grabbing, the pulling of oneself apart into threads to rearrange your fabric; stitch yourself back together in a way more suitable to breathe.

She makes it seem a natural course of thought, that one could exist in a space that allows nature to emulate canvas, where we can weave ourselves anew with needle and thread. These works are primal representations of structures torn from within or adorned throughout.

 

“Working with my hands, it’s something I’ve always done since childhood… and the incredible images that textiles can produce. I feel the fabric gives familiarity to the image, it pulls you in to stop and admire the details.”* – Ana Teresa Barboza

 

Artist Links: Ana Teresa Barboza Website

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*quote taken from interview with Barboza at Textile Artist.

Explore another artist who takes needle to skin, in our interview with  Eliza Bennet’s “A Women’s Work is Never Done”.

 

Floral Cross-Stitch Street Installations Hit Spain

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cross-stitch-3 cross-stitch-art-by-raquel-rodrigo-15-1020x610Floral Cross-Stitch Street Installations spreading across Spain in cities like Madrid and Valencia, have been freed from the confines of the hoop by set designer & artist Raquel Rodrigo  who owns a specialized street-art marketing agency (Arquiscostura) working for large brands to impact people in the most important cities in the real world as well as press & publications in most important online portals.

Her multi-colored cords dash in and out of wire mesh leaving pixel heavy imagery of flowers that can be easily affixed to forgotten surfaces calling attention buildings or businesses that need a little extra love.

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Via This is Colossal

Images via Arquicostura

Temptation of Void: Bizarre Family Phototraits by Alexei Sovertkov

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These bizarre family portraits feel like a young Jules Verne worked his way through school at a Sears portrait studio – exploring the unknown within us before he ventured out into the world – and I kind of dig it.

Moscow-based photographer, Alexei Sovertkov, calls the series “Temptation of Void”, it explores voidness as a quality of consciousness. I love the  coupling of people & animals as it visually gives context to the ties of the human in relation to the non-human, each one seemingly isolated from the other underneath fishbowls makes me think of the aspects of our individual experiences.

Sovertkov clearly keeps his sense of humor in the quandary,  you can see IKEA stickers still affixed on the bottom of these fishbowls revealing the subjects bemused expressions at the whole experiment – whatever that might actually be.

“Voidness as a mental state, means a mode of perception in which one neither adds anything to nor takes anything away from what is present, noting simply, “There is this.” This mode is achieved through a process of intense concentration, coupled with the insight that notes more and more subtle levels of the presence and absence of disturbance.” – Alexei Sovertkov

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Discover: Yoan Capote

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Self-portrait (each one of us) 2002 to 2008 | Concrete and cast bronze |175 x 50 x 50 cm | Yoan Capote

 

Cuban artist, Yoan Capote peeks our interest with sculpture work that creates harmony between materials that stand in stark contrast in the face of their duality.  It might be what draws you to his work; but Capote mentioned in an interview that the materials don’t determine his work. “Ideas are critical to my deciding which materials to use…Whenever you have something interesting to convey, you look for the ideal way to express it.”*

His visual metaphors are striking; the chords of his work strike emotional tones of compassion, a connect with our humanity, and a sight into our fragility.  One of our favorites pieces is Self-Portrait.  In Self-Portrait, Capote used molds of real bones with provenance from different dead people; then, he reproduced each one of them in wax, adjusting them and creating the representation of a new subject in that sculpture. The weight of the concrete is used like a symbolic element. Equilibrium is a metaphor of struggle and resistance. Gravity reminds the spiritual weight that everyone supports and talks about fragility of our own life.

Discover more on Yoan Capote: Website

 

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New Man 2014 Real handcuffs, cast bronze and stainless steel structure | 221.5 x 61 x 46 cm | Yoan Capote

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*quote comes from Capote interview with Phyllis Tuchman
– description of Self Portrait and photos from the artist

Nicomi Nix Turner: Writhing & Withering @ Paradigm Gallery

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Nicomi Nix Turner’s latest solo exhibition, Writhing & Withering, just opened at Paradigm Gallery + Studio

Turner is usually recognized for her intricately detailed black-and-white graphite illustrations that evoke surreal understandings of the connections between nature, alchemy, mythology, decay and birth.  Here’s a little peek into her latest collection where she tackles a new technique—finishing her works using beeswax, resin, and oil medium that gives the work a dreamy, otherworldly feel.

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In her artist statement for Writhing & Withering, she explains, “Fruit plays the protagonist consumed by both the fearless and ignorant alike.”  Fleshing out tangible realms for her protagonists to flourish in is where Turner’s work turns gorgeously dark and romantic.  In her imaginative places, conjuring desire is left out to rot, worn in defiance, caught sweetly passing the lips and, left dangling from mouths in the midst of subtle revelations.  The works feast on the symbolic devices Turner has carried throughout earlier works – an offering sacrifice for renewal.

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In this realm, “the consumption of fruit leaves mortality withering – holds the eater writhing in hallucinatory suspension.

It recalls me to scenes out of Christina Rossetti’s poem, “Goblin Market”, where fruit is also the protagonist.  The young character Laura, eats the goblins’ fruits and grows older afterwards, but it isn’t by learning and getting wiser.  Laura has eaten the fruit and now she knows its taste, but it damages her in a way. Her craving for the fruit becomes like that of an addict, she writhes as her inability to be satisfied causes her to become completely debilitated.

“I ate my fill, yet my mouth waters still”, Rossetti’s Laura, says desperately and listlessly to her sister – who ultimately becomes her savior.  The problem with the fruit in “Goblin Market” is expressed by Laura herself: “Who knows upon what soil they fed their hungry thirsty roots?” The distinction between good and evil blurs when the juices of the fruit also become what sustains Laura in the end …to take and to give.

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Turner, in turn, explores the cultural and ideological meanings of fruit in celebration of nature and abundance while acknowledging its darker side.

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As you walk around the gallery during her latest solo show at Paradigm Gallery + Studio in Philadelphia, the eyes of the women she has drawn into existence hold your gaze with their eyes, boldly defying you to write another ending for them.

The show’s strength is due in part to the her connection with these women. She knows who they are. The realness of their lives are validated in the details: the wisps of hair that halo about their heads, the crazy pattern work that adorns their clothes, the eyes that take you on explorations of women whose mysteries you want to know.

If their stories still elude you, Turner has evoked her tale into tangible grabs as three-dimensional sculpts of striped fruits grow outside the canvas and further your descent into her story.

“Writhing & Withering” uses devices that carry weight regardless of its subjects’ innate gifts or abilities, all while securing us, the viewer, in a visual inability to be sated.

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†a version of this article was first published on the Paradigm Gallery + Studio  website

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“Writhing & Withering” works by Nicomi Nix Turner
November 18, 2016 – January 7, 2017

Opening Reception
Friday, November 18th • 5:30pm – 10:00pm

Closing Reception
Friday, December 16th • 5:30pm – 10:00pm

Location
Paradigm Gallery + Studio / 746 S. 4th Street, 1st Floor / Philadelphia, PA 19147

Social Media
Instagram: @_fernbeds_
Twitter: @fernbeds

Astro Creates Massive Optical Illusion Mural

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If your stroll down the street suddenly feels like you’re portaling into another dimension, you may have stumbled into one of Astro’s massive illusions.  Parisian graffiti artist Astro creates optical illusion murals that draw viewers into unreachable realms.  His trademark curves and abstract calligraphy shapes recently turned up on a residential building in Loures, Portugal, just south of Lisbon for the urban art project Loures Art Publica.

Check out the sweet pics below.

 

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Astro: Website Instagram

via [MyModernMet]

All images via Astro.

That Time JR Made the Pyramid at the Louvre Disappear

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French street artist, JR, was invited by the Louvre museum to wrap their world-famous glass pyramid with one of his monumental anamorphic images.

The Louvre has an amazing history —  originally built as a fortress in 1190, it was reconstructed in the 16th century to serve as a royal palace; in 1793, Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette moved out and relocated their entire royal court to Versailles. And now, the Louvre is an art museum, exhibiting the royal collection and artifacts.

It’s equally famous pyramid was designed in 1985 by American architect, I.M.Pei.  The pyramid is a subterranean entrance into the Louvre, restructuring the old design, merging all of the museum’s wings with a common access point.  There’s nothing quite like witnessing the contrast of this contemporary wonder against the museum’s  baroque stateliness as you descend into what will seem like a endless abyss of art (it covers a whopping 652,300 square feet).

There’s was backlash against it’s construction, as art lovers around the world fought against what they were sure would destroy the very heart of Paris. Now this otherworldly 71-foot-high structure of glass and metal sitting in front of the main entrance is one of the most photographed landmarks in Paris.  Recent studies show that the Louvre draws nearly twice the number of visitors than it did before the Pyramid’s installation. That steamrolling commentary of fear that Pei’s design would violate the museum’s historical integrity found new air as the conversation retained relevancy with the course of JR’s Louvre project.

JR talked about the ongoing feud between traditional and modern tastes in art in an interview with curator and journalist, Hugo Vitrani.
“Making the Pyramid disappear is a way for me to distance myself from my subject…My work is about transmitting history to better understand the present, and find echoes with our own times. What happened in the past is part of a broader context that can still have relevance for today. By erasing the Louvre Pyramid, I am highlighting the way Pei made the Louvre relevant for his time, while bringing the Louvre back to its original state. The Pyramid is one of the most photographed French monuments. I am re-directing its energy, because people are going to have to move around it. They are going to look for the best angle to get the full impact of the anamorphic image, and really make the Pyramid disappear.”
It’s been more than 25 years since the pyramid was introduced to the world.  Some say, Pei achieved a kind of architectural sleight-of-hand with so much more there than meets the eye.  I’d say JR has joined those ranks.
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Photo credit: legeekcestchic.eu

Amberella’s Goth Hearts

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Goth Heart by Amberella. Photo - Conrad Benner/Streets Dept

Goth Heart by Amberella. Photo – Conrad Benner/Streets Dept

Amber Lynn (aka Amberella) is a Philadelphia-based mixed media and street artist who sees the world through candy-coated eyes. Most of her work is conceptual and often comments on popular culture, body image, or lady drama.  What we find intriguing is her honest draw on past and present personal life experiences and how she freely she lets it all bleed out into the street.

Her newest series, Goth Hearts is a culmination of feelings pulled from diaries, notes, sketchbooks, scribbles, memories, and every day feels.  It’s raw and vulnerable, seeking to touch on the viewer’s emotions and evoke feeling upon first glance.  Here, there are no candy-colored sappy sentiments packaged and disguised in an array of pretty lies.

“This work speaks to my own experiences and vulnerabilities. I’m revisiting, exploring, and releasing these emotions, whether past or present, back into the universe. The streets serve as a platform to create an unexpected raw reaction for the viewer. The streets are conceptually part of my process and I’m passionate about it enough that I push myself to places that are uncomfortable at times; literally putting my heart into the streets .

Besides the therapeutic nature of the work for myself, I hope that it will trigger emotion in others. In regards to the viewer, that’s all I’m after. The viewers experience is truly dependent on that persons’own thoughts, experience, perception, personality, and a plethora of other factors. I just want to provide a moment in time for people to connect with themselves and their emotions. Feelings, -all types- are so important. It means that you are alive and present.”

Truth.

Visit Amberella on Instagram and check out her past work on Streets Dept.

Amberella at Front Street Walls. Photo by @ronzanetich

Amberella at Front Street Walls. Photo by @ronzanetich

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Photo: Amber Lynn

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Photo: Amber Lynn

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Photo: Amber Lynn

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Photo: Amber Lynn

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Photo: Amber Lynn

Meet The Animation Studio, Juggling Wolf

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Animation Studios are steadily climbing the ranks of the film industry’s Most Influential Lists, challenging our perception of what innovative storytelling looks like. Memorable movies like Inside Out, ParaNorman and Coraline have made household names out of the most successful of them, Pixar and Laika.

Pixar’s successful touring exhibition, The Science Behind Pixar validates the growing public interest in the science and technology behind the magic and the creatives that bring our favorite animated movies to life.

Cinematic giants were bred somewhere, launched from small beginnings helmed by unknown creatives cloaked by these unassuming cool sounding company names.  So who are the new kids on the block? No pun intended.

I’d like to think I can predict the rise of young collectives churning out work with enough ingenuity to carry them to the main stage.  I’ve followed a local animation company whose handmade aesthetic is always captivating.  So I thought, why don’t I introduce you to them? You know – before they hit the pages of WIRED in a Cinderella-esque article that depresses me into wishing I didn’t miss the Van Gogh Boat.

Meet Juggling Wolf, a team of extraordinarily pioneering creative professionals who specialize in stop-motion.  This Philadelphia-based animation studio is the invention of Marina Gvozdeva (Video Editor), Ian Foster (Cinematographer) and Jason Chen (Color Grading Artist).

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Juggling Wolf: Jason Chen, Marina Gvozdeva, and Ian Foster

Out of their imaginations pool cleverly quirky meets cute videos that attract clients like Anthropologie and Popsicle; companies known for wooing the public with attractive doses of nostalgia and whimsy.

Now, this is where I ‘could’ have inserted a short reworked summary of their website’s ‘About Us’ page –most are planned to be the educational equivalent to a brief snooze in class. To our delight, Juggling Wolf’s is a classic old school dating profile – it reads better than anything we could have stated.  It pretty much speaks to why we’re obsessed with the company in the first place.

Name: Juggling Wolf

My Self Summary: I am an Animation Studio
Location: Philadelphia and New York
What am I doing with my life: Animating
I am really good at: Stop Motion Animation
The first things people usually notice about me: My handmade aesthetic
Favorite Books: The Animator’s Survival Kit
Favorite Movies: Click Here
Favorite Shows: Truly Detectives
Favorite Music: BBC1 Essential Mix
Favorite Food: Pho
The six things I can never do without: Lights, Cameras, Actions, After Effects, DragonFrame, Clients
I spend a lot of time thinking about: What’s for dinner?
On a typical Friday night I am: Animating
The most private thing I am willing to admit: I am not keen on writing bios
I am looking for: Clients who like animators – ages 0 – ∞ for long-term, short-term business relations.

Jim Bachor’s 2016 Pothole Art Installation ‘Pretty Trashed’

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Thanks to another successful Kickstarter campaign, Chicago artist, Jim Bachor has gotten started on his 2016 pothole art campaign.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, Bachor has been delighting art blogs since 2014 when he decided to put a beautiful spin on the excess of damaging potholes left from brutal Chicago winters.

We’ve been impatiently waiting for the next theme to his well-received pothole art installations – the new series is called Pretty Trashed.  This first mosaic dropped is ‘Beer Can’.  It’s located on Montrose, just east of California on the south side of the street. Go see it Chicago – you lucky ducks. The rest of us will just have to live vicariously through Bachor’s Instagram feed.

It’s not our first time covering Bachor’s cute mosaic potholes. You can check out his past mosaic themes here:

POTHOLE ART PROJECT LAUNCHES NEW SERIES – TREATS IN THE STREETS!

CHICAGO ARTIST FILLS POTHOLES WITH AMAZING MOSAICS

 

*photos courtesy of Jim Bachor