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

 

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

Watch It: Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang

Cai Guo Qiang, Sky Ladder (2015). Courtesy of Cai Studio/Netflix.

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Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang challenges the confines of the art world with boundary pushing questions that materialize as blazing temporary art that leave behind seeds of dreaming in waking moments of colorful smoke.  He is best-known to the general public for the spectacular fireworks show during the 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony.  In the contemporary art world, his explosive works gunpowder works are memorable, as massive gunpowder laced sculptures ignite and flicker as if they were the pulse of his imagination burning free.

On June 15, 2015 Guo-Qiang’s piece, Sky Ladder became the largest single installation ever commissioned.  A huge white balloon filled with 6,200 cubic meters of helium was attached to a 500-meter long ladder coated completely with quick burning fuses and gold fireworks.  As it ascended into the heavens above Huiyu Island Harbor, in Quanzhou, China, it burned brightly into the early morning for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. 

This was Guo-Qiang’s fourth attempt to realize the performance. Previous attempts in Bath (1994), Shanghai (2001), and in Los Angeles (2012), were stymied.

Netflix has released a documentary film detailing Guo-Qiang’s ground breaking artistic efforts to symbolically connect the earth to the universe with Sky Ladder; all captured by Oscar-winning filmmaker Kevin Macdonald (One Day In September, The Last King Of Scotland).  Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang takes you behind the scenes of the largest single installation ever commissioned. 
 

 

Read Our Previous Articles on Qiang:

CAI GUO-QIANG’S BURNING STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN – SKY LADDER | CAI GUO-QIANG IGNITES WITH ‘THE NINTH WAVE’

 

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

WATCH JAMES FRANCO’S GOO-DRENCHED ODE TO RENAISSANCE SCULPTURE

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James Franco’s weird new performance art video, entitled “James Franco reimagined the Della Robbia,” is a  four-minute goo-drenched ode to renaissance sculpture, where people posed as sculptures, are doused in dripping clear gloss. 

Franco released the video in response to Italian Renaissance ceramics as a part of Sotheby’s Artist Response series for their show, Glazed: The Legacy of the Della Robbia.  For it, Franco reimagined the works of famous Italian Renaissance artist family, the Della Robbia, to create living icons.

Franco said: “For centuries, sculpture has been used decoratively and as iconography. The Della Robbia family created sculptures that take on both of those roles.”

“I was immediately struck by the vibrancy and shine of the glaze of the Della Robbia sculptures in this show, especially the human forms frozen in time as icons. To mimic and modernise these sculptures, I wanted to create living icons emphasising the glazing process,” he added. “I filmed them in slow motion so the viewer relishes in the passage of time and can imagine the tangible feeling of the liquid covering each living sculpture.

The show is on view at Sotheby’s New York through November 18th.

 

via [PAPER]

The New Symbol of Mumbai is Giving us Feels

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In it’s permanent placement at the Promenade at Bandra Reclamation

It’s India’s first typographic art installation to represent the city – perfect for a city marching into a vibrant cultural reclamation. Public art is thriving like never before in India and the new symbol of Mumbai is giving us real Milton Glaser (designer of the I heart NY logo) vibes; turning the heart into an iconic feeling of love for a destination.

The artist, Rocky, a type designer, found his inspiration in the perfect symmetry of the Devanagari letter लव (LA). “The form of the letter लव ‘LA” in Devanagari is such that deliberately if you join two terminals together, it becomes a heart with a shirorekha (top line in Devanagari script) …this powerful icon cuts across demographics and language barriers…This public installation is a monument of love dedicated by the citizens of Mumbai to the city as a mark of their undying love for each other. Love Mumbai and Mumbai will always love you back.”*

Rocky had been playing around with versions of this fun Hinglish script for a while. In 2010, he styled this photoshoot, using the Devanagari letter लव (LA) to mirror the coy n’ playful way of how love is depicted in Indian cinema (you know, Bollywood).

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“The mood of the photo shoot and style was the clichéd image of how love is depicted in Indian cinema.”

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Falling in love by a tree is a popular image in Bollywood films.

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Oh it’s a thing.

He was finally able to translate this idea into a full scale installation for a collaboration with St+art India Foundation for the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2016.  It quickly became a media sensation prompting an online petition to make the installation a permanent part of the Mumbai landscape – a symbol to represent the city of Mumbai.  Now the installation sits at its permanent home, at the Bandra Reclamation.

How does Rocky feel about having his work becoming a new symbol for Mumbai?

“… I did this for the sake of art rather than money. Like Picasso said, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” This is my small contribution to beautify the city and I would be happy if my design makes people happy and puts a smile on their faces.”

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*Read the full interview with Rocky about the installation here.
Rocky: Website
via Kulture Shop

 

What?! Geode Wedding Cakes

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We’re totally feeling these amethyst-inspired cake created by Rachel Teufel of Intricate Icings’.  The sweet geodes are made with rock candy accents that make the cakes look pretty bad ass.

Not to mention that seeing it automatically reminded us of the geode work of Los Angeles based artist, A Common Name.

Below are cakes created by Intricate Icings and the sweet desserts that they inspired.
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via Bored Panda

Basquiat’s Great Jones Street Loft To Be Immortalized

57 Great Jones Street, New York. Courtesy of Google Maps.

57 Great Jones Street is more than the former home and studio of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988).  It represents a mythical era of street art – an infamous downtown cool kids scene most of us never got to experience firsthand.

On July 13, as part of the historic plaque program, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) will unveil a plaque marking the site of Basquiat’s former home and studio – once owned by his friend and mentor, Andy Warhol.

The historic plaque unveiling ceremony (in partnership with Two Boots) aims to “celebrate and explore the invaluable work and local connections of this essential artist,” GVSHP said.  The event will take place on July 13 at 6 pm, attendance is free but reservations are requested.  The presentation will be followed by free pizza courtesy of local restaurant Two Boots.

Follow  HAHA MAG on Facebook.

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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

Peter Gronquist’s New Show “Refuge” opens at Joseph Gross Gallery

Peter Gronquist "Refuge" exhibition opening at Joseph Gross Gallery in New York, NY on June 9, 2016.  (Photo by Stephen Smith)
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Peter Gronquist “Refuge” exhibition opening at Joseph Gross Gallery in New York, NY on June 9, 2016. (Photo by Stephen Smith)

“Serenity now!” (yes, that is a Seinfeld reference) came to mind when I immersed myself in Peter Gronquist’s pastel-colored painting show entitled Refuge at Joseph Gross Gallery (548 West 28th Street). A contrast to his edgy strapped-taxidermy animals that blatantly address gun violence, the paintings in Refuge hold a subtle quietness that act like a call and response to his previous work (with these paintings clearly being the conclusive latter). Using color and texture as his subjects, Gronquist has abandoned representational work to communicate a place of happiness and resolve.

To me, Refuge feels like church. Having a particularly chaotic life in a particularly chaotic city, I was both surprised and relieved to emerge from Gronquist’s exhibition feeling totally at ease.  Although the color-field paintings hold up on their own, together they created a cocoon-like environment for me, a safe place for my mind to relax- and actually day dream. Anyone who has experienced the environment created with a room of Robert Ryman white paintings will understand the freedom felt with experiencing art that lets your mind rest. It is a coveted quality I can’t quite describe, and getting there is extremely difficult. But when successful, this type of art has the ability to allow the viewer to shut off the analytical/busy part of their brain, and instead just give in to the subconscious experiential facet that we equate with day dreaming.

Whatever it is, Gronquist has conquered it with Refuge. I focused on the subtle gradation of one color to the next, the gentle textural interplay of tulle, the thick white frames that seemed to elevate each color field as it floated through my daydream. I left the exhibition without anything to say (shocking for a blabbermouth like me) but feeling satiated, all knowing, more understanding.

While some may not find color field paintings to be a religious experience, those who are willing to let go of their brain clutter for a few minutes can experience the relaxing satisfaction that Gronquist’s beautiful new show inspires.

 

Peter Gronquist "Refuge" exhibition opening at Joseph Gross Gallery in New York, NY on June 9, 2016. (Photo by Stephen Smith)

Peter Gronquist “Refuge” exhibition opening at Joseph Gross Gallery in New York, NY on June 9, 2016. (Photo by Stephen Smith)

Peter Gronquist "Refuge" exhibition opening at Joseph Gross Gallery in New York, NY on June 9, 2016. (Photo by Stephen Smith)

Peter Gronquist “Refuge” exhibition opening at Joseph Gross Gallery in New York, NY on June 9, 2016. (Photo by Stephen Smith)

Peter Gronquist "Refuge" exhibition opening at Joseph Gross Gallery in New York, NY on June 9, 2016. (Photo by Stephen Smith)

Peter Gronquist “Refuge” exhibition opening at Joseph Gross Gallery in New York, NY on June 9, 2016. (Photo by Stephen Smith)

L-R: Haley Wen, Sonia Edwards and Evan Berk attend the Peter Gronquist "Refuge" exhibition opening at Joseph Gross Gallery in New York, NY on June 9, 2016. (Photo by Stephen Smith)

L-R: Haley Wen, Sonia Edwards and Evan Berk attend the Peter Gronquist “Refuge” exhibition opening at Joseph Gross Gallery in New York, NY on June 9, 2016. (Photo by Stephen Smith)

Peter Gronquist "Refuge" exhibition opening at Joseph Gross Gallery in New York, NY on June 9, 2016. (Photo by Stephen Smith)

Peter Gronquist “Refuge” exhibition opening at Joseph Gross Gallery in New York, NY on June 9, 2016. (Photo by Stephen Smith)

Peter Gronquist "Refuge" exhibition opening at Joseph Gross Gallery in New York, NY on June 9, 2016. (Photo by Stephen Smith)

Peter Gronquist “Refuge” exhibition opening at Joseph Gross Gallery in New York, NY on June 9, 2016. (Photo by Stephen Smith)

L-R: Casey Gleghorn, Lori Zimmer and Logan Hicks attend the Peter Gronquist "Refuge" exhibition opening at Joseph Gross Gallery in New York, NY on June 9, 2016. (Photo by Stephen Smith)

L-R: Casey Gleghorn, Lori Zimmer and Logan Hicks attend the Peter Gronquist “Refuge” exhibition opening at Joseph Gross Gallery in New York, NY on June 9, 2016. (Photo by Stephen Smith)

L-R: Artist Sebastian Wahl, Joseph gross and Anastasia Wahl attend the Peter Gronquist "Refuge" exhibition opening at Joseph Gross Gallery in New York, NY on June 9, 2016. (Photo by Stephen Smith)

L-R: Artist Sebastian Wahl, Joseph gross and Anastasia Wahl attend the Peter Gronquist “Refuge” exhibition opening at Joseph Gross Gallery in New York, NY on June 9, 2016. (Photo by Stephen Smith)

L-R: Sienna Mkuruh and Lucia Gioiello attend the Peter Gronquist "Refuge" exhibition opening at Joseph Gross Gallery in New York, NY on June 9, 2016. (Photo by Stephen Smith)

L-R: Sienna Mkuruh and Lucia Gioiello attend the Peter Gronquist “Refuge” exhibition opening at Joseph Gross Gallery in New York, NY on June 9, 2016. (Photo by Stephen Smith)