Brooklyn based artist and sculptor Nick van Woert has some new work on his website that is worth noting if anything for it’s peculiarity. A cross-sectional breakdown of a classic roman marble bust is an interesting concept and makes for an arresting visual. There is also an obvious deeper undertone to the re-imagining of traditional art and it’s context within the societal psyche. Weird. But good weird.
Hypebeast has put together a nice overview of the recent Takashi Murakami exhibit happening within the opulent setting of the Chateau de Versailles. I have always been on the fence as to whether or not I am really a fan of Murakami’s work but I think the juxtaposition of his work in such a pomp setting creates a highly ironic clash that’s pretty hard to ignore. I’d imagine it would be fun to visit the show in person and listen to what the crowd had to say.
Yes the work of Roxanne Jackson will disturb you. That is what it is meant to do. After you are disturbed and while your interest has been peaked, if you can get past the raw emotion you will also realize she is a very talented artist capable of working fluidly with several mediums.
Jackson on her work, “I am concerned with confronting the shadows of the unconscious, having a dialogue with the grotesque and, therein, discovering beauty. The tenor of my work is macabre and emotional as I deal with extreme axioms to dramatize the dualities of our nature; these polar aspects reside within us and include vulnerability and strength, the light and the dark, the human and the inhuman.”
The David B. Smith Gallery is currently hosting AJ Fosik’s exhibition ‘Count Back From Now’. To the unfamiliar, Fosik’s sculptural monsters are crafted out of hand carved and painted pieces of wood and the end result is a kind of contemporary take on the African mask. The neon ‘monster’ like masks and creatures are even more striking and imposing in person and you really have to stand in front of one and move around it to appreciate the craftsmanship Fosik employs when building them.
I took over a studio at the now closed Andenken Gallery a few years back that Fosik had been using before me here in Denver. He left a big collection of boob boxes and a little eye or two from some of his sculptures. Consequently, I have about 6 boom boxes in my garage and the eye now sits on my desk in my studio. I’ve always like his work.
The Illiterate Gallery here in Denver has been curating some great exhibitions lately and the current show for July looks amazing. It is the first solo show of local Denver artist and director Ravi Zupa. You can see Zupa’s work at some of the trendier destinations around the city and it always stands out.
Here is a description of the show from the gallery:
“The exhibition at Illiterate running throughout the month of July is Ravi Zupa’s first solo gallery show, however this seems to have less to do with the artist being overlooked by contemporary art circles as it has been a product of his DIY mentality and rejection of the elitist status quo within the art world. A self identifying anarchist, Zupa believes that art is for everybody. When Ravi approached us about making Illiterate the site for his gallery debut, we were both honored and excited to work with this talented and driven individual. The exhibit titled “The Pyre”, coincides with a book project by the same name between the artist and hip hop musician Sole, founder of Anticon records and leader of Sole and the Skyrider band, for which Zupa has directed a number of music videos. This collaborative publishing effort involves an epic poem written by Sole and illustrated by Zupa and will be released at Illiterate during the closing reception for the exhibition on July 30.”
You can see images from the exhibition here and find out more about Illiterate at their website. Be sure to drop by if you are close to the Denver metro area.
Matt McMullen is the original creator of the Real Doll. If you haven’t heard of them, they are high-priced sex dolls that are disturbingly (well depended on where your tastes lean) realistic. It’s easy to look at the dolls and think, wow that is pretty weird, but it another thing all together to realize just how much time and attention to detail goes into their creation. It’s really an amazing sculpture that is the output of genuine craftsmanship. This is an insightful short little documentary, expertly put together and super entertaining to watch.
“Unbearable Lightness is an amazing art installation from Dutch designer Tomáš Gabzdil which features 40,000 bees and a honeycomb sculpture of a martyred Jesus Christ.
Industrious bees created a honeycomb skin over the laser sintered framework, before filling each cell with honey they produce. Next, the bees worked hard to remove the honey from the cells only to return it to their own beehive, cleaning the figure and restoring the wax cells to their original state. Gabzdil made the honeycomb a red-orange color to symbolize the cross.”
I was kind of speechless by this art installation that I think is appearing at Art Basel. You can read more about it at My Modern Met. It’s a stunning work combining so many different elements like religion, spirituality, nature and technology making it an extremely emotional piece of art.
Sculptor Willy Verginer was born in 1957 in Bressanone and currently works and lives in Ortisei. He carves his work out of wood creating meticulously crafted human sculptures combining intricate patterns and swaths of bright color. The craftsmanship in the work is that of a true master and the care and skill required to create something so delicate in wood is hard to imagine.That’s old world talent.
Dominic Wilcox was born in Sunderland and educated at Edinburgh College of Art. After obtaining a degree in Visual Communication he spent time in Japan before returning to England to undertake an MA at the Royal College of Art in the renowned Design Product course led by Ron Arad. He is a ‘thinking’ artist whose work is always highly conceptual blending pop culture, satire and politics seamlessly into new art forms.
My guess is that you will be seeing these clever book sculptures from Paul Octavious all over the creative blogosphere as they are precisely the kind of sculptural typographic works that seem to be resonating with the online creative community. After seeing them though, be sure to dive into his portfolio where you will also find some exceptional photographic art.
Artist Nick van Woert produces the kind of ‘reexamination of pre-existing/accepted western cultural art norms’ that could be described as trendy but forces you to reconsider something old as something colliding with the new. It’s the kind of art that is clever enough to make it into the highly curated postings of But Does it Float (damnit all that blog is cool). It’s also the kind of art that as an artist you look at and think, ‘shit that’s brilliant, why didn’t I think of that?’ Well, Nick beat you to it. Lastly, it’s the kind of sculptural art that could only be realized in a post pop art-modernism society. Placing one of Woert’s sculptures in your home would most certainly spark a conversation. One that would no doubt start with, ‘…well this is interesting’. Woert currently resides in Brooklyn which if you’ve been paying attention to all of the ‘it’s the kind of art that’ sentences in this post shouldn’t really come as a surprise.
Australian artist Ricky Swallow is able to achieve his work in both 2D and dimensionally via sculpture. That’s a rare ability and Swallow is highly capable at both. I lean more toward his sculptural work but his loose brush strokes still lend a sense of sculptural form to his subjects. Regardless of preference his talent is inarguable.
Artist Nick Ervinck has posted some recent imagery from the Fantastic Illusions exhibit at the MOCA in Shanghai, China. Nick has been busy this year and his work is getting even more amazing. He has a real talent to realize some highly unusual sculpture at a grand scale and I would imagine seeing it in person is an experience.
Dutch artist Juul Kraijer has been exhibiting art since the mid nineties. Over the past 12 years she has devoted herself entirely to drawing having completed a total of 220 drawings.
Here is a quote from the in depth essay at her website:
“Unlike those artists who from time to time venture to take a new turning, I seem to be the type of artist who recognizes a small field as his or her domain, to be explored in depth and detail. In the drawings made during those twelve years, the main principles remain the same. Changes do not occur in the form of an abrupt break; instead, they appear as gradual shifts, leaving the core intact, like landscapes at the turn of the season.”
Her work is very simple yet hauntingly contemplative focusing primarily on the face and the human form interacting with nature. She has also taken up sculpture, photography and more recently experimental video but the contemplative tone remains throughout the new mediums.
Swedish sculptor Michael Johansson has some brilliant conceptual art in his portfolio. Everything is spot on. The thinking, the use of color and craftsmanship involved in producing the final product just doesn’t miss.
I am familiar with sculptor Simen Johan’s work but was a little shocked to find I had never posted anything about it. His work involves nature themes and is often hauntingly contemplative albeit slightly disturbing. He has recently updated his stunning body of work with images from a recent show that wrapped in October which makes it a good time refamiliarize yourself with his work. Too bad you will have to imagine it in person.
Sculptor Kate Clark creates unique animal/human hybrid creations that are haunting and leave a lasting impression on the psyche. I would love to see her work in person and I am sure standing in a gallery surrounded by them would be a memorable experience.
Anish Kapoor has a vision. His architectural work is extraordinary. Sublime even.
“Anish Kapoor was born in Bombay in 1954 and has lived in London since the early 70’s when he studied at Hornsey College of Art and Chelsea School of Art Design.
Over the past twenty years he has exhibited extensively in London and all over the world. His solo shows have included venues such as Kunsthalle Basel, Tate Gallery and Hayward Gallery in London, Reina Sofia in Madrid, CAPC in Bordeaux and most recently Haus der Kunst in Munich. He has also participated internationally in many group shows including the Whitechapel Art Gallery, The Royal Academy and Serpentine Gallery in London, Documenta IX in Kassel, Moderna Museet in Stockholm and Jeu de Paume and Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.
Anish Kapoor was awarded the ‘Premio Duemila’ at the Venice Biennale in 1990, the Turner Prize Award in 1991 and was awarded an Honorary Fellowship at the London Institute in 1997 and a CBE in 2003. He is represented by the Lisson Gallery, London, Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York and Galleria Continua and Galleria Massimo Minini, Italy.”