Co-curated by Australian artist Rodrigo Luff, “The Moleskine Project” (now in its third year at San Francisco’s Spoke Art) investigates the rarely-seen preliminary processes behind works of art. For some of the artists in the show, like Adam Caldwell, the drawings represent the beginning stages of work executed in other media, while for others, like Pat Perry and Marco Mazzoni, the Moleskine drawing is a finished product rather than a sketch. Other artists in the show include Eric Siador, who merges sci-fi with ancient imagery, Tran Nguyen, who artfully infuses painterly compositions with design elements, and David Choong Lee with his psychedelic landscapes. “The Moleskine Project” will be on view through December 21. Take a look at some of the work in the show after the jump.
Hans Kanters, an artist based in Amsterdam, creates surreal paintings, lithographs and sculptures that are impossible to briefly describe. What one can say is that the bizarre, fascinating pieces depict life in all degrees of repressed emotion and social behavior. With some humor and irony, Kanters taps into the hidden parts of the human mind. With great emphasis, the artist renders what seems to be subversive imagery; the fantastical creatures and the absurd and grotesque scenery allude to the canonical works of Salvador Dali and Hieronymus Bosch. Within the ambiguous, dreamlike space that Kanter creates on the canvas, we find that the unconscious is transformed into a reality; the unexplainable and the imaginary remain an endless possibility.
Claire Rosen’s photographic practice is deeply rooted in the landscape and experiences of childhood; that is, in a magical world of fairy tales, visions and play-acting. In her “Nostalgia: A Study in Color” series, Rosen assembled and photographed tableaux, organized by color, of personal belongings from her childhood. In these lushly colored scenes, ordinary objects, such as dolls’ heads and playing cards, are placed next to articles less familiar to the realm of childhood, including an opium pipe, bird skeletons, a lobster and a teeth mold, to name a few. Such juxtapositions render even the commonplace items strange, exotic and emotionally charged. The photographs thus draw us into the imagination and perspective of a child, for whom the most ordinary of objects can become the material of fantasy, and at the same time conjure the very adult feeling of nostalgia, of longing for a romanticized past.
Australia based artist Paul Kaptein creates his work by hand sculpting it from wood. Kaptein’s work is generally representational, very realistic depictions of people and clothing. A recurring theme in his work is a hoody. The hooded sweatshirt retains its form as if its being worn but is empty; no one is wearing it. The motif is reminiscent of the representation of death and its empty hooded shroud. However, in contrast the hoody is also associated with youth. Interestingly, Kaptein generally does not paint his sculptures. Rather, he leaves his material to be an integral part of the sculpture, to be considered alongside its content. See more of his sculptures after the jump.
Reclaiming a disused technology, Benedetto Bufalino and Benoit Deseille conceived their phone booth aquarium project as a response to rapidly changing modes of communication. Installation artist Bufalino (who has been known to use live animals in his work on multiple occasions) and lighting designer Deseille have been collaborating on the illuminated fish tanks since 2007, when the duo premiered their first aquarium phone booth at Lyon’s Fete Des Lumieres. The aquariums have popped up at other festivals around Europe since then and were recently shown at the Lumiere Festival in Durham, UK in November, 2013. Bufalino and Deseille envisioned the project as “an invitation to investigate and travel,” as they said in their artist statement. Or perhaps, it came as a natural evolution of the electronic vestiges left behind as cell phone technology continues to evolve. See more after the jump.
“Authoring Evolution”, a three-person group show inspired by the tensions between reality and fictional narratives, is now on view at Oakland’s Loakal Gallery. The name of the exhibition aptly alludes to the artworks’ visionary quality; each of these works, in some way or another, represent science fiction tropes that are in fact not fictional any longer (or will not be in the very near future). Robert Bowen, Lauren YS, Xiau-Fong Wee, all painters whom, through their dystopian and fantastical characters, construct a contemporary narrative of what once was folklore. Read more after the jump.