“Paramnesia”, like déjà vu, refers to a supernatural phenomenon in which dreams or fantasies are confused with reality. Joram Roukes explores this concept with his exhibition of the same name, which opened last weekend at Thinkspace Gallery. Previously, Roukes’ work centered on reflections of daily life experiences reassembled in surreal, painterly scenes. For the past six months, he collected new experiences while working in Los Angeles. The result is slightly schizophrenic. Throughout, exotic animals erupt from anonymous figures performing a variety of city professions. In a way, it recalls Craola’s use of anthromorphic characters to personify dreams (covered here), only Roukes’ are sourced from a place more terrifying- reality.
Somewhere on the scale of lovable to repulsive lie Sam Lyon’s “Jelly Gummies,” a series of experimental digital illustrations and GIFs the tickle the senses. These 3D-looking creatures make you want to reach out and poke your computer screen to feel their squishy texture, only to quickly recoil at their intestine-like sliminess. The jolly blobs flop and wiggle in Lyon’s repetitive, animated GIFs. But the illustrator and designer puts them to another surprising use: clothing and textile designs. Many of the Jelly Gummies are featured in repeating patterns that he plans to make into fabrics, adding another dimension to his otherwise multi-sensory work.
Though they tackle different subject matter, Askew One and Fintan Magee each address social issues and cultural identity in the context of a globalized society. Their two-person show “Oceanic” will briefly be on view for a pop-up exhibition at RexRomae Gallery in London July 24 through July 30. With their shared backgrounds in street art, both artists will be covering the walls of RexRomae with site-specific murals for the show.
Valentin Leonida (Valle) is a Bucharest-born 3D modeler and illustrator whose characters haunt imaginations. In his most recent series, “Heads,” Valle created five images revealing the interior of the human face as it makes emotional expressions. Titled “No.1 Rhinocerus (after Dürer),” “No.2 Melancholia,” “No. 3 Restless,” “No. 4 Concentration,” and “No. 5 Serpent Mind,” the drawings and their evocative labels prompt curiosity. One wonders if the furrowed tension in “Concentration” is revealed on one’s own face, or if the emotional state is only made visible when Valle’s golden medical contraption pulls back the skin like a veil.
You may recognize So Youn Lee from our posts about her ethereal pen drawings and candy-colored paintings. Her new work is progressively character based- following a young space explorer named “Mango” through strange environments that echo childhood memories. At her Los Angeles studio, she sketches daily and experiments with motifs, from the abstract shapes of Korean folk textiles to the hyper-real balloons of Jeff Koons. A Japanese art influence is definitely there as well. Among Lee’s favorite artists are Aya Takano and Yoshitomo Nara, and she is an avid Manga reader. Most of the pieces shown here were created as an exercise, but seem to have left a lasting impression. We went behind the scenes to learn more about So Youn Lee’s new direction and her future plans.
“I think that there is a lot to point out, and to work against in daily life, particularly with respect to American culture,” said Dane Patterson in an interview with Art Plural Gallery, where he had his last solo show in 2013. “We are creatures of habit and we can quickly fall into routine. We’re rarely aware of the way we compartmentalize everything in our lives, or have had things defined and compartmentalized for us.” His graphite drawings begin as documentations of daily life — but they evolve into strange hybrids of images intended to stir up the ritualistic qualities of our mundane existence. Patterson works from photographs in a process he describes as sculptural. First, he stages a scene, shoots it, and then combine the resulting photographic image with other sourced material to create a meticulous, surreal pencil drawing on paper.