Ville Andersson’s drawings are marked by a harsh texture — like the angry scratches of a poltergeist. The Finnish artist creates brooding, graphic work inspired by 17th-century portraiture. The subjects of the work are made frightening through the simple act of shading. Pupils are darkened, silhouettes appear like strange shadows in a deserted house. In addition to drawing, the artist has a photography portfolio with a similar focus on solitary, sullen protagonists in the midst of a supernatural presence. Take a look at some of Andersson’s work after the jump.
The massive works by Alexandre Farto, aka Vhils, are meant for the city. Known for his portraits chiseled directly onto the walls of buildings throughout the world, Portuguese artist Vhils recently experimented with the medium of cork, creating a gigantic, almost frieze-like scene of faces, words and patterns, entitled Contraste. Elements of the piece vary in depth, making it undulate as the gaze moves across, like parts of it are reaching out to the viewer. Faces are rendered in splotchy, almost pixelated densities, appearing clearly at some angles and completely disappearing in others. Contraste is big, complex, noisy and varies whichever way you look at it — true to Vhils’ forum of the city. The piece is currently on view in Covilhã, Portugal, at Portugal Telecom’s data center.
Gabriel Dawe‘s site specific installations are at once large yet delicate. Myriads of multicolored threads shoot across open spaces like rays of light. An intriguing balance between the installation’s ephemeral atmosphere and the concreteness of the thread seems to transform something about the space it inhabits. At the same time his installations’ resemblance to a loom (albeit, a giant technicolor loom) can not be escaped. Indeed, in his statement Dawe explains that his installations “explore the connection between fashion and architecture, and how they relate to the human need for shelter in all its shapes and forms.” With this in mind, each of his Plexus installations, as they are titled, evoke ideas of clothing as well as shelter and inside space.
Yesterday, Art Basel Miami Beach opened with an early preview, inviting VIP viewers to experience the overwhelming amount of artwork in the innumerable booths at the fair. While much of the fair focused on Modernism and high brow art, Hi-Fructose scoped out New Contemporary art gems. One of Nick Cave’s sound suits, a wearable sculpture ornamented with silver buttons and artificial flowers, stood beside the masterful, surreal, wood sculptures of Gehard Demetz at Jack Shainman Gallery’s booth. Kehinde Wiley displayed a mural-scale painting that reimagined the Baroque with Sean Kelly Gallery, as well as a detailed tapestry. A large-scale Mark Ryden painting with a richly-detailed, wooden frame was on view at Michael Kohn Gallery’s booth, along with work by Retna, Kaws and Ryan McGinness. Take a look at our photos to see more highlights and stay tuned for updates from the other Miami art fairs for the remainder of the week.
Tonight, Seattle’s Roq La Rue will open two side-by-side solo shows: John Brophy’s “Breaking the Spell” and Femke Hiemstra’s “The Timid Cabbage.” A continuation of her previous series of “Timid Cabbage” graphite drawings, Hiemstra plunges into a world of animate vegetables with spiritual inclinations. A hallmark of her work, the characters experience religious revelations and divine interventions that punctuate the depictions of their mundane world. Brophy’s “Breaking the Spell” also explores spiritual themes but through a digital lens. Brophy’s oil paintings are rendered in a vividly three-dimensional style that makes them akin to digital renderings. The glowing, hologram-like characters interact with ancient goddess symbols and elements of pagan ritual. Brophy’s commentary on consumer culture becomes apparent when logos and dollar signs appear on the characters’ skin. “Breaking the Spell” and “The Timid Cabbage” will be on view through January 4. Take a look at more some work from the two shows after the jump.
Lola Dupre flips the documentary potential of photography on its head, doctoring black and white photos by hand to create strange images that immediately appear off-color. At times, faces and bodies are elongated or distorted and at times, they are split into shards like an explosion captured at the moment of impact. Dupre has a solo show, “New Works,” opening tonight at Breeze Block Gallery. The exhibition will be on view through January 4. Take a look at some previously unseen images from the show after the jump.