When we last caught up with Shaun Berke, he was busily preparing for his previous showing at La Luz de Jesus gallery, ” Sisters of the Inquisition.” Berke returns to La Luz on November 7th with an inspired take on Impressionism and 17th century Dutch painting, in “Sacrosanct”. His new pieces exhibit his learned classical compositions mixing religious iconography, as in his nun subjects, with some recognizable faces. Some of his models have included fellow local artists Soey Milk and Christine Wu. The work is also modern looking in its minimalism, focusing on the figures placed in subdued, apocalyptic environments. Berke also appreciates a minimal lifestyle in Los Angeles, where we went behind the scenes of his show.
One’s manner of dress can lead to powerful transformations. Switching up the ways we present our gender identity or our occupation can inspire us to act in ways we wouldn’t otherwise. While this can be empowering, photographer Juha Arvid Helminen investigates the ways uniforms denoting positions of power can grant their wearers permission to commit inhumane acts. “In 2006, I witnessed the so-called Smash ASEM ‘riot,'” writes the artist. “There I personally saw the dark side of the Finnish police. How young men hid behind their uniforms and hoods and anonymously committed misconduct. Later I witnessed the reluctance of the justice system to punish those in uniforms.”
Today we bring you an exclusive preview of the latest collaborative works of Mars-1, Oliver Vernon and Damon Soule, collectively known as Furtherrr, in advance of their upcoming exhibition “Momentum.” This exhibition, opening at Space Gallery in Denver, CO on November 7 (through December 2, 2014), will showcase the latest evolution of the artists’ collaborative and individual works.
Featureless, animal-like characters populate the works of Brendan Monroe. He renders them with visceral textures and biomorphic shapes that evoke some sort of primordial goop from which life emerged. While the Oakland-based artist is known for creating paintings, drawings and wooden sculptures, he recently collaborated with Los Angeles studio Heath Ceramics on a series of ceramic works that will be exhibited in “Blobography,” his solo show opening on November 1 at the same location.
Japanese pop artist Keiichi Tanaami (previously covered here) has a new exhibition on view at Tokyo’s underground gallery, Nanzuka. “Cherry Blossoms Falling in the Evening Gloom” is named after his show’s titular piece, an effort to take the darkest of his personal experiences and turn them into a positive image. The 3-meter painting leads into a transformation in the artist’s motifs, known for his glowing, grotesque creatures, which are shown emitting light.
Chinese artist and beekeeper Ren Ri collaborates with the stinging, black-and-yellow insects to create sculptures catalyzed by natural processes. The artist builds geometric, plastic forms and plants the queen bee in the center before introducing the rest of the hive. The bees naturally build their habitat around the wooden sticks inside of structure, creating organic, irregular shapes that contrast with the pristine plastic prisms that encase them.