While it’s been a long time since most Western countries have experienced a war on their own soil, our mass media is rife with gory imagery that often fetishizes death and destruction. This idea was the starting point for creative director Anna Burns’ and photographer Michael Bodiam’s series, “Silent But Violent.” For the body of work, Burns fashioned mushroom clouds of out benign, household items such as balloons, watermelon, and bouquets — even the embroidery on a quilt. Shot in domestic interiors, the miniature mushroom clouds speak to our desensitized consumption of violent content.
The women in Zhang Jingna’s photographs look so pristine that at a first glance, they appear painted. The New York-based artist styles them in flowing, ruffled gowns and adorns them with flowers and jewels.
French artist Amandine Urruty’s busy graphite drawings overflow with humorous characters. Dog-faced people, sausages painting at easels, floating teeth, and tiny bed sheet ghosts run amuck in her whimsical worlds. One can spend a long time gazing at her drawings and examining each oddball creature. Though the artist’s typical work is monochromatic and small-scale, she recently tried her hand at a large, colorful mural in Zaragoza, Spain. Take a look at some of her recent work below.
German artist Tobias Rehberger’s work is all about illusion. His installations transform rooms into Op Art-inspired, immersive environments that trick the eye. Criss-crossing, black and white patterns flatten the three-dimensional spaces, confusing his viewers’ sense of depth with busy patterns that continue from floor to ceiling. Rehberger’s sculptures are similarly entrancing with their bright colors and geometric forms. Though abstract at a first glance, many of his works cast shadows that form textual messages, adding another dimension of experience to the pieces.
Rebecca Guay is an artist and illustrator whose dreamlike watercolor paintings invite viewers to languish in their sensual imagery. Ornamented with gold leaf, her female protagonists luxuriate on lofty clouds and in cool lagoons. The characters look like goddesses unfettered by mortal woes, at ease in their nudity. Guay’s style of rendering figures with elongated faces and limbs evokes the Pre-Raphaelite movement of the 19th century, though her flat style gives her work a more contemporary look reminiscent of Japanese illustration. Take a look at some of her latest works below.
“Their world was soft like melancholy. The conversation was silent. Their faces were small and round, incapable of invoking fear. Once the door was open, nothing could be unseen.” This is how Kathie Olivas describes the childlike subjects of her latest exhibition at AFA gallery, “Safe from Tomorrow”. The show boasts a series of 20 new paintings and 16 sculptures inspired by early Americana portraiture. The nostalgia felt by her palette and inspiration is constrasted with a concept set in the future.