Brian Cooper’s abstract paintings have heft. Filled with zig-zagging lines, his configurations of shapes look like they could have easily been built out of wood and covered in house paint as strange, sculptural forms. Cooper gives them weight with dramatic angles and shadows. His trompe l’oeil style makes the shapes appear as though they could be objects in the material world. But there’s something celestial and maybe even spiritual about his work, too. Set against blackness, the forms appear to float in the night sky. Some of them were inspired by the ways we map out constellations with geometric lines, says Cooper, imposing artificial limits onto something more infinite.
Partners in art and in life, Ferris Plock and Kelly Tunstall collaborate seamlessly, almost out of necessity. They work in close proximity to one another in their studio, switching between parent duty to their two young children and working on their paintings. Elements of Plock’s blocky, geometric style end up on Tunstall’s softer, more painterly canvases and vice versa. The couple, sometimes known by the monicker KeFe, currently has an exhibition at San Francisco’s Shooting Gallery titled “Floating World: Part One” on view through August 9. Part two of this body of work will open at Antler Gallery in Portland on July 31, creating a visual dialogue between two cities.
In a 200 year old building in Mexico City’s central historic district, illustrator, graphic designer and street artist Smithe brings to life scenes from another world. Downstairs from his studio, there is a cantina that still houses a bullet fired from Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa’s gun. The street outside is on the route of the city’s largest civic demonstrations, which regularly block traffic to the area. Some 20 million people live their lives in the near vicinity. When Hi-Fructose visited his studio and showroom for the Tony Delfino clothing line, for which Smithe serves as creative director, the 26-year-old artist said his work is meant as an antidote, albeit temporary, to this urban madness.
Originally from Romania, Saddo and Aitch recently relocated to Lisbon where they found themselves caught off guard by the gloomy, damp winter. They describe the cold weather as an oppressive force that kept them indoors, affecting them both physically and psychologically. Their upcoming two-person show at La Petite Mort Gallery in Ottawa, “Coffins” (could there be a gallery name and show title combination more appropriate?), reflects on their rough experience and celebrates the warmth of summer. The two artists, who are frequent collaborators as well as a romantic couple, say that they chose the title because it reflects their state of mind while they were trapped indoors in their damp apartment. Take a look at their morbidly humorous paintings after the jump.
The on-going conversation about San Francisco’s transforming social landscape is one full of shared bitterness and tension. In a city where any given conversation begins with the baseline grievances of high rents, gutted arts programs and the overall influx of wealth and monopolizing industries, it’s no wonder people are frustrated. With that said, one nonprofit is hoping to make a positive impact. Art City, founded by former techie Luke Groesbeck, is a cultural establishment bent on retooling the perspective of San Francisco’s citizens by implementing a month-long public art program. Teaming up with local curators Tova Lobatz and Jenny Sharaf, Way Out West sets out to replace commercial advertising spaces with striking contemporary artworks.
Pablo Picasso once said, “There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.” And while art has evolved dramatically, the classic fundamental of anatomy remains the same. Czech sculptor Monika Horčicová creates ornate installations with polyester resin skeletons as her medium. Some might call her work morbid, others a beautiful reimagining and application of the human form. Her technique requires a keen understanding of anatomy before she can manipulate it- and her work is not just an abstraction. She’s walking a line between natural construction and purely artistic expression. Take a look after the jump!