The female busts in Jess Riva Cooper’s “Viral Series” recall sculpture from Classical antiquity. The glazed white ceramic is cold and smooth like marble, and the features are perfectly contoured like the depictions of Greek or Roman goddesses. Cooper, however, twists the ideal into a new archetype of beauty. On faces that might otherwise seem lifeless, the Toronto-based artist has painted overgrown flora. Life in the form of ivy, flowers, and insects literally creep out of their noses and ears.
Now on view at Mark Moore Gallery’s project room is “Hunting Trophies” by Jeremy Fish, marking his first solo exhibition there. (We previously covered Fish’s work at Mark Moore gallery here.) Fish injects a high dose of color to the space where he appears next to Christopher Russell’s monochromatic prints, “GRFALWKV”. Walking into the exhibit is like stepping inside Fish’s own trophy room, stacked with cartoon animal ‘kills’ in his highly saturated, illustrative style. Hi-Fructose caught up with Fish to talk about his new work.
Have you ever wondered who paints the pictures used in movies? For his recent film The Grand Budapest Hotel, director Wes Anderson commissioned contemporary British figurative painter Michael Taylor to paint a fictional Renaissance portrait titled Boy with Apple. The film’s plot builds from the artwork, which features a stately, pre-pubescent boy in sumptuous fabrics, holding a plump, if not slightly bruised green apple. The charming intrigue of the subject is underscored by a slightly hesitant darkness in the boy’s expression and the less than perfect condition of the fruit of sin. This thematic element makes the subject present and vigilant, inciting anxiety and curiosity within the viewer. In many ways, this is Taylor’s signature.
Looking at Jeff Bark’s latest photo series “Goldenboy,” one can imagine oneself starting to sweat. The sun overcomes Bark’s sultry, summery scenes almost oppressively: Everything in the photos is drenched with a thick, yellow glow. Things begin to perspire, melt and crumble in the searing heat. The sun-kissed, scantily-clad male protagonist drifts off to sleep like the blissfully-hypnotized Lotus Eaters in Homer’s Odyssey. Bark’s photos are so stylized they register as paintings at a first glance. Rather than striving for a depiction of reality, he captures his own fantasy, weaving a vignette throughout his body of work through carefully-chosen close-ups that add depth to a narrative without words. It’s interesting to note that all of the photos were taken in and around the artist’s garage. Indeed, there is a sense of an otherworldly microcosm in this small space. Bark’s “Goldenboy” opens at Hasted Kraeutler in New York City on April 24 and will be on view through June 14.
The title of “Super Awesome: Art and Giant Robot” does not lie: It’s difficult to talk about this large-scale museum exhibition centered around the current generation of New Contemporary artists, ’90s counterculture and Asian American pop culture without using the word “awesome” somewhere in your explanation. “Super Awesome” debuted at the Oakland Museum of California last Friday to a huge crowd eager to celebrate 20 years of Giant Robot, an unclassifiable arts platform that has taken many different forms, from a zine to a glossy magazine to a gallery and boutique. Curated by Giant Robot founder Erik Nakamura, “Super Awesome” features many new and site-specific works, such as an enormous, immersive installation by digital art duo Kozyndan and a mural outside of the museum by Andrew Hem.
Self-taught French artist Lostfish has a sweet, yet haunting style that captures classical essence through doll-like figures. Her surreal paintings are an intentional mix of youth and adult sophistication, borrowing methods from Flemish painting and 19th century art. Her half-child, half-adult porcelain subjects have been described as disturbing, cute, and melancholy at the same time.