Kenyan-born, Brooklyn-based artist Wangechi Mutu’s collages ebb and flow with beauty and horror. She cobbles together images of monstrous temptresses from sources as disparate as original paintings, found objects, wildlife photography, and even porn. These seductive yet tortured characters, according to the artist, are meant to illuminate the ugly effects the legacy of colonialism has had on society’s view of black, female bodies in particular. Her women hide in fields and swamps, seeming to flee from an unwelcoming civilization.
An uncanny valley tears open when viewing Mark Jenkins’s sculptures of verisimilar human figures. His work triggers the discomfort and fear we instinctively feel upon encountering something that looks almost human, but not quite. Jenkins’s latest solo show, “Moment of Impact,” is currently on view at Lazarides Gallery in London through February 5.
Patterns dance in Nosego’s paintings of morphing creatures that shed their skins to be reborn as psychedelic spirit animals. The Philadelphia-based artist pays homage to various endangered species in his work and paints them in an optimistic light. Whether in his street art or in the studio, Nosego fills his work with interlocking designs that distort his chosen animals’ anatomies into something otherwordly. He remixes familiar imagery into whimsical compositions with dizzying details.
Azuma Makoto’s “Iced Flowers” was an ephemeral sculpture series that captured stunning bouquets in pristine blocks of ice. Makoto frequently works with floral arrangements to create surreal and sculptural installations. This latest series was a time-based piece that looked different at every stage of the ice’s inevitable transformation back to liquid. On January 10 and 11, Makoto presented the “Iced Flowers” installation at a venue in Saitama, Japan, inviting viewers to watch the flowers melt to an original soundtrack composed by Toru Matsumoto. Check out a photo series capturing “Iced Flowers” below.
This Saturday, CHG Circa kicks off 2015 with a group show that celebrates, in essence, the dream of starting anew in “Freaks and Americana.” The show welcomes newcoming artists to the gallery like Carol Liu alongside regulars Brandi Milne, Shag, Ron English, Tom Bagshaw, Yosuke Ueno, and Melissa Forman, featured here. Their pieces edge on the verge of odd, but also have the classic innocence of vintage circuses and their personalities. Check out our preview after the jump!
The way we express ourselves intimately with our partners in real life seldom resembles the glamorous heaving and sighing of movie sex scenes. Italian artist Riccardo Mannelli eschews these cinematic cliches when he conveys personal moments between couples. In his ongoing series of works on paper, Mannelli’s approach to erotica feels natural and unpretentious. The bodies he focuses on are not idealized by any means: He honestly depicts his subjects’ aging physiques, tattoos, and body hair. By embracing these so-called imperfections, Mannelli celebrates their beauty.