Australian artist Alexia Sinclair looked to the 18th-century French royal court for inspiration for her latest photo series, “Rococo,” currently on view at Black Eye Gallery in Darlinghurst, Australia. For the series, Sinclair created opulent images that evoke the pleasure-seeking ways of Marie Antoinette and her ilk. Models lounge on beds that Sinclair constructed by hand from fresh flowers. They luxuriate in elaborate fabrics that seem to melt off their bodies. There’s certainly an erotic element in the work as Sinclair plays with the conservative, high femme costumes of the era, juxtaposing ruffles and lace with exposed skin.
Last week, from February 9th through 14th, artists from all over the world gathered once again in Honolulu for the 5th annual Pow! Wow! Hawaii mural festival. This year’s festival was the biggest to date, with 42 visiting artists and 39 local artists all busting out walls in Kaka’ako (the festival hub) and around the city. The week was a convergence of varying cultures and artistic styles, resulting in many exciting collaborations —some planned and others spontaneous.
This Saturday, Junko Mizuno continues her 3-part series, “Junko Mizuno’s Food Obsession”, with “Ambrosial Affair” at Narwhal Contemporary gallery in Ontario. The first part was “Venus Cake”, where she set the stage for these overeating witch-like idols in a state of psychedelic euphoria. They live in a world of fantasy, inspired by the fact that certain foods can get you in the mood and help get your blood flowing down there. ‘Obsessed’ with the theme of gluttony, Mizuno has strongly linked her subjects to their food fetishes.
New York is often described as concrete jungle, a notion Matthew Grabelsky explores in his paintings of fantasy creatures invading its subway. In his work, unsuspecting bystanders sit on the train looking at their phones as bear-headed men read the newspaper and lions hold the handrails wearing dapper suits. The artist, who is a native New Yorker himself, says that his style is influenced by the 19th-century French Academic painters. “My work is not intended to be viewed as fantasy or as allegory, but rather as a blend of every-day experiences and the subconscious,” he says. “My paintings are enigmatic, and they create dream-like worlds that invite viewers to form their own interpretations of the imagery presented.”
Jessica Hess considers herself a landscape painter, but rather than capturing vistas of waterfalls or forests, her paintings document the ephemeral graffiti she observes in Oakland, San Francisco, and in her travels (see some of her paintings here). Adding another layer to the images-within-images she has going on in her work, Hess teamed with sculptor Christa Assad to create a collaborative series of hand-painted ceramic sculptures. Assad created wheel-thrown, constructed stoneware pieces that take inspiration from Hess’s subject matter — spray cans, paint buckets, fire hydrants, pigeons, and other markers of urban detritus. Hess then hand-painted them with acrylic, filling them with images of tagged-up cityscapes. Hess has an exhibition coming up at Art Works Downtown in San Rafael, CA on March 6 and some of these collaborative ceramic pieces will be in the show.
When people showed up to Blake Little’s studio in response to a Craigslist ad calling for actors, the amateur thespians didn’t realize what they were in for. Fascinated with honey as a symbol and an artistic medium, Little asked his subjects to strip naked and pose in front of a monochromatic backdrop while his assistants doused them in gallons of the sticky, viscous substance. The experiment yielded a striking photo series in which people with a diverse array of body types and aesthetics appear transformed into statues. Little will exhibit the results in is solo show, “Preservation,” opening March 7 at Kopeikin Gallery in Culver City, CA.