German-born collage artist Thomas Spieler creates intriguing multimedia works that play with the dualism that exists between the human and natural worlds. Spieler juxtaposes vintage black-and-white photographs of human figures with brightly colored photographs of more abstract forms. Many of the black-and-white photos look like they could be ads or pictures of movie stars lifted from old magazines, while others appear to be photographs of classical sculptures from antiquity. Meanwhile, the colorful photos are of objects found in nature, such as minerals, geological formations, butterfly wings and flower petals.
Drawing and performance art are rarely seen as complementary media, but Ethan Murrow’s large-scale graphite drawings begin as performance collaborations with his wife, Vita Weinstein Murrow. The two began working together in 2004 and the source imagery they gather for their videos often inspires Murrow’s detail-oriented works on paper. His drawings come with the heavy feeling of the aftermath of disaster.
Italian artist and designer Andrea Minini makes a living creating brand logos and graphics, but as a personal project the artist recently created the “Animals in Moire” series. A collection of black-and-white digital illustrations, the works take inspiration from the animal kingdom. But the shapes in these portraits of peacocks and pumas are anything but organic. Uniform curves outline the contours of he animals’ faces. The creatures become abstracted and almost architectural, defined by mathematically-plotted shapes. The high-contrast, monochromatic patterns create the illusion of depth and dimension, yet the forms appear hollow and mask-like. Take a look at the fun series after the jump.
Jessica Hess often tells people she paints landscapes, but “landscape” doesn’t quite sum up the documentary function of her work. Her oil paintings are not about the buildings and the trees, but rather an ephemeral, fragile moment: when graffiti gets put up on city walls. The future of a piece of graffiti is unstable — it could be buffed or tagged the next day. Its longevity is unpredictable. Hess memorializes these ephemeral artistic expressions, choosing broken-down, tagged-up locales that inspire her in her daily surroundings in Oakland and San Francisco. Curator Ken Harman shared a story about how a group of people were moved by Hess’s work when they saw the tag of their deceased friend in one of her paintings — an insignia that had heretofore been eradicated from the walls on which it was painted. His presence lives on in her work.
At the intersection of fashion and sculpture you’ll find the wearable artwork of Copenhagen-based artist Nikoline Liv Andersen. “My work is expressive, living in the borderline between fashion and art with a big focus on textiles, textures and delicate details” Anderson said, describing her work. Many of Andersen’s designs challenge the purpose of ordinary materials, using them to create intricate works of art.
The Internet has changed the art world immensely, and Giant Robot has been there to witness and evolve alongside it. Conceived as a humble, photocopied zine focused on Asian American arts and culture in 1994, Giant Robot now exists as an unclassifiable entity. It was published as a magazine for 16 years and later manifested in the physical realm as an art gallery and shop, as well as a website. To celebrate its 20 years, Giant Robot 2 in LA will debut “Giant Robot Presents: 20 Years Art x Mags,” an extensive group show featuring many established and emerging talents. Among the line-up are Yoshitomo Nara, Takashi Murakami, Ryan McGinness, Geoff McFetridge, Yoskay Yamamoto, Jeff Soto, James Jean and a great number of other artists. “#GR20Years,” as the show is nicknamed, opens March 15, 5 – 10 pm, and will be on view through April 2.