Silvie De Burie was an avid scuba diver for 15 years before deciding to bring her camera with her underwater. Originally from Ghent, Belgium, she began diving and snorkeling off the island of Bunaken in Indonesia in her mid-twenties. Her passion for observing marine life now comes through in her high-definition underwater photographs of hard coral reefs. De Burie zooms in on the bright, repeating patterns of the coral to expose the psychedelic details on these precious organisms. She says that she hopes that her photos will educate and inspire her viewers to be more conscientious of the fragile state of the world’s oceans.
Theo Mercier is a young, French artist currently based in Mexico City. Working primarily in sculpture and photography, he often inventively incorporates found objects into his work. He arranges commonplace items in ways that can be grotesque or sexual, playing with the tension between alluring colors and textures and off-putting content.
Across her work in sculpture, photography, installation, and performance, Julie Rrap interrogates common symbols of femininity. Her somewhat disquieting work points to the idea of gender as a performance — one that is sometimes painful and uncomfortable to execute. Well-heeled feet are at the focus of many of Rrap’s works, such as her sculpture Stepping Out, which features a pair of severed women’s feet that have grown fleshy heels like a sort of impractical evolutionary mechanism. The piece hints at the pressure women face to modify their bodies to fit impossible beauty standards.
Andrew B. Myers’s photographs have a sense of order that makes them strangely satisfying to look at. In his studio, Myers arranges mundane objects on bright backgrounds, creating repeating, grid-like patterns. We see the items for their formal qualities, not their individual significance. Toys, electronics, sumptuous fruits, and sugary deserts become colorful specks whose shapes and colors matter more than their functionality. While some of Myers’s works look almost too neat to be real — like they could be digital illustrations instead of photos of actual objects — in certain pieces, he strategically reveals elements of his process. A leg of his tripod or duct tape Xs on the floor make their way into some photos, revealing the human touch behind these immaculate arrangements.
Erik Johansson disrupts the quiet stillness of life in the countryside with images of idyllic scenes gone awry. His photography borders on photo illustration, as Johansson takes great liberties with his imaginative editing. In one piece called Land Fall, for instance, a field drops off into an abyss like a waterfall, leaving a small cottage on its precipice. In other works, Johansson muddles the distinction between indoors and outdoors, creating optical illusions that play with our understanding of space. In addition to working on his personal projects, Johansson is a commercial photographer and the highly-polished look of his commissioned work comes through in his fine art.
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.