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.
For their first show of 2015, Marcas Contemporary Art features twenty artists whose works evoke a sense of misdirection and uncertainty. As the title suggests, they portray themes of longing, confusion, and instability through both subdued and vibrant pieces, spanning a variety of media. Those featured here include Jaclyn Alderete, Gabe Larson, Ken Garduno, Gosia Casey Gray, N.C. Winders, Gomez Bueno, and Amliv Sotomayer, exhibiting works characteristic of their signature styles.
Mundane elements of city life like cars, bicycles, and architecture become sites for imaginative play in Gerry Judah’s sculptural work, which often combines the otherworldly and the utilitarian. From his various flying car installations to his recent “Bengal” series, in which models of religious temples precariously balance on top of bicycles, Judah initially captivates viewers with spectacle. But the attention-grabbing visual components are what lead one to explore the more serious themes that Judah broaches.
Margarita Sampson turns ordinary furniture into alluring fabric sculptures made up of organic shapes and sumptuous textures. Inspired by the scenery of her native Norfolk Island, a small island near Australia, Sampson is interested in the ways that invasive plant species can take over a landscape. For her Salon series, she turned antique chairs into growth sites for forms that resemble expanding coral reefs, barnacles, and sea anemones. “The recent ‘Salon’ series pitches overweening growths onto a host chair, which begins to succumb or bend under the weight,” writes Sampson. “Poised at a juncture, there are many scenarios that could evolve… the chair is buried in soft forms? They outgrow themselves and die out? They take over an entire room? You? That’s the excitement and the tension I seek when working on a piece.”
Sam Jinks’s sculptures (featured in HF Vol. 27) are eerily realistic. Using resin, silicone, pigment, and human hair, the Australian artist builds uncanny human likenesses with all their imperfections laid bare. Jinks’s work is highly detailed and includes elements like chipped fingernails, wrinkles, and protruding bones. His protagonists, many of whom have an emaciated appearance, appear to have survived many trials and tribulations. Though Jinks doesn’t present us with a narrative to parse through, his characters’ nude bodies are like roadmaps to their life journeys. The artist has a solo show coming up at Mark Straus Gallery in New York on March 29 featuring new and archival work. Check out a preview below.