Our vision depends on two things: having a healthy eye to receive visual information and having a healthy brain to interpret and process that information. This allows us to see a picture of the world. When London based artist Dene Leigh’s grandfather suffered a stroke, it left him unable to recognize faces, objects and words- pieces to the puzzle of our vision that he puts back together again in his paintings and assemblages of objects.
William Basso’s current show at New York’s Last Rites Gallery, “Mise-en-scene,” takes its name from a French theater term that describes all the elements in a stage production or film — the actors, lighting, scenery, etc. Basso treats his mixed-media assemblages something like tiny film sets. He begins by sculpting his figures out of a hodgepodge of materials, such as clay, cardboard, string, paper, wire, tape, wood, hair, and odd bits of cloth. Then, he photographs these sculptures, alters them in PhotoShop, and uses the resulting digital prints to create textured collages. The final works live somewhere between sculpture and digital art. For “Mise-en-scene,” his assemblages are displayed alongside the original sculptures and 3D objects from which they originated. The show is on view through May 16 at Last Rites.
While Kris Kuksi’s baroque assemblages (first covered in HF Vol. 19) have an ornate aesthetic suited for marble or gilded bronze, his work is composed of carefully-chosen collections of commonplace, throwaway objects. Kuksi assembles dolls, jewelry, model parts and various consumerist debris into monumental dioramas. Within them, his characters are embroiled in a chaotic drama of violence and sex, which Kuksi carefully contains into symmetrical, harmonious compositions that appear deceptively decorative at a first glance. The Kansas-based artist will be showing his new body of work for his solo show, “Antiquity in the Faux,” opening at Mark Moore Gallery in Los Angeles on November 15.
Based in Lisbon, Portugal, Bordalo II creates resourceful assemblages out of the junk he collects in his city’s streets. Using a bit of spray paint, the artist configures the found objects into playful animal portraits. His street art work hybridizes muralism and sculpture. A portrait of an owl conceals layers of scrap metal; a painting of an apple contains bent bicycle tires, cans, wood and cardboard. Bordalo II’s art brings whimsical visions to Lisbon’s streets and invites viewers to imagine creative ways to reuse their discarded items.
While Rob and Christian Clayton (collectively known as the Clayton Brothers) are known for their color-saturated paintings of surreal characters, the artists shed their polished veneer in favor of quick drawings with a sense of immediacy for their upcoming show, “Open to the Public” at Mark Moore Gallery in LA. For the exhibition, the artists studied the peculiar microcosm of Sun Thrift Shop, a local second-hand store where trash becomes treasure. The Claytons present a series of assemblages and works on paper based on their documentation. They utilize not only found objects found at Sun Thrift, but sketches of customers who become warped through the brothers’ lens. Similarly to the ways thrift store shoppers find ways to repurpose used items, the Clayton Brothers offer a fresh perspective on what could easily be written off as shabby and mundane.