When encountering paintings by artist Samantha Keely Smith (previously) it’s nearly impossible to escape the mystery and gravity depicted by a violent clash of abstract brush strokes. Ocean waves crash atop foreboding bodies of water, plumes of fire seem to battle clouds in the sky, and swirling storms shield distant secrets just over the horizon. Smith refers to her paintings as ‘internal landscapes,’ part of an ongoing examination of an externalized inner conflict. “My newer works try to boldly portray the struggle I’ve always tried to address in my work between order and chaos, dark and light, and positive and negative impulses,” Smith shares, “along with addressing what feels like a shifting and unpredictable landscape due to global warming.”
When watching this short animation by Brazilian animator Diego Akel, you get the distinct feeling he covered a table with clay, turned on some music, and just started messing around while snapping a photo every minute or so, almost like a kid in a sandbox. You wouldn’t think abstract experimentation with clay would result in anything particularly compelling, but in this instance it happens to be amazing. Titled Fluxos, Akel says the piece is “an essay about the constant flows of life, a self-portrait of its own process, an improvise [sic] on Bach, an investigation on plasticine.”
Usually people describe staring at a spinning pottery wheel as being somewhat hypnotizing, not staring at ceramic artworks themselves. But such is the case with these uncanny pieces by Matthew Chambers (previously) who continues to push the limits of his concentric stoneware vessels. Every visible layer in his sculptures is individually crafted on a wheel before Chambers assembles them, with a single piece containing dozens of objects. The artist experiments with color, scale, and the patterns by which each piece is internally situated to form colorful gradients or suggest motion across a sequences of sculptures.
Seen here is a collection of more recent work and you can see much more on Mouvements Mordernes and Puls Ceramics. Chambers will also have new pieces on view at the Campden Gallery in Gloucestershire starting October 10th.
Louise Zhang's Slosh Samples look like floating paintings, three-dimensional depictions of 2D abstract work. The bottles contain brightly colored fluids that separate and congeal, containing everything from polymer clay to flubber. At first one is delighted by the bubblegum colors that fill the vessels, yet after a quick inspection the grotesque nature of what lurks inside is easily revealed.
Both Zhang’s sculptures and paintings happily represent blob-like forms and revolting textures. The work seems excited to repel its audience after it has seduced them with its saturated neon hues, a palette that could be described as cute or playful. Zhang’s website compares her playful works to childhood cartoons like Spongebob Squarepants or Ren and Stimpy—television shows that invite our minds to interact with slime, slop, and snot.
Zhang is a Sydney-based artist currently working on her MFA at UNSW Art & Design and partaking in a residency with Throwdown Press. The artist’s first solo exhibition Plomp was held at Artereal Gallery in 2014. Zhang has described her work as “evocative of confectionery—the gooey, the sticky, and the sensation of sweets melting,” which brings to mind the sweet and sugary installations of Pip & Pop. (via Zannaka)
Photographer Thomas Lohr is known mostly for his high-profile fashion shoots for clients like Vogue, Le Monde d’Hermès, and i-D, but somewhere in his grueling shooting schedule he still finds time for personal projects, the most recent of which is a collection of bird plumage photos gathered into a limited edition book titled Birds. Lohr wanted to take a slightly different approach with the project and instead of capturing the animals in their entirety, he decided to focus on what intrigued him the most: the color, texture, and form of their feathers.
The abstract photos of wings, bellies, and other near unrecognizable parts of each bird are accompanied by each species scientific name like “Anodorhynchus Hyacinthinus” or “Geronticus Eremita,” creating yet another unfamiliar layer of abstraction. You can take a peek inside the book on Lohr’s website, and read an interview over on AnOther. (via AnOther, This Isn’t Happiness)
Working from his studio in Alpine, Texas, artist Mark Lovejoy creates richly textured images of mixed paint, but although he’s somewhat secretive about his process, one thing is clear: they aren’t just photographs of mixed paint. The act of creating the color formations alone sounds more like an act of chemistry than art as he mixes resins, oils, diluents, waxes, and drying agents to create the gloppy textures you see here. Portions are then photographed, reworked, and reshot. In the end, we’re left staring at beautifully colorful images that exist somewhere between salt water taffy, Jackson Pollock paintings, and an alluring industrial accident. Whatever they are, Lovejoy is extremely proficient, cranking out several images each day which he shares on his website. Prints are available of every image. (via It’s Nice That)
Chicago-based artist Bruce Riley fills canvases with abstract organic forms made from layer after layer of dripped paint and poured resin. While looking at images of his work online, it’s difficult to grasp the depth and scale of each piece which can be penetrated by light from multiple angles, casting shadows deep into the artwork. Riley works using a number of experimental techniques, frequently incorporating mistakes and unexpected occurrences into the thick paintings that appear almost sculptural in nature. Filmmakers Jason Stanfield and Jordan Olshansky recently stopped by Riley’s studio and shot this brief studio visit. You can see more of his paintings on Flickr, and at Packer Schopf Gallery. (via Colossal Submissions)