I’ve been viscerally aware of Simon Birch’s paintings for some time, but it wasn’t until stumbling onto his latest series, Laughing With a Mouth Full of Blood, that I really stopped to consider his staggering talent. The paintings from this series use bold, bright color that’s applied in angular, almost geometric brush strokes creating these wonderful portraits. Birch is a U.K.-born artist of Armenian descent who now lives and works in Hong Kong. He’s represented by Future Industries where you can see many more paintings from this exhibition. (via nevver)
I’ve been wanting to do a post on “body architect” Lucy McRae for quite a while after discovering her somewhat creepy metallic skin and safety pin clips that explore the body’s relationship with artificial skins made from found objects. McRae makes her directorial debut in this carefully choreographed music video for the Australian band Rat vs Possum. (via your music today)
Korean artist Gwon Osang (previously) unveiled three new sculptures last week as part of the 2011 Artists with Arario exhibition in Seoul. Osang makes a sort of joking mockery of sculpture by overlaying life-sized mannequins with detailed photographs of the original subjects. The results are both strangely realistic and quite bizarre.
Photographer Sam Gellman who is originally from Wisconsin has been living and working in Hong Kong for the past five years. He recently returned from a 4-day trip to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea where he was able to witness and photograph the Mass Games in Pyongyang. The Mass Games are a meticulously regimented display of gymnastics and other performing arts by nearly 100,000 participants, heavily laden with messages of state-sponsored propaganda. Perhaps the most incredible sight is that of the colorful backdrops consisting of thousands of perfectly placed children who sequentially flip through pieces of paper, creating staggering pictures of flags, horses, and slogans. Ten drunk sports fans with a team name written on their chests this is not. Gellman says via Flickr of the image above:
This shot was taken at the Mass Games, a propaganda-filled 100,000 person choreographed performance of simultaneous dancing and gymnastics on the field of Pyongyang’s May Day stadium. The image in the background of the horse is made up of 20,000 “pixels” which are constantly being changed into new images, each pixel by a different Korean kid. Each time they turn the page to create a new giant picture, they cry out, mixing the shout with the noise of thousands of pages turned at the same moment.
This display, and the forces at work behind it, equally fascinate and terrify me. If you want to see more, Gellman has published nearly 50 photos from his trip.