Art

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Art

Wildlife, Fruit, and Vines Merge in Surreal Paintings by Nunzio Paci

January 28, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Ivy that dreams of running far” (2019), oil on board, 90 x 60 centimeters. All images © Nunzio Paci, shared with permission

Combining a dense mix of natural elements, Bologna, Italy-based artist  Nunzio Paci (previously) reckons with the fragile line between life and death. Many of his 2019 oil paintings visualize both alert and recumbent animals, often with open eyes, intertwined with each other, leafy vines, and tall flowers. “Let me rest between brome and stones” depicts a dead deer with glazed over eyes lying among tall grasses and prairie flowers. “Blueberry chicken that thinks about tomorrow” has a more literal correlation to its title, featuring a blue- and purple-hued bird with its breast feathers replaced by the similarly colored fruit.

Paci tells Colossal that he hopes this surreal series reflects his “current exploration of the natural world and its connections with the dream sphere, nostalgia, and memory.” He created these pieces during his residency at Lingnan University in Hong Kong.

If you’re in Los Angeles, head downtown to Corey Helford Gallery, where Paci’s work is part of the group exhibition The Influence of Fellini: A Surreal 100th Birthday Celebration until February 29. Otherwise, follow the artist on Instagram.

“Condition of stillness of a nameless cannibalized” (2019), oil on board, 90 x 60 centimeters

“Heart of gerbera” (2019), oil on board, 30 x 45 centimeters

“Blueberry chicken that thinks about tomorrow” (2019), oil on board, 30 x 45 centimeters

“Let me rest between brome and stones” (2019), oil on board, 30.5 x 30.5 centimeters

“Pollination syndrome” (2019), oil on board, 60 x 45 centimeters

“Tulip that confuses tears for dew” (2019), oil on board, 90 x 60 centimeters

“When pheasants learn to fly” (2019), oil on board, 90 x 60 centimeters

 

 



Art Photography

Swirling Fabrics Envelop Floating Subjects in Underwater Photographs by Christy Lee Rogers

January 27, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Christy Lee Rogers and Apple, shared with permission

By submerging her subjects into dark waters, Hawaii-born photographer Christy Lee Rogers creates images that explore human movement in a weightless environment. Commissioned by Apple, her most recent underwater series features intertwined figures surrounded by long, swirling fabrics that often mask parts of their bodies and faces as they float with outstretched limbs. Similar to her previous work, Rogers continues to illuminate the waters, giving her immersive pieces a distinct, painting-like quality.

Water is my collaborator. I feel like we are working together to create something that is not here in reality. I’ve just been experimenting with it to see how far I can push things—light and color and movement. Water has these dichotomies. It’s powerful and it’s dangerous, but then there’s beauty. Water is healing and nurturing and life giving, and because I think that’s how we are as humans, how do we find that balance?

Apple recently shared a short video about the series, and more of Rogers’s buoyancy-related projects can be found on Vimeo and Instagram.

 

 



Art

Memory and Self-Love Highlight Profound Portraits of Black Figures by Harmonia Rosales

January 27, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Summer,” (2018), oil on linen and gold leaf, 24 x 24 inches. All images © Harmonia Rosales, shared with permission

Chicago-born artist Harmonia Rosales says her striking portraits speak to “the part of me that has been the least represented in our society.” Rosales tells Colossal that much of her work⁠—⁠she largely features a central black figure surrounded by floral and animalistic details—is linked to her Afro-Cuban background. “I empower women of color through art that challenges ideological hegemony in contemporary society,” she writes. “The black female bodies of my paintings are the memory of my ancestors expressed in a way to heal and promote self-love.”

In “Harvest,” a seated woman holds three children, while two others gather at her bare feet. A small stack of nondescript books, a brown skull, a broken string of pearls, and a writhing snake line the steps, providing contrast between the natural and human-made elements. Although she often utilizes religious iconography, like in her Orisha’s series, Rosales says she hopes instead to give her viewers healing tools rather than spiritual indoctrination. Frequently offering alternative portrayals, Rosales’s 2017 work “The Creation of God” garnered viral attention because the artist presents God as a black woman.

Rosales’s upcoming project Miss Understood, which considers the relationship between feeling dissociated from ancestral cultures and still trying to protect that history in America, will be on view at MoCADA in Brooklyn from February 28 to April 16. Head to the artist’s Instagram to follow her profound projects, and check out the pieces she has for sale on Artsy.

“Compromise” (2019), oil on canvas, 24 × 24 inches

“Birth of Eve” (2018), oil on linen

“Oya” (2019), oil on linen with gold leaf, 12 x 12 inches

“The Harvest” (2018), oil on linen and gold leaf

 

 



Art

Peek Out of These Painted Airplane Windows to Spot Diverse Landscapes

January 24, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Jim Darling

An ongoing series by artist Jim Darling depicts many of the scenes you probably miss while you’re napping on a lengthy flight. “Windows” mimics that of an airplane view, depicting lush landscapes, rocky gorges, and dense urban areas from a 35,000 foot view. Since we last wrote about the Los Angeles-based painter, Darling has produced more cityscapes, glimpsing pockets of skyscrapers and lengthy freeways as the viewer swoops overhead. The white-framed paintings even seem to feature the shade that can be pulled down to block the aerial views. Pushing his lifelike portrayals even closer to reality, Darling refers to the piece shown above as “DFW to LAX” on his Instagram. (via Booooooom)

 

 



Art

Using Found Twigs, Artist Chris Kenny Assembles Tiny Dancing Figures and Minimal Portraits

January 23, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Twelve twigs” (2012), construction with found twigs, 22 x 22 x 3 inches. All images © Chris Kenny

By gathering and piecing together small twigs, London-born Chris Kenny crafts collections of dancing figures, abstract portraits, and even a small baby. As Kottke explains, the artist’s sparse creations rely heavily on the human desire to see objects or patterns in inanimate objects, a term called pareidolia. Kenny shares many of his constructions on twigsaints, an Instagram account he dedicates to likening singular twig figures to saints, like St. Vincent and St. Agnes. Keep up with all of the artist’s wood assemblages on his main Instagram and purchase one of his minimal pieces for your collection on his site.

“St. Desideratus, detail from Menologion” (2017), construction with found twigs

“Twig Drawing (Man of Sorrows)” (2017), construction with found twigs, 24 x 24 x 3 inches

“Noli Me Tangere (After Veronese)” (2016), construction with found twigs, 27 x 27 x 3 inches

“St. Barnabas, detail from Menologion” (2017), construction with found twigs

“The Great Morning (Twig drawing after Philipp Otto Runge)” (2018), construction with found twigs, 18 x 26 x 3 inches

“Twig Drawing” (2012), construction with found twigs, 22 x 22 x 3 inches

 

 



Art

Exploring the Liminal Spaces of Joshua Flint’s Surreal Paintings

January 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Even in the Dim Light” (2018), oil on wood panel, 18 x 18 inches. All images © Joshua Flint, shared with permission

Through hazy lines and obscured faces, Joshua Flint (previously) reflects on the blurriness of in-between states in his most recent paintings. “Big Earth” shows a group of kids reaching up toward red- and pink-hued orbs that are set on a shadowy backdrop, while “Memory of Nature I” features a portrait of a man with a nondescript face as an enlarged hummingbird flies so close that it appears to be drinking from the man’s mouth.

The Portland, Oregon-based painter tells Colossal that much of his newer work is influenced by Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost, which inspired him to consider the link between the interiority and exteriority of human movement. “These paintings have a loose narrative of exploring this unknown territory, these liminal spaces, and the people who populate them,” he says. “I continue to explore themes such as memory, ecological issues, pyscho-geography, identity, loss, and transformation.” Flint says that each body of work elicits a new line of thought for the next project.

What I’ve noticed over the last few years is that I’m making a sort of alternate reality, a kind of parallel world or a world that exists under the surface, where the physical and the metaphysical blend in more obvious ways. This world also relates to literature, poetry, philosophy, science and nature writing rather than current events or the historical canon. Although, I think some of those latter themes inevitably find their way in.

Flint’s upcoming plans include creating a companion to “The Exhibit,” in addition to expanding the story around the subject in “The Messenger,” which are included below. From March 6 to 28, he’ll have a solo show at Robert Lange Studios in Charleston, South Carolina. Until then, follow more of his surreal work on Instagram.

“A Century of Wind I” (2019), oil on paper, 15 x 22 inches

“Eidolon,” oil on linen, 16 x 12 inches

“Memory of Nature I” (2019), oil on wood panel, 20 x 20 inches

“Memory of Nature II” (2019), oil on canvas, 18 x 18 inches

“Molecule,” oil on linen, 12 x 16 inches

“Bright Earth” (2019), oil on linen, 20 x 16 inches

“The Exhibit” (2019), oil on canvas, 36 x 48 inches

“The Messenger,” oil on wood, 24 x 24 inches

“The Well” (2019), oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches

 

 



Art Music

Brass Horns Mounted in Interactive Sculptures by Steve Parker Emit Sound By Touch

January 21, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Ghost Box” (2018). All images © Steve Parker

Artist and musician Steve Parker’s latest interactive projects invite viewers to feel the music⁠—literally. Activated by touch, “Ghost Box” plays randomized audio segments on a loop, including the ticks of Morse Code, the chorus of spirituals, and the blows of the shofar and Iron Age Celtic carnyx. Each time someone makes contact with a part of the wall sculpture, a new noise emits. Inspired by WWII era short wave radio, the mounted piece is constructed from a mix of salvaged brass, tactical maps, paper musical scores, wires, map pins, electronics, audio components, and an instrument case. The name even references the paranormal tool sometimes employed when people try to communicate with those who have died.

In line with “Ghost Box,” Parker created “Ghost Scores,” which is an ink on paper, pins, and electrical wire combination that mimics a music staff and markings, or visual language. In a statement about the project, the artist links the audio-visual work more explicitly to its history.

The Ghost Army was an Allied Army tactical deception unit during World War II. Their mission was to impersonate other Allied Army units to deceive the enemy. From a few weeks before D-Day, when they landed in France, until the end of the war, they put on a “traveling road show” utilizing inflatable tanks, sound trucks, fake radio transmissions, scripts, and sound projections.

The Austin-based artist’s audio-visual projects often combine real-time interactions with pre-recorded calls and music. His 2018 project, “Sirens,” which plays intermittent distress signals and recorded voices based on traditional defense noises, features multiple brass bells connected to a central conduit, allowing the alarms to be amplified in several places.

“Ghost Box” (2018)

“Sirens” (2018)

ASMR Étude #1” depends on the viewer having an auto sensory meridian response, a phenomenon during which a tone causes a tingling sensation in the listener’s body. Using a pair of headphones with two brass bells attached to each side, the wearer moves near small speakers mounted on a wall, generating the sounds, and hopefully, the prickly feeling.

A group of Parker’s projects are on view at CUE Art Foundation in New York City through February 12, and you stay up to date with his work on Twitter. (via Design Milk)

“Ghost Scores” (2018)

“Ghost Scores” (2018)

“Ghost Scores” (2018)

“ASMR Étude #1” (2018)

“Ghost Box” (2018)

 

 

 

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