Art

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Art

By Carving Into a Text, Artist Guy Laramée Finds a New Way to Excavate Meaning

January 17, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Dedo de Deus,” courtesy of JHB Gallery

There’s a well-known saying that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. For Guy Laramée (previously), though, a books’ contents aren’t the only important aspect either. The Montreal-based artist repurposes encyclopedic volumes and series of dictionaries to create topographic carvings that dip into and excavate the pages, framing the physical object as a work of art in itself. Laramée’s latest projects include a piece with minuscule carved steps scaling a mountainside and another with moss-covered ridges jutting up from low valleys. His work titled “Journey to the Center of the” features two side-by-side texts with a cavernous hole bored through them, piercing entirely through to the other side.

In 2018, the artist released a TEDx talk titled “No outside,” in which he considers conceptions of art in an age that fosters a growing addiction to ideas, leaving little room for contemplation. He refers to his text-based projects as being the perfect medium for exploring his “love-hate relationship with intellectual knowledge, (his) critique of the ideologies of progress, and the idea that true knowledge could very well be an erosion,” as he explores questions about the relationship between meaning, emotion, and art, more broadly.

Additional philosophical musings can be found on Laramée’s site, while he shares more of his quarried landscapes on Instagram.

Left: “Brazil II,” courtesy of Foster White Gallery. Right:”Chinese Sanscrit,” courtesy of WB Fine Arts. 

“Chinese Sanscrit,” courtesy of WB Fine Arts. 

“Nouveau Larousse Universal,” courtesy of Foster White Gallery.

“Chi,” courtesy of WB Fine Arts

Left: “Humanités.” Right: “Journey to the Center of the,” both courtesy of JHB Gallery

“Ruines,” courtesy of JHB Gallery

“Timepieces,” courtesy of JHB Gallery

 

 



Art

Floating Worlds Drift By in Murals by Cinta Vidal

January 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

In Hong Kong. All images © Cinta Vidal, shared with permission

For Cinta Vidal, everything depends on how you look at it. The Barcelona-based artist is known for her gravity-defying projects that manipulate architecture and household objects to create inverted environments dissimilar to daily life. Like her smaller-scale inverted works, Vidal’s murals are concerned with human subjectivity and feature both peculiarly arranged architecture and objects like books, chairs, and even a canoe floating through the air. They cover walls throughout Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and Barcelona, among other cities around the world.

Whether it be a young girl seated on an oversized globe or a man peering over a balcony that’s tipped at a 90 degree angle, the works consider how perspectives are informed by a subject’s position.

Everyone has their own view on the world, and my work is my way of expressing this idea: it’s impossible to view something from every perspective at the same time. There’s always a choice, a perception. In my work there also lies a desire to take things out of context, releasing them into the air and, by doing so, giving them new value.

The artist tells Colossal that once she chooses a location to paint a mural, she studies the areas nearby. Vidal intends each project to become part of the existing environment, often prompting her utilize the color already on the building’s surface as her background. “Paint(ing) a mural is about interact(ing) with the wall and everything that surrounds it,” she writes. To get the latest on the artist’s creations, follow her on Instagram.

International University Barcelona.

“Refuge”

At the Honolulu Museum of Art

At a public library in Cardedeu

“Floating Napa” in Napa Valley, California

In Calgary

“Backstage” in Long Beach

“Viewpoints” for Thinkspace in Los Angeles

 

 



Art

Hidden Paintings Revealed with Each Turn of an Anamorphic Glass Sculpture by Thomas Medicus

January 15, 2020

Grace Ebert

In his latest project “What It Is Like To Be,” artist Thomas Medicus (previously) employs his illusory  style to create an anamorphic glass sculpture that changes with every 90 degree turn. The cubic piece is comprised of 144 glass strips that are arranged to depict four distinct images—clothes strung up on a line, bats clinging to a branch as they hang upside down, a diverse patch of mushrooms, and three figures who are caught in the rain. Each glass portion is handpainted separately with acrylic before being mounted in a concrete socle that sits inside a wooden bowl and stretches about 30 centimeters long.

The Austria-based artist’s project references a 1974 paper by American philosopher Thomas Nagel. Titled “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?,” the seminal text questions the relationship between human and animal subjectivity, stating that although people can imagine life as a bat, they can never know truly what it means to be a different animal. Nagel’s work influenced later conversations about consciousness and the ways humans understand and relate to other living beings. In a note to Colossal, Medicus described his connection to Nagel’s writing.

For quite a long time, I was seeking to understand how I can value the natural sciences without having to devalue subjectivity, personal experience, or qualitative research. Back then I wasn’t really able to do that. For me, art was a way to question an exclusively materialistic worldview without at the same time having to be a spiritual or religious person. “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?” by Thomas Nagel provides a great philosophical basis to put these different worlds in one frame and personally helped me to do that.

To see more of the artist’s creative process, head over to his Instagram and Vimeo.

All images © Thomas Medicus, shared with permission

 

 



Art

Minimalist Paintings by Prudence Flint Emphasize the ‘Emotional Weight’ of Womanhood

January 14, 2020

Grace Ebert

“The Visit” (2016), oil on linen, 122 x 102 cm. All images © Prudence Flint

Focusing heavily on the female figure, painter Prudence Flint combines pastels and flat, geometric shapes in her minimalistic works. Rarely showing their faces directly, Flint’s oil paintings often portray women lying down, sitting, or performing daily tasks like showering while they look straight ahead, adding to the pieces’ pensive atmospheres.

In a recent interview with Juxtapoz, the painter expounded on why she mostly centers on women, saying she wants them “to be all things, whole, boundless, perverse, and representative of humanity. I want to give voice to this experience of being alive, now, in this culture, as a woman.” The ways Flint constructs female bodies exemplifies these ideas of womanhood, as she often paints small heads on top of broad torsos and long limbs.

As a woman, I feel constantly up against the idea of what is meant to be happening to me versus what is actually happening to me … I think I have found a solution by distorting the bodies, which becomes representative of what experience does to you. It marks you and creates emotional weight.

Flint’s self-portrait “The Wish” is on view from January 16 to 30 at High Line Nine in New York as part of ME, an exhibition that considers the relationship between identity and the face. If you can’t see the Melbourne-based artist’s paintings in person, head to Instagram where she shares much of her work.

“Double” (2018), oil on linen, 142 x 109 cm

Left: “Queen Anne Mirror” (2012), oil on linen, 122 x 102 cm. Right: “Shower #2” (2015), oil on linen, 122 x 102 cm

“The Fitting” (2019), oil on linen, 130 x 107 cm

“The Stand” (2019), oil on linen, 122 x 102 cm

“The Wake” (2018), oil on linen, 122 x 102 cm

Left: “Bedsit” (2016), oil on linen, 122 x 102 cm. Right: “Sewing Machine” (2012), oil on linen, 122 x 102 cm

“The Yard” (2019), oil on linen, 135 x 107 cm

 

 



Art

Enormous Metal Sculptures by Selçuk Yılmaz Embody Chaotic Effects of Climate Change

January 14, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Selçuk Yılmaz, shared with permisison

By hammering and welding more than 20,0000 metal pieces together, artist Selçuk Yılmaz (previously) creates massive sculptures that manifest the energy of the natural world as it becomes more damaged by humans and climate change. The Turkey-based artist’s latest project, Blue Planet, took almost two years to complete and features a human figure in addition to Yılmaz’s usual animals, like a nearly 10-foot-tall lion that weighs approximately 220 pounds.

Yılmaz tells Colossal he wanted the project to speak to environmental destruction, so he placed a human hand at the bottom of the arranged piece to signify it being the root cause. A lurking vulture waits nearby, hoping to eat the other animals after they die. “The woman holds her hand on a blue planet as if (to) save everything. It’s like a chaos,” he says. For more of the artist’s imposing creations, head to Behance or Instagram.

 

 



Art Colossal

Interview: Rob Woodcox Discusses His Boldly Energetic Conceptual Photography of the Human Form

January 13, 2020

Colossal

All images © Rob Woodcox, shared with permission

Photographer Rob Woodcox is known for his images of bodies stalled in motion, from his conceptions of a human wave to his striped portraits. In the latest interview, our editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson sat down with the artist to to discuss his masterfully composed images of the human body, his deep commitment to social awareness in his practice, and his upcoming book Bodies of Light.

Get deeper insight into Woodcox’s creative process by becoming a Colossal Member. You’ll gain access to this interview, in addition to other perks. And if you join at any level before January 19, 25% of your membership will go to Wildlife Victoria to aid in the Australian bushfire crisis.

 

 



Art

Animal-Human Hybrids Spotted on New York Subway in Surreal Paintings by Matthew Grabelsky

January 12, 2020

Andrew LaSane

Images courtesy of the artist, used with permission

Los Angeles-based artist Matthew Grabelsky (previously) is back with a new collection of oil paintings of people with animal heads casually navigating the New York City subway system. The paintings combine the mundane with the surreal, as others on the commute and the environments remain neutral to the hybrid creatures.

Grabelsky’s paintings are inspired by the years he spent riding the subways in New York as a kid and by his early fascination with Greek mythology. Small details including zoo posters, stickers, T-shirts, and toys add humor to the art, while light reflecting off subway tiles and molded sets show the artist’s technical ability to paint hyperrealistic scenes.

In a recent interview with Thinkspace Project‘s blog Sour Harvest, Grabelsky shared that his characters will soon leave the subway, but added that he wants the shift to be organic. “My concept is that these characters started on the subway and then go out into the wider world. I certainly want to do paintings set in different locations in New York. I was born and am currently living in Los Angeles and so I expect that my characters will make it out to LA at some point.”

To witness the characters’ eventual emergence from the East Coast underground, follow Matthew Grabelsky on Instagram.