hollie chastain

Oh my goodness. This is the latest work from American artist Hollie Chastain. I’ve written about Hollie a zillion times, because what she does with found images and old books is always beautiful. Case in point… look what she’s doing now!? Those forgotten book pages had no idea they were about to be woven together! LOVE. Happy Friday.

daniel arsham

Breath. Taking. Oh my word, this is the latest work by New York based artist Daniel Arsham. He’s known for “visually transforming ready-made objects of the last half century into subtly eroding artifacts”… objects like Mickey Mouse phones and old school Apple computers… well, in his most recent show, he’s going a little further back in time. Perrotin Paris is currently showing “Paris, 3020” from January 11 until March 21, 2020. Here is a description from Perrotin’s site:

For this exhibition, Daniel Arsham will present a new suite of large-scale sculptures based on iconic busts, friezes and sculptures in the round from classical antiquity. Over the past year, Arsham has been granted unprecedented access to the Réunion des Musées Nationaux – Grand Palais (RMN), a 200-year-old French molding atelier that reproduces masterpieces for several of Europe’s major encyclopedic museums. Arsham was able to use molds and scans of some of the most iconic works from the collections of the Musée du Louvre in Paris, Acropolis Museum in Athens, the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna and the San Pietro in Vincoli as source material for this new body of work. Interested in the way that objects move through time, the works selected by Arsham are so iconic that they have eclipsed their status as mere art object, and instead have embedded themselves into our collective memory and identity.

Ranging from Michelangelo’s Moses to the Vénus de Milo, each item was cast in hydrostone to produce a perfect to scale replica of the original sculpture, a process that shares formal qualities with historic wax casting. Arsham utilizes natural pigments that are similar to those used by classical sculptors, such as volcanic ash, blue calcite, selenite, quartz, and rose quartz. From that, individual erosions are chiseled into the surface of the hydrostone, a nod to the sculpting techniques of the Renaissance sculptors. Finally, Arsham applies his signature tactic of crystallization.

If you’re in Paris, 1. lucky you, 2. GO to this show!

{via Colossal}

elizabeth croft

Oh my. This is the work of Norway based, British born Elizabeth Croft. She is a curator and an artist, who creates installations, works with text, and all sort of other things… but the collage-lover in me was instantly smitten with her 3D collages.Yes! Little black diorama boxes full of weird wonderfulness, beautifully combining bits of nature with found images. I love all of the details that come together to help tell a strange story… those teeth, for example. I dunno what’s happening there, but I LOVE them.

sahar masarati

When Los Angeles based artist Sahar Masarati’s work started showing up in my Instagram feed, I thought what you probably thought for the majority of this post… “Ah, dramatically photographed flowers. Cool.” And then, slowly, the realization begins to set in… wait, are these … sugar? They are?! I CAN EAT THEM! Sahar’s background studies in Chemistry and Fashion Design {and a love for all things sweet} has resulted in her couture cake shop, Sugar Alkymi. Here are a few excerpts from her website about why she does what she does:

“I aim not to compete with mother nature, hence most of my floral sugar designs are abstract and not intended to be botanically correct. I believe in the poetry and romance of each creation with a whimsical and abstract touch. I’m fascinated by using mixed edible media, by pushing boundaries in the conventional use of sugar, in order to bring a new voice to this much elaborated art form … Sugar Alkymi’s oeuvres are designed to allure the indulger in the nostalgic history of art with romance, while amusing their palate to create sweet memories, one bite at a time. Sugar Alkymi is my Jewel and I welcome you to my magical world of sugar art and edible flower artistry.”

Sigh. Thank you, Sahar… I’m never leaving.

eliana marinari

Blurry photographs? Nope. Pastel, pencil, spray paint and ink on paper, mounted on panel… have I said ‘gasp’ yet? Gasp! This is the work of Geneva based artist Eliana Marinari, and this is a description of how and why she does what she does:

Eliana Marinari ‘s practice employs a longstanding discipline of drawing, reinterpreting the genres of landscape and portrait as a means to question our perception of reality. Her work reflects an intense fascination for the power of images and explores the human ability to recall a visual object and generate semantic associations.

Her interest has been formed by current theories on visual recognition to explain the transition from a perception-driven representation to memory-driven elaboration of concepts: meaning is attributed to each feature and translated on assumptions based on previous experiences, cultural beliefs and values.

Eliana Marinari’s two main series Recognition and Recollection borrow details from archives, found images and her own photographs. Carefully constructed by glazing aerosol acrylic on pastel and pencil drawings, the vestigial image mimics the process of creating a visual representation in our mind and brings time, memory, loss and an emotional narrative to the subject.

Beautiful! If you happen to be in Geneva, be sure to stop by her solo show, titled “Recollection Memory”, at Le Salon Vert. The opening event is this Thursday January 16th from 6-8pm, and the show will run until February 22nd, 2020.

marie-claude marquis

Hahahahahaha! From hand-lettered vintage plates, to new embroidery on old embroidery – both covered in curse words and blunt sayings – this is the work of  Canadian artist Marie-Claude Marquis:

“… Touching both graphic design and visual arts, she is inspired by souvenirs, nostalgia, pop culture, Quebec identity and her own emotions which she expresses with a feminine touch and a colorful sensitivity. 

In her gallery work, Marie-Claude  has mastered the art of re-appropriation in giving found objects new meaning. T hat way she can give these objects a second life, prolong their existence and reduce her own environmental impact. Mainly by typographical interventions, she always finds a way to give new meanings to these antiques. The result of her work is often humorous, sometimes irreverent but always keeps a big focus on aesthetics.”

Marie-Claude’s latest solo show, titled “We’re All Kinda Fucked Up” opens tomorrow night, Saturday January 11th at Recess in San Francisco {816 Sutter Street}. The opening reception is from 6-9pm, and the show runs until February 1, 2020.

ps. Recess is the newest space by the wonderful people behind Hashimoto Contemporary and Spoke Art. This is their first show at Recess {previously the Spoke space}, so go and check it out! 

crystal liu

Gasp! This is the latest work by San Francisco based, Canadian artist Crystal Liu. I’ve written about her before (2014 and 2010), and clearly I need to again. How can I not share these marbled mountains, delicate flowers, and trees blowing in the wind as the fog rolls in. Are you wondering what, how, huh!? Let me answer that for you… 48″x48″ gouache, watercolor, ink and collage on paper. Oh my word, so good.

mya kerner

Sigh. This is the work of American artist Mya Kerner. The last time I wrote about Mya, her mountains were inky blue… but for her latest show, currently hanging at Linda Hodges Gallery in Seattle, her palette is filled with muted, dreamy pastel hues. Here is part of her artist statement for “The Rise and Fall of Stone”:

“My work revolves around ancestral history, storytelling, and ecological concern in an exploration of memory and landscape. The paintings reference specific landscapes, but I work to depict each place somewhere between reality and memory. In the landscapes, white space meets fields of muted color through shattered lines of graphite, suggesting a continuous cycle of transformation …

… My background in permaculture and a lineage of Eastern European foresters first drove me to explore humanity’s relationship with the natural world through my art practice. More recently, I have expanded on these ideas, reacting to anthropocentrism and a sense of uprootedness, both personal and intergenerational, by studying Earth-based traditions. As I reflect upon stories from the spirits of the land, my own memory, and those of my ancestors, I ask questions about how we relate to place through the lenses of wildness, stewardship, civilization, and change.”

Beautiful. This show is open now through the month of January, and the artist reception is tomorrow night, Thursday January 9th from 6~9pm. 

lisanne hoogerwerf

Yep. Tiny sets, built in her studio, and then photographed. Thank goodness for that last photo, because I was having a hard time figuring out what kind of cotton-candy magic I was looking at! This is the work of Netherlands based artist Lisanne Hoogerwerf, and these are her poetic words that  explain this world she has created:

“Pictures keep appearing in my head, scenes without any clear relationship to mundane reality, landscapes inhabited by strange figures and filled with peculiar buildings. These images seen by the mind’s eye happen during a relaxed state of mind, also known as the Alpha State. The inner worlds then arising are emptied of the stresses and strains of everyday life. Neither busy traffic and urban architecture nor people to be seen.

In materializing and externalizing these images, I build such landscapes as small-scaled sets on a large table in my studio. By using materials like spray-paint, wood, wire, sand and stone, I transform these fugacious images from a mental into a physical reality. I then photograph and/or film these settings, after which I destruct the created scenes.

The resulting pictures show deserted places including faint notions of (earlier) human activity. There could be a billboard, a playground, or an emptied swimming pool. Almost nothing happens, yet these dreamlike scenes suggest that something has happened or is going to happen still.

I consider art as an important means to deepen the connections within ourselves. The deeper layers of our minds are filled with unknown images and messages. I want to focus on the inner ‘pictures’ and visualize them for you to see, too.”

Sigh. Beautiful.

matthew grabelsky

Oil Paintings. What? Yep. Over the weekend, I spotted that mama cat and her sweet little kitten on Create Magazine’s Instagram feed, and my fingers involuntarily started typing this post! SO. GOOD. This is the work of New York raised, LA based painter Matthew Grabelsky. Here is a description of his work via Thinkspace Gallery {LA}:

“… The appearance of the animal head feels distantly totemic, an archetype for something primordial, ancient, and psychologically motivated. Fascinated by the persistence of animal imagery in mythology and communal cultural imaginaries, Grabelsky superimposes its presence onto his depictions of the contemporary world. For the artist, the animal becomes a manifestation of the inner workings of the hidden subconscious, literally revealing the latent identities and motivations lurking beyond the composure of the human mask.

Technically inspired by 19th Century academic and naturalist painters, Grabelsky creates these unlikely, surreal scenes with a staggering degree of realistic detail. The contrast created between the visual verisimilitude of the works, and the surreal improbability of their content catches the viewer in a prolonged moment of convincingly suspended disbelief.”

Yes, I actually experienced several “prolonged moments of convincingly suspended disbelief”. Happy Monday.

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