JUNE 2018

Art & World IV

Featuring

 

Ori Toor

 

In The Weird World Of New Age Art

Hawaii-based photographer Brigette Bloom uses her own urine to create beautifully distorted images of herself and the Hawaiian nature. Before shooting, Bloom soaks the film canister in a cup of her own pee. The fluid warps portions of the emulsion, what creates colorful amoeba-like spots on each frame.

Bloom’s urine-affected photography series titled “Float On” pays tribute to a spot she and her dog used to visit daily. After her secret desert retreat became discovered by more people, photographer drifted away from the secret refuge, preserving its magical aura only in her unusual artworks and memory. Apart from the title, even Bloom’s dynamic posture in most of the shots points out to that drift.

“I was born in the desert and this was the spot I had spent everyday for the past couple years. It was a truly sacred place to me. <…> As time went on, I started noticing a couple people wandering in the desert. It just felt like it wasn’t our secret refuge anymore. I knew it was time for me to ‘float on’ and find new places. This series is my way of saying thank you to the desert, and a farewell at the same time.”

Bloom discovered this technique by a total accident. She told The Huffington Post she’d accidentally washed her pants with a roll of film inside. Photographer decided to take a shot at developing the film and it turned out the results were unexpectedly good looking. Since then, Bloom has been experimenting with all sorts of liquids: from lemon juice, wine, soapy water, etc. “It’s a process of trial and error. I’ve had many, many rolls of film that didn’t turn out, but it’s all part of the process,” she says.

Living matter thrives and dies within the intricate linework of Michigan-born artist Christina Mrozik. On large pieces of paper, she uses pen, ink, marker, and watercolor to compose semi-surreal visions of nature that are much different from the usual paintings of serene landscapes and friendly animals. Mrozik’s creatures bustle with a quiet ferocity: cranes perching on wolf carcasses split open with their progeny inside; owls flap wildly, trying to escape a rope of viscera that binds them to the roots below. Full of verdant symbolism, it somewhat resembles a twisted Garden of Eden, but it is important not to let the dark imagery overwhelm us; Mrozik’s vision of life-embracing-death (and vice versa) transcends existential horror, arriving at a depiction of nature that gives meaning to death and joins all living things in a greater life process.

The human perception of “nature” is central to Mrozik’s work. In her artist’s statement, she points out the seemingly contradictory “double perception” we have of nature: “it is either something to be glorified, or something to be dominated” (Source). We relish in its beauty and the idea of “untouched” lands, but we also wish to place ourselves above it, to separate ourselves, defining it as an “other” that can be controlled and exploited. Through her organic forms and the fusion of human and animal imagery, Mrozik’s art seeks to dissolve these imaginary boundaries, exemplifying how a sentience exists throughout all living things. As she concludes: “I feel that the basic stories of feeding, migration, shelter, mating, and self awareness are an essential part of our inner being and affect our view of the world both around us and within us.”

Portland, Oregon based artist Zoe Keller creates intricate and whimsical nature themed illustrations and designs. After her graduation from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Keller found herself spending time in rural areas such as the rocky cost of Maine, on a blueberry farm in Michigan, and the quiet town of Hudson, New York. Inspired by her experience and her surroundings, Keller’s work aims to explore the “intersection of art making, activism and the natural sciences.” Using graphite renderings that are sometimes enhanced with digital coloration, Keller’s drawings are flawless and comprehensive.

 

Each work, exploring a stylized still life or, in some cases, a more narrative focused composition, acts as a tiny shrine to nature. Many of her drawings depict endangered species, allowing her art to serve as a form of education, awareness, and perhaps memorial. For example, her piece Life Cycle portrays the various phases within the life of a Black Racer Snake, an endangered species native to Maine. Another piece, Endangered Turtles, is a charming composition of North American endangered turtles stacked by size. Her drawings have a lithographic feel, allowing them to act as a part of the classical tradition of drawing as documentation. Her images clearly pay homage to the vintage botanical drawings once used before the days of photography. Painstakingly detailed, yet simultaneously fun and carefree, her images have an almost fairytale quality. Keller’s work is undoubtedly endearing and her craftsmanship undeniably elaborate. 

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Sponsored Art Reads

{LOOKING FOR ART MATERIALS?}

In a blog post published last week, The Creators Project composed a stunning list of eight artists who sculpt hyperrealistic depictions of the body: Marc Sijan, Xooang Choi, Sarah Sitkin, Jackie K. Seo, Sun Yuan and Peng Yu, Jamie Salmon, Felix Deac, and Trent Taft. From states of beauty, intimacy, deformity, and death, the artists approach flesh as a figurative storyboard for human experience; whether it’s the stale sadness of Sun Yuan and Peng Yu’s “Old People’s Home,” or the life-like, slow-burning intensity of Salmon’s “Chris,” each work accentuates the details and imperfections of the skin to convey a much deeper message.

 

To some, the purpose of hyperrealistic art may seem uncertain; why reproduce reality in such painstaking detail, when we are confronted by each other’s flesh every day? Of course, some of the sculptures have disturbing and surreal aspects, which makes their illusory qualities more clear. Like rats’ tails and hairless cats, these sculptures may make many of us strangely uncomfortable, for they unconsciously remind us of our own mortal fleshiness. Beyond this initial repulsion, however, they also mimic and accentuate reality to confront the viewer with meanings they may never see otherwise: human vulnerability, and the skin as a shallow edifice that distracts us from another’s internal experience. In each of these “simulations” of real life, an intuitive (and often unsettling) truth is revealed.

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The Oldest Art Known

To Earth: Lascaux Caves

about

Lascaux is famous for its Palaeolithic cave paintings, found in a complex of caves in the Dordogne region of southwestern France, because of their exceptional quality, size, sophistication and antiquity. Estimated to be up to 20,000 years old, the paintings consist primarily of large animals, once native to the region. Lascaux is located in the Vézère Valley where many other decorated caves have been found since the beginning of the 20th century (for example Les Combarelles and Font-de-Gaume in 1901, Bernifal in 1902).

 

Lascaux is a complex cave with several areas (Hall of the Bulls, Passage gallery) It was discovered on 12 September 1940 and given statutory historic monument protection in december of the same year. In 1979, several decorated caves of the Vézère Valley - including the Lascaux cave - were added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. But these hauntingly beautiful prehistoric cave paintings are in peril. Recently, in Paris, over 200 archaeologists, anthropologists and other scientists gathered for an unprecedented symposium to discuss the plight of the priceless treasures of Lascaux, and to find a solution to preserve them for the future. The Symposium took place under the aegis of France's Ministry of Culture and Communication, and presided over by Dr. Jean Clottes.

Lascaux Cave Museum

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History of Art In Three Colors

For the very first civilisations, the yellow lustre of gold is the most alluring and intoxicating colour of all. From the midst of prehistory to a bunker deep beneath the Bank of England, Fox reveals how golden treasures made across the ages reflect everything that has been held as sacred.

Gold

 

When, in the Middle Ages, the precious blue stone lapis lazuli arrived in Europe from the east, blue became the most exotic and mysterious of colours. And it was artists who used it to offer us tantalising glimpses of other worlds beyond our own.

Blue

 

White

 

In the Age of Reason, it was the rediscovery of the white columns and marbles of antiquity that made white the most virtuous of colours. For flamboyant JJ Wickelmann and British genius Josiah Wedgwood, white embodied all the Enlightenment values of justice, equality and reason.

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A Tel-Aviv based illustrator, creating freestyle worlds for you (and me) to get lost in.

-Ori Toor

"Art completes what nature cannot bring to finish. The artist gives us knowledge of nature's unrealized ends. "

-Aristotle

JULY