Sunday, 25 July 2010

Fabien Merelle: Myths and Death in a Child's eyes

French artist Fabien Merelle's works remind me a lot of some drawings I saw in the Black Heart in Camden, a pub quietly tucked away in a corner and determined to remain goth after refurbishment with pictures of Jesus, crosses and skeleton.

Among these are several pencil drawings by "K Woodard" from the 1980s featuring animals in bizarre human clothes killing other animals or humans, all with incredible details and precision. You can almost feel the furry texture of the fox's legs and the lightness of the feathers on the giant bird with humans in its beak. They are dark, mythological and fascinating. After a few unsuccessful attempts to locate Woodard's works on the Internet, I found Merelle by chance and noticed that his works have got exactly the same magical powers, only that he mixes his portions with slightly different ingredients.

Using ink on small scale papers, Merelle's works are also incredibly detailed, almost like a scary child's dream ready to be told to adults with excitement. Merelle studied Fine Arts in Paris and spent a year in China on an exchange program. Perhaps it's the Chinese art's subtlety and lack of colours that helped to shape Merelle's style.

Merelle's last solo show was on in Spain at Michel Soskine Gallery in May 2009.

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Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Judith Braun: "Fingerings" in symmetrical forms

American artist Judith Braun has been drawing with her bare fingers since 2003, using charcoal and pastels on large cavases, papers and walls, often with both hands moving together stimultaneously. These works come with limitations and physical restrictions (same finger patterns and maximum length of an arm), but also come with infinite possibilities, allowing the images to be worked on repeatedly, into anything and nothing. The results are often stunningly beautiful, complex and simple at the same time. Upon closer inspection the "fingerings" leave behind unique textures which almost look digitally enhanced.

Braun has recently returned to her earlier method of "photocopy", using carbon based materials and incorporating images and texts in a playful way. Newest works from Braun are on show in DUVE Berlin until 31st of July

You might also like  Zhuang Hong Yi (
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Thursday, 8 July 2010

Jonathan Yeo: With filthy details

Collage is pretty old news, it's the sort of thing kids and GCSE art students do when they run out of ideas with their paintbrushes. However, British artist Jonathan Yeo's found a way to shock and provoke with collage- use hardcore porn magazine cutouts.

Every portrait of a celebrity, from Paris Hilton to George W Bush is assembled with hundreds  of sexual body parts, male's and female's. Something that looks like an eyebrow or an ear may turn out to be huge penises upon closer inspection, only of different colours.

Unsurprisingly, his latest solo exhibition is set in  Los Angles featuring his newest and most provocative works to date, such a Tiger Wood and Sarah Palin. Porn In the USA is on from 9th of July to the 8th of August at Lazarides Gallery.

Video below of the artist talking about how his collages come together using the technique adopted by cubism and the reason behind using pornographic materials. It certainly isn't the high art we normally see in Tate Britain or the Serpentine, but it dares to show all the filth that normally gets hidden under the bed and be frowned upon. Porn can be art too, as long as you can put it in a gallery.

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Wednesday, 7 July 2010

United Visual Artists: Sound and Visual heaven

United Visual Artists have been around for a few years now with successful architectural and live performance installations that emphasise the interaction between human movements, lights and space. Their last project in April 2010 Speed of Light was truely spectacular. In the dark, abandoned Bargehouse behind the well-maintained residential block of Oxo Tower facing the river, you could have mistaken the exhibition for a warehouse party that's checking its sound and light systems before the crowd arrives. I was lucky to have ignored the association with Virgin Media and the phrase of 'celebrating 10 years of broadband", went in with well-chosen white trainers which glowed and guided me around in the dark.

In June UVA were back and have put on another installation Chorus for the Wapping Project, a newly redeveloped power station which is now a trendy restaurant and gallery space, hosting a range of art projects including dance and performance arts whilst keeping some of the original power station equipments in place. This time there are swinging pendulums as musical instruments, emitting light and sound movements from the roof of the essembly. Worth a visit if you don't get put off by the location, and best en route to Greenwich and south east of London.
Chorus is on until the 18th of July.

To find out more about how UVA work behind the scene and their past works for the likes of Massive Attack and New York fashion week, check out this interview with the artists thanks to the Creators Project

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Tuesday, 6 July 2010

HEALTH uncensored video USA Boys

OK, we all know that there are many women and children unfriendly videos on YouTube, such as prostitute killing and scoring for Grand Theft Auto, and actual game footages are often full of porno and violent materials. So it came as a big surprise when HEALTH's latest video got banned on YouTube for being drug and sex related. Come'on YouTube, stop being a bloody hypocrite.

HEALTH's own tweet back in June sums this up nicely. "Youtube pulled the USA boys vid. I guess implied rape, a punctured ballsack, and severed head are family friendly. WHAT THE FUCK?". To show some support for HEALTH, here is the uncensored video on Vimeo. Kiss my bum YouTube.

HEALTH - USA BOYS from City Slang on Vimeo.

HEALTH is on the list for Reading Festival as well as a newly scheduled apperance in London on the 15th of October. More USA boys fo shizzle. Meanwhile, download the track for free as part of the summer playlists on Stereogum together with all the summer essentials such as Cults and Sleigh Bells.

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Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin at Foam, Amsterdam

The world famous Dutch photographic duo Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin now have a major exhibition at Foam Stichting Fotografie Museum Amsterdam Pretty Much Everything, featuring their fashion and art works spanning from 1985 to 2010. 

Inez is best known for her photographs of Kate Moss in the early 90s and her controversial series that mix together adolescent female bodies with adult features, as well as skinny men with feminine body parts. The pair has since then moved swiftly in between fashion and art photography (in their eyes there isn't a genre that their work should fall into), photographed celebrities, fashion models and themselves, being commercially successful as well as artistically appreciated.

The exhibition didn't follow any chorological order but focused instead, on how different images and their works lived together in their minds. Pretty Much Everything is open until 15th of Septemeber 2010, new video below from Inez and Vinoodh explaining how this exhibition was put together.

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Monday, 5 July 2010

Alejandro Guijarro: beyond the photographic boundaries

Guijarro's photographs could possibly be one of the most anti-government images to display in China, with skyscrapers as well as the forbidden city wrapped in thick white fog. If used by environmental activitists, these images could successfully get a few people jailed.

Luckily Guijarro's not in China, nor is he concerned with air pollution but the "spatial relations in photographic representation". What can be seen and what can be understood. He questions the authority of photography and its ability to represent the truth.

Fog or no fog, Guijarro offers a new way of seeing, where boundaries from afar and close by are erased, appearance and disappearance becomes simultaneous. A well deserved finalist of the Man Photography Prize 2009. More work by Guijarro can be found here
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Thursday, 1 July 2010

Desiree Dolron: Old and New

Thanks to digital cameras and Photoshop, many photographers have enhanced their works in numerous ways with a few mouse clicks. The results are largely disappointingly repetitive and "flat". Dutch artist Desiree Dolron however, has created something far more exciting and exquisite in her previous series exhibited at the Michael Hoppen Gallery. Dolron is largely considered the most successful Dutch photographer on the international stage, with her travel reportage style as well as staged portraits. Her works are collected by the likes of The Guggenheim and V & A and her latest exhibition was in Fototeca de Cuba, Havana in 2010.

Xteriors (2004)

Te dí todos mis sueños(2003)
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