Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Dimitri Tsykalov: Flesh and Bones

Russia-born, French trained artist Dimitri Tsykalov's works have been spotted in the English blogosphere widely this month thanks to Booooom, which has drawn attention to some of his latest works: sculptures using fruit and vegetables.

One series Meat exhibited at the Fondation Francès in 2009 particularly stands out as Tsykalov progresses from spatial installations using wood and splinters to construct cars and rooms to photograhpic works featuring models covered in raw meat and bones.

Art is no longer beautiful and innocent in Tsykalov's eyes, it's monstrous, violent and disturbingly sexual.  Behind the bruitality of the subjectst taken up (war, death, terrorim, weapons), the violence of rawness and of its exposition challenges the status quo in our art world. (By the by this would have been the best entry for RAA's summer exhibition this year on the topic of Raw). Art seizes to be pretty little paintings hanged up above the fireplace in some lord's magnificent country house, to be presented and admired. Art in Tsykalov's hands is rustic and bloody, exposing the relations between the murderer and the slaughtered, the shooter and the pray, the weapon and the target.

Meat as a series is beyond pornography. He who runs in the open under a hail of real bullets, he who feels like walking meat, the target for a sniper, is truly exposed. It is this sort of risk that art exposes us to, when it emerges at times, as it does in Tsykalov's case.
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Monday, 30 August 2010

New Band Watch: Dawn Golden & Rosy Cross

On rare occasions I can remember new band names, they are either silly or funny. My latest successes include Teengirl Fantasy and Bitch House.

It must be a bit of a shock then to be able to remember one goes by the name of Dawn Golden and Rosy Cross, which consists, as far as I know, a mysterious guy named Chris in Chicago, who writes about drug addiction and suicide and has no intention of touring yet.

A full length EP named Blow was released on the 16th of August and hasn't been mentioned much on this side of the pond. BUT, the lovely Bandcamp transaction record shows that Pitchfork's Ryan Schreiber made a swift purchase a day before it came out. Must be nice for Dawn.

As previously predicted, Winter 2010/Spring 2011 is going to be very Witchy and ghostly, and DG&RC is a nice addition to the genre which grows into not only a movement but a full-blown indie evolution.

Listen to the EP in full and enter TUMBLR or TWITTER for 15% off your minimum $6 purchase on Bandcamp. Come on boys and girls, that's one and a half Starbucks caramel frappuccino which you wouldn't buy anymore as the weather's crap for the next 6 months.  It's worth it.
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Thursday, 19 August 2010

Ezequiel Monjo: Captivating Beauty in Buenos Aires

Not much is known of the background of this Argentinine "art lover" who does some amazing photographs that could fit in perfectly with Roberto Bolaño's 2666, with the mysterious and dusty vintage cars, the grey-scale city streets, folks and pets, coffee shops and rusty old buildings.

Have a look on Between Creation for more of his works

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Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Gemma Compton: Streets, Animals, Sexy Ladies

If you happen to be in Machester in the next couple of months, make sure you pop into Mooch N4 for the latest "stree art" exhibition The Beautiful and the Damned, featuring some of the best young talents in the UK in illustration and graphic design, including the wonderful Gemma Louise Compton.

Originally trained as a scenic painter and newly graduated from Bristol armed with a Fashion degree, the young Compton found passion in every "furry, slimy, spiky and winged creature" nature has to offer, thanks to her upbringing in the countryside of Cotswold. After moving to her urban confinement, Compton's works took on a new twist which combines street art, fashion, tattoos and poppy glamour.
For more new street art and graphic design from the likes of Compton, check out www.vinyl-art.co.uk 

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Monday, 16 August 2010

Bewitched by Witch House the 2010 genre

Much owing to my hippiest friends namely The Owl Post, Witch House AKA Ghost Drone AKA Drag as a genre was introduced to me a couple of months back and has been growing on me ever since. Slowly gaining recognition among new sound seeking bloggers and Pitchfork, its status is rising to the likes of "chill wave" - not in the least doing it any justice.

Wherever you see some unpronounceable symbols and codes, it's probably another alter ego/new name of an up and coming Witch House band expanding the "movement" and following the footsteps of  SHAMS and Salem. Tracks here cover the likes of OoOOo, White Ring, Sleep Over and Horse MacGyver, among my favourites. For a quick intro check out remixes of Lady Gaga and Crystal Castles on YouTube under obscure names and goth, vamp-filled old film clips. And last but not least, look out for the triangles...it's going to take over the world this winter.
Seaww by oOoOO
White Ring - IxC999 by Speaker Snacks

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Sunday, 15 August 2010

Car, crash and art works inspired

Perhaps it's the association between Crash and J G Ballard, works from two artists caught my eyes recently that depict the everyday object beautifully sabotaged.

Danish artist Nicolai Howalt made a series of close-up studies of dented and scratched metal surfaces of wrecked cars, which are often visually disorientating and resemble digitally enhanced abstract paintings. They capture the violent forces and the dark romance of destroyed car bodies in a sobering yet seductive way.

Other works in the series take a step back to examine the larger picture, the smashed windshields and deflated airbags, a strand of bloodied brown hair or a pack of unfinished cigarettes, which are intrinsically Ballardian and voyeuristic.

Howalt’s images were on show in Copenhagen in Feb 2009 at the Martin Asbæk Gallery.

Another artist who had a series of work evolved around the (crashed) car is Li Hui, a multi-media artist based in Beijing whose installations have been widely exhibited and praised in China and Europe.

His latest exhibitions in Germany this year included his extensive sculptures and installations in steel, acrylic, LED  technologies and laser light, which work together to construct enormous and dreamlike scenarios. In particular, Untitled (2007) depicts a crashed car that was demolished in a real accident. The remains are bandaged and fog is rising out of it while they are illuminated by over 13.000 red laser lights mounted to the museum’s ceiling, making the car "breathe and bleed" silmutaneously, like the injured person who was inside quietly waiting in pain after the accident.

Li's obssession with cars started from his graduation project in 2003, which was a converted Jeep with two front drives and no rear end. Since then he has been experimenting with less traditional materials than clay which he was trained to use as a sculptor.

Similar to the UVA, Li's extensive use of laser and lights does not stop at making up lines and squares. Amber (2006) for instance, is a steel car model filled with neon lamp and a dinasaur skeleton on the inside made of neon acrylic. Other works take it one step further from cars and Jeep, including aircraft carrier and rockets. Li likes to challenge the common perception of products associated with the industrial and modern age. Check out his interview with The Creators Project here for the thinking behind his work.
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