Damien Hirst Creates Overviews of International Cities With Surgical Tools

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An artist like Damien Hirst will always be polarizing simply because of the work or “work” he produces. For me it’s been a while since he’s made something really great though his newest project, the Black Scalpel Cityscapes, are certainly eye-catching with quite a bit of poignancy.

The Black Scalpel Cityscapes make reference to the military procedure of ‘surgical bombing’ or ‘surgical strikes’, commonly used in modern warfare, which aims to limit collateral damage by targeting precise areas for destruction. The suggestion of a remote, digital conflict inevitably reduces the tragic and devastating realities of war. In a similarly misleading manner, the perspective of an aerial map minimises the life beneath it to a series of detached systems and patterns of collective existence.

It’s a beautifully crafted way of speaking about numerous topics that all have quite a lot of baggage. Off the top of my head I can’t think of any of his work that’s actually had this sort of depth. The question I’ve been asking myself is this: If another artist had done this, would the world care as much?

You can read and see more at the White Cube gallery site.

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Bobby Solomon

November 17, 2014 / By

You’ve Never Seen Anything Quite Like the Maps of Sohei Nishino

Sohei Nishino

For a number of years the Japanese artist and cartographer Sohei Nishino has been mapping the world’s cities. From Rio to London and from New York to Tokyo, his highly detailed maps serve up a unique portrait of some of the world’s most diverse cities. Consisting of thousands of cut-out snapshots of each location, the artist meticulously pieces together these images to form highly complicated collages that include everything from people and animals to buildings and streets.

Sohei Nishino

Sohei Nishino

Nishino takes literally thousands upon thousands of photos before he’s ready to begin his cartographic collage. Piece by piece he edits these images down until he’s selected just the right ones. Despite the editing, his final work can still include up to 4,000 photographs; each of these he hand prints and then cuts and collages them together to create huge compositions that reflect his personal experience of each city. It’s a remarkable process and the results really do speak for themselves.

Sohei Nishino

Sohei Nishino

For those in London, an exhibition of Nishino’s work entitled ‘New Dioramas’ runs at Michael Hoppen Contemporary until 7 January 2015.

Philip Kennedy

November 10, 2014 / By

Is Banksy A Woman? An Interesting Perspective by Kriston Capps

Is Banksy A Woman? An Interesting Perspective by Kriston Capps

Kristin Capps writing for The Atlantic’s CityLab has a theory that Banksy is in fact a woman. Hadn’t really thought about it before, but perhaps Banky’s gender is the best scam that she/he has ever pulled?

During the very first interview that Banksy gave to The Guardian, another figure was present (“Steve,” Banksy’s agent). Another figure is always present, says Canadian media artist Chris Healey, who has maintained since 2010 that Banksy is a team of seven artists led by a woman—potentially the same woman with long blonde hair who appears in scenes depicting Banksy’s alleged studio in Exit Through the Gift Shop. Although Healey won’t identify the direct source for his highly specific claim, it’s at least as believable as the suggestion that Banksy is and always has been a single man.

“Since there is so much misdirection and jamming of societal norms with Banksy’s work, as well as the oft-repeated claim no one notices Banksy, then it makes sense,” Healey tells me. “No one can find Banksy because they are looking for, or rather assuming, a man is Banksy.”

As Capps also points out, much of Banksy’s work heavily features women, which if you compare to other male street artists, is something of a rarity. It’s by no means rock solid evidence, but it’s interesting as an anecdote to the mystery of it all.

Bobby Solomon

November 7, 2014 / By

Artists Use 27 Miles of Scotch Tape To Create An Amazing Installation In Paris

COS × PALAIS DE TOKYO

Berlin-based art collective Numen / For Use used a crazy amount of tape to build this one-of-a-kind installation at Paris’s Palais de Tokyo. Called ‘Tape Paris’, the work is part of an extensive group exhibition titled ‘Inside’ which runs in the gallery until January 2015.

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Numen / For Use describe the show:

The main idea was to transform the whole building into a convulsive mind/body organism whose slippery inner limits a motivated explorer has yet to trace and confront. The stretched biomorphic skin of Tape Paris is marking the entry point to the whole experience, being a literal incarnation of an inner-directed, regressive environment – the sense of descent into the primordial always lingering around its openings.

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It took twelve people ten days to wrap-up the concrete pillars to form a maze of accessible translucent passageways. These passageways coil 50 meters through the gallery and reach a total height of 6 meters. To gain a better understanding of the piece you can check out this wonderful video that was produced for the exhibition:

COS × PALAIS DE TOKYO

COS × PALAIS DE TOKYO

You can see more images of the work being constructed here. ‘Inside’ runs at the Au Palais de Tokyo until the 11 of January 2015.

Philip Kennedy

November 7, 2014 / By

Matthew Feyld’s Paintings Prove That Colors and Shapes Are Sometimes All You Need

Matthew Feyld

Last week Bobby posted some truly fantastic looping illustrations from the American designer and illustrator Drew Tryndall. I loved them, and they’re bright colors and simple shapes kind of reminded me of this great work by the Canadian artist Matthew Feyld.

Made up of strong blocks of color and bold but beautiful shapes, there’s a naive simplicity to Feyld’s paintings which just works. Whether viewed on their own or viewed as a set, there’s something so perfectly direct about these paintings that I can’t help but love them.

Matthew Feyld

Matthew Feyld

In an interview with Little Paper Planes, Feyld discussed the inspiration behind the shapes and forms he uses in his work:

Some of them started as human figures, or day to day objects that over time have been stripped down and become less and less figurative. Others have come from excessive doodling. I’m interested in the relationships between shapes. And the spaces that those shapes inhabit. And the even smaller spaces between those shapes.

If you’re a fan of nice shapes, then I fully recommend you check out more work from Feyld.

Matthew Feyld

Matthew Feyld

You can view more work from Matthew Feyld on his website.

Philip Kennedy

October 27, 2014 / By

Artist Luka Fineisen Brings Bubbles To The Gallery With A Beautiful Installation

'Bubbles' by Luka Fineisen

I know what you’re thinking and no, somebody hasn’t been blowing big bubbles in an art gallery! Sure I featured Nicholas Hanna’s incredible bubble devices a couple of weeks ago but these are very different types of bubbles. In fact, they’re not even bubbles at all, they’re beautiful sculptures made from plastic by the talented German artist Luka Fineisen.

'Bubbles' by Luka Fineisen

'Bubbles' by Luka Fineisen

Fineisen’s work is frequently interested in the scientific world, with her ambitious sculptural projects often investigating processes like thermodynamics and other similar instances of transitional found within nature. I love how she takes the ephemeral beauty of a bubble and then captures it to last forever. The results are rather striking and no doubt are even better in real life.

'Bubbles' by Luka Fineisen

'Bubbles' by Luka Fineisen

You can view a PDF of the artist’s work online here. Feel free to also thank me for not making a ‘pop art’ joke throughout this post!

Philip Kennedy

October 10, 2014 / By

‘All the President’s Children’ – A New Series of Paintings by Jaclyn Conley

All the President's Children by Jaclyn Conley

All the President's Children by Jaclyn Conley

All the President’s Children is the name of a new series of paintings by the Canadian artist Jaclyn Conley. Beautifully loose with vivid colors, Conley’s work is just a joy to see. For Conley, her starting point is always photography and she is constantly in search of suitable images to use as starting points for her work. Through her collecting and archiving of old images she then begins to find links and connections between certain images. Through these associations, a starting point for a new body of work slowly starts to emerges.

All the President's Children by Jaclyn Conley

This current series is based on images sourced from the Presidential Library Archives. Here, Conley has focused on the faces of children in crowds. She crops these from photographs of large crowds at political gatherings. The results are great. Her paintings are pared down and refined, almost to a point of abstraction. It’s a wonderful series and I highly recommend you check it out in full on her website.

All the President's Children by Jaclyn Conley

All the President's Children by Jaclyn Conley

Philip Kennedy

October 7, 2014 / By

David Benjamin Sherry’s Mono-Color Landscapes Are Far From Monotonous

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New York’s illustrious photography gallery, Danziger, has inaugurated its new space at 521 West 23rd Street with the first NYC showing of David Benjamin Sherry’s mono-color landscapes. Featuring a series of photographs that Sherry shot over the course of 2013 and 2014, it’s a heartfelt look at the world in a post modern sense. Having turned classic American landscapes into panoramas of vast and vivid color, Sherry’s renditions reminds us the importance of color in design and how much it can influence the perception of your work. The body of work is stunning and its presentation falls inline with the recent release of Sherry’s book.

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David Benjamin Sherry was born in 1981 in Woodstock, NY and currently lives and works out of Los Angeles. Having received his BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and his MFA from Yale University, he has seen much success and presented forth an impressive body of medium challenging work. I’ve heard him referred to as the modern day Ansel Adams. If that’s not saying a lot, then I don’t know what is.

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You can view his art as a part of the permanent collections at the Wexner Center of the Arts, Columbus, Ohio, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and the Saatchi Collection, London. Sherry’s most recent success occurred just last month, where he published Earth Changes in collaboration with Mörel Books, London. The book challenges categorical photography ideologies and questions photography’s truth.

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In his latest, Sherry used a traditional handmade wooden camera and shot with the beloved f/64 aperture (admired by classics like Edward Weston and the aforementioned Adams). Sherry adds his signature chromogenic hues by then altering the film in the darkroom. These exaggerated hues are simultaneously surreal, monochrome, and painterly.

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Often acidic and futuristic, they implore the viewer to question the classic landscapes and the role of nature in the world, or rather, what role we have towards nature. This work demonstrates that Sherry is not only a master of bold, sensual color, but also exploration, as seen by the West and SouthWestern American landscapes he reimagines. He portrays geological phenomena such as rock formations and sand dunes with those vivid and unexpected colors, which are a departure from their natural presentation.

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Strolling through the gallery you begin to feel a rhythm to the show, as directed by Sherry’s syncopated palettes of color. It’s a direct engagement with the viewer and an invitation to turn the mind’s eye inward. Sherry’s landscapes remind us, without preaching, of the inherent value that exists in nature—what it offers, what it represents, and ultimately, its ability to connect us to a broader experience. You can even goes as far as concluding that the tones, in combination with the landscapes, are critical of mankind’s relationship to recent climate change.

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike… This natural beauty – hunger is made manifest … in our magnificent National Parks … Nature’s sublime wonderlands, the admiration and joy of the world.”
– John Muir

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I could probably take a page from Sherry’s book and not be so preachy about our relationship with Earth, but seeing works such as the photographs on show at Danziger fill me with passion and insight that I can’t resist. It’s so refreshing to see artists such as Sherry take another look at such a classic and beloved medium, and stock it loaded with contemporary commentary. A must see.

Sherry’s work is on show till October 25th. If you’re unable to drop by, you can order his new book here.

Nick Partyka

October 1, 2014 / By

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