art

ART

Kehinde Wiley

It was almost impossible to choose which of Kehinde Wiley's fukin rad paintings to display. I chose these because I liked the themes of 1) hot women mugging in front of psychedelic wallpaper, and 2) men lying down. (This theme is in no way Wiley's, these paintings are from different exhibitions and projects.)

The men lying down are, in fact, part of Wiley's Down series. Paintings in this series reinvent the poses and compositions of master works with  young, black dudes as subjects. The paintings are badass and flawless. They're also enormous (see artist in last image for scale), which further emphasizes their sensation du triomphe (#iwokeuplikethis).

Stop what you're doing and g visit kehindewiley.com to see more and even more of his pieces. Go now. Do it. 

Portrait of Mary Hill, Lady Killigrew, 2013

Portrait of Mary Hill, Lady Killigrew, 2013

The Lamentation Over the Dead Christ, 2008

The Lamentation Over the Dead Christ, 2008

China Samantha Nash, 2013

China Samantha Nash, 2013

The Virgin Martyr St Cecilia, 2006

The Virgin Martyr St Cecilia, 2006

Femme piquee par un serpent, 2008

Femme piquee par un serpent, 2008

ART

Femilly Killer (aka Emily Miller)

"I desperately tried to flatten myself into a hot dumbass on the Internet," begins Femily Killer's (aka Emily Miller's) artist statement on her website. That is the best statement ever, and I don't know what it means!

Femily (Emily) is an artist from Florida living and working in Brooklyn, NY.

Among other endeavors, F(emily) creates oil paintings with these alla prima, chunky, side-by-side brush stroke techniques. Her website says they "a sort of 'internal self portrait,'" but I posted a few sort of actual self portraits. 

I particularly like Selfie After Thiebaud. I'm guessing it was a good time. 

To see more self(ie) portaits, etcetera, visit emilyemilymiller.com or follow the hot Internet dumbass (!) on Twitter @femilykiller.

Self Portait (June 19) 

Self Portait (June 19) 

Avatar (Michelle) 

Avatar (Michelle) 

Selfie After Thiebaud

Selfie After Thiebaud

ART

Cleon Peterson

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Cleon Peterson's primary color paintings of athletic, sadistic violence in 2D are pretty awesome even though (or because?) they make me a bit queasy. The subjects fight in a bleak, context-less place like slaves did in scenes from the walls of a Pharoah's tomb. 

The three shown below are 1) a horrific war of bodies stabbing and choking each other, 2) a scene reminiscent of police beatings filmed as of late, 3) what looks like a match between two luchadors. (Not really, but kinda.)

Whew. Rough stuff. And the others (or the feeling of viewing dozens of them at once) are even more chilling/terrifying/sickening/moving. I'd suggest you go see them by visiting cleonpeterson.com. 

 

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ART

Todd James, aka REAS

Todd James (REAS) started as a graffiti artist in the 80's tagging NYC subway cars. He also painted these neon, energetic cartoons of sunburnt lumps. I'm not sure why two of the ladies have duck bills, but I like it.

The purple-haired broad in the red onepiece is going to be me later today at the pool <Sunglass Emoji>. (As if I could be that fly.) 

To see more of Todd James's fierce neon, visit his site: toddjames.com.  

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ART

Caryn Cast - County Fair Winners

I love these paintings based on winners of a county fair by Queens artist Caryn Cast. Maybe it's her Florida-to-Tennessee upbringing (maybe not), but these pastels/acrypic/paper/wood pieces are awesomely reminiscent of Mid-America genre paintings of community, rural, middle-class folk doing their thing.

I particularly love Gayle's smile. I'd be smiling, too, if I had that many jars of pickles. Pickles. Yum. 

In addition to these artistic accomplishments, Caryn has won lots of prestigious awards, and produced a particularly interesting and arresting mural of Kim Jong II milking a cow.  The Supreme Leader is half smiling half grimacing as he squeezes the cow's udders. It reminds me of the photos I saw once of  Kim Jong Un's tour of North Korean factories and farms in which he gets very excited about looking at salmon and other items. 

Anyhow, visit her website to see the Supreme Leader and other delightful pieces. 

 

    

 

 

ART

Jihee So

I found Seoul/Toronto artist Jihee So's art on Instagram. Her flat pastel illustrations of people with long necks make me feel calm. The face and neck shapes are like Kitagawa Utamaro's beautiful women, but are of both women and men living in 2015 who have put a bird on it. Anywow, I like it. 

To see more of Jihee's illustrations, visit her Instagram feed

ARTICLE, NONFICTION

Cuz a New Town Party Don't Stop

Pierre Huyghe. "Streamside Day," film still, 2003. Film and video transfers; 26 minutes, color, sound. Courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery, Paris/New York. © Pierre Huyghe.

Pierre Huyghe. "Streamside Day," film still, 2003. Film and video transfers; 26 minutes, color, sound. Courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery, Paris/New York. © Pierre Huyghe.

In winter 2014-2015, the Lacma sponsored a retrospective of artist, Pierre Huyghe (b. 1962, Paris). I walked into the exhibition and a man in a suit announced my full name into the dark studio. I found a hermit crab in an aquarium wearing a football-sized Sleeping Muse shell. Outside, a bee hive was the head of a lounging, nude sculpture.

Despite these distractions, I spent most of my time in an alcove watching Streamside Day: a video of a celebration Pierre Huyghe invented for Streamside, a recently-birthed planned town in rural New York.

Onscreen, a parade of teenagers in rabbit and bear and horse costumes wander down a dirt street lined with naked wood homes. The smooth, bare earth is carved in the middle of a forest. The fresh-cut barrenness reminds me of a copper mine.

In a dirt quad, families sit on lawn chairs, look at their new neighbors, eat a curated pile of rainbow donuts. The mayor of the town gives a speech into a cheap microphone from a plywood platform.

The scene evokes the feeling of the first day of ninth grade. I look at the faces of the moms and dads who just spent a chunk of change on a down payment for this very new and out-of-the-way place. I get a sneaking suspicion that Huyghe is poking fun of the families. Parading their children around in pagan animal heads. Dotting the scene with silver Mylar balloons, bare plywood, rainbow-colored food. Failing to provide chairs so families bring their own mis-matching fold-ables.

Despite this, in an interview with Art 21, Huyghe said the town, “was under construction when [he] found it, and … created—or invented—a tradition for it … a celebration, once a year.” He continues: “This is a town that has no organicity. It's an image—an instant, pure image. Months ago, there was no town. Now, it's a brand new town with roads.” A new town, which, to Huyghe, warranted a celebration.

Watching the Streamside Day video, I was reminded of the time I once drove 4+ hours from Orange County through the Mojave Desert to the hot scrawled ruins of California City. Brainchild of Nat Mendelsohn, California City is and was an 80,000 acre planned community that was birthed during the New Town Movement of the 1950s. Mendelsohn imagined California City might one day rival Los Angeles.  

Though California City did end up becoming home to a few hundred residents – most of whom work for the nearby Airforce base – it is mostly a grid of ghost cul de sacs and crumbling asphalt. Street signs stare over the hard desert ground. California City is the state of California’s third largest city, by geographical area. It can be seen from space. I visited it because I have a thing about New Towns: towns with “no organicity.”

Born and raised in Orange County, CA, most of which is a New Town-type stucco suburban sprawl on the coast of Southern California, I know some of what it feels like to grow up in a New Town. Irvine, CA, is a particularly good example: a grid of glass office buildings and apartment towns built on what feels like an arbitrary spot in a grassy expanse.

I now work in another New Town: Broomfield, CO, which sits halfway between Denver and Boulder. Youtube hosts a video from the 50’s detailing its inception and birth.

The narrator begins by detailing the achievement of a man named Morris Greeley, who paved the path for Broomfield by birthing nearby New Town Greeley, Colorado. “Morris Greeley was a man of vision,” says the narrator. “In the wide horizons of his mind, he saw the stirring future of the American West. After viewing the rich, rolling land that sweeps majestically up to the great wall of the Rocky Mountains, he advised, “go west, young man, and grow up with the country.”

The narrator’s booming voice resonates with the enthusiasm of post-war America -- an America full of middle classers seeking to flee from the dirty urban sprawl toward the healthful environs of the grassy suburbs. The narrator asks: “Why not meet the challenge of a growing area by building a whole new city from scratch … a modern dream city for 30K people where everything is carefully planned from the beginning … ?”

Why not?

“Soon, the detailed planning for Broomfield heights was underway in earnest,” says the narrator. “A firm of experienced city planners was obtained to make a dream city as perfect as man can conceive. Streets were laid out in arcs and curves to conform to the natural landscape … street arteries were planned to carry traffic easily and quickly to and from a smart, modern shopping center.”

I know lots of people who live in Broomfield (no Heights). It’s affordable, is home to dozens of tech conglomerate high-rise office buildings, and, indeed, has some nice views of the mountains. I’m guessing the smart, modern shopping center is the strip mall with the Starbucks and Buffalo Wild Wings.

It’s easy to criticize New Towns such as Broomfield, CO, or Irvine, CA. They’re populated by mostly white, middle class folks. Chain businesses dominate. Homes and apartments matchy-match like they came from a box set. Driving culture dominates. They’re usually dozens of miles from what could be considered a true city, a natural people center.

In fact, the out-of-the-way nature of New Towns is part of their DNA. Distance from the messiness of the people center is what makes New Towns feel safe. I’m not sure if Streamside is or will become a typical New Town, but it has most of the earmarks of one. And, my instinct is to criticize it, to start humming lines from the Father John Misty song:

"they gave me a useless education

... a subprime loan

on a craftsman home" 

But, maybe that isn't the right response.  At least it didn't seem to be Huyghe's. “When I first saw this town, I just went to see all the people,” said Huyghe. “And then I said, ‘I'm going to invent a celebration because it's a brand new place … I organized the whole celebration—from the parade to the concert, to the food, to the mayor giving a speech, to the kids playing—everything.'”

I hum: "Oh ... just a little ... bored in the USA..."  The narrator continues: “on an historic day, the 21st of August, 1955, a town was born … 100 new families had pioneered and found the realization for their dreams.”

ART

Sage Vaughn - Wildflowers

Ex-graffiti artist and naturalist painter, Sage Vaughn, wears infra-red night vision goggles while he paints. Because lots of animals and insects look through infra-red eyeballs.

He's been featured in all kinds of famous galleries and on the albums of widely-known bands. 

Here are some close-ups and some faraways of pieces from Sage Vaughn's Wildflowers series. The one called Vasquez looks like flowers on top of the Flatirons I see everyday in CO. Maybe it is? 

To see more, visit sagevaughn.com. 

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Vasquez

Vasquez

LA Burial Grounds

LA Burial Grounds

ART

Patrick Dougherty - Stickworks

Oklahomian Patrick Dougherty builds architectural sculptures out of tree saplings. He has won lots of awards, obviously, for his twisty wooden masterpieces. 

Stickwork, more like, that's-an-ahmazing-mini-palace-made-of-trees-work is featured below. (Notice how the artist is often standing and thinking deeply in many of the photographs.) I like how it looks like a bunch of these are erected in front of super rich people's mansions. Oh, you whimsical rich people.

But, really, though. That one with the yellow flowers? C'mon. Take me there asap. 

You can see more of these curvy, widow-filled stick wonders at stickwork.net.  


ART

Bryan Sheffield - Lord God

FatherSons zine released its first book, Lord God, by Bryan Sheffield. The book has photos that are big camera flashes on trees at night. Light creates spots on the images like light fairy (devils?).

I love the one of palm trees blowing in the Santa Anas. I grew up in Orange County, CA, surrounded by those skinny, ridiculous Seuss trees that freeze in temps below 55 degrees Fahrenheit and struggle to stand up straight. Those trees leaning under the street lamp at one am when I was 16 and sober and The Used squealed through the bad car speakers. 

I wonder why he named the series Lord God?

Go see more emotive tree pictures photos at fathersons.net.

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ART

Baron Von Fancy

Maybe you'd heard of New York artist Baron Von Fancy (Gordon Stevenson), but I sure had not until this pleasant morning when I happenstanced upon his lively, lewd, funny phrases in black ink that populate the likes of billboards, socks, lighters, doormats, sponges. An Urban Outfitters merchandiser's dream. 

Here are some fun examples. My least favorite is the one about yesterday because ... well, damn; that's true, huh. My favorite is the one with the horse. Oh, the lighter one ... Hm. Which one is your favorite? 

 

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ART

Mike Biskup

Mike Biskup paints soothing Where's Waldo and magic eye pictures. Not really. (But kind-of.) Painted with watercolor (translucent, pastel) and India ink (permanent, black), his multilayered works are ordered, architectural romps through the daisies. Or, the product of meditations on a happy yellow word repeated into nonsense: "guava, guava, guava."  

On his website, he mentions hanging paintings on the wall to be added to over days, weeks, years. He also mentions that his art is inspired by the Buddhist idea of Interbeing. Which has something to do with a cloud. And rain. And the meaning of life.

I like it, Biskup. You keep doing you.

To see more (and purchase) these pieces, visit mikebiskup.com.

Mindset K

Mindset K

Knight By Day

Knight By Day

A Step Felt in Full  

A Step Felt in Full  

Serra

Serra

ART

Gosha Levochkin - pizza water colors

Pizza is fuckin delish. It has lots of gluten (gluten is everything that's bad for you, right?) and dairy and grease. Your friends on paleo/gluten free/veg-only/cayenne pepper+apple cider juice fast whathaveyous can't eat it. Because of this, it's a greasy, triangular symbol of [insert tiresome food/culture commentary]. And, as you can see from LA artist Gosha Levochkin's pizza water color series ... it's hilarious.

Pizza, lol. It's the best. Imma get me a piece rn. 

For more silly (and not so silly) water colors, illustrations, and paintings from Gosha Levochkin, go to goshalevochkin.tumblr.com!

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ART

Other Fudge

Travis Millard's (Instagram handle: @theotherfudge) illustrations make me lol and generally feel a buncha delight. They're goofy in a rat fink sorta way, but also sunny-afternoon happy.

I also love his prints (featured below), which are often collages of faces: dog faces, human faces, cartoon faces, trophy, er ... faces. (Now that I've seen his trophy print, I really want a trophy that says, "Oh Well" or "Eh." Don't you?)

Anyhow, check out his illustrations and comics on travismillard.com (make sure to read the one with the pink bears.) Oh, and: fun fact: Mel Kadel, his LA lady friend, was also featured on El Balazo. Theme? Hm. 

Enjoy! 

 

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ART

Laurence Valliéres - Cardboard Animals

Canadian artist Laurence Valliéres makes these incredible cardboard animals -- some of which seem to enjoy destroying vehicles. 

IncorporApe (see image #1) presents some of these such animal hooligans. Built at Fresh Paint Gallery in 2013, the structure of the car is made of wood, but the apes are made of cardboard. Friggin apes. Even cardboard ones'll roll your car and tear your face off. *shiver* 

Another such animal + vehicle sculpture was made in Toronto for Nuit Blanche (see image #2 below). It's title is: "There is an elephant in the truck." I love the artist's description of its purpose: "to yield the overall impression that the cardboard sculpture is too large for the truck." Consider the impression yielded. (PS: I wonder what the guy on the bike is thinking.)

Finally, this amazing silverback gorilla (see image #3 ... obvz) is just chillin in a gallery not ruining any sort of vehicle whatsoever. I want to touch it, too. ... How much are flights to Montreal? 

If you want to see more sweét sculptüres of apes and giant mammals made of cardbôard or cement, visit laurencevallieres.com.

 

IncorporApe

IncorporApe

There is an elephant in the truck

There is an elephant in the truck

Gorilla

Gorilla

ART

Buckley Now

Sarah Buckley is an LA illustrator and pattern maker. Her illustrations break subjects into multifaceted areas and/or flat, geometric forms in a single plane. They are simple and sexual and feel like pieces of half-remembered dreams. Fingers, thighs, hair create patterns that give me feels. Below, I've copied a couple examples.

See more at cargocollective.com/buckleynow

 

wind horse 

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You & I

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New Woman

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Hobo Artist 

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ART

Mel Kadel

I know she's already had a cover of the New Yorker and all and really doesn't need the press, but I frickin løve Mel Kadel's multi-layered hand-stained paper art. It's intricate and methodical and whimsical and I like the colors and it makes me feel calm. I also want to wear them as shirts because the patterns are bomb digg. See more at melkadel.com.

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ART

Ryan Heshka

Canadian Ryan Heshka's paintings look like pages from Kavalier and Clay-era comics or pulp mags -- but ones telling sexier and wonkier stories than you remember. I love all of his paintings, but pulled out the four bold beauties below cuz, well, I wanted to pick at least a couple good'ns. Definitely visit his site, ryanheshka.com, to see more!

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ART

Daniella Garreton - sea creatures and the like on wood canvas

Santiago de Chile-born Daniela Garreton loves the sea. Because I am feeling homesick for the sea right now, I was swept tonight on a salty current toward her seafaring wood prints (resembling American-style sailor bicep tats), which she creates from coastal city, San Sebastián.

She says of her work and mindspace (in her bio), "the sea has continued to imprint itself on her mindscreen." I feel dat.

Which is why tonight I am the tangly-bearded man with the Wes Anderson hat. I am the seagull octopus with the captain's hat. I am the bearded skull with the hat with the fish bone patch. 

To the sea, the sea!

image 1: Gorro Rojo 

image 2: Seagoctopus

image 3: Marino Calavera

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ART

Mike Bromage - Dust Piggies

Dust Piggies is a collection of silly comics by Mike Bromage about hamsters doing and saying funny things. (Or are they enacting "a deep and searching exploration of the hamster psyche in contemporary culture" as Bromage says on his About page? Hehe. But, seriously. Tao Lin has a thing with hamsters, too, so. Yeah. Who knows.)

Anyhow, I put a couple of my Dust Piggy favorites below. Please see (and purchase!) more of these comics on the Dust Piggies website or Facebook page. Hop to it!  

PS: Mike Bromage also paints art that could, you know, hang in a gallery. So, once you are done chuckling at the hamsters, I suggest you can check that out, too. I recommend his bird series.