When I started this blog 9 months ago I never expected to be where I’m at this very moment. Exhausted from late night after late night of learning new video software, chopping up clips of video I actually made, prepping for a live performance with artists I greatly admire. As much as I want to sleep for a month straight, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be. Delicious Scopitone and the thriving community they were so deeply apart of played a rather large part in all of this and for that I thank them. DS brought to the world such a consistent, carefully curated array of new music and video that I found myself lost in post after post admiring the talent they shared with all of us. It was these many months of watching and listening that started me thinking… I wonder if I can do that?
Since then, with the aid of 7,000 cups of tea and piles of old magazines, I’ve had the pleasure working with some really amazing people on projects that I’m genuinely proud to be apart of, among them this thank you/tribute to DS. You can read more about it here as well as download the 8 track mixtape with songs from Ghost Animal, Steffaloo, Maize, Mutual Benefit, Memoryhouse, Mount Pleasant, Porcelain Rain, and Coma Cinema.
Thank you also to Eloise and Krista for putting this project together and Mutual Benefit for allowing me to put my vision to Stargazer. I feel very honored to be apart of this with all of you. Much much love.
For me art is a process, so I love seeing projects that are made to evolve like Daniele del Nero’s After Effects. He builds paper models of buildings, covers them in flour and water and lets nature take over. The results are beautiful decay. I can only imagine how these are amazing to see in person over the course of days, weeks or months. Watching them slowly deteriorate gives a rare glimpse into the natural processes that take place on man made structures when man can no longer maintain them. It reminds me of images I’ve seen of the remnants of Gary, Indiana or my beloved yet structurally decaying, Detroit.
Here’s del Nero’s explaination of the idea behind After Effects:
my purpose is to talk about the sense of time and destiny of the planet after the human species, through the sense of restlessness which abandoned buildings are able to communicate.
Billy Ogawa and I crossed paths back in art school where I was always jealous of his illustration skills. I’ve since come to terms with the fact that drawing isn’t my forte but am delighted to see that his skills have only gotten better. I was always impressed by his studies as they popped up on my facebook feed and over the last few days I’ve found myself confronted with and by his newest series The Senators of the 112th Congress, which he started this past summer. Already 16 deep, he’s steadily making his way through the remaining Senators.
These drawings are probably the most poignant political commentary I’ve ever seen. They make you feel so much with so little. It’s simply a Senators face but I feel extremely uneasy looking at them. Their politician smile greets you, asking for your support yet their eyes reveal the nothingness behind. You can stare at them all you want but you get nothing in return. Billy referred to them as demons in ill-fitting human masks, adding “There’s just something about the very nature of politics that repulses me, an emptiness that isn’t restricted to Right or Left. So the drawings are a way to express that cynicism, to make art about politics without necessarily being political.”
While I’m not much for politics and as on edge as this series puts me, I have to applaud Billy for so successfully confronting people with his art, that at the very least get you thinking and seeing things a little differently.
Heads up: A handful of illustrations in his portfolio are NSFW.
Expedición Extinción is a series of paintings by Colombian artist Edwin Monsalve. There are many reasons why this series jumped out at me.. my odd nostalgia for biology texts from college, traipsing through the Michigan woods growing up, collecting edible plants with my father or simply that they remind me of something I’d see in a 1940′s National Geographic. All these reasons are why I liked looking at them, on the surface. The concept behind them is why I’m sharing them with you…
These are all painted with chlorophyll, the green pigment found in plants and algae. The function of chlorophyll, in a live plant, is to absorb light and transfer the energy within it to help facilitate photosynthesis. The beauty of using this as pigment for a painting is that it fades over time, around 15 years by Monslave’s estimate, making the painting as alive as the living plant it portrays was and just as temporal. The idea is simply brilliant and I can only imagine how these must look in person. At first glowing with vibrant color then, as years pass, a faded remnant of what it once was, such is life. I would love to have one of these to watch it unfold. I bet the stain left behind would be just as intriguing as the day it was framed.
Think or Smile | Nathaniel Whitcomb © 2010