Chinese artist Cao Hui‘s sculptures manage to intrigue as well as turn stomachs. His (mostly) inanimate objects contain organs and raw meat that are either made visible through the surface or upon disassembling the sculpture. Through juxtaposing inside and outside, he seemingly gives life to dead objects.
Guy Denning (born 1965) is a self taught English contemporary artist and painter based in France. He is the founder of the Neomodern group and part of the urban art scene in Bristol.
Denning’s early work included an interest in the work of Franz Kline and was characterised by powerful, expressive brushstrokes in mainly abstract paintings. More recently he has combined earlier influences with an increasingly figurative style of painting. The human figure features strongly in his latest work and he uses this subject matter to convey powerful emotions.
“Painting is a focusing; a process of exaggeration and editing of a suggestion of reality. I can start with a skeleton, like a foundation illustration, perhaps taken from a life study or a photograph and then I start to manipulate that framework. All the time I am hoping for accidents with the paint as the accidents are usually the source of greatest productivity. Perhaps the accidents of paint give me a similar perspective as the viewer to the finished painting: the surprise at something fresh or something that is not immediately understood in its construction. This aspect of painting is like, perhaps, finding the uncontrolled intention.
I know when it’s right or, at least, tending towards right but I don’t know how to do it. If I knew how to do it, that there was a predetermined and guaranteed method, then it wouldn’t be the challenge that forces me to paint continually.”
© Guy Denning
Nikola Nikolov’s sculptural re-created items make use of materials at hand.
The Bells, a steel frame of cold forged iron bells was inspired by old Bulgarian warning systems implemented by farmers. Rattling the frame would alert neighbours to any impending doom. Other work includes The White (Jack) Rabbit, a hare made out of pieces of baby cribs and chairs that represents an alternative character from Alice in Wonderland. And Alice is an open storage castle made from discarded furniture.
Maria Khan completed her Masters with Honors in Visual Arts from NCA, Lahore. Her work revolves around deformity and celebrates the idea of being who you are. It is about a woman’s inner nature and visualizing the more disturbing aspects of the self, which are normally kept locked in our heads away from public scrutiny. “I paint women in savage forms”.
Source: Asia Society
Works by Maria Kahn
Mine is too small, too 70s crumbling down, too dark and either too cold or too hot, but affordable and situated in an unusually inspiring environment.
Some artist however, manage to find studio’s that seem to capture the essence of their work . I love such congruence.
In everyday life I’m not excessively drawn to animals. That is to say, I do adore my two cats like most pet owners would and am very conscious of animal welfare (although I do eat meat even when, like most consumers, I’m not quite sure whether the animal has lived a good life and died painlessly), but if you were to ask me about my main interests in life, animals would not be among them.
Surprisingly, my subconscious doesn’t seem to agree. I have always had, and still have, animals appear in almost every dream. Rationally, I can explain this by assuming they serve as a metaphor, either one concocted by my mind (pigs flying into a bedroom wall after a rape) or related to an existing one (a frog being halved by a clothes hanger, rather than being kissed by a princess or snakes growing out of my hands after touching an apple).
However, that is not all. Apparently, I am absolutely, overwhelmingly fascinated by (certain) dead animals and (certain) dead animal art. One has to, for instance, literally drag me away from the dead, plucked – yet still with head and feet – chickens on display at Asian markets. Equally, I can stare for hours on end at Cattelan’s horse (“untitled”) hanging from a wall, its head disappearing into it. Or at Hirst’s “This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed at home”, consisting of a pig sliced in half in two vitrines, one of which slowly slides backward and forward.
Fortunately, having worked as a full-time artist for almost a year now, I have come to more and more accept the unexplainable. So whether it’s to do with the consolation of seemingly controlling death, the aesthetics of the unattractive concept of death or whether it simply constitutes a rather morbid fascination, is now of less importance than finding my direction in art.
Some of my favourites:
“Untitled”, Maurizio Cattelan, 2007
“The last enemy” (detail), Polly Morgan, 2006
“This Little Piggy Went to Market, This Little Piggy Stayed at Home”, Damien Hirst, 1996
“Lenore”, Julia deVille, 2010
I absolutely adore (and am slightly envious of) Marty Poorter’s ”intuitive” work. She is a Dutch artist to whom the relationship between humans and animals are an endless source of inspiration.
“I just follow my hand without thinking. In a state of apparent emptiness I surrender to a kind of inner music. Each new line is my own creation, yet later I am sometimes surprised by the strange creatures that have appeared. Creatures that have something of a human being as well as an animal; as if they merged.”
“My visual work is my way of speaking; of my place in the world. My source is desire, the longing for gestures I have not previously made. Gestures that reflect my outlook on the world; my reality. I am “talking” about the living world in its loneliness. Its separateness. In its being different. Without land, without origin. Suffering. Loving. Vulnerable, yet grand: strange! That mystery I want to show.”
Marty’s work breaths an utterly intriguing vulnerability that is capable of truly capturing my attention in terms of observation.
Some of my favourites:
Golan Levin is an American artist and engineer interested in developing artifacts and events which explore supple new modes of reactive expression. His artwork focuses on the design of systems as part of a more general inquiry into formal languages of interactivity and of nonverbal communication. Through performances, digital artifacts, and virtual environments, often created with a variety of collaborators, Levin applies creative twists to digital technologies that highlight our relationship with machines, making visible our ways of interacting with each other, and exploring the intersection of abstract communication and interactivity. Source: Wikipedia
TED 2009: Golin Levin makes art that looks back at you
> See all projects from Golan Levin and collaborators