Category Archives: art

Josh Keyes: The Magician’s Garden opening

Josh Keyes Writhing – 30″x40″

Josh Keyes’ The Magician Garden opened at Fecal Face Dot Gallery in San Francisco last night. This body of work deals closely with the hybridizations presented from genetically modified natural organisms, and as a political discourse toward the power and sway that artificiality has on nature. From Fecal Face dot Gallery:

The four new paintings and graphite drawings I am working on for the show touch in a satirical way on the delicate and controversial subject of genetically enhanced and modified plants and organisms. The subject raises serious issues about the long term implications of corporate modified products intended to both enhance and streamline products designated for mass consumption. Monsanto along with other companies are producing both products and organisms that have already been introduced into the environment and are causing major disturbances in ecosystems worldwide. (Source: FFDG)

Josh Keyes Waking – 30″x40″

Some really interesting works. Keyes did an interview with Fecal Face dot Com about a week before the opening of The Magician’s Garden, going in depth about the genesis of these works and the underlying thoughts and frameworks.

Getting back to the point, in reality the world will die with the sun, I am sure by then we will have found another planet or two to call our new home. In the meantime, with the environmental crisis escalating and civil wars breaking out all over it feels like the world is having a mid life crisis. This could just be the fact that the Internet and viral sharing of information is at a level the world has never seen or witnessed before. (source: FFDC)

Close up of Writhing – 30″x40″

We aren’t trying to be snobs at all, but you can definitely tell that Keyes has some academic and theoretical groundwork. The complexity and details in these pieces are what really point to both technical skill, outstanding “selections” of subject matter. The naturalism juxtaposed with the unnatural really shocks the eye.

Excellent work, Mr. Keyes and we are with you in your musings on the state of our natural environment. Magician’s Garden will be running until April 30, and we encourage you to check it out if you’re in the Bay area.

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Three Studios: Superflat

Source: ThreeStudio

Man, we were hunting for weeks for some good new Superflat works, and lo and behold, all that Tumblr surfing and tag-searching yielded Three Studios out of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, along with these works composed of melted vinyl Japanese figurines. The above work was on display at Pulse Miami this year along with the following recon from It’s Nice That:

…  a ‘painting’ made by melting hundreds of cute manga plastic dolls into a pool of marbled color. I love how cute and horrible this artwork seems at the same time. In this piece there are some circle shapes where the dolls didn’t melt, revealing plastic faces and limbs squished together. It was by artist collective ‘3’ and exhibited by Megumi Ogita Gallery from Tokyo. The gallerist told me they only melt ‘cute girl’ dolls. (source: It’s Nice That)

Check out these newest pieces, peeped on the Three Studios Tumblr:

Source: ThreeStudio

Source: ThreeStudio

At the risk of completely missing the themes behind these works, it’s great to see the Superflat influences in these works, particularly as commenting on the conglomeration/biological nature of breaking apart animated vinyl characters.

The implementation is really well done. Totally digging these works. Now if only we knew enough Japanese for a little liaison with Three Studios

Safwat Saleem’s Bunch of Crock

source: Beautiful/Decay

Safwat Saleem retaliates with these beautiful full-color prints featuring some of the hypocrisies and faux-pragmatism that seem to be plaguing our national and state-based decision making. With the recent government shutdown and subsequent joblessness of some 600,000 federal employees looming overhead, DC is currently in a particularly agitated state. Humorously blunt, but depressingly truthful, these prints combine the pop, post-impressionist, commercial (and now Internet meme) aesthetic with simple, accurate rhetoric.

source: Beautiful/Decay

From Beautiful/Decay:

Bunch of Crock project is a response to the current public discourse and the political landscape in the US. Being a Pakistani immigrant living in Arizona, Safwat has been inspired by both by his location and his experiences as an immigrant…

Big ups man, this is modern McCarthyism at its best. Check out Saleem’s work here.

Streets: D*Face LA

source: Arrested Motion

LA is indeed poppin right now, with D*Face painting one of his textbook Lichtenstein zombifications on the side of Corey Helford Gallery to promote Going Nowhere Fast, which opens this Saturday. Arrested Motion getting some awesome coverage of the process (and it’s only part 1).

source: Arrested Motion
source: Arrested Motion

From M&C on the show:

For “Going Nowhere Fast”, D*Face challenges society’s fascination with celebrity through his satirical exploration of fame, power and material-obsessed culture. Transforming the gallery into a multi-media vault of aPOPcalyptic new works, D*Face immortalizes the deaths of America’s most illustrious icons from Andy Warhol to Michael Jackson with an all-star milieu of new paintings, sculptures and installations. Also on display will be “Flutterdies”, an unusual sculpture series fashioned from authentic butterflies and insects combined with spray can caps that D*Face has collected over the years. “Going Nowhere Fast” will culminate with a shocking red carpet experience on opening night.

Looks to be a night of revelry for all. While we aren’t perhaps the most die-hard fans of D*Face’s work, it’s definitely a cry to the pop aesthetic of yore, and while no man or woman can match the deft image and form manipulation (not in art…) of Warhol, it’s good that an “urban” artist like D*Face is simultaneously paying homage to that Pop Art aesthetic, but also bringing it into the 21st century.

source: Arrested Motion

Kehinde Wiley’s The World Stage: Israel

source: lacma.org

Kehinde Wiley continues to keep us guessing with his newest exhibit opening on April 9th at Roberts and Tilton in LA entitled The World Stage: Israel, which stemmed from the artist’s recent trip to the Middle East and providing a first hand artistic commentary on globalization.

source: Kehinde Wiley

Wiley is known for these large, proud photographic subjects from varying neighborhoods around the world and blends traditional “master painter” style with that cross-hybridization of unique subject matter and interwoven style elements. The result are eerily powerful pieces that are almost “grown” out of the original photographs. In his words:

After a while…I started to see certain patterns emerge, patterns such as ways of dressing, patterns of speech, a type of post-black urban sensibility that supersedes race, that supersedes tribal group. It is, in many ways, something to do with class affiliation. The positioning of Israel within The World Stage series is crucial and key in understanding the project given that each country is selected for its unique political and social importance in the world arena in the year 2011…

(source: official press release)

…The work included in The World Stage: Israel specifically concentrates on contemporary Israeli youth culture utilizing discotheques, malls, bars, and sporting venues as locations to scout participants. All of the models come from a full range of ethnic and social backgrounds. In addition, the work relies heavily upon a desire to see the decorative traditions that have come out of Israel, historically juxtaposed with some of the more contemporary modes of national and personal expression. (source: official press release)

It’s the regality of the subject that draws us to these pieces. If you’re in the area, make sure to check it out at Roberts and Tilton, the exhibition will run through May 28th.

via Juxtapoz.

Ai Wei Wei detained by Chinese police

source: Ng Han Guan/Associated Press

AOK sent us this article from the NYT about artist, poet and architect Ai Wei Wei’s recent detaining by the Beijing Police. From the article:

Rights advocates say the detentions are an ominous sign that the Communist Party’s six-week crackdown on rights lawyers, bloggers and dissidents is spreading to the upper reaches of Chinese society. Mr. Ai, 53, the son of one of the country’s most beloved poets, is an internationally renowned artist, a documentary filmmaker and an architect who helped design the Olympic stadium in Beijing known as the Bird’s Nest.

Jennifer Ng, an assistant who accompanied Mr. Ai on Sunday morning, said he was taken away by uniformed officers as the two of them passed through customs at Beijing International Airport. Ms. Ng said she was told to board the plane alone because Mr. Ai “had other business” to attend to. She said Mr. Ai was planning to spend a day in Hong Kong before flying to Taiwan for a meeting about a possible exhibition.

Although not totally unexpected, it seems the west/east rift in growing wider and wider as even more well-known dissidents are being called into question their patriotism and personal rights. Ai Wei Wei’s detainment is the most recent incident in a recent spat of unnecessary and unwarranted inquisition from the national government over Wei Wei’s attempts at revealing the government corruption that resulted in premature structural failure during the Sichuan earthquake. As part of an issue ordered in late 2010, the artist’s studio was demolished in Shanghai, both as a personal attack and to set an example for the more free-thinking and bohemian area of the city.

Luckily we do have a writer at Ennui that knows Mandarin, which meant zipping over to Ai Wei Wei’s Twitter to pull some details.

This tweet from 21 hours ago was posted by one of Wei Wei’s assistants, reads that roughly 22 hours ago, police from Beijing’s Chaoyang district posted guards around the art compound after detaining 8 assistants that were taken in for questioning. Currently, there is no communication between any detained parties.

source: Shiho Fukada for The New York Times

Ai Wei Wei, you have our best hopes and well wishes for you and your assistants’ safe release from custody. To be honest we do have somewhat high hopes as Wei Wei does have pretty significant sway as a cultural figure and revolutionary bulwark to the current administration, however, therein lies the other edge of the sword: the Chinese government is particularly ruthless and unpredictable toward high profile anti-Communist party individuals and groups.

We’ll try and update this situation if anything appears over Wei Wei’s Twitter or other sources.

Lando Kal / Low Limit: Golden Handshake EP

source: Golden Handshake EP

Our buddy Pietro from Siena put us to Lando Kal vs. Low Limit’s trapperkeeper a few weeks ago with this description. Sick basslines man!! Heavy shit!

Sick baselines indeed. This kid always puts on to some righteous House and electronic deconstructions. Low Limit is no exception, showcasing a range of bangers, deep thinkers, disco jams and is just an all-around good time. Their 12 inch vinyl is already sold out, but hit up their boomkat to pick up their mp3s.

These are definitely some tracks to mix into any rager.