Category Archives: Art and Aesthetic Aces

Photographer Gabriel García Román Shines Light On Queer People Of Color

Get into this. “Queer Icons,” is a beautifully done multimedia photography project by Mexican-American artist Gabriel García Román. “Queer Icons” shines a celebratory light on queer people of color and makes a point to re-frame the subjects into idols, referencing catholic iconography. There’s a pastiche style halo in every piece.

“My images are visually giving power to a group of people that are generally dis-empowered. I want young people to see these images and see them as an example of someone powerful and noble that they can become,” Gabriel told Fusion in an interview.

Gabriel has too many awesome pieces to fit into this one post. But these are just a few of my favorites. Click here to view more works by Gabriel.

qi_sonia_custom-4c40004addff0f7fba85d38a0868ca0f73cc08e8-s800-c85 qi_emanuel_custom-acffc2fb4876f61e65ceb0705260a87d282c0dfd-s800-c85 qi_julissa_custom-0b109c59777ad3b0afc43fafb20890f85509f3d5-s800-c85 qi_bakar_custom-3b525e606717c0238c19393cf09ed8d1536a9760-s800-c85

Meet Post POPcalyptic Artist Sage Guillory

Sage Guillory is a transformative artist from Atlanta, GA. As a child, Guillory doodled on everything he could get his hands on. While other kids were heavily focused in school, he was not. His drawings allowed for him to escape his reality. Over the years he has developed a distinct style of art, which stems from his overactive childlike imagination. He attributes his inspiration for his work to Greek mythology, Egyptian culture and humanity as whole.

tumblr_nmw6t9R5Re1s1jepgo1_1280 tumblr_niwlb9rzkZ1s1jepgo1_1280 tumblr_niwl8jqbN31s1jepgo1_1280 tumblr_nihncwIgCS1s1jepgo2_1280 tumblr_n7oqqgLdL61s1jepgo1_1280 tumblr_n6u7pxWBkl1s1jepgo1_1280 tumblr_nihncwIgCS1s1jepgo1_1280 tumblr_n6u7obTd7h1s1jepgo1_1280 CHERRY+BOMB+SAGE+2-01 tumblr_n6u7lqiALh1s1jepgo1_1280 tumblr_mz2r30RNLT1s1jepgo1_1280 POH+BABY+G-01

Vinyl Mind Flow: RAINBOW BODY /// Millie Brown

Full disclosure: I went to an art gallery one day, one thing led to another and here we are.

I don’t know much about art, but I like words. When collected in a contained space, regardless of intended cohesion, sometimes these words take on a life of their own. Regardless of proper punctuation or standardized syntax, sometimes these words manifest into atmospheres of linguistic articulation made visual. Sometimes… the message is nothing more than the mood conveyed, and the connection between messengers new and old. This… could be one of said times. #kanyeshrug

DSC_0900

#SWIPERGETTOTHEPOINTALREADY #IMTRYINGTOBUILDASCENE #LETMEFINISHTHEPATH

Fair warning (because, yes, even more pretense): sometimes i read. people who sometimes read sometimes get wordy, this is undoubtedly one of those times. #THEREWILLBEWORDS these words, again, may not make sense #IDONTWRITEREVIEWS #IWAXRETROSPECTIVEANDWANEDIALECTIC

#HERESWHENYOUCANSTARTPAYINGATTENTION

DSC_0893

Rainbow Body is the fourth Solo Exhibition by British performance artist Millie Brown. An evolution of Brown’s original and most recognized performance work, Rainbow Body presents a survey of the artist’s new home in Los Angeles. Developed from Brown’s non-traditional, performance-based methods of painting from the inside-out, Rainbow Body features a post-contemporary study on abstract expressionism within a California palette.

Using almond milk, food coloring, stomach and hands, Brown creates aesthetically whimsical paintings with a deep underlining of raw human emotion. Each piece tells the story of the Los Angeles sky, its past and its present, its light and its dark.

Viewing the body as a vessel for spiritual practice, Brown pushes physical and mental boundaries to reach a state of enlightenment from which creative expression and healing derives. Rooted in Tibetan Buddhist theology, Rainbow Body is the phenomenon of viewing spiritual transcendence from a third person perspective. Rainbow Body is based on three wisdoms, representing the three categories of paintings: ground, presence, and energy.

DSC_0878

For those of you who don’t read, a touch of how it felt in my head on first blinkk (BECAUSE YOU’RE IMPATIENT, YOU GET THE STANDARD PHOTO QUALITY EDITION *standard photo quality not representative of vivid quality of featured artwork):

And now, for those who do read, a miscellany with the curator:

Natology: so rainbow body, reaching spiritual transcendence, is based on three principals: ground, presence, and energy.

sxb: and was that you, did millie come in and

Natology: Millie said ‘Rainbow Body’ and she said what it was, and i researched it. and then i just know, you know,

spiritual evolution doesn’t just happen by being like: ‘alright we’re on the ground floor, on presence,’ and then it’s like, ‘rad, i just passed this layer,’ like it’s this level – it’s not that easy.

you are on your ground, and then you have a moment of enlightenment, and then you reach presence right. but then – you fxxkin fall right back down, and you’re back on the ground!

so, that’s the way that this show is curated… it shows the natural spiritual transcendence.

so right here you know, it starts off with ground, ground, this is the first piece that was ever made.

DSC_0903

this piece, all of this concentration, it’s a representation – i mean, and this is all unintentional right – but it represents all of the palettes and all of the energy that she used up until this point in her career and then it disperses into light. and remember when we were talking about the aura that just happens to be around this and it’s just so crazy.

sxb: it’s so mental, and i feel like it looks different than it did yesterday

Natology: it does! it always does.

sxb: it seems faded until you see the clear point of distinction in which it’s clearly that, and that’s clearly that. and it’s the mood ring effect…

Natology: this all up here has changed too because of the stomach acid, in the photographs that i have it was much brighter but it’s brought out, the light has brought light into the colors. i think that in art history the things that are going to be most recognized in her work are these negative spaces…

DSC_0906

… you know post-contemporary culture, what i call post-contemporary culture – which is where i mostly operate – it’s mostly you know, art as an experience, and as a part of all of us, and as a part of the art form of what we do: fashion, lifestyle, and, how all of these things cross over interrelate into what the post-contemporary dialogue is and will be. so where is art going and you see that right now we’re living in the most exciting times ever because it’s a tipping point it’s a change in paradigm it’s a historical movement.

sxb: an interesting triad you have is art, academia, and advertising. those are three worlds that kind of fight for that same space of controlling the mindset – because really, discourse at the end of the day is what defines everything. it’s not what you see, it’s–

Natology: how you say it, how you talk about it, how you perceive it and how you tell the story: how you sell the dream.

DSC_0884

because i think like example for me, one of the things that was limiting about academia was that at the end of the day, and again that goes into any of these fields, is that it ends up being a dialogue amongst a very small group of people, so that you can’t really change anything… that you’re all just going so deep down the rabbit hole that you’re only feeding the ego in that conversation, and aren’t really able to reach a larger audience.

DSC_0929

you know, i think that that’s where entertainment really plays in, and how you reach a wider demographic and expand the palette of what is to be the next wave in fashion, art, culture or whatever it is. and again, that all has to do with marketing and advertising… what are the things that work, what are the things that don’t work. there’s a mcdonaldization of culture where everything has been completely watered down and, you know, the mass is just taking what’s fed to them because they’re told that it’s cool – but at the same time you’re having this huge awakening where people who would have never talked about like, a fifth dimension or even just intuition, are talking about it and are like following that intuition and are like being guided to … to what is taking place.

for example: millie brown’s work – HIGHLY controversial, highly powerful

sxb: polarizing

Natology: EXACTLY. that another gallerist would frame a completely different story than the one that i framed or would want… you know, she’s not the first artist who has used DNA, or like has used bodily fluids to create art, and with this greed and two dimensional perspective, you have artists that become pigeonholed into becoming an artist that just makes enema paintings, or an artist that just makes chewed-up bubblegum paintings, or an artist that just makes vomit paintings, and the truth is that just limits the creative expression of an individual.

DSC_0919

that’s why i say like, this is the last body of work of this particular period because from here – you know, Rainbow Body is a concept of dissolving into light – from here, millie dissolves into light. that’s what the performance yesterday was about, that’s what the series is about, and that’s what the performance at the abramovich institute in may is about. blinded by the light where she’s bathed in light, and surrounded by nothing but light and just you know nasa’s recording of the sun…

DSC_0914

and so i think that, and i never noticed the triangles that you pointed out between art, advertising, and academia – but you know, it’s all in how you paint the picture and being able to see understand and to share that story in a way that is … that … that makes sense and that is palatable and that is still super punk rock you know like … i’m still an anarchist i’ve always been super like … on some other sxxt you know like, and a radical, but there’s a way to do it that you know is like… like yesterday when i saw her do her performance i was like, ‘yo, she’s so punk rock! but so elegant and honest and raw in her creative expression.’

DSC_0915

and you know i think, to be punk rock, and this is something i feel like you learn with age… and you know – something that i’ve learned – through time, it’s just, it’s just the way of seeing the world… you know, to be a radical. radical i mean, really just means really getting down to the roots of something…

DSC_0917

and you learn how you can work with the cultural and political climate to get your point across and and do it well and do it the right way and and really be able to stir things up from the root

DSC_0899

but you know you don’t have to be a dirty punk to do it … – ‘cos your mind’s a dirty punk

it’s about how you can get your point across, and again: it goes back to to the discourse, the dialogue, the conversation – because what is anything: it’s the meaning that we give it.

sxb: … the materialized mentality

Natology: exactly.

DSC_0902

… intermission #LIKEWEALWAYSDOATTHISTIME

DSC_0883

So – … I riffed on RAINBOW BODY into a recording device for twenty-five minutes and nineteen seconds: this is the verbatim transcription

(FAIR WARNING: EVEN, MORE, WORDS… EXPONENTIALLY MORE WORDS, VERBOSE LINGUISTIC DELUGES COMING IN WAVES OF INCREASING QUANTITY AND INDEFINITE QUALITY – IF YOU DON’T LIKE SWIPER’S FLOW, YOU ARE BEYOND BEYOND WELCOME TO GO ABOUT YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED DAILY HAPPENINGS.)

#thatsaid …

VINYL MIND FLOW #PROSEWEGO

so, i think, in retrospect, there’s something very salient about the journey of the rainbow body. i mean as much as this has been about millie completely and entirely i think the most … magnetic, and attractive, literally, element of the show and the exhibit and the practice itself is the shared consciousness of it all. i don’t know millie. i only recently met the people with involved with the project, and to be quite honest i was quite unfamiliar with anybody in that room before really – and yet, at the same time, it’s the unspoken bond that was shared between everyone who’s experiencing this transcendence of someone else. and it’s this feeling that you’re drawn to – you’re attracted to the opposite, right. so you’ve got people who may feel that much more human when they’re drawn to millie.

and opposites attract, but likes stay together, so we see this as seeming opposites coming together, and yet you remain there. you remain in this space, this physical space of the gallery as much as this mindset.

once you’ve seen this you cannot unsee the scene. and you can’t you can’t return the purge. and the beauty of it is that for as violent and as aggressive and as unrefined and raw as all of this is… the beauty is that you don’t have to return. and that it’s there, and that whatever it is that you need to release from yourself to get to that next level is there on display

and i think at the core of it is that it is her humanity which is being recorded right now.

this is recording her human condition, this is recording her soul and a condition because your light body your rainbow body is immaterial. and the immaterial is of no worth on a material plane, but it was that immaterial spark – that catalyst, that essence, that eternal body which was controlling this material vessel the entire time.

so it’s that millie’s rainbow body is going through its debutante. it was that rainbow body of millie’s that pulled her away from the academic route in england. and it was that same rainbow body that fueled her journey to the states. whether it be new york or whether it be austin, texas – it was that rainbow body right? that essential eternal something that pushed her there, and it was that same rainbow body that attracted different energies to her, and if we’re looking at the starting point as this collapse and this amalgam of every possible color from the palette becoming black. you look at the genesis you look at the origin point of the exhibit. and this is me just rambling, i mean i don’t have reference points outside of my experience which again is the point of this. it’s just if the origin is the amalgam of all of these colors right, the origin her starting point here in this journey is carrying all of those experiences with her here, all of the energies she interacted with became part of hers. and at that point you know it’s interesting once you get to l.a. the lights are blinding.

rainbowbody_001_cc.jpg

and so to go from england to have that rainbow body propel you overseas through the barbecue pit, and again: i don’t know millie – this is just what has appeared to me through the artistry of this legacy that we now are sharing – you know and to have that take you, i guess fast forward all i know is that she went from england to l.a. and she’s en route to new york and so we come to l.a. the amalgam this genesis point that i suppose, where better to transcend?

where better to rid yourself of this form than the city of angels? naturally that’s going be where we become one of them.

we become a stellar body, prismatic and when you’re walking through the gallery there’s almost this sense that you begin in this void, you begin in this black hole – this entity that is the epitome of magnetism and attraction. so dark, and so dense, and apparently void and yet it is truly in that darkness where all the elements meet and converge and it’s that blackness that we share, and the beauty in that blackness. and it’s so natural and yet in this world of convention social constraints, cultural institutions, and the commercialization of all of this, and the agenda of the dominant patriarchy, the puritanical patriarchy, they mar this sense of beautiful blackness and they make it appear as if it is wrong or as if it is bad or unnecessary or unwanted and unneeded – and it’s interesting because it’s that place that we come together in the blindness of it all.

black is no different than white. absence and presence where there is absence there is presence right. it’s the absence of what and the presence of what. and it’s something you feel – we don’t see it, and what you see is black and white, and what we feel is dark and light – and yet it’s all just shades of the same thing.

there is no pure darkness, i don’t believe. i feel there are shades and hues of a light. and so with this again at the genesis. it’s something i found myself focusing on as i was in the gallery, i kept focusing, my eye was caught on that point of emergence: where is the origin? and it wasn’t even the blackness, it was the corner in a very eastern way. the idea that chinese paintings begin in the corner, and they build this entire story out from that small southwestern corner – much like millie’s journey now.

so it’s almost as if she emerged from england, and you learn yourself academically and what you should be. you learn the system. you’re a part of the system. you keep building that framework and you find yourself as a cog – as a cog that’s moving something forward, that’s a juggernaut that you had no control over creating. that you have even less control over directing and so you remove yourself from it, at the expense of that machine itself, because certain cogs are necessary even though they are overlooked – and millie is one of those cogs.

you know, when you walk through here and i went and seeing those pictures remain, almost understanding that these have not been acquired yet, there’s almost a beauty to that. on one hand not all of these paintings have been bought, the idea that someone has seen it, that has the means to acquire it and has not, for whatever reason, on one hand: it’s a downside to think that, you know someone didn’t want it, it’s unwanted for some reason – the marketplace is what you make of it. on the other hand: it is beautiful that  there is this something out there, that the universe didn’t feel it was ready to be released yet. it’s even more wonderful. or maybe there’s a forcefield maybe these paintings needed to remain on a wall for someone to see them. maybe that potential will come in later. but the idea that presence, the idea that it has not been acquired yet, even though it is out there on display… do you want it to be bought? do you trust the owner? who are you trusting with your children.

and in a similar vein. coming from england, being the necessary cog that was overlooked by this machine, this machine that is falling apart. i feel like convention… academia… they’re falling apart, the idea that you’re losing your cogs. education is too expensive. that’s why you have starving artists, and they know how to teach your kids better than anyone else because they were the part of this system that fell out. and this machine, this old machine reminds me of the industrial revolution. coming from england, much like millie – and yet she is the cog that was lost in that factory, and that factory is falling apart. because slowly it’s eroded. in her years here, she’s helped build perspectives and begun channeling the energy which she’s come in contact with, which include some of the greatest artists of our modern era. whether you know who gareth pugh is, who ruth hogben is, who nick knight is, or you don’t – you probably know who lady gaga is, or vice versa. and you have an opinion on them all, and they all have an interactive opinion on millie.

and all of that’s being brought to l.a. the cog that fell out. and so you go from that, and you come here to this gallery and she becomes a piece of art. art emerged from academia which is beautiful. much like many of our artists now. very well researched, very worldly, and they learned from the book of nomadic nature, the cosmic dancers – and so she turns that sense of lost academia into future art. like a ruth ginsberg, she’s making these paintings in a way that is unfamiliar to the standing order – and that is very fair. a standing order of masculine puritanical patriarchy american globalized free market deregulated business… you’ve got a young woman who really isn’t bound by any of these constraints, as much as she is in this body, this material body that has deemed her a woman of british origin, and that is really all i know about millie.

and the funny thing is that i try to find more conventional words to define who millie is and yet it doesn’t really matter because the point is that she’s really just millie and all i really know is this artwork and i am still able to talk endlessly about this and again that is the point that i am seeing my self in her, in her journey. from england to l.a. to new york. my journey from england to l.a. to new york. and you’re seeing these things, these themes that i would not have thought about before – except they are shared. and then you begin to realize that it is only shared consciousness. it’s only those shared experiences that truly do matter and so it’s what can you…

what is shared, what is differentiated? how do we have a common ground and how do we have … distinct projections.

it’s that commonality and the element of extraordinary. that which we don’t share, that divinity. it’s not shared in this mid space it’s shared at the source. so, while artists appear individually different, they’re all truly artists and the fact that i see myself in millie, and i don’t want to say that. i don’t want to put myself on that pedestal, but that’s what artists invite you to do, to see yourself in them. and then join them. so again, this journey has become a lot of that.

seeing millie bring her work here is beautiful, because l.a. is where stars are made and here millie has made herself with the help of great beings who have honestly given shape and form and propelled stars who we currently watch traverse across this celluloid life.

los angeles, west hollywood, the design district. all of these beautiful symbols coming together and millie at the core of it all. so, you go from academia of england to this new art of l.a. you’ve made a star of yourself in the city of angels and on their wings you travel this rainbow body, once again propelling, propelling this material vehicle. and you shed that in l.a. and you leave your corpse here and at the private show it looked like clay, it looked like chocolate milk. it looked like all of those points of origin. whether a kid watching your saturday morning cartoons, sipping on your yoohoo, or nesquick, or pure chocolate – cocoa and milk. or whether it’s the clay from which we emerge, the crescent –

WP_20150416_20_47_07_Pro

that christ consciousness. ingested regurgitated and put on display. glazed stone like an altar descended as the point of ascension for a material body which was left behind, and yet from there, from that rainbow body, we go to the light body in new york – in gotham. where we have a manufactured sun, a represented sun, and it’s almost as if we have this artifice. a projection, a representation in this land of manufacture – which would be new york.

it’s like the moon, it’s lunar. it’s the end of this linear journey. it’s almost as if millie is once again being invited back into the pantheon, invited by marina who is a master of this, of the life experience of this human condition. in gotham where the light projects so proudly because there is no nature on that rock. and millie became a solar body in l.a. where they live in constant close proximity to that solar orb everyday. and millie is bringing that natural light, in a rainbow body, in the ethereal to new york. it’s almost as if she’s at parity with this manufactured nasa projection to become that which has been presented back, and it’s visiting that machine that has fallen, it is visiting the industrialized astronomy of it all. it’s kissing the cosmic, but it’s kissing the cosmic as a peer. it’s kissing the cosmic as … a divine compliment. it’s blessing the ivory tower… from the stellar canopy of your divine residence. and i guess it’s just the purge. i guess it’s just acknowledging your humanity and giving it back to the world that created it, knowing that you are not of this world.

that you came here assuming a position in it, once you recognize the reality in that. the truth and the reality that that is not your end-all-be-all, and recognizing the beauty in the flaws the beauty in the pain… and above that pain is your rainbow body, that you can overcome it all, through what catholics call mysteries, and buddhists would consider the purity, strength and validity of your own mind, to overcome all of the appearances.

so i think in that we all find ourselves. somewhere in that rainbow body. the fact that because it’s a rainbow means it’s shared, it’s something we’re all a part of. it’s going to be years, it’s going to be an eternity, it’s going to be miles before i even begin to fathom the peak of what this all will become – but like ruth ginsberg, this is speaking to a future age and i am merely a present being. and I’m not going to assume i know anything about this. i just know that from england to l.a. to new york from dropped academia to attained artistry to transcended advertising – which is just selling the idea of happiness – y’know… new york is the home of advertising and y’know millie is more than an advertisement. it’s taking art to madison avenue and it’s putting it in front of that billboard, it’s returning the billboard to an altar. it’s making sure that if you’re selling something, right, that your business is based upon the shared consciousness of the christ consciousness over corporate commerce; and not solely the idea of Jesus in the bible, necessarily – it could be that – but just the idea that you, as a temple, you as a canvas, you as the altar upon which you stand. you are that christ, that that is a gateway to divinity.

it’s the thing that i truly love about being a catholic is the idea that you can become that divine. that you are here to prove that this human form can be a vessel. that this human form can be a vehicle to another dimension.

DSC_0901

and all of this is to say that i just walked into a gallery one day to look at some paintings, and i got an invite to a show, and i observed. then i became the observed staring in a mirror, finding my way through the morass and the myriad of elements that are contained in this seemingly vulgar… regurgitation. and vulgar might be the best word for it, it’s common. humanity is common, the vomit is common, it’s all common but the fact that we all know what it’s like to be common. it means that we’re no better or less than anyone else. and because we’re all the same, because we’re all one. so millie’s journey becomes the journey of us all, and i hate to be cliché , but that’s when you know something’s true: when the clichés begin to make sense.

and so becoming a cosmopolitan citizen, you know, creating your masterpiece in three epicenters of the world – and this only being the fourth show, it’s like a presidential tenure, and as millie presides over this art world in the midst of a turning point, a tipping point, and as she does so so subtly, so silently, and yet so loudly – the deafening roars of the regurgitation like a mother bird, like a raven, like a valkyrie regurgitating divinity to these equally divine denizens who have yet to know their destiny – it’s fine, because this dissent away from academia, this dissent away from conventional academia the dissent away from modern advertising this dissent away from assumed industrialized art, all of these things are captured in this rainbow body. and it’s this dissent that speaks to the future age, and it’s this dissent from assumed humanity, from assumed vulnerability, from assumed vulgarity that makes this such a beautiful prismatic display of the immortality of a one millie brown – and quite honestly, i don’t know what to say about this to make it academic.

i don’t know what to say about this to make it something greater than what it is. i don’t know if these words have deterred from millie’s vision, i don’t know if they’ve blinded the vice, i don’t know if they’ve blinded the vise. i really don’t, and i am rambling – but i think the beauty in that is that i found this in my own mental vomit. this mind vomit i suppose is another step toward the realization of my own rainbow body. and this is not to put myself on her pedestal, i know nothing of what it’s taken her to get here, but again for all of the things i don’t know the one thing i do know is that we do have a shared journey and, i mean, from this point on i look forward to travelling the rest of this path and hopefully, one day, from that cosmic canopy, we’ll all just sit atop and reminisce on that day when millie took the crown and became rainbow body brown.

 DSC_0896

Photographer Spencer Charles’ “Museum” Opens May 1 At City Of Ink

On May 1st, 2015, Spencer Charles will be having his first solo photo exhibit, entitled “MUSEUM.”

In December 2014, Spencer Charles released the MUSE 2015 Calendar. The calendar consisted of original portraits and nude work of women of color, taken by Spencer Charles. These women and all of the women Spencer shoot serve as muses. Museum is a visual exhibition continuing along the same theme as the muse calendar, showcasing women of color as inspirations for great art. Museum will showcase mostly black and white nude art with a minimalist style. The flow of the event will be meant to give off the impression of a museum.

MUSEUM copy

Museum will take place at City of Ink, 323 Walker St Atlanta GA 30314, from 7pm-11pm. RSVPs for this event will open on April 20th, 2015. For more information click here.

A Peek Inside Gabriel Moreno’s Creative Process

Madrid based illustrator and artist Gabriel Moreno is letting us into his creative process. He recently shared these images of the process of creating his latest work entitled “Laura.” The work was created with Pencil, Pen, Charcoal and Oil and follows suit with his in-depth style.

Take a closer look at Gabriel’s process and let us know what you think in the comments.

 

5unnamed 4unnamed 3unnamed 2unnamed unnamed

 

Hank Willis Thomas’ Unbranding Technique Puts Mainstream America On Blast

Hank Willis Thomas’ fifth solo exhibition at the Jack Shainman Gallery, Unbranded: A Century of White Women, 1915 – 2015 builds on ideas explored in his celebrated Unbranded: Reflections in Black by Corporate America 1968-2008. This go around Hank’s unbranding technique explores notions of virtue, power, beauty, privilege, and desire in mainstream America. The inspired and satire work spans the rise and decline of print advertising, the work provides a spectrum for the ideal feminine type that has been marketed to individuals across gender, racial, and socio-economic lines throughout the past hundred years.

Unbranded: A Century of White Women, 1915 – 2015 runs through May 23 at Jack Shainman Gallery. If you’re in New York City, make sure to check it out. If not, take a look at some of our favorite pieces from the show below.

image11 image1 image2 image3 image4 image5 image6 image7 image8 image9 image10

Explore The Work Of Extreme Body Painter Johannes Stötter

Johannes Stötter is an artist, musician and fine-art-bodypainter is a passionate artist and his works are influenced by spiritual and nature-related themes. He tactically blends his subjects into their surroundings and sometimes makes them look completely like a different object. Explore some of our favorite extreme works from Johannes Stötter below.

cueva-del-diablo_1 SONY DSC cactus_1 ananas-5 blue-stones_1 Parrot-ybg-1 3-womenn chameleon-body-painting-optical-illusion-johannes-stotter-3 chameleon-body-painting-optical-illusion-johannes-stotter-2

Street Brilliance: Tupac Lagerfeld Dali, Alec Monopoly

Media makes for a most marvelous canvas…

DSC_0827

when the world muses as such…

DSC_0851

DSC_0823

Words, lines, scribes, eyes, Sunset below the artisan’s guise…

DSC_0859

DSC_0812

DSC_0852

Tupac Shakur…

DSC_0828

thug life, lime light, California love, Gotham in hindsight… muted magnanimity, press plastered prophecy

DSC_0843
Karl Lagerfeld…

DSC_0822

Vogue, Chanel, pose, channel… shade forever thrown, gaze universally shown, the mind the shine, the face – so poker… the judge, the jury, la mode’s the joker.

DSC_0839

Salvador Dali…

DSC_0815

doesn’t do drugs, drugs are he… time melt, mind meld, paint the scene _–_~ surrealistically…

DSC_0814

art c/o Alec Monopoly

protection c/o Bruiser

DSC_0861

new watchers… #watchus

wax on… wax off #andscene

DSC_0803

Eroticism and Intelligence on Tap: Get To Know Photographer Spencer Charles

Get to know Atlanta based photographer Spencer Charles who’s impressive and candid nude portraits of black women from all walks of life celebrate the black female body in a world that doesn’t always do that.

 

 

Art Nouveau Magazine: Our readers may remember you as DJ/Producer, but tell us how you got started in photography?

Spencer Greene: I bought a camera awhile ago, while I was still in school, still producing and writing. But it just sat on my dresser for a long time. Then I hit a depression period in my life. I stopped doing music, I stopped writing a lot. I started working on this project with my friend Eric Cash, who is a photographer for Creative Loafing. It was called Beau Atlanta. He was the photographer for the project, and I just brought my camera along to get behind the scenes photos. But I started shooting with it more, and I enjoyed it. And it slowly brought me out of depression.

 

AN: Tell me about your MUSE calendar? 

SG: I was looking for ways to make money honestly. I’m not good at the normal photographer stuff. Like the, “book me to build your portfolio” or “for such and such, you get two looks and 10 edits,” or “book me for your wedding, club event, baby pictures” etc. All of the normal ways photographers make money, I’m really bad at. So I needed creative ways to find income. I thought a calendar would be something cool, something different. So I looked into how to make a calendar. I didn’t expect it to do as well as it did. I’m happy it did though.

AN: You document and in my opinion celebrate the black female body in your work, what statements are you trying to make with your photography? 

SG: I have this whole idea of how to shift the culture in my head and I’m not sure how to properly explain it yet. I’ve always looked at the female body as art. I’ve always looked at black women as art. For awhile, I’ve been looking at how the mainstream has tried to destroy our culture. By ours, I mean hip hop culture, urban culture, black culture, etc. One of the ways they’ve done that is with the image of the black woman. I’ve been watching how they take our fashion and put it on runways but don’t let us into the show. They take our sound and our vocabulary. They dictate what black sexuality is and what the black body is suppose to look like, how it’s suppose to be presented. I wanted to present something different. I shoot models, med school students, strippers, classically trained dancers, painters, everyday girls. And they all look like art to me. Just because you have stretch marks or rolls on your side doesn’t mean you can’t be sexy. And just because you work at Magic City doesn’t mean you can be hanging up in an art gallery.

When I was doing music, I release the project, A Subway In Harlem. The main focus was on the instrumentation of the music but the meaning behind it was the journey of black artistic expression. That’s what I wanted to tell. The title came from a Lil’ Wayne lyric and was meant to describe everything from jazz to funk to hip hop, that journey. I think it went over people’s heads. I’m pretty much trying to tell the same story with photography now. And I think people are getting it finally. And it feels great to just have people get it.

DSC_0198 DSC_0238

AN: You don’t normally work with “models,” I’ve noticed a lot of the subjects you photograph are around the way girls, how do you go about selecting your muses? 

SG: They come to me somehow. Whether it’s Instagram or some random meeting through a mutual friend at an event. Social media plays a huge part in it. Because when I’m getting ready to work with someone, I’m going through their Tumblr, their Twitter, and their Instagram. I’m getting an idea of who they are as a person, their entire vibe. It’s a lot different than just looking at their comp card or modeling portfolio. I think one of the things that makes the photograph special is the vibe with the person I’m shooting. So your modeling portfolio doesn’t do much for me. But if I can tell who your favorite artist is from your Tumblr page or twitter, we’ll probably have a really dope shoot.

AN: You’re fairly shy and reserved, but your work exudes a free-spirit that is all about expressing self-confidence, albeit while nude, how do you get your subjects to portray themselves so freely on camera?

SG: Hennessy. Lol, no really, I don’t know. I think its important to vibe with the subject. That’s why I choose girls from social media instead of off their modeling portfolio and stuff. I’m so quiet during shoots though. I’m still working on “directing” girls. I don’t know what makes the girls so free, I like capturing them naturally. But for me to not be shy during the shoot, Hennessy.

“…just because you work at Magic City doesn’t mean you can’t be hanging up in an art gallery.”

AN: NY or Atlanta? 

SG: NY for sure. I just can’t afford NY. Atlanta is love though.

AN: Who is a muse to you?

SG: Amber, because in the midst of fighting lupus, she still makes time to put a smile on my face. And she never lets me give up.

AN: Would you consider your work feminist? 

SG: I’ve spent a great deal of time around feminists. My sisters are feminist and I dated one. I have a great deal of respect for feminism. But I don’t think I’m knowledgeable enough on feminism to make that claim.

AN: What’s next for you?

SG: I’m working on a project with Kendrick Daye, my big brother.
I have an art show in April at City of Ink in Atlanta.
I’m releasing The Muse Book, a photography coffee table book.
I’m still trying to figure out the rest. I’m open and available for more projects, jobs, etc.

AN: Is there anything else you’d like to mention?

SG: Wu Tang is for the children

For everything Spencer Greene Click Here. And Follow Spencer on Twitter & Instagram.

DSC_0246

Victor Koroma Is A Photographer That Thinks Like A Painter #WhatABeautifulMess

“A Beautiful Mess” is Los Angeles based photographer Victor Koroma‘s artistic play on advertising ability to make certain products seem more appealing than they really are. Through carefully designed, aesthetic pleasing exterior packaging advertising companies deceive, trick and lure consumers.

Victor is a photographer that thinks like a painter. To create the work, Victor found cigarette packs on streets and sidewalks, and using watercolors, Tazo passion tea that he drinks before bedtime, Barefoot red wine he sips at dinner and morning Nescafe coffee he drinks in the morning hand painted mixed media deckle edge prints of the found cigarette packs. “A Beautiful Mess” is Victor’s attempt at making something dirty look beautiful.

Take a closer look at more images from the series below.

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 10.28.38 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 10.28.46 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 10.29.00 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 10.29.09 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 10.29.14 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 10.29.26 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 10.29.32 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 10.29.45 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 10.29.51 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 10.29.58 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 10.30.05 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 10.30.14 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 10.30.20 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 10.30.28 PM

The Aspernaut, Curron Kal El Gajadhar On Art & His Angels

Curron Kal El Gajadhar has always had a very anthropological perspective of life, often resonating with the identity of an astronaut, alien, landlocked surfer or a weary, reincarnated, old soul. Corinne Stevie sits down the artist to talk about art, inspiration and the search for god, meaning and relativity in our modern times.

 

Art Nouveau Magazine: Who are you?

Curron Kal El Gajadhar: Sonder-tripper, part time solipsist, full time creator, introvert trying to fight my own typecast. Trini. A not so human being with obstinate ambitions to be a renaissance man in every sense of the word. I’m learning how to take part in this thing called civilization but I am in fact a landlocked surfer.

 

AN: Where are you from?

CG: Trinidad and Tobago.

 

AN: Is Curron Kal El Gajadhar your real name?

CG: The ‘Kal El’ turns my head when people say it but it is not recognized by the government lol. I latched on to the Smallville series that came out in the early 2000’s. At that time in my life it mirrored a lot of the confusion I was feeling about my humanness. To think that such strength and ability could lie under all that angst the character had of his own identity spoke to me of my own potential yet to be seen and my priority to wrap my head around larger existential challenging thoughts that I had no mentor ship for. Several aspects of alienation that were present in his depiction was the only relevance that I found for myself in anything. Beyond family, religion, and friends I identified more with this comic book character, waiting to see my equal and learn from his struggle every Wednesday at 9pm. I took his original name in recent years to remind me of the proof; even in a fictional character I have a sympathizer.

AN: When did you know you were an artist?

CG: I drew and built things out of cardboard throughout my childhood but at that time I was keener towards a career in industrial design. It wasn’t until high school and a good push from a great teacher that I felt pulled towards a more traditional sense of art for art’s sake.

DSC_0036

AN: What themes do you focus on in your work?

CG: Awe, allurement, glorification, and the relationship between man the beast yearning towards his transcendence.

In my work I focus on the relationship between the eponymous character the Aspernaut, and his angels. It’s a persona I coined to act out the part of me that is trying to make sense of his present incarnation, placement in time, and life journey. He’s trying to make sense of his urges of curiosity towards a sensation of familiarity with the paranormal that he doesn’t quite understand yet. Because his yearning hasn’t been met with the epitome of a confrontation or audience with god or actual spiritual beings, he creates works personifying the movements in his peripheral visions with deities that rise out of the content of the urban landscape, like a protrusion that takes a shape of a beautiful escort to the unknown. He does this repeatedly to invoke further interactions with who he doesn’t see but knows is in his presence.

Dramatizing my own story in this way leaves a doorstep to the experience and world that I am trying to build a relationship with. Our existences are somewhat of a performance that gives a grand drama to be followed by the origins. There is a distance between the main dichotomy of myself concept, and an almost enslaved version of myself that carries out his life, responds to stimuli, eats, defecates, has a job, looks for love, has preferences goals, friends, family, an idea of a mission, fears and a somewhat ridiculous notion of self preservation . On the other hand there is just an observer that sits in the space between his temples watching his life play out in a reactive fashion.

I’m trying to pull these intelligences together through mimicry and dramatizing the experiences of the viewer, (that is the higher mind or witness) by making physical artifacts for the lower mind to gain the ability to empathize with that version of self observation. This leads him to question the bottle necked nature of his existence and by default an urge in him to find his way out. It’s a joint effort of two points of perception to me. Returned to the base of existence I have been cast from as a proverbial scout. To encourage suspicion in my own existence provides the catalyst for a searching and yearning behavior that will eventually lead me back to this higher dimension if I obey it. It’s a hodgepodge of existentialism really. To put it simply I’m trying to prove to myself that I am in a fishbowl, not leave it necessarily. The truth of my life’s plot and what I can do from that stance to benefit everyone in this place is my goal.

The deities are other individuals that have already gone through this inquisitive process and have become self realized. Their alluring natures and sexuality are employed as a driving force to my search. Sexual energy is the strongest of the urges that we experience but when given the appropriate attention sourced from a learned maturity you realize that the allurement is a tool to draw people together for other purposes. That compilation is simply the most effective way to hold your attention. The viewer is drawn to some of my works for just that, the most basic of reasons; because these women are beautiful you look at them and you get a taste of how my ritual affects me. Since I began this process I have fallen deeper and deeper into a monk like approach of servitude to my process and my artworks. The allurement serves me as a encouraging factor in my consistency and I care less and less about anything that has no direct benefit to the process of me creating more and more of it in a rapid succession. These are love letters to my sonder.

 

AN: Throughout art history the female figure has always been the muse to the painter. What else inspires you?

CG: I practice parkour seasonally, typically during the warmer months. Learning how to control my body’s movements throughout the urban landscape allows me to pulse along over and through most structures barriers and lines of demarcation of any urban areas grid like blueprint of physical organization. I can be organic within the grey finding my way around where it is proposed that most do not have the physical competence to tread. In this way I am free. The ability to roam this way gives me a perspective of the city that makes the whole piece conceptualization into a full on ritual that includes mp3’s and Ardens garden fuel walkabouts. I can scout new clashings of intersections, road paint markings, old signs and pathways to bring elements of it into my mind, back to the studio and thrust it in my work. I subconsciously think of myself as a reincarnated hunter gatherer that goes about his business throughout the day hunting (Kroger and fast food) gathering (taking pictures) running half mile sprints in-between that cut across streets into parking decks down into ramps behind bushy knots and so on back home. And at night I paint what I have seen through the day my wilderness/city, and what has sustained me, my angels. I understand that my relationship with these imaginary figures is very much a placebo, but they sustain me. I create art about my little cult and I don’t harm anyone else. I figure I’m doing a lot better than most that have picked up more damning habits.

 

DSC_0080AN: If you could pick the brain of any artist or musician dead or alive who would it be?

CG: No one really stands out, artist wise; I don’t think any of the safe greats that most people choose knows that much more than the other. I think what really gave most prolific artists their renown is their stubborn consistency, the self determinism, and the realization that they are very much a vessel and you have to let “it” all just come through. I’d have to go with Tesla.

 

AN: When I chatted with you on Facebook you mentioned dropping out of art school. In what ways did dropping out of art school affect your art and life?

CG: I finally had time to make art! It was a blessing in disguise. I dropped out for financial reasons against my will at the time so it curdled in my soul for a good year, pining over the fact had to leave prematurely. That’s what happens when you’ve had it pushed into yourself concept from every angle that life’s track can only succeed through one mandatory assembly line. People are the biggest spokespersons for this thing called culture. Their ideas, priorities, and totems of fulfillment have been taught to them and we continue to pass it on through generations or between associates. Leaving school was a way for me to fall out of that “grand design”. I had time to stop schooling and start learning. I said to myself “hey I make art, I’m a dropout, I have a job and I’m pursuing a goal that there is no designated, insured, and guaranteed 10 year projection for. What do you know? There is life to be had here too”.

I realized in the middle of my anthropology class that in many subtle ways the structure of school does not benefit the advancement of the individual. By advancement I mean your own uncultured aims; goals that you would foster for yourself that has nothing to do or relevance the functions of your current culture. A lot of what we do we do is because we have to or it has been taught to us that this thing or another has to be held at a certain priority and level of importance ‘or else’. We comply to what a lot of people speak of as “just the way things are” because there is 3rd party reward system that is connected to our physical survival and the ability to trade our compliance for a skill or our skills for money all of which allow us the ability to collect objects and experiences that we desire. You still get an education you are still exposed to resources. The education that you receive is only self fulfilling as a secondary effect. Outside of what will prove to be relevant for society or version of executing our creativity and intelligence that are waiting to be filled. Don’t get me wrong because this perspective is usually summarized as “down with the system!” when brought up in conversation. Education has value and so do the institutions that provide it, but I’m sure we can all agree its format is long overdue for an upgrade. The world finds a way. For example the crash of 08’ brought on a wave of new entrepreneurs and a generation under my own that is learning the value of understanding your personal brand and its value. Lectures migrated online for free, sites and services like skillshare, thumbtack, skillpages and incentive systems like adsense from Google started popping up to support the new crowd sourced infrastructure that is on the rise. Now those that understand this new cultural dynamic are the most sought after. I see all this change all this flux…and I take notes.

 

AN: How has social media helped or harmed you as an artist?

CG: I don’t get around as much as I’d like to, to all the events mixers; functions etc, so social media helps supplement a lot of that in-between. Even if I’m not there but my work is seen in a space there’s been this trickledown effect in conversation of my very specific aesthetic. I started an [Instagram] last year and it’s been doing pretty well. In a strange way its limitations make it a better module to express my personality. I want people to see that I don’t just make things to sell and I am very much human and my work is very close to my heart. You get to see my workflow; muses, fitness, and experimentation with other forms of expression that my friends are very kind to me about (singing) even my laziness at times. I like it, it has helped a lot. It’s nice to walk around at an event feeling sheepish because you know no one and hear “Aspernaut?”

 

AN: What do you like to listen to when you’re in your art studio?

CG: SOULECTION. I wanted it give them this space by themselves but there are far too many local acts that have become my soundtrack to my late nights. There’s a producer named Ethereal that makes this sound that makes me feel like I’m speeding throughout the different connecting highways in Atlanta on a jet powered long board; because there are such things in whatever dimension he gets his inspiration from. If you listen to the releases from beginning to end it creates a setting, and atmosphere. Red lights from his collab with Merian Meeraba makes me evaporate and I can’t help but play it on repeat. It sucks because I might be sick of it after a month of doing so, but I’m the type to get high off of a song. I have to put myself in a inspired trance like fertile atmosphere, otherwise I’m just pushing paint. If I’m not feeling it I have to walk away, so music is an essential part of my creative process.

 

AN: Motto you live by.

CG: There is a way there is always a way.

 

DSC_1753 (2) copy

AN: What’s next for you?

CG: I’m under new management so having someone to take care of everything else that is not the hand to canvas part of my work. With this room and help I can get my work farther further and more frequent from my studio and that will create opportunities for me to do the same. I really want to travel to a larger metropolis and work there for a while letting that urban landscape seep into me to create something based on that city. Eventually I want to make the release of certain collections into a suite; an experience that carries the same anticipation of an album release. I won’t go into the details, don’t want to give away any of my secrets but you’ll know it when you see it. Once I have the art machine well oiled I’ll start moving on to sharpen my other interests and talents. This rain dance had to come first.

To stay connected with Curron Kal EL Gajadhar  check out the links below

 IG: Aspernaut

 

Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Like Portis Wasp Steal…Because #FTW

I don’t say this often, but Portis Wasp is an artist after my own heart. Like me, he runs a men’s fashion and pop culture blog which showcases the best in fashion photography, men’s fashion, music, and pop culture, and features interviews with models, photographers, designers, actors and popular celebrities. As an avid contributor to MTV Style on a regular basis his work makes the rounds on the Internet daily.

What I love most about Portis’ work is the fearless attitude the permeates through every piece. He isn’t afraid to go there. Check out more of Portis Wasp’s work below. Beware, some are very #NSFW, but #FTW. Right?

portis-wasp

collagepage-10

10932113_1615256868695324_526774670_n

collagepage collagepage-9 collagepage-8 collagepage-6 collagepage-4 collagepage-3

10899341_500084706797244_883245290_n  collagepage-2

 

Mood: Stars Rise Over Celebrity Demise Under Sunset c/o Plastic Jesus

Plastic Jesus is a Los Angeles based street artist that specializes in bold stencil and installation work, inspired by world news events, society, the urban environment, culture and politics. His work combines humour, irony, criticism and an unique opinion to create art that engages on many levels.

Stop making stupid people famous

mood: stars rise over celebrity demise under sunset c/o Plastic Jesus… #andthisisthefame

ring: fame stops making stupid people #famous

 

PJ+STOP+ROAD+MARKINGS+DAY-200 Trayvon Martin inspired Street art appears in LA. Horse meat  inspired street art hits North London. "No more Heroes" PJ+Robo+Love-5 PJ+nevermind-2 Graffiti is a crime. PJ+streetart-40+copy

Click here for more work from Plastic Jesus

 

Crosby “ClockWork Cros” and His Hand-Made Surreal Inspired Clocks

Made in the Lower East Side of Downtown Manhattan in his native studio apartment…

Crosby “ClockWork Cros” hand makes his clock art from photo-shopped high gloss photo paper that is laminated with 10 mil water proof laminate. He hand cuts the images twice before introducing the working clock movement into the eye of the image. Creating a functional working wall clock of our favorite figures. Signing the back and gift packaging for each personalized customer.

Inspired by the Surrealist film “Un Chien Andalou,” the act of cutting a selected eye on the chosen iconic face is considered surreal. When looking at the particular iconic face, the “eye of time” is meant to induce an interaction with the figure the person admires. The feeling creates urgency that transcend the experience of time and gives the person reason to continue the long day ahead. Attracted to the gold dials of dollar clocks he randomly found in a 99 cent store, he started taking them apart for the pieces inside called “movements.” The very movement he now imports from his mothers homeland of England, to connect the old with the new. ClockWork Cros has become a timeless figure that creates motivation through thoughts of recurring experiences and personal associations. Picture a moment in your life when you had Deja Vu, you can imagine the feeling the work introduces when searching for “time.”

Todd Strong’s Test Culture

When humans leave this world, their machines stay behind. Self-automated and lonely, our savvy robots begin to experiment—tearing, digging, sowing, yielding, pumping, splashing, boiling. This is an imagined glimpse at their post-apocalyptic re-creation.

– Todd Strong “Test Culture”

 

The adorable and altogether benignly curious, as Sianne Ngai describes in her book, Our Aesthetic Categories: Zany, Cute, Interesting, invoke our tenderness, but also our aggression. We infantilize children’s things, and therefore condescend to them, make them less than. Todd Strong works to reimagine the environment, and, in tandem, environmental catastrophe, with a vocabulary of images informed by children’s cartoons as well as meditations on platonic ideals. These playful, semi-autobiographical paintings and drawings help alleviate his climate change anxieties, though they take on sinister connotations nevertheless. We condescend to these childlike images, hold ourselves above them, the same as we condescend to our lived environment, cast it aside as secondary to the rumblings of the economy, a problem more for progeny than for us.

As Todd work’s with these images, certain visual characters – a cloud, a flower stem, a droplet – capture his attention, and he begins to focus on their qualities, recreating their shapes obsessively in a process that denies narrative. The work more closely delves into an exploration of form, scale, line, and color. Thus, a convergence of narrative dissolves, all at once personal, art-historical, and yet-to-arrive: the fitting and infinitely explorable end to a fantastical plot of my own invention; an homage to the utopian strivings of the modernist masters of the 20th century as they stripped art to its bare essentials; and a mirror to the looming demise of our human society as we grapple with our inability to save our world from ourselves.

Take a closer look at Todd’s “Test Culture” series below.

 

 

2014---Test-Culture--oil-on-canvas--60x5022-1000pxl 2014---Pump--oil-on-canvas--50x5022 2014---Clap--oil-on-canvas--48x7222_1 2014---Spill--oil-on-canvas--36x5422_11 2014---Splash--oil-on-canvas--36x6022 2014---Garden--oil-on-canvas--24x2422 2014---Gardening--oil-on-canvas--59x3622_12 2014---Cloud-Pop--oil-on-canvas--42x4222 2014---Clouds--oil-on-canvas--32x4022_6 2013---Lift--oil-on-canvas--20x1622_10