Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Upcoming Artist: Brenda Solis

I recently came across upcomind artist Brenda Solis at a Dallas art exhibit at the Mountain View Kiva Gallery. She works primarily with acrylic and graphite on wood. Her work features delicate portraits in dream-like landscapes.

"The Last Departure"

"Soy las raices, las yerbas, soy cultura, soy leyenda''

To see more of Brenda Solis' work, check it out here:

Thursday, June 4, 2009

New Trends Among Young Artists

Just look around on any given Saturday... wannabe-hipster teens and scenster-indie twenty-somethings pick their way through rows and bins of merchandise at Urban Outfitters... Specializing in a mix of new hip subculture, "vintage" apparel, and kitschy home decor, they seem to be one of the mainstream leaders of old/new bohemian-chic style for younger generations. Not to mention, along with the grassroots, turned-forest-fire online movement of Etsy, crafters, buyers, and sellers can gather online to find their love for all things vintage. And I don't just mean 'vintage'... I mean all things KITSCH. Cheesy woodland creature statues? Yep. Macrame owl pot holders? Yep. Paintings of doe-eyed, freckle face, big headed children? You betcha!

Some consider this new love for kitsch as just a current trend, others consider it an 'aesthetic style', (much like steampunk or noir).

So, whether it's a trend or a lasting subculture, it's beginning to appear in art.

The first time I noticed this was a few years ago.

You've got your doe-eyed girls, like Audrey Kawasaki, whose influence may be more from Japanese art and manga.

You've also got
your Western
with a more realistic approach, like
Bec Winnel.
(Pictured left is
her painting

And, for anyone who's ever eaten at a disturbingly tacky Mexican restaurant,no doubt you have seen those old Mexican senorita pin-ups and bullfighter posters. There's

even an artist for that... (see Brian Viveros.)

Finally, you've got your artists who keep their work more cartoonish, like Lili Piri and Kelly Vivanco.

And finally, what is more kitsch inspired than a pathwork deer figurine? Illustrator Melissa Haslam has that also...

So again, whether this is new style on the rise, or just a small movement by young artists, it's an interesting thought, in my opinion.

While some of their art has been considered more "illustrative" or commercial, galleries throughout L.A., Australia, and Tokyo are marketing their work as art.

As with any new ideas, the market often becomes
oversaturated with the work of proteges and copy-cats, but before it entirely does, I don't think the younger art viewers mind it.
But what about other generations?
Is it something a lot of people could like?
Should it be in galleries? Or simply illustrations in magazines?

I'd like to hear what people think!

"Sisters" Kelly Vivanco

"Apparition" Melissa Haslam

Shock Art- Is it Art? Part I.

*"[With shock art], we are challenged to define the meaning and purpose of "art". There are always a fair amount of egotists with a bag full of charisma and tricks who manage to couch-surf their way to fa...
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Monday, June 1, 2009

Shock Art- Is it Really Art? Part II.

While the objective of Shock Art is attracting attention, you've got your meer attention-seekers, then you've got others that are actually trying to use art to gain attention to important causes.

My original intention with this topic was to break it down in different sections (hence, multiple parts) and let the reader decide for themselves. ("Art" cannot so simply be labeled and dictated as such by one person, for the masses.)

I was really wanting to write an informative piece on this and stay unbiased. But, after much research on this style, the artists, etc, I see now that it would be a never ending essay on the multi facets of this "art style".

So, from here on out, I will present this discussion in a biased Cliff Notes Format.

Dead/Stuffed/Pickled Animals-- Is it Art?
'Novocento' (1997)Maurizio Cattelan
Um... [I only pause, not because I'm debating the answer, but because... what the bleep is that?]

Damien Hirst
Is this art? It seems more like a weird farm version of the "Body Worlds" Exhibit, as opposed to art.
{*FUN FACT! -Criminal profilers say that most serial killers have a history of abusing, killing, or crucifying animals...}

Random Things Made Huge Then put in Public

Complex Shit by Paul McCarthy.
WHY? First, what's the point. I'm not shocked at all, just puzzled- looks like I killed your "shock" factor, McCarthy. Tell me your reasons, please. Is it an allegory for the economic state we are in? Is it the moral [digestive] "breakdown" of our society? (poop pun!) Or, does it stand for what your investors got when they funded this project? (a pocket full of .....) *I said this commentary would be semi-biased, right??
The hosting museum describes the show as containing “interweaving, diverse, not to say conflictive emphases and a broad spectrum of items to form a dynamic exchange of parallel and self-eclipsing spatial and temporal zones”.

Uh... yeah... what they said.

Nudity & Gender Bending

"One Balloon" by Pawel Althamer
On display at a Milan art show, it had ben dubbed by some as "one of the most controversial artworks ever displayed in Italy."
If you can't tell, it's a giant balloon made to look like a naked man...
[In other news, Macy's has formed a coalition with the Gay Pride Parade Planning Committee! Thanksgiving Day parades will never be the same!]
*As regards to the 'gender bending' mentioned above, just do any google search for 'shock art' and you will find your hordes of rabbis holding their exposed female breasts, and women who lack their womanliness...
At the end of the day, when all is said and done... I'm just TIRED of it.
Shock art is like washed up celebrities doing crazy things for publicity. Sure, there might be some artists out there whose work WILL have an influence on important issues- things that the public just HAS to have illustrated for them in a graphic way. Others are just like a rebellious teenager that dyes their hair blue or pierces their tongue to outrage their parents.
And, with kids like that, sometimes it's better to ignore them, because all they want is to get a reaction out of you...
As a last thought, I am reminded of the words of Gina from the movie Empire Records:
"Shock me, shock me, shock me, with that deviant behavior!"