The De Young in San Francisco has staged a ground-breaking multimedia exhibit featuring 140 of John Paul Gaultier’s haute couture designs.  With a career spanning more than forty years, the context of Gaultier’s work is often gritty and controversial although the superb craftsmanship and detail ensure the work is always beautiful.  Known in popular culture for his work with Madonna in the 90s and his costume design on The Fifth Element and City of Lost Children, Gaultier’s work transcends high fashion into fine art.  Working in collaboration with Montreal-based theater company Ubu Compagnie de Creation, the exhibit includes 30 animated mannequins who talk, sing, and blink in an eerily lifelike way.  The exhibit runs through August 19th.

An animated mannequin.

A wedding gown.

Beaded dress that took 1002 hours to complete.

For more information on the exhibit, visit the De Young website.

-Jayme Catalano

In his Mixed Media collection, L.A. based artist Alex Gross found vintage portraits and re-imagined the Victorians as superheroes and villains.  The crazy costumes notwithstanding, the effect contemporizes the solemn faces of Civil War veterans, society matrons, and school boys with our modern, pop-culture obsessed world.  I’ve always felt remorse for the long-forgotten people in those discarded photographs in the bins of dusty antiques stores but now at least some of them have been rescued from obscurity.  Gross has released a book called Now and Then: The Cabinet Card Paintings, available on Amazon, that includes photos of the original images before their transformations.

Mordo by Alex Gross

Peter by Alex Gross

Scarlet Witch by Alex Gross

Max by Alex Gross

For more information, please visit the artist’s website.

-Jayme Catalano

 

 

Image Blender for the iPhone is an ingenious little program that allows the user to blend two images together to create a trippy little masterpiece.  The $2 app offers endless possibilities for layering, masking, and filtering, all with a single swipe of a finger, simplifying an otherwise complicated and time consuming process in Photoshop.  To purchase, visit the iTunes Store.

-Jayme Catalano

After a decade on the road following the band Ladytron, Reuben Wu has developed a knack for documenting the overlooked and unexpected.  Wu is preoccupied with the “derelict, forgotten, remote and strange.”  His own transience and inability to make a mark are also themes in the work.  The images have a dreamy, almost visionary tint to them; the places and people don’t seem real and they all seem to be from a time long past.  As Wu says in  his artist statement, the images “subtly confound our perception of what is corporeal and what is tangible; as unremittingly human as they are impossible to place.”  You can view more of the work at the artist’s website.

Reuben Wu

Reuben Wu

Reuben Wu

-Jayme Catalano

The Rice School of Architecture selected ring roads from two dozen international cities, layered the ring roads to the same scale, and color coded them for distinction.  The result is Ring Roads of the World, a beautifully graphic illustration of urban sprawl.  Prints are available through the school’s website.

Rice School of Architecture "Ring Roads of the World."

-Jayme Catalano

Fine Little Day, a Swedish store online, stocks whimsical, delightful, and interesting home goods, gifts, and jewelry.  Founded by artist Elisabeth Dunker, the company calls themselves a “sprawling and happily inconsistent company” with an ambition “to include art and design in your everyday, joyful life.”  In addition to their impeccable collection of textiles, wallpapers, ceramics, and books, the store stocks vintage birch bark shoes, mini lederhosen, art prints, and beautiful cutting boards.  Best of all, the store ships free worldwide.  Happy Shopping!

Cutting board by Elisabeth Dunker

Boabab by Elisabeth Dunker

Flaky Fields by Anna Backlund

Visit the store’s website for more information on purchasing.

-Jayme Catalano

Artist Anne Lindberg’s string drawings bring to mind supernatural, phantasmal matter floating peacefully and brilliantly in mid-air.  She creates sculptures and drawings that she calls “systemic and non-representational…subtle, rhythmic, abstract, and immersive.”  Lindberg utilizes shifts in layering, tool, and material to create tonal passages that resonate with primal human conditions:  goodwill, anxiety, fear, security, self-protection, sexuality, gravity, and compulsive behaviors.  Her string installations are constructed using thousands of individual strands of Egyptian cotton thread and staples.  View the time lapse video of her recent installation “Drawn Pink” in Placemakers at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art.

Drawn Pink (2012) by Anne Lindberg

Drawn Pink (2012) by Anne Lindberg

For more information on the artist, visit her website.

-Jayme Catalano

Dutch painter Kees Goudzwaard’s paintings  are meticulously planned, smooth-surfaced oil paintings exploring geometric forms neatly arranged and connected by tape.  After first working on a paper, foil, and tape prototype, he reproduces the model in thin, even layers of oil paint.  The three-dimensional effect is the result of “multiplicity and accumulation of shapes rather than lines.”  Simplistic and yet extremely complicated in their composition, the paintings explore the idea of fragility, futility, and the minutia of everyday life.   A book, Kees Goudzwaard-Provisional Space, is currently available for purchase through the artist’s website.

Shielded (2008) by Kees Goudzwaard

Lightweight (2009) by Kees Goudzwaard

Range (2011) by Kees Goudzwaard

Photograpm (2009) by Kees Goudzwaard

-Jayme Catalano

Trained in landscape architecture and urban planning and a self-taught screen printer, Todd Stewart works by printing identical images many times withing a given space until a composition emerges.  The pieces are built “by exposing the control and precision of illustration to the unpredictability and chance inherent to the printmaking process.”  His Cityscape series explores the landscape of both well-known and obscure cities; most are places Stewart has not physically visited.  “I am acutely aware of how construction -with regards to both structure and meaning-informs my work.  These abstract land and cityscapes embody both serenity and instability, resulting in dreamlike tension from which subjective narratives can be born.  Working from a base of imagery culled internally-from memory, dreams, past experience-and externally-from my immediate surroundings-I create pieces that consciously allow for open interpretation and multiple perspectives.”  The works “reflect a search for meaning in unfamiliar landscapes.”  Stewart’s work is available online at his Etsy shop.

Bogota by Todd Stewart

Accra by Todd Stewart

Moscow by Todd Stewart

For more information on the artist, visit his website or his Etsy store.

-Jayme Catalano

 

GF Smith partnered with FIELD, a creative studio for digital art and generative design, to test their new printing technology.  FIELD was tasked with creating 10,000 unique digital paintings to test the technological potential of GF Smith’s latest printing presses.  Each painting features a different view of a hyper complex sculpture created through generative coding and creative intuition.  The resulting paintings captured “the energy of a dynamic process-caught in a timeless medium.”  GF Smith took the paintings and printed them onto 10,000 unique promotional sleeves to showcase their premium papers and printing capabilities.  A hybrid of human and machine creation, the paintings challenge the idea of what art is and where it is going.

FIELD for GF Smith

FIELD for GF Smith

FIELD for GF Smith

For more on the project, visit GF Smith or FIELD.

-Jayme Catalano