Canada has always been pictured in our minds as a pacific country where moose wander around, they consume maple syrup (Canadians, that is, not moose), where everyone wears sporty clothing just in case they have to run away from a Grizzly bear and where people must be fed up of their American neighbours for being too noisy (we sell clichés by the pound, ma’am!). Because he’s breaking with all that we love Alex Kisilevich, Canadian artist with a background in Visual Arts and Photography. His intriguing and mysterious bizarre compositions, his mixture of worlds, that playing with error and descontextualization result in such a personal atmosphere, so weird in a sense, that makes us tilt our heads and enter a dreamy world that reminds us of Twin Peaks. Kisilevich is now exhibiting some work at the Metropolitan Museum of Photography in Tokyo and is collaborating in collective projects. Laura Palmer? Where?
In the XVIIth century still life painting were realistic, dark and even visceral; in that time what prevailed in the Arts was the commonly accepted style. And if before, in the Baroque times, what amazed and made wigs shake was watching a still life of apples, now what amazes us (and makes some wigs shake a little) is watching a broccoli covered in thousands of sweets on a plain background. Wendy Van Santen shows us, through her photography, her world of colour and irony. This Amsterdam based artist is, and we’re aware of that, a perfect example of the aesthetic trend that is now in a peak in every artistic field. Are we going back to witnessing the commonly accepted? Yes, but with people like Van Santen, we might as well!
In her quest for beauty and heritage, Guo Pei has subtly woven her way into the very exclusive cenacle of world leading fashion designers. Just like Galliano or McQueen, her work reaches far beyond the realm of fashion: she gives birth to exquisite walking sculptures, which not only deserve recognition on the catwalk but also in the finest art museums. 2008 was the turning point in Guo Pei’s career: the rising designer was commissioned to create the ceremonial dresses worn by the Chinese presenters during the Beijing Olympics. Her magnificent designs won her international-recognition, and her cosmic talent attracted new customers extending beyond Chinese socialites to the likes of Lady Gaga. We cannot wait to see Guo Pei’s forthcoming collection: once again, she will shake the foundations of Haute Couture.
Human beings have some sligh inclination to everything forbidden or wrong but only when our identity is well kept undercover. It’s that very privacy that enhances the sadistic conduct of the being itself. Rein Vollenga is an artist/sculptor that has been present in the fashion and creativity scene in the past few years with his masks and impossible helmets. This bizarre shapes, threatening but also organic, are more than attractive to any staging looking out for raising all the eyebrows. People like Lady Gaga, Tiga, Mugler or Johnny Ioo have already praised Vollenga’s work. I know what I want for Christmas.
The Internet, that immeasurable world where cats, psychedelic gifs and porn videos get together to give you endless hours of procrastination; that place where all the graphic rubbish ends, nonsense picture dump in which the fall of our generation is summed up.
It’s in the middle of this visual shit tangle where artists like Steph Davidson find their inspiration source to create strident collage works that leave our retinas shaking like a Polaroid picture; compositions made out of useless Getty Images files like happy families, tropical frogs or radioactive colour jelly desserts. Showing off her control over the Internet graphic waste, this young Canadian artist also delights us with patterns, renders, gifs and even a whole gallery made out of that photographic wonder of our generation that selfies are. It’s not only the images that are shocking on the Internet’s enfant terrible’s webpage, but also how it is programmed with that scrolling parallax effect that make a trip to hell out of the site (the INFIERNO part is just the bomb). An amazing artist that will make us spend our whole August searching through the Internet and burning our corneas.
Justin Anderson plunges us into the depths of darkness and corruption with the release of his new short-movie Jumper. The artist mesmerises us with his delicious sense of rhythm and his voluptuous yet disconcerting sense of composition. The sickly-sweet music warns us against the seemingly calm atmosphere; when desire looms, tensions – amongst other things- arise… To the delight of all, Justin Anderson’s Jumper pays a juicy yet tasteful tribute to the Scottish fashion designer Jonathan Sanders for the tenth anniversary of his label (and to Pasolini’s film Teorema). At La Monda, we are in awe. While our mind still resonates with the memory of Guillaume Dolmans’ compelling walk –the stranger in Jumper- we invite you to explore Justin Anderson’s earlier work. The polished yet disturbing aesthetics, the humour, the poetic juxtaposition, the element of absurdity, and the nerve-wrecking feeling that something unexpected is about to happen might play on your mind long after the end credits!
Do you know that feeling when you watch a picture of food and you instantly start drooling like a hungry dog? Well, Maurizio Di Iorio is guilty of that; he has the gift to transmit sensory feelings through his photography. Saturated colours, extreme contrast, natural textures… A type of image that, when observed, makes you wonder “why can’t I stop looking at it if it’s just a red pepper?”. His work is extremely graphic and plays with the colour scheme of the very object as if they were part of a Pantone catalogue, creating very powerful captions. This Italian’s client agenda is full of names like Marc Jacobs, Wired UK, Neon Magazine, Vice, L´officiel… This ragazzo is pure gold!
No touching: frozen beings
The uncomfortable feeling of walking down the street and bumping into a person, or a character, that draws your attention completely. It’s a weird moment. You’d like to stop in a halt and keep on looking at that “thing” as if time had vanished. You feel cruel; your little heart reminds you that what you just called “thing” is actually a human being, so you decide to keep on walking as if nothing had happened but with an eye on the sidewalk and another one on the individual.
Now imagine for a second that you had super powers and you could freeze time (we all wanted to be Harry Potter) and you could blatantly stare at someone, count their nose hairs or see if his socks are from Walmart. It’s a shame super powers don’t exist and Dumbledore, as bad as it is, neither. What exist are American artist Duane Hanson’s hyper realistic sculptures: grannies doing their groceries, tourists with their tourist faces, cleaning ladies and fat people on the beach. Hanson turns the best street fantasies into sculptures for us to observe without feeling any sort of guilt. Total treat for the nosey ones!