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In commemoration of Felice Varini’s artwork in, or on, the docks of Cardiff, I’m linking to his seminal publication “Points of View”. The monograph illustrates Varini’s idiosyncratic work, playing with perception by using surfaces to paint geometric and 3-dimensional shapes. The paint appears as discordant, even violent, lines boldly painted at random across streets and buildings, yet when perceived from one particular vantage point, the works become powerfully coherent, transcending their immediate surroundings. The works though, are not posed as puzzles intended to be solved, but works that provide vivid meaning from each and every angle, validity and significance even in chaos and subjectivity.
This limited-edition monograph of sorts was released to accompany Cerith Wyn Evans’ ICA installation a few months back. It takes the form of a clear plastic flip album inserted with photographs Evans’ took on a recent trip to Japan. The photos often employ displacement or elision, scenes seem to be cut in half, sun glare distorts the colours and pictures are taken at unorthodox angles and viewpoints. The incongruoux mix of chaotic urbanity and serene nature also provides jolts of discomfort as one flicks through the photos. The individuality of the images then, seems enhanced – rather than an objective record logically filed, the photographs are uniquely peculiar visions that express a singular subjectivity. In looking through this piece we use Evans’ eyes to look, and rather than fixing upon the objective world we are alienated by it. Instead, we are forced to focus not on what we see but the ways in which we see. The albums are signed and numbered by Evans on the backsheet.
This monograph records Gallery Yujiro’s inaugural exhibition of last year. The exhibition, entitled “The Universe in a Handkerchief”, featured contemporary photography, mixed media pieces as well as digital sound sculpture. The intent of the show was to explore the humour and meaning inherent in whimsical moments of existence, in the patterns created by subconcious & idiosyncratic behavourial traits. The title of the show comes from an apocryphal collection of Lewis Carrol’s juvenilia and other, marginal, fragmented work. Comes with a reflective essay by show curator Anthony Spira.
This multi-layered glass self-portrait of Japanese artist Keiichi Tanaami is a limited-edition reproduction of an original 1960s piece. Upon each pane of glass is impressed a single colour and single pattern so that when the panes are aligned a coherent image can be seen. The three dimensional play of light and colour as one’s eye moves across the work evokes Tanaami’s psychedelic background as well as the youthful verve of his days as Art Editor of Japanese Playboy.
The Art-o-Mat Books are 200 unique flip books showcasing art from members of to the AIC (Artists in Cellophane) organisation. Each book is unique and includes 18 different and original artworks from artists such as Christian Pietrapiana, Guy Boutin and Nell Whitlock.
These photo albums are wrapped in a soft fabric for a look halfway between a wallet and a moleskin journal. Suitably, these albums are small enough to carry around with you in your pocket or bag. They all come from Stacyhandmade, a designer/artisan who also makes wonderful, felt covered coptic journals in the style of the ancient Ethiopians or Egyptians, filled with smooth, sturdy handmade paper. The photo albums come in a range of covers, all possessing a stylish verve with fresh, pronounced colours.
The Wurst Gallery, that’s who. Last month they announced a load of one-off art products based on the theme of man’s best friend. Luckily there’s still quite a few of these unique artworks left.
The German Shepherd
This piece is entitled “A Policeman’s Best Friend”, it includes a B&W can with a bold logo and motto emblazoned onto it. Inside, a lump of Chris Ofili-esque ‘poop’, that seems to be made from papier-maiche. This one is designed by Emil Kozak, costs $100 and is available here.
Cycles is a collection of war photographs taken by Finnish photo-journalist Ilkka Uimonen. The photos cover the Palestinian intifada and illuminate the Jungian idea that conflict can never be resolved so long as emotion displaces reason. While the pictures are stark, there is also a strong visual element showing this cyclical movement, the repetition of scenes, the repulsion from violence and headlong rush into it. In Cycles, this movement seems as natural and as blind as the sombre movement of wind through curtains.
Donna Brady’s gritty photographs of urban Brooklyn have found their way into the home as images printed onto lampshade. The hanging lamps use Brady’s pictures of street graffiti on dark, gloomy walls. Twice removed from their natural environment, the exuberance inherent in the colours of the graffiti is exaggerated and heightened, modifying the lamp light with their brash tone. Brady’s photographics are perhaps second-hand art, simply recording the raw & immediate expressions of street art, yet for this reason the pictures seem perfect for the medium of a lampshade – lit from beyond by second-hand light.
Viktor Shklovsky said the purpose of art was to “make the stone stony” while Carlos Williams urged that poetry “reconcile the people with the stones”. Myung-Ok Han, a Korean artist working in Paris, uses the energy of the rock in her art, her stones arranged as deliberately as a stone circle or Gaelic burial site.
Now a major retrospective of her work is available as a monograph entitled ‘Myung-Ok Han or The Objectification of a Poetics’, with an analytic accompanying text by André Depraz.
This book by seminal Japanese photographer Narahara is presently on sale at Galerie 213 in Paris. The publication records an historic time in Japan, as the country found itself inbetween a discredited Imperialism and the corporate tiger that would follow. As a relatively early work, Narahara’s obsession with European avant-garde photography is obvious, while a nascent interest in marginal communities is also visible, with both the disenfranchised and the cutting edge of Tokyo society recorded.
The Piece and Peace greetings card is one of the latest productions coming from Japanese graphic design duo D-BROS. The card recycles a variety of discarded mixed media to create a rough yet charming assemblage. Torn magazine pages, a tea doiley, lined paper and a Polaroid are amongst some of the scraps used to achieve the unified whole.
Equator Books on Abbot Kinney in Venice, CA is displaying a bunch of Chuck Rapaport’s Times Square photos from 1965 until April 1st. The photos are also available to buy as limited-edition, high-quality prints. This one below shows an NYPD squadroom in the midst of a busy night, moments of personal drama, anguish and intrigue interred in the very gestures, poses and expressions of the subjects. The picture has the pitch of silver-screen, the cast of a vintage Law & Order episode, and the brutish tones of a night that holds only irreverence for good will.
David Lynch’s ‘The Air is on Fire’ Exhibition opens today at the Fondation Cartier in Paris . Part of the art show will present a number of never-seen photographic portraits of Snowmen. Lynch snapped the pics while driving round his hometown of Boise, Idaho, capturing these naive, transitory sculptures just as they were melting and decaying.
Su-Mei Tse, Venice Biennale winner in 2003, produces works that remind me of Blake’s line about seeing the world in a grain of sand, and not just because one of her principal video-installations was a superimposed image of Paris Roadsweepers in the Sahara. Her works often concentrate on one principal image or material or motif, but repeat this singular principal again and again as if for eternity, as if her art were some mystic meditative chant. Her ‘Air Conditioned’ monograph seems to be a rather rare piece as i can’t seem to find it in too many other places, but Strand books of New York has a copy.
Pictured below is her work Proposition de detour, a Persian rug cut into the likeness of the famous Maze in Chartres. It Displayed at the Peter Blum Chelsea Gallery.
Labour & Wait’s old fashioned store in Shoreditch is brimming over with retro housewares designed with simple and honest care. They do not typically busy themselves with throwaway items or cheap, disposable goods, but try and instill a sense of permanence and integrity into the tools of everyday ritual and routine. One of the most interesting items in their store, however, is an item of obsolete ephemera, a novelty.