Looking back over Louise Belcourt’s paintings, from her pre-2001 work to now, it’s really interesting to see the way her style has changed. Her works have always been based around minimalist, heavily stylised shapes and large doses of bright colour, but what were once organic shapes with a sense of tonal depth, are now flat, rectangular and less polished. Pieces like those above use flat, brushed panes of colour and thick linework to create a series of shapes which, as a whole, form a casual yet complex three-dimensional arrangement.
Ukrainian Sasha Kurmaz works across a number of mediums; photography, video, sculpture and installation art, though much of his stuff probably doesn’t sit comfortably under any one category. His work is full of ideas and statements, and occasionally pushes the bounds of ‘good taste’, but the series that grabs me is his collection of snow photos, which don’t seem to have a purpose beyond saying ‘look how white everything is’. I like the simplicity of it, ansd the fact that everything is so ‘flat’. His photos show three-dimensional objects such as rudimentary snowmen and expensive sports cars covered in snow, but it’s only upon close inspection that you can see the depth of the image.
Michael Marwick has a fantastic colour palette, full of eucalypt greens and bright oranges and yellows. He paints scenes set in the natural environment; the image above, though kind of abstract in appearance, depicts ‘Daybreak’, with the yellow sunlight streaming through the limbs and fronds of a tree. These would have been great fun to paint, and they’re great fun to look at and try and figure out how the layers went down.
Strokestacks – I made that up, but I reckon it fits. Martin Creed’s paintings have a real spontaneity about them – you can see the brush strokes, and can even tell the direction in which they were made. Each pane of colour consists of a single stroke; some of them opaque, some more runny, and some two colours layered. The way the paint has dried, thicker and darker around the edges of the strokes, has been used (possibly unintentionally) as a visual element. There’s a fine line between doing a quick painting that works, and one that just looks amateur. It all seems very rushed, but it works.
I’m a carnivore, but the idea of intensive farming of animals makes me feel pretty shitty. Everyone knows that chickens have a bad deal (anyone that thinks their ‘free range’ chicken lived a long, ‘free’ life running around on a ‘range’ is an idiot), but for some reason I always thought cows had negotiated a better arrangement. Enter ‘Feedlots’ by photographer Mishka Henner.
Henner’s photos are made by stitching together hundreds of satellite images, taken from far above Texas, focusing on a number of operational ‘Feedlots’. The feedlot is a modern phenomenon; an intensive cattle farming practice born out of the west’s insatiable appetite for cheap, fast food. These feedlots house thousands of heads of cattle in what appear to be pretty squalid conditions – the animals are fed a diet that causes them to grow at an accelerated rate, meaning they have evolved into hamburgers while their ‘free range’ cousins are still sucking on their mothers’ teet. It is truly horrible, moreso because it only exists because people like you and me (yes, that’s an assumption) want to eat meat, but don’t want to kill the animal that it’s stuck to.
The most disturbing visual element of Henner’s images are the bright, alien-looking pools of toxic waste that sit at the edges and centres of these feedlots. These are combined, congealed pools of animal effluent, and are said to host any number of potentially deadly diseases and bacteria. Imagine living your short life stuck in a bare paddock staring at a rough blend of last night’s dinner, the one before that, the one before that, and so on. It’s fucking awful. To be honest, it’s enough to make you want to turn vegetarian.
As photography, Henner walks a fine line with a number of his series’, as I doubt he owns a satellite (another assumption). These images look as though they’ve come straight off Google Maps – for all I know they might’ve. But by reproducing them as large-format prints, and giving them a wider audience through artistic interpretation, Henner creates something that is impossible to ignore.
There’s something undeniably sinister about these paintings by Darcy Mann. Unremarkable sections of vibrant green foliage are given a dark twist through rough brushstrokes and a palette largely made up of green and black. The layered, laid-back nature of Mann’s style is expressed in the dribbles that work their way to the bottom edge of her canvases.
Anyone that’s visited To Everybody more than once in the last few months will have realised that it has been a bit quiet of late. And yes, that’s a massive understatement – To Everybody has become a ghost town, with digital tumbleweeds rolling through its feed. The blog equivalent of a Walking Dead set, except in this case there aren’t even zombies. Yeah, that bad.
It probably doesn’t mean a hell of a lot to most people (especially those that don’t know me personally), but the reason I haven’t been posting is because I’ve just become a dad! My little boy, Art, is awesome, and becoming more like a little man each day. But no amount of warning can prepare you for the amount of work it takes to bring a baby home. As I said, Art is a great baby (we’re really lucky), but even with a good baby it’s a massive challenge. So between that and starting a new job (literally the same week as Art arrived), I’ve found myself somewhat time-poor. And, unfortunately, To Everybody has been the first thing to fall by the wayside.
Now that things have settled down a bit, however, I’ll be making an effort to update To Everybody more frequently. Posts will be more focused on art and design, and I’m hoping to nut out more of a structure to the way that I post. I can’t promise this is going to become Its Nice That or Creative Review overnight, but I hope that – at the very least – you might find something interesting here each time you stop by.
Thanks for reading!
The painting to the right is called ‘Teenager Beach’. It is the work of Israeli-born, Denmark-based artist Tal R, who paints in what he calls the ‘kolbojnik’ style (which translates as ‘leftovers’). I love this painting – there’s a heck of a lot going on in it, but he hasn’t got totally carried away with the colour palette. That’s not to say that he’s always so subdued – do a Google Image Search of “Tal R” and you get a headache-inducing collection of his paintings and drawings, and it’s fair to say that he hasn’t left a single tube of paint untouched.
Tal (or Mr R, I’m not sure) doesn’t seem to have an official website, but he is represented by a number of well-regarded galleries and he even has a Wikipedia page.
Big call, I know, but I’m totally blown away by this stuff. Winston Chmielinski is an artist from Boston, USA, with a background in philosophy and creative writing – I’m not sure how he ‘fell’ into painting, but it’s a good thing he did. You’ll have to excuse the number of examples that I’ve posted below – I usually pick out a few of my favourite pieces, but I pretty much love all of this guy’s work. It’s abstract and messy, yet figurative, and very, very colourful (always a good thing). It reminds me of Rhys Lee’s paintings, especially his earlier more colourful stuff. Chmielinski’s paintings combine hurried, almost scraped brushstrokes, where the canvas is all but exposed, with thick chunks of oil and the occasional dribble. Parts of the canvas are totally free-form while others are really precise and studied. I could look at this stuff for hours and still pick out things I like about it.
I just came across Joris Goulenok’s work on Flickr. As far as I can tell he doesn’t have a website, but he has exhibited a bunch of times. His work ranges from drawings and small acrylic-on-paper pieces to weird deconstructed cubist paintings like the one on the right. The reason I like this one is that it really reminds me of this print my folks have at their holiday house. I have a feeling it’s a print of an old Picasso still life but I’m not sure. I’ve always thought the bit where the fish overlay looks like Fred Flintstone.