It’s impossible to convey, to anyone who didn’t stumble across the stuff on their own, the evanescent but ferocious intensity to be found in the photocopied page of any zine or comic from the late eighties and early nineties. Self-publishing in those days showed you, the reader, a culture being ripped apart, at the seams and straight through the middle, while on fire, the raw guts of oppression and abuse and injustice exposed and left behind to rot while you watched with a beer from a spot near the stage. The French Canadian artist and comics creator Julie Doucet invented a character, named Julie Doucet, who let you tag along as she did … Read the rest
In midtwentieth-century America, the appetite for comics was astounding. As many as a hundred million books were sold each month. Whereas the comics of the forties starred talking animals and muscle-bound superheroes, the fifties saw the rise of comics that grew darker and stranger. One publisher, Entertaining Comics (EC), altered the landscape of American pop culture with its twisted, vividly illustrated forays into genre: science fiction, horror, mysteries, suspense, war stories. Readers devoured EC’s gruesome tales, but the golden age of crypt-keepers and space dinosaurs was short-lived. In 1954, the Comics Magazine Association of America—besieged by obscenity trials, comic-book burnings, and claims that comics caused juvenile delinquency—established the infamous Comics Code. One criterion of the Code prohibited “scenes dealing with, or instruments associated with walking dead, … Read the rest
AN ORGANISM IN RICHMOND: In the future we predict a large and significant living organism will begin to take shape at the corner of Belvidere and Broad … There are other organisms in Richmond, to be sure, but none quite like this one.
So writes Chicago-based artist Deb Sokolow in her pamphlet, “A Living Organism at Broad and Belvidere” (2017), commissioned for Declaration, the inaugural exhibition at Virginia Commonwealth University’s new Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) — located at the corner of Belvidere and Broad streets. The pamphlet, available for guests to take, sits in a bin next to one of the two entrances into the ICA. It serves as an … Read the rest
LOS ANGELES — In Robert Colescott’s “Portrait of the Artist at 85,” the late painter, who passed away at 83 in 2009, depicts himself seated in front of a tall, white canvas, applying messy strokes of pinkish cream. A buxom blonde wearing nothing but red heels poses in front of a window. The brushstrokes on the canvas seem distracted and uncoordinated, as if the artist’s hand is less concerned with representing the subject and more interested in acting out some libidinal impulse.
During his lifetime, Colescott reached the heights of a master painter, blending figuration and abstraction and becoming one of the first prominent artists to embed … Read the rest
LENS, France — Last month, on the occasion of the Persian new year celebrations of spring, the Louvre museum’s outpost in northern France opened a major exhibition of Qajar dynasty treasures from present-day Iran. The Rose Empire: Masterpieces of 19th Century Persian Art — curated by Gwenaëlle Fellinger, senior curator of the department of Islamic Art at the Louvre, and Hana Chidiac, head of the North African and Near Eastern collections of the Quai Branly Museum — benefits from key loans from the Golestan Palace, the royal palace of the Qajar dynasty in Tehran, which currently houses an extensive collection of 18th and 19th … Read the rest
NARROWSBURG, New York — Most every artist must establish, to some degree, their relationship to the art canon. Some endlessly reference it, while others reject it; artist Allan Rubin, on the other hand, renders his artistic heroes into three-dimensional sculptures made from upcycled tin cans.
Rubin really puts the “can” in canvas, applying his paintings to metal rather than fabric. In 2016, Rubin created his first master artist sculpture of Picasso, touching off a body of work called CANON, now on display at the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance.
“At first I made portraits of … Read the rest
“I don’t whether to be turned on or afraid, but I like it,” is often the default response when viewing Camille Mariet’s work – or at least it is according to her Tinder matches. “I don’t know if it’s necessarily weird, but sometimes I link my Instagram to my Tinder, and when I do, I literally get the same message from every guy,” she explains.
For the 22-year-old LA-based photographer, weird is a currency she’s used to working with. Pooling influence from old advertisements and porn, her cinematic photography depicts a world in which femmes hold the knife, and are more than ready to twist it in the heart of anyone who crosses them.
Mariet’s work is violent – whether it’s an image depicting a go-go … Read the rest