Worlds of Wonder

The work of Robert Bianchi immediately immerses you in another world, a future world where humanity has been stripped down to its barest form. What we would view as a regular environment is cast aside in favour of a struggle between utopia and dystopia, evoking a sullen atmosphere coinciding with the feel of liberation and evolution. Crowds of the incredibly familiar human body are morphed into structures resembling plant life, towering over other creatures.It is interesting that in this apparent evolution we have become entities of another order, perhaps one that we originally assumed to be less complex. On the other end of the scale, whilst looking at other Bianchi imagery, we can view his world as if through a microscope, relating our bodies to that of the molecular structures which embody life itself. Returning from such a miniature scale, we find ourselves intertwined within triptychs or diptychs of human and orchid, the highly symbolic and synonymous with reproduction. These windows into the world of Robert Bianchi have just been added to the permanent collection of The Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro (The Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro).

Keiron LeVine

 

Starglider

Contemporary artist Roy Brown recently exhibited a diverse range of highly intriguing work in Kingston’s Toilet Gallery; an artist run space that as the name suggests is a converted public convenience. The gallery sees a high turnover of exhibitions with Brown’s work recently taking residency this September, this however does not detract from the impact of his creations. Highly appropriate, considering the exhibition space, is the strong gender divide that is found in Brown’s work; on the one hand you see elegant hand drawn images with a subtly soft yet powerful use of colour and on the other, a series of structural willow masks that would not be out of place in a Bulgarian ‘Kukeri’ masquerade. The masks themselves are formed from willow so of course we are put in mind of the age old correlation between man and nature, in particular the tribal and the shamanistic.  And though we as humans develop further and further it is true to say that this natural influence is closer than sometimes realised to act as a constant source of inspiration. In the same way that we as cultures, tribes, individuals and artists are drawn to such earthly materials it is interesting to mention how the willow had a similarly alluring affect on Brown’s pet cat Rufus, tempted by the scent of this organic material as the masks were constructed.

When it comes to the term ‘mask’,  words such as protection, performance, ceremony and disguise are all attributed to these inanimate constructs that sit upon the face. a notion that Brown so poignantly explores. This desire to transform our very being into an alien life form is enduring and though we may not always call upon such blatantly natural material, it will of course continue. This is signified in Brown’s work by a simple nod to the future in the form of rather clinical attire, carrying a heavy contrast with the willow sculptures, while the imagery appears as deeply connected with tribal ritual as it is to science fiction.  To combine these apparent opposites is to form a solid point about human nature in that our evolution as a entity can’t escape our desire, and even need, for altering our current form.

Keiron LeVine

 

We can’t wait….

Celebrating it’s fourth season, ASVOFF is preparing to launch its energy once more into the centre of Couture excellence. We wait in anticipation.

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Pictoplasma Festival 2011 Opener

PICTOPLASMA NYC is the the world’s leading and largest celebration of contemporary character culture. Now in its third year, the conference will be held at Parsons NY, 4-5 November, while an accompanying programme of exhibitions, installations, performances will be held 3-6 November. Put the dates in your diary.

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Down to the barest of bones

Alex Turvey’s latest super short lo fi horror / fashion film for Bare Bones 6.

Illamasqua Born Again

“Illamasqua’s new film ‘Born Again’ stars BAFTA winner Vicky McClure. Set in the middle of no-where-in-particular and at no specific time, ‘Born Again’ tells the story of a beautiful young woman on a journey that will define who she will be for the rest of her life. The young woman, throughout, is at odds with the world — tense and on edge — she chases the sun in the hope she will find peace in its setting. We see it in her vibrantly coloured eyes and read it on her vividly painted lips — how this search for her true self has taken her to the edge of reason and sanity and ended in the ultimate act of sacrifice and commitment. Only here, at her journey’s end does she realise that to be born again, first you must die.”

The fashion industry has been creating short films for some time now, not the traditional role of fashion in film, as played by Hubert de Givenchy for Audrey Hepburn, for example, but in the role of fashion house as auteur. And big name directors have also begun to recognise the value of creating short stories where the product is the star, Mike Figgis, James Cameron and Martin Scorsese are among those that have worked with the larger luxury brands.

Fashion’s embrace of film reinforces the not just the feeling of fashion but also the emotion the designer evokes, and cosmetics are no exception. Creating an aesthetic experience akin to having the product explained in store before purchasing it allows the viewer to embrace new possibilities, a backstory that the purchaser will add to if you will. Long may this continue, this new breed of film is the perfect link between the auteur and the brand.

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Lernert & Sander: Natural Beauty

Lernert & Sander: Natural Beauty on Nowness.com.

Once again Nowness have commissioned a film to delight and astound. To read the Nowness interview with Lernert and Sander click here.

Flights of Fancy

Photographing Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Arts Masters students of 2011, Peripetie has once again provided an alternative vision of her world. Working with each designer to achieve the look both artist and sitter wanted, among the styled compositions she has managed to retain the escapism within her work. There is much surprise and pleasure in seeing these designers who have been been invited to play in her personal domain, particularly as all seem at ease with her novel representations of their creative selves. This is an eccentric flight of colour and texture at its best.

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Photography: Madame Peripetie
Stylist: Rolf Buck
Make up and hair: Julia Heiermann

You’ve Changed

Inspiration can be found in a variety of places, however it would be interesting to know what instigated the concept behind ‘Changed’, the latest video by Mario and Vidis, art direction and film directed by Phantom for Starworks. With overtones of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic tale of jealousy and betrayal in ‘Bernice Bobs Her Hair’ the film, like the story, asks us to evaluate and challenge traditional expectations of womanhood and femininity. It raises once again not the question “What do men expect from women?” but what do women expect from women? Clearly we have still some way to go to resolve this.

Origin of the Beginning: Levi van Veluw

Despite a preoccupation with materiality, pattern and texture, Levi van Veluw has a formal approach to self-portraiture. In his latest solo show in which he exhibits his work through installations, photographs and videos, he draws from his own childhood memories, including his obsession for fire.  Using repetitive structures to represent Van Veluw’s obsessive attempts to gain control on his life by gaining control of his surroundings as a youth, this is a world that is claustrophobic and sombre, and ultimately exudes a sense of loneliness.

Installations inspired by different aspects of van Veluw’s boyhood bedroom, where he spent many solitary hours between the ages of 8 and 14: the Origin of the Beginning.



21 May – 25 June Levi van Veluw Solo exhibition at Ron Mandos Gallery, Amsterdam.