Posts Tagged ‘Surrealism’

Ji Lee

Published March 16, 2010 by Molly




Durr, is there anything more scintillating than the phrase “renegade graphic designer”? Usthinks not. Ji Lee, an exemplar of the term, fashions intricate, miniature interiors that he terms “parallel worlds” and—the best part!—installs them on the ceilings of homes and corporate offices. “People don’t look at the ceiling anymore,” Lee writes on his website. “It’s a dead space. So I wanted to bring a small wink to this space.”

In this week’s edition of T Magazine Ji Lee explains further. “I’m interested in exploring areas like the back of business cards and ceilings— why are they left empty?” Indeed, why?

One of Lee’s parallel worlds contains a cherry-red electric guitar, psychedelic Hendrix poster and potted plant. Another features a cozy leather club chair, Oriental rug, and newspaper folded atop an ottoman. Lee ’s project combines the innate appeal of small objects with a whimsical absurdity and the vaguely sci-fi notion of universes that coexist in secret. Please enjoy.

Mary Virginia Carmack

Published February 25, 2010 by Molly

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The thing about collage is that anyone can do it, but few can do it well. The crucial thing is to balance artful non sequiturs with a kind of coded story, balancing visual with narrative interest. Mary Virginia Carmack is a master of the medium, crafting gorgeous enigmas from paper cut-outs. We detect a hint of Man Ray and a killer sense of color, but mostly a sensibility original enough to turn each image into an illustrated dream.

Judith Linhares

Published February 3, 2010 by Molly

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Pasadena-born Judith Linhares has been a working artist since her teens, which goes a long way towards explaining the painter’s complex language of symbolism. Sailboats, rabbits, women, skeletons, man-munching Amazons, fire, Snow White, honeybees and blossoms all find their way into Linhares’ work, realized in exuberant colors that belie a certain macabre undercurrent. Maybe more than macabre.

A sharp wit also finds its expression in Linhares’ paintings, and fittingly she counts among her influences Max Beckmann, Edvard Munch, Symbolist painting and Surrealism, all of which become evident in the fact that her images have a way of searing themselves into the more sensitive regions of a viewer’s brain. These are paintings, in other words, that are hard to forget.

In a 2006 interview in BOMB magazine the artist noted that Painters share in a long and complex tradition going back to the caves, which is both a pleasure and a burden. It’s a pleasure to see a Roman fresco of rabbits in a field and recognize the technical mastery and think, I am one of these craftsmen. This tradition is also a burden, because all painting is seen against a backdrop of this history. The challenge is to use what has been cultivated without being seen only in terms of historic style.

Here’s to the eternal mystery of image-making!

Kirsten Deirup

Published May 14, 2009 by Molly

Kirsten Deirup’s painting style could be described as the genetically-deformed love child of Yves Tanguy and Tod Browning. A native of Berkeley and a Cooper Union graduate, Deirup’s works are dreamlike tableux of monsters, forts, haunted trees, spare interiors, junk and garbage. It’s the sort of work that defies casual viewing–a piece like “Good Times” (above) will stop you in your tracks mid-gallery-stroll.