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November 2012

Viktor Koen

Viktor Koen D.P.Toy-No.23.1.tViktor Koen is a surrealist whose quirky and compelling constructions mezmerize and disturb. Take, for example his "Dark Peculiar Toys" which is an assembly experiment pitting the philosophies of what a toy is and is supposed to do, differ and collide. These collisions deface, brake or de-construct the toys into piles of raw materials, waiting to be re-constructed in alternative ways, without instructions or the memory of their origins and function. Especially without consideration for their original creators intentions. Curiously they brake down not only to their essential parts but to details of character and spirit - if they ever possessed any. They only retain colors, shapes and the scars inflicted by their previous owners. Scars that separate them from their assembly line identical multiples and make them one of the kind.

These tragic action figures are trapped between their new condition and the reality of their past. They link older and contemporary prototypes of heroism or role playing, by combining traditional symbols in unorthodox ways. Their appeal lies solely in the tendency children (of any age) have to cannibalize existing objects in order to fuse their own. These creations come at odds with their carefully planed origins and brake gender and age molds by defying children experts, focus groups and sales projections. The newly assembled toys, though somewhat dramatic and traumatic due to their darkness, evoke our emotions and form a connection with us, by taking a place in our personal memories. Not in a "lost childhood blah, blah, blah" way - but as images that communicate nostalgia and joy, or the nostalgia of joy.

These emotions also dominated the process of putting them together. I photographed toys and objects that I collected through the years and travels, some of them parts of my personal childhood, and then mixed and matched them for hours. While this was a different form of play, the magic was the same.

Viktor Koen
Viktor Koen holds a BFA from the Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design in Jerusalem, Israel and an MFA with honors from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Mr. Koen serves on the faculty of the MFA Illustration program and the BFA Graphic Design Department at SVA.


Margaret Kilgallen

Margaret KilgallenMargaret Kilgallen's paintings and murals reflected a variety of influences, including the dying art of hand-painted signs, elements of American folk art, mural painting, and a variety of formal painting strategies.

At an early age, she was impressed by examples of works by Southwest and Mexican artists, and she employed these artists' use of warm colors in her own painting. Her many works in gouache and acrylic on found paper (often discarded book endpapers) reflect an interest in typographic styles and symbology that can be traced to her work as a book conservator with Dan Flanagan at the San Francisco Public Library in the early to mid-1990s.

In addition to her commissioned mural work, Kilgallen was also a graffiti artist under the tag names "Meta" and "Matokie Slaughter." The latter name, a homage to folk musician Matokie Slaughter, was specifically used for freight train graffiti, a hobo tradition that strongly influenced her work. Kilgallen was an accomplished banjo player and became an avid surfer after moving to California.

Kilgallen was an avid reader and thinker, looking to Appalachian music, signage, letterpress printing, hobo train writing, and religious and decorative arts to inform her work. Her work demonstrates her respect for and engagement with craftsmanship and the stories of everyday peoples' lives. She was especially interested in "the evidence of the maker's hand."

As she explained: I like things that are handmade and I like to see people's hand in the world, anywhere in the world; it doesn't matter to me where it is. And in my own work, I do everything by hand. I don't project or use anything mechanical, because even though I do spend a lot of time trying to perfect my line work and my hand, my hand will always be imperfect because it's human. And I think it's the part that's off that's interesting, that even if I'm doing really big letters and I spend a lot of time going over the line and over the line and trying to make it straight, I'll never be able to make it straight. From a distance it might look straight, but when you get close up, you can always see the line waver. And I think that's where the beauty is.

Watch Place on PBS. See more from ART:21.


Linda Stojak

Linda Stojak Linda Stojak, the Guggenheim Award-winning painter is known for intensely personal work characterized by a disquieting beauty. Her indelible images deal with feminist issues of power and identity. In this new series, as in her best-known work, Stojak confronts the self, identity, and the female body. Her works have been called “psychological self-portraits.”

Critic Michael Amy has written that Stojak’s paintings give “the illusion of almost intangible flesh, as open as a wound.” He described the “flesh-like surfaces of her pictures” as “rich epidermises filled with the history of their own generation.”

Aside from the underlying narrative impact of the work, Stojak is also focused on quite painterly concerns. Art in America critic Edward Leffingwell has written of Linda Stojak’s paintings that they are “as formally compelling as they are moving.”

Stojak’s work consists mostly of a solitary figure emerging from a contrasting ground, a field of relentless palette-knife-wide strokes of oil paint obsessively worked and reworked until the brushstroke itself becomes the search for meaning. Stojak says of the title, Tether: “as I am/was working I always had in mind that line around the figures that was holding them in place and the idea that if that paper line was pulled, the figures would become undone … untethered.”

Hers is a technique both sensual and gestural – the expressionistic played against the conceptual. Linda Stojak’s work is suffused with a profound humanity. In the words of critic Michael Amy: “her figures offer a remarkable evocation of our very lives.”

 


William Klein

William Klein 3_Club_Allegro_Fortissimo_Paris_1990William Klein (born in New York, New York, USA, on April 19, 1928) is a photographer and filmmaker noted to for his ironic approach to both media and his extensive use of unusual photographic techniques in the context of photojournalism and fashion photography. He was ranked 25th on Professional Photographer's Top 100 Most influential photographers.

Trained as a painter, Klein studied under Fernand Léger and found early success with exhibitions of his work. However, he soon moved on to photography and achieved widespread fame as a fashion photographer for Vogue and for his photo essays on various cities. Despite having no training as a photographer, Klein won the Prix Nadar in 1957 for New York, a book of photographs taken during a brief return to his hometown in 1954. Klein's work was considered revolutionary for its "ambivalent and ironic approach to the world of fashion", its "uncompromising rejection of the then prevailing rules of photography" and for his extensive use of wide-angle and telephoto lenses, natural lighting and motion blur.

Klein tends to be cited in photography books along with Robert Frank as among the fathers of street photography, one of those mixed compliments that classifies a man who is hard to classify. The world of fashion would become the subject for Klein's first feature film, Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?, which, like his other two fiction features, Mr. Freedom and The Model Couple, is a satire. Klein has directed numerous short and feature-length documentaries and has produced over 250 television commercials.

 

http://www.france24.com/en/20100925-william-klein-photography-eve-jackson

Edgar "Saner" Flores

Saner_sacrificio_b_zpsec8d8954Edgar "Saner" Flores is an urban artist, muralist, professor, illustrator & graphic designer.  Raised by his parents in Mexico City and surrounded by rich color and tradition, Saner developed an interest in drawing and Mexican Muralism early on.  "I visited Oaxaca a lot when I was growing up because my mother is from there, and certain traditions which they carried out there really caught my attention."  He began expressing himself on paper and through graffiti art, later going on to earn a degree in graphic design from the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico.

 

His lively & humorous images of masked characters on public walls, found objects and other canvases are influenced by Mexican custom and folklore, color, mysticism, masks, and skulls.  A mix of these lifelong interests and passions has led him to become the artist he is today.  "The masks that I use are traditional masks from Mexico."  The jaguars, coyotes, skulls, and other recurrent characters appear in my work because that parallel world is the real self, the real face. "

 

Saner's work has been featured in galleries in Mexico, the United States, London, Berlin and Barcelona.  Recent projects & exhibitions include "Kidnap Express," Mid-City Arts Los Angeles, "Nose Job," Eric Firestone Gallery East Hamptons NY, "The Bone yard Project," Tucson Arizona, "The Bone yard: Return Trip," Pima Space & Air Museum, "The Wynwood Walls," Miami/Art Basel.  He has collaborated with Kidrobot, Vans, G-Shock, HQTR Canada, Pineda Covalin, Persigna Store, Bacardi, Adidas Mexico, Televisa, and many others.

 

MEXICO CITY'S SANER - CATHARSIS - ART EXHIBIT TRAILER - OPENING SATURDAY OCTOBER 27, 2012 - NEW IMAGE ART from THE CINEMA on Vimeo.