Anagnorisis Fine Arts

R.I.P. Dorothea Tanning by Binnorie
February 12, 2012, 3:26 pm
Filed under: Announcement, Artist Spotlight

Many of you have already heard about the death of the surrealist darling, Dorothea Tanning. She was a lofty 101 years old when she passed away peacefully in her home in New York City on January 31.

Dorothea Tanning led a truly remarkable life, not because she lived so long but because she lived so fully. As a young woman, she pursued her dreams to become an artist, and now leaves behind a significant body of painting, sculpture, and works on paper created over the course of six decades. For 34 years, she shared a loving partnership with her husband, Max Ernst, first in the United States and later in France. After his death in 1976, she returned to New York and demonstrated that it is never to late to begin a new chapter in life. In her mid-seventies, she became more productive than ever in her studio, and in her mid-eighties launched a new and successful career as a writer and poet. She worked until her last days, publishing her second book of poems, Coming to That, in the fall of 2011. -Pamela S. Johnson, Director, The Dorothea Tanning Foundation

Dorothea was one of the few original Surrealists still alive, not to mention that she was one of the few woman who were part of the original Surrealist clan that Andre Breton lead in the early part of the 20th century. Her death comes right after that of another female art icon, Eiko Ishioka. It’s been a sad month for Surrealists all around. Not just female artists. As Dorothea once said, “And ‘woman artist’? Disgusting.”

You can learn more about this iconic lady by visiting the Tanning Foundation. Critic Jerry Saltz also wrote a wonderful essay on her life that you can read here.

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I Fink U Freeky by Binnorie
February 1, 2012, 7:21 pm
Filed under: Artist Spotlight

Master of the Grotesque, photographer Roger Ballen, has again collaborated with the South African Die Antwoord in their new video I Fink U Freeky.  Ballen’s signature style permeates with his child-like drawings and featured creatures (human and animal), although the sensationalism of the video overwhelms it a tiny bit.  I’m not complaining, here.  It’s a fun, creepy and beautiful video complete with black contact lenses and horror-film-like sets.

It’s freeky.


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R.I.P. Eiko Ishioka, Surreal Design Icon by Binnorie
January 28, 2012, 8:08 pm
Filed under: Announcement, Artist Spotlight

I’ve just learned from Coilhouse that the iconic Eiko Ishioka, known for her dark, surreal and powerful costume and stage designs, passed away from pancreatic cancer on the 21st.  Eiko’s work not only delved into the grotesque in the most excruciatingly arresting ways, but it is important to note that, in a male-dominated Japanese society, she was the first woman to be elected a member of the Tokyo Art Directors Club and achieved world renown equal to if not surpassing her male Japanese peers.  Extremely prolific, her work can be seen on Broadway, album covers, in television commercials, in film and even in the Olympics.  Read more about her on the Huffington Post.

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Han Hoogerbrugge’s Flash by Binnorie
January 21, 2012, 4:47 pm
Filed under: Artist Spotlight | Tags: , , ,

I discovered Han Hoogerbrugge years ago about when Flash software was first becoming popular.  To this day I think that he is the only artist to use the medium in a purely artistic fashion without getting distracted by Flash’s…well…flashiness.

He’s about to have a solo exhibition in Rotterdam.  Since most of you aren’t there, check out his online animated interactive artworks which are surreal, dark and humorous.  Make sure you have your sound on and are ready to use your mouse to click and roll-over his images.  Curiosity will give you more rewards in Hans’s work:

Flow (this is my favorite – you need to take part with your mouse to see the entire show)

Modern Living / Neurotica Series 

Hotel (an interactive story in ten parts – takes serial art in a new direction)



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Thanks to Who Killed Bambi for reminding me of this artist!

Babble Report I by Binnorie

Do to take a peek at the most recent posts Anagnorisis’s Samantha Levin has up on the Beinart Surreal Art Collective and the Creep Machine:

Or, to satiate those with a lower attention span, please visit Samantha’s sublime Tumblr blog.

Martin Wittfooth’s Dark Water

Dark Water contains paintings from many artists whose work frequently explores these depths, curator included.  Remarkable about the dark nature of such art, is its quality for redemption, relief or realization.  Furthermore, each of these work’s unique elements of beauty can be simultaneously stunning and soothing, offering solace for the heavy subject matter they symbolize.

Read more…

The Indispensable Import of the Cute & Creepy

This exhibition of sweet and sticky macabre art represents curator Carrie Ann Baade‘s efforts to act as ambassador between the contemporary grotesque and the academic environment.

Read more…

Creep Machine:
Paul Komoda // The Thing Comes to Life

The artist talks a bit about his creature concepts for the movie and his experiences working on the movie.  Exclusive peeks at the monsters he designed for the film!

Read more…

Creep Machine:
Travis Louie’s Curious Pets

A mini sneak peek into Mr. Louie’s latest solo exhibition on the west coast.  Opening this weekend!

Read more…

That Which Remains by Binnorie

What remains after all decor is stripped down to our bare bones is what makes us who we are. What happens when we are forced to see this part of ourselves?

When diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, artist Yuri Leonov became forced to see his young life from a new perspective, and to rely upon modern technology to keep his angry immune system at bay. Through his art, Yuri explores how he feels rooted, stuck and limited by those tools that are intended to help him, and what Remains of his self: past and future.  His explorations extend out to the world at large, how our own artificial advancements remove us from what is most important, and the paradox of how our efforts are quite possibly leading to our downfall.

Yuri pulls no punches. His work and the ideas behind it are wrought with emotion: questions about life and memories of the past. His work is introspective, offered to the world en masse as possible catharsis for all of us suffering from mortality. Yuri’s is a case of illness in youth, yet he is a very strong and determined individual; honestly he looks very healthy. His work is very well thought out, intelligently emotional and meaningful. His art is not his heart on his sleeve; it is an earnest search for relief.

Taught old master technique as a boy in Russia, he has some serious old master technique chops in his arsenal, yet he is not a realist. Much of his work is abstract and his paintings which incorporate realistic figures, interiors and landscapes are often created with non-traditional mediums including bugs and his own spit. “Though the work is figurative, the initial structure is an abstract framework of composition that allows the series to be interpreted as a unified body.” Additionally he adds meaning to his painting technique (the use of unmixed white paint, for example, is used on several works in this series as a connective visual element), and each series of paintings tell a story of growth, change or realization. There are very strong concepts underlying all of his works, some of which he describes openly and some of which he has chosen to keep private.

Remain is ethereal, ghostly and, at the same time, very human.  In my mind, the concepts behind the series connect to Parke-Harrison’s Counterpoint series, and the surrealistic story-lines and imagery of some of Adrei Tarkovsky’s films.  Additional man versus technology connections can be made to Masamune Shirow‘s Ghost in the Shell.  Remain is representational of a review of the past and an uncertain future filled with metaphor, private and shared.

A personal and philosophical description of his work:

Remain, which focuses on my own shortcomings and limitations is my most intimate and personal body of work to this day. The strange conviction of self-importance is present in everyone, all of whom will undoubtedly leave this realm of existence; and so all of us attempt the best we can to avoid the inevitable constraint of time by shifting the significance of existence to the things we attempt, or pretend to know. We ignore the larger, unknown to us, scheme of things in which our whole existence is just a miniscule fragment of the general process far beyond our control, instead focusing on trying to control what we think we can.

As such, control, time and scale are the major concepts I have explored in Remain. The act of making art is an excellent example in itself: convinced by a blind ambition that this determination will somehow hold back the weight of time, and prolong my existence even if in a non physical sense. After developing and now living with serious health problems, I have also developed a solid understanding and a persistent reminder that I will die, along with everyone. What will remain?

Remain will be on view at the White Rabbit’s White Box for only a short while longer.  Some works have sold and others are still available for collection.  To view them online and for further details about his exhibit, please visit the Remain gallery here.

A Bitter Message by Binnorie

Survival Research Laboratories‘s  A Bitter Message of Hopeless Grief from 1988.  Directed by J. Reiss.

A Bitter Message of Hopeless Grief is a dark film that follows anthropomorphized machine-beings made of metal, gears and bones through underground stone caves filled with heat and magenta.  They course slowly through dark fiery halls, interacting in morose ways, capturing and destroying lesser, more meek creatures.  To me the title of the work is over-dramatic, but the film itself has a mysterious and surreal quality to it that brings forth a grotesque beauty.  It’s depressing, yet powerful and emotional.  Should one pity these viscous creatures or hate them?

Survival Research Laboratories, founded by Mark Pauline in 1978, is more known for its live performances.  Machine-beings similar to those in the film are kinetic sculptures brought to life in thrilling displays of spitting fire, grinding motors and screeching metal all controlled by remote or driven by SRL members.  Each performance “consists of a unique set of ritualized interactions between machines, robots, and special effects devices, employed in developing themes of socio-political satire. Humans are present only as audience or operators.”  They are like crosses between MIT student robot competitions and the automobile accident reenactment scenes from Cronenberg’s movie Crash, all of them viewed in outdoor theaters by large audiences.

A Bitter Message of Hopeless Grief stands apart from Pauline’s live performances.  It captures a more sullen, almost pitiful aspect of the personalities of Pauline’s metallic creatures.  While they are wild things of strength and power, they are revealed as trapped and angry, lacking compassion and care.  Regardless, the film stays true to SRL’s focus of “re-directing the techniques, tools, and tenets of industry, science, and the military away from their typical manifestations in practicality, product or warfare.”

The film was directed by J. Reiss, also known for his work on Nine Inch Nails’ Happiness in Slavery music video.  Amongst many other projects, he has also directed music videos for The Black Crowes, Danzig, Slayer and the Kottonmouth Kings.  In 2007, he released his film, ‘Bomb It’, a documentary on grafitti and the perception of public space, featuring artists including Taki 183, Shepard Fairey, Os Gemeos and Revok.

To see more, Survival Research Laboratories currently have a ton of their performances posted up on their YouTube page online.

Meditative Melancholia by Binnorie
August 4, 2011, 10:04 pm
Filed under: Artist Spotlight

I’m really loving Tun Myaing’s new works.  Beautiful and melancholy…as always.

He’s recently done some moody evening urban landscapes and interiors.  He turns the mundane or even repulsive subjects he’s chosen to portray into pensive quite objects, teeming with gentle light and existing in their own quiet ways.   Here are a few for your ogling pleasure.

Upcoming Anagnorisis artist Yuri Leonov has a similar series he’ll be revealing in September at the White Rabbit’s White Box – a little more introspective than Tun if you can believe it.  You can certainly tell where my interests lie.  Keep an eye out for them!

Dark Accessories as Wearable Art by Binnorie
July 28, 2011, 10:04 am
Filed under: Artist Spotlight

I rarely post fashion up here, but these two artists, Wren Britton and J. L. Schnabel, do amazing work that obliterates any lines that separate fashion from fine art.

I’ve watched Wren Britton and his line of found object accessories and clothing PureVile climb up the ladder to success.

He’s due to pop up in San Francisco soon (we New Yorkers are spoiled and get to have at him all the time). I may have found out about this too late  – he’s due to be at Five and Diamond in San Francisco this Thursday, the 28th of July, from 6-9pm.  That’s today…  Sorry folks.

He also just popped upon Coilhouse.

J. L. Schnabel is about to release a new line of Blood Milk jewelry.  Her work is exquisitely created, detailed and thoughtful.  Follow her blog to find out what other new works she’ll be releasing soon.  She’s also a writer for Hi Fructose Magazine and a widely exhibited painter, so there’s lots to absorb from her site.

Scott Holloway in Witch Central – Salem Mass by Binnorie
July 23, 2011, 4:49 pm
Filed under: Artist Spotlight

Scott Holloway’s From Beyond Scott just sent me this new work he’s putting in a show of the same title taking place at the Fool’s Mansion in Salem Massachusetts starting July 30th.  FM doesn’t yet have info up on their site - it’s located at 127 Essex Street in the witchie town if you’re going to be nearby.  Schweet!!

Scott Holloway’s From Beyond

Scott just sent me this new work he’s putting in a show of the same title taking place at the Fool’s Mansion in Salem Massachusetts starting July 30th.  The venue doesn’t yet have info up on their site – it’s located at 127 Essex Street in the witchie town if you’re going to be nearby.