Broken Porcelain Lady Figurines

Jessica Harrison takes old ceramic statues of fancily-dressed women and disembowels them. These found porcelain figures, that are typically seen occupying a special place your grandmother’s credenza, are reimagined in the most gory of ways. The juxtaposition of the prim statuettes displaying their decapitated heads and freshly opened throats without changing their demure expressions is striking. Despite having appeared to have been subjected to an awful violence (perhaps their own), the Georgian and Victorian-era figures remain decorous figures. The results are gory and macabre while also being kitsch and playful.

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There is a great interview with Harrison about the meaning behind her work on The Skinny. Many of these images can be purchased as signed and numbered prints on Harrison’s website.

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Pretty/Dirty

This weekend I visited the Marilyn Minter retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (MCA). All the work was captivating in beautiful and disgusting way. Her juxtaposition of glamor and grit, of the revealing and the disturbing, and of the intimate and the amplified shown throughout the entire show. The title Pretty/Dirty couldn’t have been more apt. A great review of the exhibit can be found at Hyperallergic.

Pretty Dirty 2“Pop Rocks” by Marilyn Minter

I was more impressed with her paintings than her photographs or videos. Above is a full-sized photo of Minter’s painting “Pop Rocks”. It’s a gigantic 9 feet by 15 feet. Outside of their sheer size and incredible detail, I’m fascinated by the process used to create them. The paintings start as heavily mixed and manipulated Photoshop negatives taken from earlier photo shoots. This new image is then turned into paintings created through multiple layers of translucent enamel paint on aluminum giving a rich hallucinatory look.

The final layer is applied with fingertips to create a softening of the paintbrush lines. And when you look closely you can see evidence of fingerprints and smudges all over her works. Below is a detail of the condensation from “Pop Rocks”

Pretty Dirty 5Detail of “Pop Rocks” by Marilyn Minter

The Marilyn Minter retrospective will be showing at MCA through the month so hurry up and go see it while you can. You can find a few more of my photos from the exhibit below.

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Picasso’s Guernica In 3D

This haunting video is an exploration of Pablo Picasso’s massive 1937 painting “Guernica” The movie’s creator, Lena Gieseke, isolates each of the major subjects in the painting, renders them in 3D and uses the camera to explore the scene.

It provides the unusual opportunity to view the painting from a unique perspective, revealing aspects that would normally stay hidden from the casual viewer. When we discern the original painting in this three-dimensional reproduction, we recognize which features most significantly constitute the painting. Consequently this three-dimensional exploration of Picasso’s Guernica is an innovative technique for comprehending and appreciating the original masterpiece.

The Silent Sky Project#

Artist Rob Sweere has been inviting participants to take part in an original, traveling social project titled Silent Sky Project#. Since 2004 Sweere has asked people around the world to take 30 minutes out of their day to lay in silence amongst one another and contemplate the sky in complete silence. Currently there have been 65 Silent Sky occurrences with between 3 and 2000 participants. It all sounds very therapeutic.


All images via Rob Sweere