Thomas Ruff (b. 1958), known for his deadpan portraits and gorgeous views of the night sky and architecture, is one of Germany’s leading contemporary artist/photographers. Among his work is an exploration of the internet, that parallel visual universe teeming with sexuality of every flavor and variety. He gathers from that virtual playground erotic and often pornographic photographs that he subsequently manipulates in his computer, making beautiful–and disturbing–artwork from visual material that, for better or worse, is probably more abundant than any other type of image in our world today. The pictures, which are graphic and abstract at the same time, are accompanied by an excerpt from a forthcoming novel by controversial French writer Michel Houellebecq, whose work is similarly influenced by the sex industry. Reviewing the series in the Village Voice, Jerry Saltz wrote: “Ruff may think these images are analytic or objective, but they’re also sweetly, luxuriantly visual…Sex slips into something ravishingly, optically comfortable, and these everyday, off-world images morph into parapaintings from the Planet Love.”
As part of Pacific Standard Time, Pop tART Gallery in Los Angeles presents Bruce of Los Angeles: Beefcakes and Boundaries. In the same pioneering spirit as many others who have packed their bags and headed west, Photographer Bruce Bellas, or Bruce of Los Angeles as he came to be known, arrived in California in 1946 and immediately began challenging the norms of acceptable society. With post-war conservatism growing, Bruce of Los Angeles photographed Muscle Beach’s most beautiful male bodies and published an extensive body of homoerotic work during a time when institutionalized homophobia was the norm. His pin-up images of the male physique pressed the boundaries between art and obscenity. Having influenced contemporary photographers such as Robert Mapplethorpe, Bruce Weber, and Herb Ritts, Bruce of Los Angeles is regarded as a “creative force in the establishment of the modern American homosexual identity”. This exhibition will showcase original prints of the photographers extensive body of work as well as exhibit the work of contemporary artists who’ve found inspiration in the classic style and boundary breaking approach that mark the contribution Bruce of Los Angeles made to art as we know it today. Bruce of Los Angeles: Beefcakes and Boundaries is on view until December 21
Miami – Sex and profanity are, often erroneously, inextricably linked as and in a single condition. Stereotyping sexual behaviors and underlying fetishisms within urban culture has produced a widely-regarded notion of the activity within the ‘underground’, a vampire-like complex which effectively masks any sense of normalcy of sex as a natural act. Thus, drawing on ancient oral and written traditions, particularly within Western cultures, the profane is equated to dark, the sacred with light. Artists such as Nick Gentry, Troy Abbott, Simon Thompson and Stella Mouzi visually rebel against these common distinctions, instead offering the possibility of the sacred pushed deep underground and the profane distributed in broad daylight, achieving the spiritual and sensory blasphemies it seeks to suppress. Sex, Drugs & Profanity opens on the evening of November 12th from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Robert Fontaine Gallery in Miami and will run until December 6th. Artists featured in the exhibition include Troy Abbott, Beejoir, Oleg Dou, Damien Hirst, C. Finley, Nan Goldin, Nick Gentry, Tina La Porta, Penny, Oliver Malin, Mantis, Stella Mouzi, Philip Ross Munro, Jefro, Scott Snyder and Simon Thompson.
For his latest journey, Hollywood Arsenal, artist James Georgopoulos combines unique and extremely large silver gelatin prints with elegant multi-layered fields of acrylic paint. These meticulous and painstakingly produced prints are created in a mural darkroom, and each image often combines many layers of individually toned and processed fiber based prints which are then layered and trimmed to create a unique, seamless, and extraordinarily powerful artistic statement. Georgopoulos has amassed Hollywood’s most notorious arsenal in one location. He has photographed famous cinematic guns along with a selection of motion picture cameras used to record some of the most celebrated film and television shows ever made. Hollywood Arsenal will benefit The Art of Elysium, a non-profit organization. Founded in 1997 by Jennifer Howell, the group encourages actors, artists and musicians to voluntarily dedicate their time and talent to children who are battling serious medical conditions. The Art of Elysium provides artistic workshops in acting, art, comedy, fashion, music, radio, songwriting and creative writing. On view Saturday, November 12, 2011, 7:00pm – 11:00pm – Siren Studios 6063 W. Sunset Blvd. Hollywood, CA.
Artnet Auctions announces the sale of nine rare and beautiful works by photographer Tony Frank (French, b.1945) to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the legendary album, Histoire de Melody Nelson, by iconic French singer and artist Serge Gainsbourg. This photographic sale includes the memorable album cover, which contributed to Melody Nelson’s stature in French culture, and will only be on artnet Auctions until November 16, 2011.
Rita Lino is an unabashed, self exploratory photographer based in Porto, Portugal. Her work delves deep into the psyche of the feminine in a post-modern landscape where there is no curtain to hide behind. Rita also makes brilliant short cinematic shorts that bring her photography to life. She just sent over her latest video, entitled Rita’s Opening, which is a personal statement of sorts of her art and work.
Triple A is a two-year public art project initiated by Francois Ghebaly, Emma Gray, Mandrake Bar and OHWOW gallery. Eight internationally recognized artists will be asked to create a single color image to be painted at large scale on the exterior wall of a former muffler shop that sits at the corner of Venice Boulevard and La Cienega Boulevard, just south of the 10 Freeway in Los Angeles California. The wall, situated in the Culver City gallery district, also sits at one of the most heavily trafficked intersections in Los Angeles.This location offers high visibility to both arts professionals and the larger general public. The eight images painted on the wall over the course of the project will also be used to create a suite of eight individual silkscreen prints in an edition of ten. The inaugural project, a wall painting by New York based artist Nate Lowman, is now on view. Lowman’s piece, Thirty Million Dollar Smile, is a halftone transfer of a photograph of Julia Roberts originally taken for a Loreal campaign, but later rejected by Roberts because she felt the image was over-photoshopped. The mural is located at 2600 South La Cienega Blvd.
Sweet Violence is the first museum exhibition in the United States of the work of Sanja Iveković (b. 1949, Zagreb) covers four decades of the artist’s remarkable career. A feminist, activist, and video pioneer, Iveković came of age in the post-1968 period, when artists broke free from mainstream institutional settings, laying the ground for a form of praxis antipodal to official art. Part of the generation known as the Nova Umjetnička Praska (New Art Practice), Iveković produced works of cross-cultural resonance that range from conceptual photomontages to video and performance. Sanja Iveković: Sweet Violence is on view at the MoMA in NYC from December 18 to March 26, 2012.
On Saturday, November 19, graffiti artist POSE and photojournalist KC Ortiz will unveil Whitewash, their second exhibition at Known Gallery in Los Angeles, and their most cohesive to date. For POSE, Whitewash references society’s attempt to eradicate graffiti and stifle human expression. “Shortly after I started writing graffiti, Chicago took an extremely hard-line stance on its eradication, outlawing the sale of spraypaint and implementing Mayor Dayley’s Graffiti Blasters program,” POSE explains. With this exhibition, POSE will recall a time before the buff. “I am digging into my fondest childhood memories of riding the train and seeing all the colors, letters and cartoon characters along the lines. Making these paintings has been an incredibly rich process, and it makes me thankful that no city official can eradicate my memories.” POSE will show 15 new works in the main gallery. For KC, Whitewash is about the people and places he photographs. “Much of the work I do covers those who have been ‘whitewashed,’ so to speak, by history and policy,” KC notes. “Specifically, the work I will be exhibiting is from West Papua and Burma. You won’t find either of those ‘nations’ on the map, as both have been essentially ‘whitewashed’ away. Burma has been renamed Myanmar by its ruling junta in order to establish the fantasy of a unified nation, and West Papua has been occupied by Indonesia since 1963 after a very controversial handover from the Dutch that was orchestrated by the United States.” In the project room, KC will show 12 photographs of West Papua and Burma’s armed struggles. Whitewash will be on view from November 19 to to December 1o at Known Gallery.