Artist Jessie Rose Vala,
based in Portland, Oregon, has a way of mixing utterly beautiful
graphite detail with dark, often mythological narratives. I first saw
her work at Motel Gallery for the exhibition: The Tortuous Veil.
In it, Vala explores the archetypes of the vampire, werewolf, zombie
and shape-shifter, using them as metaphors for our own over
consumption, complacency, mob mentality and environmental degradation.
Other works of Vala include explorations of inner struggle despite the
security and comfort we create for ourselves in something as mundane as
our living room (Future Remnants of Dreamvilles), as well as scenes that mix modern female figures with ancient myths and tropes. (more after the jump)
In what is probably the grossest understatement posted on this blog so far, these be tough times right now. With the hailstorm that is our economy, international policy, unemployment rate, climate change and much more, sometimes it's very difficult to be positive. While it's great to think globally, it's often beneficial to start and act locally. Futurefarmers is an art/design collective who demonstrate the power of doing just that.
I first learned about the French conceptual artist Sophie Calle from a
friend who was dealing with a break-up. My friend and I both have
obsessive personalities, and she was finding it impossible to wrap her
mind around the end of her relationship. She was talking about trying
to channel her experience into art when she brought up Sophie's work.
I was fascinated by Sophie's ability to turn her personal obsessive
tendencies into powerful art exhibits that are soul baring without
I just wanted to share that one of our super talented contributors, Jennifer Cruté (who appeared in the Dark Confession comics feature of the Noir Issue), features heavily in this lovely short documentary, KAPOW! The New Comic Book Heroines. Unfortunately, Current.com won't allow embedding of video, so just click on the still to view!
Aw, snap - it's the second installment of smart! This has been quite an exciting, yet challenging task for me in compiling and summarizing the 65+ year career of an artist I have very much admired since my nascent, not-quite-sure-if-this-thing-I-drew-is-a-dog-or-a-rock-with-a-tail-creative days.
Read on, MacDuff, for there is much to say about Yayoi Kusama, The Polka Dot Princess.
My cousin was in town this weekend—her first visit to Portland
since childhood (we're from the Bay Area). It was a whirlwind visit,
but we did hit the most important spots like Powell's Books and the
legendary zine shop, Reading Frenzy. In addition to starting the graphic novel, The Watchmen
(so far there are already some interesting plot points about the role
of women in this particular super hero gang), I also picked up a few
other comics, including the really enjoyable zine, Estrus Comics.