Alex Gross

“Bizarro” Mixed Media on Antique Photograph, 7 x 5 Inches
“Leia’s Very Bad Day” Mixed Media on Antique Photograph, 7 x 5 Inches
“Peter” Mixed Media on Antique Photograph, 7 x 5 Inches
“Batman” Mixed Media on Antique Photograph, 7 x 5 Inches

Alex Gross’s mixed media pieces take vintage cabinet photos and transforms them into modern pop culture icons through paint. The majority of the photographs are transformed into fictional characters from comic books, by transforming sepia, simple images into fantasy like images completely transforms the purpose of the subject. A person who is forgotten in time, and a family photo which has somehow become lost suddenly is given an identity and use, in a way it is comforting as well as comical.

Los angeles-based artist alex gross has created a collection of reconfigured cabinet cards from the late 19th and early 20th century.
the vintage photographs have been altered by means of mixed media to portray the figure depicted the image as an imagined or
contemporary comic book super hero. the photographs, originally a commercial printed portrait standard forms gross’ collection.
The cabinet cards will be on display along with nineteen new mixed media pieces in gross’ solo exhibition ‘product placement’
at jonathan levine gallery in new york city beginning february 25th, 2012.

– http://www.designboom.com/weblog/cat/10/view/18839/alex-gross-reconfigured-cabinet-cards.html

Product Placement @ Jonathan LeVine gallery

February 25, 2012 through March 24, 2012

Product Placement is a solo exhibition by Alex Gross featuring his painting and his multi-media art, looking at consumerism, pop culture, and branding.

Here are some of his paintings…

 

 

Experimental Narratives: Lecture 3

I learnt a lot more about what our final piece will be this week. We were looking at a range of unconventional videos that have a huge impact on the audience without using fancy trickery.

We looked at how art movements strongly influence going against the cliche and present new revolutionary ideas. These are some of the movements and the videos we looked at in relations to them.

Surrealism

Surrealists had a tendency to forcefully put themselves into a state of mind where the access the irrational. Drug induced paintings, forceful writing, and self harming are methods that Surrealist allegedly used to put themselves in a uneasy state of mind.

Bunuel’s – Un Chein Andalou

Once you get past the initial shock of this video you …..

A more modern surrealism piece, William Kentridge’s – Five Themes animation is a different way to present an unusual narrative.

All William Kentridge’s animations are filmed with an SLR camera, and on one giant piece of paper, instead of starting a fresh for each frame, kentridge rubs out parts of his charcoal drawing and applies more. I find this fascinating, his physical end piece is a journey of his art. In a way this appeals to me more then the animation does. The story left on the paper and the traces are fascinating. Also the fact that other then the images he takes and the traces left on the paper, the frames only exist for him, in his studio for a few minutes. In case you have no idea what i’m going on about, or you want to know more, here is a video of Kentridge making his animations.

From one extreme to the other, Jan Svankmajer, created a film called ‘Little Otik’, the story is based around a fairytale in which an infertile mother falls in love with a wooden baby her husband carved for her. Her love animated the child, but it has horrible consequences. This is a trailer, that taps into how surreal and unconventional the movie is, which is unusual of a film which follows a fairytale story, well actually it probably follows the original story rather then the Disney-fied sensored version.

….

Moving on from surrealism to the more contemporary videos now.

Contemporary

Derek Jarman’s video – Blue is a simple yet emotional video. Usually if you told me I was about to watch a really famous video which consists only of a blue screen I would switch myself off. But the story behind this video gives it so much emotion and passion.

Derek Jarman was dying of aids when he made this video, and this video expresses how his sense of hearing became vital when he started to loose his sight. As you can imagine being a video maker with no sight is not the ideal situation. I think i relate with this video because as a photographer who was born with cataracts I live my life never knowing if/when I will start to loose my sight. My story is not quite as serious as Derek Jarman’s but its something that plays on the back of my mind and it’s a relief to know that after losing sight a visual artist can still create.

Moving on to a beautiful technique, rotoscoping, I can’t escape it this week, in a another module we looked at the work of Richard Linklater, his adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s book, ‘A Scanner Darkly’. The film is done through rotoscoping, I have yet to watch it all but this clip shows the beauty of rotoscoping.

The rotoscoped video we looked at in lectures today was ‘Waltz with Bashir’, a documentary style film which is rotoscoped.

And finally the last video we looked at is a documentary which as won numerous awards and was edited on imovie. It’s an exploration of the self, and the creator Jonathan Caouette’s coming to terms with his childhood and growing up with a schizophrenic mother. Again I haven’t seen the film, I will ASAP and post about it but this is a trailer.