Saying Something: Toyin Ojih Odutola

 

Say hello to the newest heavy-weight in portraiture, Toyin Ojih Odutola.

I first became acquainted with this Nigerian artist’s work during a run at the galleries in Chelsea a couple years ago. I remember being so viscerally struck by her drawings that day. They were white pencil on white paper– I had to lower my body and kneel closer to the ground to see what the drawings held. It was a moving experience to encounter the fullness of these white identities she drew out for the appraiser– very controlled and calculated.

I’ve since become fascinated by the unique mark-making techniques she employs.

Screen Shot 2017-10-03 at 12.06.37 PM.png
Imagine a big drawing like this, except everything was white on white.

 

The Brooklyn based artist uses whirls and lots of hairy (really that’s what it looks like in person: the wispiest of wispy hairs) detailing to create rich visual narratives that surround her already deeply contextualized subjects. If you look at her artwork in person, you’ll see all the swirls and membrane-like pieces that make up the sum of a composition of faces, bodies, and identities– so much integrity and thought put to paper face via graphite, charcoal, or pastel:

screen-shot-2017-01-14-at-4-51-24-pm

 

Screen Shot 2017-10-03 at 12.08.45 PM.png

 

screen-shot-2017-01-14-at-4-52-32-pm

 

screen-shot-2017-01-14-at-4-53-39-pm

Toyin toys with anything from discussions on natural identity to more poignant POVs on say, racial profiling.

 

I’m happy to share that Toyin Ojih Odutola will be holding her first solo exhibit at The Whitney Museum this month, a commission that is well deserved by this outspoken wunderkind.

Screen Shot 2017-10-03 at 11.50.48 AM.png
Pregnant, 2017

 

Check out her upcoming show, To Wander Determined, at The Whitney Museum of American Art on 99 Gansevoort St., open to the public from October 20th.

I can’t wait to see it.

 

Julian Schnabel: New Plate Paintings

Launched to fame in the 1980’s, Julian Schnabel‘s broken ceramic plate experiments heralded in a refreshing kind of art for the contemporary art world– cutting, reminiscent, and modern via a rough handling and bondage of paint and ceramic on wood.

While Schnabel created this rose series from the inspiration he received upon one of his visits to Van Gogh’s grave in Auvers-sur-Oise, France, he has worked also with portraiture, painting and immortalizing American names like Stephanie Seymour and William Gaddis.

Closing on March 25: Catch the rose works in their entirety at the Pace Gallery, 510 W. 25th St., before it’s too late!

Bises,

Soo

Jean Jullien and the Allure of Abstraction

 

Sometimes, I like to see art because of the intrinsic beauty found in its execution of artistic virtues such as meticulous detailing or loyalty to realism, and other times, I appreciate the way it expands the boundaries of my capabilities for imagination.

In the name of art of the latter form, see here a short film:

The Coward – Statues, explores moral permissiveness and embarks on an abstract discourse on primitive attraction– the beauties or rather, curiosities involved in all that’s mating, lust, love, and sex.

Directed by  the estimable illustrator, Jean Jullien, and his brother, Nicolas Jullien.

 

*not for the monastic hearted*

Freaky, maybe. Questionable, yes. Beautiful, too.

 

I appreciate a man with a great imagination.

Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 12.27.46 PM.png

 

 

Check out some of Jean’s saleable works here!

 

 

 

 

Bises,

Soo

Expanding Boundaries of the Mind: The Future of Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality with Elon Musk and the Sundance Film Festival

Hi all!
As you know, I’ve been fairly interested in the Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality space.
 My personal surf usage usually spans and alternates between news and studies on that
and reading up on brilliant art or fashion shows such as Elie Saab’s Haute Couture.
Chris Milk is continuing to produce some great media for VR and MR, so you should look him and his production company, Within (formerly Vrse) up (Jocelyn: the videos I showed you and Tony last summer were produced by him). He recently showed a new one at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and I heard it was MIND BLOWING! It’s called Life of Us, an expositional journey of our life as humans – music by Pharell Williams )
Sundance also hosted some very cool MR and VR installations like this:img_1635 I saw a demo of one which included not just the headset, but full audio and body set (vibrating suits??)– so complete immersion. It was so scary and pretty funny to see the physical realization of someone within this, and it also invoked some very powerful reactions from me even as a secondary viewer.
It’s almost as if there should be more invested discussions in the making of MR substituting for traditional medical solutions. From what I’ve seen, it has the potential to induce hallucinations and effectively distort mental cognition processes, and I really see it being a strong tool in the future for neurological malaises (or for people who just want to get high).
Lastly, neural lace!:
neural-lace
^ this will give you a short summary on what the possibilities for neural lacing look like for advancing human intelligence, but many more and better articles will go into depth on the potentials for this if you look up anything from Elon Musk, M. Banks, to neuroprosthetics + neural lace.
Basically, the development of neural lace or prosthetically made brain functions could in theory augment parts of our brain or simulate entire functions of our brain and we could all just opt-in in becoming Gandalf the Grey, Sauron, and Tony Stark… in one!
Crazy stuff happening our world, outside of the antics of the new Trump administration– news of those are sadly invading prime front page  space by the hour.
I’m heading over to an opening reception for one of my favorite galleries here, Paul Kasmin. Their upper location on 27th st. is dedicating an exhibition tonight to American Artist William N. Copley’s retrospective of women, how exciting! Especially after that march last week.
Wish you all could be here with me.
Bises,
Soo