Following street art, or rather the new graphic style, and I was interested in seeing the work of Luke Feldman, aka Skaffs. I was also interested in the location, as I hadn’t heard of Paper Shadow Gallery before; Paper Shadow Gallery turned out to be a very attractive white cube room upstairs at Mac’s on Franklin Street. Which reminds me that I must write another entry about all the art bars, exhibitions in pubs and other connections between alcohol and art.
Luke Feldman’s illustrations of sexy girls are well done but typical of the current Asian influenced cartoon like graphic style. Feldman hits so many contemporary trends: images on bare wood (like the raw canvas style that I wrote about in Recent Trends in Art), street art with his images on skate decks, and whimsical illustrations (that I also mentioned in Recent Trends). The most interesting work at the show was Feldman’s giant removable vinyl stickers that live on the wall outside of the picture frame.
Feldman’s illustrations are commonly of sexy young women with almond eyes often in attractive lingerie. If it is appropriate to look up a woman’s dress then you know it must be art. Boucher painted pretty views up women’s skirts in the 1750s; a century later Courbet was more direct. Now the fashion has returned to pretty and whimsical images. But it is not just a fashion statement it is also an indicator of the culture’s attitude to sex.
I saw a few exhibitions around RMIT. At First Site there was Marian Janahi “The unlovely”; that title sums it all up really, it is ugly. Boe-lin Bastian’s “Still Life”, also at First Site, is attractive even if she is just painting bits of paper, wood and masking tape rather than the usual flowers, fruit and ceramics. It is confident painting, so confident that Bastian exhibits the objects along with the painting. Bastian is also exhibiting a wall drawing (a drawing on the wall of the gallery, a recent trend in art) of boxes, again with the model attached to the same wall. The third exhibition at First Site was Joanna Mortreux.”Self Made Naturalist”. Mortreux with her photographs and peepholes creates a mysterious world where we are made the naturalist trying to identify the animals that we think we see. This mystery made me want to look again, to work it out, a kind of attraction and certainly an interest.
In another RMIT building there was a very small exhibition at the RMIT Union Artspace of electron microscopy photographs by 3rd year scientific photography students. Displaying scientific photographs with the bare minimum of didactic information makes the scientific photograph art and these are beautiful images.