Henrique Santos  – Title unknown (201X)

Dear whoever-made-this:

I love it. LOVE it. Have you ever thought about making it a t-shirt?

I’d buy three. No lie–because I love the design and what it shows but moreso for the fact that when asked about how I identify my sexual orientation I could point to this instead of trying to use words that feel awkward, short-sighted and confining.

Keep making awesome work!

AE

Anna MalinaUntitled (2013)

My first thought is that knitphilia would love this. And I’m sure she’d have all sorts of intriguing things to say about the interrogation of the notion that work made by women has been historically discounted as not ‘art’ and instead labeled ‘craft’.

As fascinating as I think that angle would be I’m just barely conversant on that topic. So we’ll have to settle for what I know a bit more about–in this case: possible influences.

The tones are reminiscent of Selina Mayer and the surrealist feel is definitely in keeping with ellie-lane-imagery (less the above image and more bearing in mind the dark, vaguely nightmarish effect of Malina’s broader scope of work).

Really, what gets me is for all the inane repetition of adorning photographs with needle work, the thread here actually functions as a legitimate sculptural element.

It’s probably short-sighted but I can’t think of thread as a media of visual representation without thinking of Russell Mills album artwork for nine inch nails The Downward Spiral.

And I can’t think about that cover without tying it into the tradition of Joseph Cornell’s pissing all over the distinctions between sculpture and collage.

But whereas I have mixed feelings about both Mills and Cornell, it feels like Malina’s work has managed to find itself in the interstices between what those two artists considered the limit of their own work and the outer boundary suggested by that limit. But it’s not just dwelling quietly, it’s wildly clawing at the very outer limits in a way that very few artists ever manage.

Haejung LeeInevitable (2014)

I’m hesitant to start off by pointing out the degree to which Lee’s work seems preoccupied with violence. But it’s hard to miss the implicit decapitation/dismemberment, tattered tissue– ripped, sometimes stretched taut, caught in sinewy webs.

The work is about violence but it is not violent. It is interested in sex; but it remains asexual.

I keep wanting to say it’s ’primordial’; Yet, with how that’s all tied up in time, it doesn’t fit. What I want is the taste of a roiling swamp I get when the word slides along my tongue along with something dissipative, corrosive.

I am making it sound ugly and harsh–trying to talk about visionary art is not unlike attempting to disembowel oneself with a crayon–and doing so misses a point: once one has lain with Chaos, you are hers alone. Her whispers make sense in the moment, befuddle and madden in hindsight.

Lee is truly audacious in her resisting consistent definition of boundaries and her openness to letting sense and logic remain at odds.

Spectacular and important work.