• Tomsachs
  • Ts
  • Ts_detail
  • Ts_detail3
  • Ts_setup
  • Geoffmcfetridge
  • Gm_detail
  • Gm_gallery
  • Dzine
  • Dezine2
  • Dzine2
  • Caiguoqiang
  • Q2
Graphic Design

Stages: Part 3

Posted by Will Hudson,

Continuing our coverage of the Stages exhibition in Paris we look a little closer at the work of Cai Guo-Qiang, Tom Sachs, Dzine and Geoff McFetridge.

Cai Guo-Qiang has got an immense body of work that I was completely unaware of until this project. Born in China and having ived in Japan for nearly a decade, Cai is now based in New York. His response for the exhibition was Tree With Yellow Blossoms, a huge (230cm x 310cm) tree created using gunpowder, mounted on wood as a four-panel folding screen. The impact of using gunpowder, a medium so strongly associated with violence and destruction and then to produce such a visually and intellectually rich work of art was breathtaking. When asked about his piece for Stages Cai explains “It symbolizes the endless cycle of life and growth and its power to put forth new life and hope.”

Tom Sachs is another artist with a body of work and reputation that reinforces the huge achievement the curation of this exhibition was. One of the more talked about pieces in the show was Tom Sachs’ Lance’s Tequila Bike for Girls, not least because Tom was there at the launch to demonstrate the mobile bike/bar dispensing Tequila shots to anyone that wanted one in a choice of crudely named shot glasses.

Dzine was another artist to produce a bike, this time in response to Lance Armstrong’s well known comment “it’s not about the bike”. The Tipping Point is a custom lowrider bicycle (24kt gold plating, 23kt gold leaf, custom engraving, chrome, nickel plating, enamel paint, automotive paint, suede, Swarovski crystals, neon, rubber, iPod/audio speakers, and mirror), quite a spec and certainly an eye catcher as you walk into the gallery.

Geoff McFetridge is an artist who is as diverse as he is prolific. Not simply a hugely talented illustrator Geoff is also a well know graphic artist, film director and shown here, artist. Even the Simplest Shapes Wish to Become Logos One Day was one of the simplest ideas in concept and execution, but proved to be one of the most powerful in message. A 168cm diameter circular sculpture made up of large individual yellow wooden pushpins and as Geoff explains, “The yellow circle/bracelet becomes an object of unity and strength. In this way I am using my own graphic language to interpret Lance’s. If each bracelet represents a person’s solidarity to the cause, each of these pins can also represent an individual — a survivor, a future survivor, or one who will come across cancer in his or her life, which is all of us”.

Wh-300

Posted by Will Hudson

Will founded It’s Nice That in 2007 and is now director of the company. Once one of the main contributors to the site he has stepped back from writing as the business has expanded. He is a regular guest on the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Art View Archive

  1. Main

    Artist Larry van Pelt wants to spread the word that “Jesus in life makes a difference.” Already a keen artist, Florida-based Larry decided to use his creative skills to spread the message, and began drawing Jesus in a number of different working environments. His collection involves a huge range of work scenarios, including a truck driver, a secretary, a carpet layer, a bodybuilder and a french horn player.

  2. List

    We’ve long admired the work of Californian set designer and art director Adi Goodrich. A veritable mistress of creating the sort of strange, cartoon-like scenes that pop with colour and ideas, she’s worked with big-name clients like Michel Gondry and Wieden+Kennedy, but she recently got in touch about an intriguing solo exhibition at The Standard hotel in Hollywood, entitled Like Thiiiiis. The show takes the form of an installation in a glass box behind the hotel’s reception desk, and features a number of images that look to show what it means to be a young creative at the start of your career.

  3. Main

    In a beautiful profile in The Guardian recently, journalist Tim Lewis travelled out to the Hollywood hills to peek behind the gates of Hockney’s jungle-like home to get a glimpse of what the now 77-year-old artist is up to. As it happened, he had been very busy indeed: making a whole bunch of new paintings that are, in classic Hockney-style, moving in a totally different direction from his previous work.

  4. List

    Remember Kim Keever? Back in the summer of 2013, the New York based artist wowed us with his amazing landscapes created in 200-gallon tanks of water and what’s more, he let us in on his process with some fascinating set-up shots. Now, like many a painter before him, Kim has moved from landscapes to more abstract creations albeit within the context of his sculptural practice.

  5. List

    This project by artist Erica Allen is an oldie but such a goodie. Way back in 2008 California-born, Brooklyn-based Erica decided to merge a collection of faces from found barbershop posters with discarded shots of studio backdrops, creating a series of oddly alluring fictional portraits. Removed from their original context, the freshly-trimmed gents pictured come across as utterly anonymous and strangely distant, connected to one another only by a crisp shape-up and a gaze fixed somewhere in the distance. And if that rainbow backdrop didn’t inspire the album artwork for Drake’s Nothing Was the Same then I don’t know what did.

  6. List

    Edmund Clark is one of the most interesting artists working today, exploring what is arguably the defining issue of the past 13 years. He’s interested in the wars waged by the USA and UK in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the fall-out from this foreign policy and how it impacts on us here at home. His new book The Mountains of Majeed continues this theme, as it’s a reflection on “the end of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan through photography, found imagery and Taliban poetry.”

  7. List

    The secluded French port of Le Havre is a very particular place. Closed off by barriers, it is staffed solely by men, and jobs there are strictly only passed on from father to son. All of which made it the perfect backdrop for artist JR’s contribution to the Women Are Heroes project, which saw him collaborate with the dockers to create a huge image of a woman’s eyes on a 363-metre long container ship.

  8. List

    The bright, woozy haze of Wojciech Fangor’s psychedelic paintings is mesmerising. It’s even more so having learnt that the Polish artist, who worked during the 1960s, created these Op art masterpieces entirely in isolation, working in Eastern Europe having not seen the similar works being created in America and Europe by the likes of Bridget Riley and Victor Vasarely. As such, while the images feel familiar; there’s also something exotic about them, pulsing with light created using intensely coloured oil paint applied in thin layers. A new show named Colour-Light-Space opens next month at London’s 3 Grafton Street gallery, and will display a number of works by Wojciech from the 1960s and 1970s that demonstrate his mastery of all three words in the title. It’s fascinating to think of the artist working on these beautiful optical illusions and explorations of the power of painting well before similar works were created elsewhere in the world, and it’s great to have his work celebrated in the way it deserves.

  9. List

    Mark Lazenby is the go-to guy for collage that just works. We last featured the artist two years ago and since then his portfolio of pieced together artworks has exploded with even more impressive works and a real exploration of materials and collage techniques.

  10. List

    There’s not a pie in the cultural world that James Franco isn’t ready and willing to stick a finger into, and to prove it the actor, director, poet and musician has just announced a new exhibition of his artworks, entitled Fat Squirrel, which is to be held at London’s Siegfried Contemporary gallery. The show is an undeniably eclectic collection, including a number of self portraits of the artist in the guise of various famous historical figures, a deer orgy entitled Triple Team, and some bright painterly collages, not to mention the eponymous overweight rodents which are undoubtedly our favourites.

  11. List

    I’m known for my sweet tooth and ability to consume an obscene amount of cakes, sweets and biscuits in one sitting, so it’ll come as no surprise that I was instantly drawn to Will Cotton’s sugary scenes of candy-laced lands.

  12. List

    Time and again Amy Woodside gets in touch to let us know about new projects she’s cooked up and time and again we’re powerless to resist them. The New York-based artist is focussed to a fault on her fine art practice where iconic letterforms emerge from meticulously registered screen printing and frantic flourishes of spray paint. Where first she caught our eye with multicoloured wordplay, the constant reduction and refinement of her process has resulted in a new series’ of totemic words like ‘Hero’, ‘Cash’, ‘Hoax’ and ‘Like’, pre-loaded with cultural context and double meaning, writ large on the canvas. What’s the meaning behind them? The interpretation is up to you, but Amy always seems to be critiquing pop culture with its own visual vernacular and playing fast and loose with our ambiguous use of language.

  13. List

    The Dutch/Brazilian artist Rafaël Rozendaal is best known for his digital artworks that often take the form of webpages but as he told us at our 2013 creative symposium Here he is increasingly interested in exploring his fascination with light and colour in real-world scenarios. Most recently this has taken the form of his hyper-colourful abstract lenticular paintings, which are made up of layers of different frames and so appear to move when viewed from different angles.