Artists

Alex Garant

Alex Garant is a female artist depicting surreal images of other women in oil portraits where facial features are multiplied and offset from one another. This distortion of eyes, noses, and mouths makes her realistic-looking subjects appear unfocused as their bodies are combined with geometric patterns and Art Nouveau-esque flourishes.

Besides the blurred-vision portraits, Garant has less dizzying works where women simply have an extra set of eyes. Noses, mouths, and other attributes remain the same. In some of these images, she’s fused graphic, decorative designs with their skin that are reminiscent of tattoos.

Garant finds inspiration in early ink printing, vintage pop surrealism, baroque tapestries, and retro kitsch. And although the portraits use traditional oil painting techniques, they feel contemporary and fresh.

I love how unsettling these are to look at! Aesthetic goals: make the audience uncomfortable

Artists

Chicks on Speed

From Timeout Sydney:

Visitors to the new Chicks on Speed installation environment SCREAM will be able to “control” various elements of the exhibition – a riot of projected images, words, sounds and rhythms – wielding and using the gallery-provided iPads like bizarre musical instruments.

The development of the new art-manipulating app, with the assistance of specialist arty-app-maker extraordinaire Jens Barth, was the next logical step in COS’s multi-disciplinary hyperactivity. The SCREAM exhibition reflects their interest in ideas of connectivity and old and new modes of communication. “I love how technology changes the way we look at the world,” says Logan, “and how we relate to animals and how our gadgets become similar to pets.”

From RMIT DesignHub:

SCREAM introduces a multidisciplinary, practice based approach to performance research, blurring the boundaries between pop-music, fashion, performance and film within an experiential interactive installation or GESAMTKUNSTWERK (a total work of art).

SCREAM will see Design Hub dramatically transformed by Chicks on Speed’s explosive collage of images, sounds and objects. The artists will construct a sonic sculptural installation that also acts as an ‘objektinstrument’ (a self-made musical instrument) – a stage, a canvas and playable installation.  SCREAM questions the role of the audience, by empowering the public with tools to participate in Chicks on Speed’s collective jam session. SCREAM’s interactive nature gives rise to several possible outcomes for the artworks, allowing the audience to be ‘co-authors’ in the mix.

Artists

WAXCHICK – Vasilia Forbes

Can a woman objectify herself?

WAX starts the discussion of the visual identity of capitalist selling through ‘mystification and production of glamour’, objectification of the body and the impact of historical images of vanity, as we see these images projected in large format across the London cityscape. The ‘photoshop-perfect’ WAX images take cues from historical portraits, (which reference the art-worlds usage of objects as presentations of glamour) and through this the objectification shown in Wax becomes directly sexual and immediately a comment on the ‘woman’s role’ and part she plays in advertising items, including within art works.

Vasilisa’s aim is to create a sensation of ‘power play’ with the historical ideal of how woman should be presented in an image, and the modern aspiration of young women, including the element of aggressive sexuality and male fantasy to fuel the actions behind the poses in the series. The WAX images raise questions in young women of ‘taking back ownership of the body’ and choosing to present it in various ways; against a dominating backdrop of idealised feminine beauty and fantasies. The female appears as the object of various ideals, subjected to impressions from the world of exterior perversions, ideals of feminine appearance, and the aspiration of the so-called ‘female body’. These works create questions through their subversive presence; can I – as a female artist – raise attention to female objectification in advertising and male-directed imagery of women by posing myself through such a light, in the various guises of male fantasy to raise a discussion on how we can alter, remove and bring awareness to this kind of mis-use of the female body.

HER – continues the discussion on female use of the body in a visual, fashion-focused culture; where female sexuality and vulnerability are dictated by the power of marketing. The HER images both question the industry’s suppression of the ‘real woman’ and the generation/usage of perversions or fantasies to dictate the woman’s role, perceived presence or personality. Her passivity vs her human involvement in a photographic image as subject is brought into question and posed to the audience. Many images in this series have received worried reactions – claims of sexism have been scrawled across the images while a feeling of guilt and discomfort has lingered in the voyeur. Do we immediately judge these images to be directed by a male eye?