Travis Meinolf, Fabric panels made for with Kai Althoff, Whitney Biennial, 2012
If you need a blanket, Travis Meinolf, the self-appointed Action Weaver, will give you one. For free. And it won’t be a common fleece or wool number. It will look like folk art. It could be made by the artist or by many hands, and perhaps strung together from woven cloths of varying stripes, colors, and sizes. These free hand-woven blankets are a component of the artist’s ongoing project Blanket Offer, part of the artist’s grand mission to bring weaving to the masses.
“DC Arteries,” a collaboration between photographers Kate MacDonnell and Lely Constantinople, traces the subtle shifts of character and form that mark the landscape along the roads of Washington, DC. They capture the graffiti, the store signs, and the faded paint that make up the urban still-life passed along the way from one place to the next. These fragmented elements capture a fleeting sense of place in a dynamic city.
In every family, traditional portraits are hung up or carried around: cousins arrayed before a monument, parents holding their grandchildren, long-gone ancestors smiling from a black and white beyond. Though we cherish their aura, the faces and places remain static.
Everyone has sat on a gray, metal folding chair: waiting at the DMV, as an extra guest at a dinner table, working in a makeshift office. Tanya Aguiñiga, a Los Angeles-based designer, transforms this ubiquitous piece of furniture in her series, Felt Chairs. Aguiñiga spends up to twenty laborious hours lovingly hand-felting each simple folding chair, covering it in vibrant color. Metal becomes a skeleton for bright and singular textured felt, akin to skin. What was cold is now warm, what was common is now individual. How we place ourselves in this chair has changed entirely.
C-MacKenzie (Chris MacKenzie) removes the background imagery from his photographs, creating uncanny visions of people in surreal blank settings. Although his figures often assume the pose of spectators, they gaze upon nothingness. In creating these images, C-MacKenzie draws on his background in motion picture editing and post production, in which mistakes are removed from an image and figures are pasted to scenery. He envisions his artistic process as “withholding information” from the viewer. By negating the sense of place, C-MacKenzie creates an unknowable and mysterious world.
Last month at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, Eliza Stamps, with her collaborator Amy Linsenmayer, unveiled the first edition of The Kiosk—a micro, mobile exhibition space that can be adapted to house a variety of art projects in different locations. Rent-a-Grandma, the premier Kiosk installation, on view through November 25, is a cozy interior where visitors can interact with actual grandmothers.
Tatiana Garmendia was inspired to create this series of work, which includes both embroideries stitched into military netting and drawings on paper, by a conversation she had with a veteran who had recently returned from serving in Iraq. Marrying poses from Michelangelo’s The Last Judgment, the altar fresco in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican, with portraits of soldiers in contemporary military uniforms, she created scenes that refer both to the landscape of present day war and an artistic interpretation of heaven.
Around Times Square in New York City – images of the familiar cityscape where millions of people pass daily, taken at odd hours. This is an attempt to reveal a different state of that place, a place still permeated with blinking neon but devoid of its participants, left to itself. A surreal performance that continues without its audience.
As night descends, the city’s fabric, examined at eye level, no longer exists as a continuum. Now a collection of autonomous constructs artificially created by various light sources, each structure possesses the mysteries that are hidden by day. My nightwalks around Brooklyn are focused on finding the fragments that form a different sense of place, almost unfamiliar, one that borders on the imaginary and disappears with the first light of day.