Thursday, 26 January 2012

Martyn Cross

Demented, disconcerting, possessed and more than a little juvenile; Martyn Cross's world is all of these things. Culled from a kitsch panoply of seemingly innocent family photographs, vintage advertising and retro knitwear catalogues, Cross subverts and twists his images by adding streams of vomit, disjointed limbs or satanic symbolism, turning cute children into sinister monsters and loving families into incestuous creeps. Drawn to already sickly-coloured vintage saccharine shots, Bristol-based Cross seems to have an endless supply of found imagery to alter and scar, and whilst the results are admittedly a little gimmicky, the sheer volume of perversions and uncomfortable scenarios he generates suggest a darkly twisted mind at work, and sometimes you cant help laughing at the results.
Does he need our help, or deserve our grudging respect?



Los Amantes

Jaffa Cakes

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Lonely Boy

Guitar Man


Baby Face


Suicide Bomber

Original Swear

Black Flag #20

Baby Bell


The Hermit Age

Her Loss




All images © Martyn Cross

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Sam Falls

Finally, time to write something to start 2012.
Sam Falls is a prodigious young American artist, whose work easily weaves between photography, painting, collage and, more recently, sculpture. The work shown here is primarily photographic, at least in the initial stages of the work, but almost all of Falls' prints are worked on in some way after the initial photograph has been taken. Frequently painting on his photographs, Falls builds up layers of hazy, psychedelic colours which blur the depths and details in the images, giving them a hallucinatory feel. These layers also move the final image away from being 'a photograph', and make them multimedia pieces which are invariably unique.
Falls recently relocated to Los Angeles, where David Hockney once lived and produced an iconic body of work, often realised in acid pastels. Think of ' A Bigger Splash' and other works Hockney made on the West Coast in the 60s and 70s, then look at the palette Falls' often uses. In Los Angeles Falls has been making larger abstract works using fabrics which are left to fade and age in the sun, thereby creating epic 'exposure times' which define the finished pieces. Examples can be seen at China Art Objects, on the second page of Falls' work.

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Roadside Attraction

Broken And Chopped

Pickin' On Gary Cooper

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Return To The Alps #3

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Spare Tire

Ceramics and Smog

Pickin' On Katherine Hepburn

Untitled (Painted Desert #4)

Study Of Drapery

Girls Like Us (Far Away Eyes)

Brother Old News

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Green Tapes

Girls Like Us

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Study For A Portait of Sam Falls by Lucas Blalock

All images © Sam Falls, except final image, © Lucas Blalock