Joseph Seigenthaler is one of my favorite Sculptors featured on the beinArt website. His stone and mixed media sculptures and installations explore morbid themes while retaining an absurd sense of beauty. I personally find many of his works amusing with their expressive (and often perturbed) faces and strange contorted bodies. But even though Joseph's sculptures are often malformed and awkwardly posed (sometimes defying gravity), they are still frightfully life like as though they could come to life any moment and start ranting indecipherable profanity like escapees from a lunatic assylum.
The following exerpts were sourced from The Carl Hammer Gallery website:
'The simultaneously repulsive/beguiling mixed media figures of Joseph Seigenthaler didn’t just crawl out of some dark, murky, mysterious slime. They arrived by car, the CTA, they walked in city streets, they ate lunch in a neighborhood diner, their legs mended in local hospitals, they were entertained in the local movie theater. They were the man or woman who live just down the block.'
'His people studies are the quintessence of freak or sideshow subject matter. His transformational use of exaggeration and distortion creates a reality out of illusion and disillusion. "ALIVE!" they seem to shout while conveying to us a chilling association with all things improbably pre-historic or extra-terrestrial.'
Since I mentioned the Czech surrealist animator Jan Švankmajer in my last post It makes sense to introduce his work properly with one of my favorite animated short films: tma/svetlo/tma (Darkness, Light, Darkness). Švankmajer has gained a legendary reputation over several decades for his distinctive use of stop-motion technique, and his ability to make surreal, nightmarish and yet somehow funny pictures. He is still making films in Prague to this day. His movies utilise exaggerated sounds & sped-up sequences and often involve inanimate objects being brought to life through stop-motion to perform perverse and often violent acts. While many of Jan Švankmajer's films depict destructive aspects of the human psyche, 'Darkness, Light, Darkness' is a depiction of Man building himself.
I discovered Bruce Bickford's psychedelic clay animation a few years ago on the Frank Zappa movie 'Baby Snakes' and have been addicted to his work to this day. Bruce Bickford is an under rated (and relatively unknown) Visionary Artist. I was overwhelmed with excitement when I heard that a documentary had been made on the man himself. I ordered it online as soon as I heard 'Monster Road' was available and was not disapointed. Monster Road not only documents the life of an artist who I believe is one of the greatest living Clay animators (who's name I would only utter in the same sentence with greats like Jan Svankmajer), but it is also a fine cinematic masterpiece itself (winner of many awards inc. Slamdance Film Festival Best Documentary Jury Prize 2004). I strongly recomend Monster Road to all Stop animation and Documentary enthusiasts alike. Anyway, enough of my subjective rambling, please check out the YouTube trailer in the top right hand side of this post and see for yourself.
Here is an exerpt from an article on Bickford (sourced from the brighteyepictures website)
Bickford’s films can transport us back to a state of early childhood, where everything is new, and where we are suspended in a state of amused awe. A blade of grass, a tree, a sword, an eerily smiling face are all wonders of great mystery in this state. Things appear and disappear, and events happen inexplicably. Danger and splendor are both just around the corner. Everything is at once beautiful and frightening.
Ivan Titor is a fantastic artist from The Czech Republic who emailed me the other day about being featured on beinArt.org. I am excited to share his work with the world.
Here is an exerpt from Ivan's Artist statement:
"In my paintings I prefer balancing on an imaginary edge that, in our minds, divides reality and fiction, the beginning and the end, as well as order and chaos."
Right: Ivan Titor's Gallery
Robert Williams is one of the most popular artists in America today and is a featured artist in the Surreal Art Collective. His dynamic work often includes women, cars, food, and 1950's Americana. Robt. masters the so-called "lowbrow" art-forms: rock album cover art, comic art, hot-rod art, etc.
Here is a recent documentary interview of Robert Williams (sourced from YouTube) which I found very interesting. Williams speaks passionately about the trends of the contemporary art world, the general bias against representational paintings and being pigeon holed as a common illustrator.
In mid 1960s San Francisco, Robt. became art director for hot-rod hero Ed "Big Daddy Roth. Robt. quickly became one of the most important West Coast underground artists – creating psychedelic posters and contributing to comics like Zap with great artists like Robert Crumb.
Williams also founded Juxtapoz Magazine and is considered the founding father of Cartoon Surrealism & Lowbrow Art. Nicolas Cage, Leonardo diCaprio, Johnny Depp, Jesse James & many other celebrities have purchased Robt. Williams' paintings.
We have also published a short article by Williams on Lowbrow Art