Saturday, 21 June 2014

Glimpses of Golden Feathers

Recent new work from my Feather series. This is entitled "Elegy for Icarus", more on its back-story in the next post.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Pangaea: New Art From Africa and Latin America

Highly recommend this exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery. In my opinion it is their strongest since the survey of artists who work in Paper last year. It is an interesting selection of artists from the diaspora who have produced some great work. The curators have done a good job with their selection as I thought it was a strong cohesive show. Highlights were:-

Rafael Gomezbarros. I was absolutely stunned by  Gomezbarros' installation which appropriately was situated in the first gallery of this exhibition. This gallery consisted of a room of ants invading the walls and clustering in corners of the exhibition space. It was interesting to see that on closer inspection the "ants" consisted of 2 skulls roughly fused together, with twigs for legs. They certainly made an impact on the gallery space and more so when you see another installations that they have previously been employed in below.

This picture where they featured on the facade of the Congress building in Bogota, is like something out of a 1950s B-movie.

Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou. Interesting art historical links with the work of this photographer and the work of Modigliani, and Picasso's Demoiselles D'Avignon. I like the traditional African masks contrasted against the colonial building. These pictures have a really ghostly/alien feel.

Dillon Marsh is a photographer who captures natural 'sculptures' created by birds in nature when making their nests on telephone poles. They make such interesting shapes resembling bodies or items of clothes hanging from their hangers. The sparse landscapes add to the strangeness of the imagery.

Antonio Malta Campos has some large beautiful paintings in the exhibition. I like the scale of his work, his sense of colour, as well as the textures of the paint. Could happily live with one of these.

Mario Macilau is a documentary photographer whose work is visually strong and interesting. These images are taken from his Zionist series and capture elements of religious rituals in his native Mozambique. They evoke a strong sense of spirituality.

Vincent Michea is influenced by Pop Art and the work of Roy Lichtenstein in his use of the Ben-Day dot technique, but adds enough of his own ideas to create something different that still pay homage to popular culture.

Oscar Murillo. I really enjoyed the sense of scale and freedom in the abstract mark-making in Murillo's work.

Ibrahim Mahama has created a beautiful installation in one of the galleries with these rough jute sacks that line the walls. Lots of tactile textures that bring to mind the wrappings of Christo.

Highly recommended!

Panagaea: New Art From Africa and Latin America
Until 2nd November
Saatchi Gallery
Duke of York's HQ
King's Road

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Chaim Machlev Geometric Tattoos


Discovered the work of this tattoo artist recently and like his vision and the end results of his work on his clients bodies. Machlev uses lines and geometric patterns to decorate the flesh of his clients instead of the traditional motifs usually associated with the tattooists art.

Chaim Machlev is from Israel originally but now considers himself a 'Berliner' having lived in Germany for so long. 

Machlev's work has a really spiritual quality to it as he employs sacred geometry and symbols of life, death and nature. There is also a precision craftsmanship in the execution of his tattoos. The graphic sharp lines and dots that make up his imagery are sharply drawn on the bodies of clients with no room for error as any mistakes would too obvious and too hard to rectify. It looks like painstaking work, which requires a steady hand, full concentration and a good eye. 


If I were to ever get a tattoo done I think I would want want something like these. I really do think he brings something new and unique to the tattooists art. See more of his work at his website here.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Butterfly Tattoos

Tattoos have become so popular now, and it is interesting to people-watch and wonder what influenced their image choice, style and placement of tattoo. Love the tattooed Victorian lady above and her butterfly tattoos, as well as the butterfly embroidery on her dress protecting her modesty. Covering herself with tattoos like that in her day and age must have been a brave and unusual thing for a woman to do, as tattoos were usually the preserve of sailors and other manly types. As I said previously, they are found nowadays on more or less everybody. Below is a picture of One Direction boy-band member Harry Styles' butterfly tattoo! 

A bold and different/arguably feminine image for a man to wear boldly across his torso, and so different to all of those graphic-tribal type efforts which are so popular among other men now. Harry seems to be making a real affirmation with this butterfly image, its' placement and size. Other examples of butterfly/dragonfly tattoo designs are below, some of which make a real statement. Think I prefer the more graphic/flatter designs, although the 3-D effect of some of them is pretty impressive.


The above tattoo is a moth by Chaim Machlev whose work I will feature in my next post. The one above that is a butterfly using a fairly new tattoo watercolour effect technique. Whilst I was finishing off this post I happened across a couple of first-hand instances of butterfly tattoos. The first example below was found on a young man who works in one of the specialist shops where I buy papers for my work. Perhaps butterfly tattoos on males are more common than I thought.

These next two examples were found on a very accommodating young lady who I bumped into in a tube station a few days later. She really loved butterflies, so I said I would feature her on my blog in exchange for letting me photograph them. 

If you have any interesting butterfly tattoos you would like to share with the readers then please feel free to submit them.