Martin Basher is a multi-disciplinary artist who makes photo-realist paintings, large-scale abstract canvases, and assemblage sculptures. Basher’s work is concerned with the conflicting, contradictory ways hope, desire, ideology and belief are manifest in contemporary consumer culture, specifically considering the pervasive drive of commerce to exploit a vast range of social, religious, tourist and bodily longings.
Taking in the legacies of American landscape painting and reductive modernism, as well as tourist photography, fashion advertising, generic stock photography and the aesthetics of clearance sales and shop-window display, the work looks to where one finds the sublime and the utopic in the experience of the everyday, be it in a temple, on a treadmill, at a designer clothing sale, or at the bottom of a whiskey-bottle – complex plays of crafted and consumed desire, scrambled and stripped.
Image: courtesy of the artist
My recent body of work explores the geopolitical landscape through drawing and sculptural installation. I conduct extensive research on each project,–through site visits, photographic documentation, interviews, and satellite imagery. Employing a combination of natural and industrial materials, I am interested in articulating humankind’s desire to take command over the earth, revealing distinct conflicts with ecology, politics and ourselves in large-scale installations that utilize architectural space in a distinct, powerful and imposing manner.
Image: Installation view of Mountain Strip, 2009
Photo by Etienne Frossard, courtesy of the artist and Black & White Project Space.
The slaughterhouse that is created from this body of work is a metaphor for violation and murder. My intent is to confront the viewers with the real and grotesque nature of violence, offering a context for reflecting about the vulnerability of our physical existences.
At a distance, the works appear to be methodically dissected carcasses. Coming closer, they reveal being made out of discarded clothes. These materials connect our bodies with those represented in the work and disclose a political statement anchored in poverty. In my home country, cows and meat are symbolic of national pride and collective identity. My work unmasks these ideals to show a sense of cruelty that has seeded the country from its early history and appears to be universal.
Image: Map of Truth, 2008, Articles of clothing belonging to the artist and embroidery floss, 132 x 93 in.
Courtesy of the Artist
Chris Yormick is a self taught artist that lives and works in NYC. Chris cut his teeth in and around the nations capital, fueled with an unhealthy diet of harDCore, graffiti and skateboarding. He has also art directed for éS Skate Shoes and Skateboarder Magazine, but prefers creating things with his hands, away from the computer. Chris has displayed his work across the US, Europe and Japan.
Image courtesy of the artist