Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Will Rogan

There are those, who, when they look at the world, just seem to see things a little….differently. Will Rogan is one of those people. An artist and photographer based in California, Rogan has a charming and slanted take on things, and seems to see larger, mysterious ideas at work in the everyday and mundane. Whether its playful puns as with his altered Life magazine covers, or more cosmic ideas like the Other Worlds series (which brings to mind the Sun Ra line There are other worlds they have not told you of”), Rogan explores ideas of memory, permanence, and even our place in the universe in a humorous, low-key way. His MUM series uses vintage copies of the brilliantly titled Magic Unity Might, a trade magic publication. Here Rogan carefully erases the magicians from the images as they perform their tricks, along with any explanatory text, to leave only ghostly silhouettes amidst the results of their illusions. Even his snapshots seems to allude to grander forces at work in the seemingly haphazard occurrences of everyday life.

Along with fellow artist John Herschend he also edits the arts quarterly The Thing, where a guest writer, artist or musician creates a specific project for each issue, that Rogan and Herschend then wrap en masse (at a wrapping party) and mail out to contributors.

Life Obscured, 2008

Life Removed, 2008

MUM 4, 2007

MUM 7, 2007

MUM 6, 2007

MUM 2 (Silencer), 2007

MUM (Time Trunk), 2010

MUM (Sword Mask), 2010

Untitled (Other World series), 2009

Untitled (Other World series), 2009

Untitled (Other World series), 2009

Untitled (Other World series), 2009

Light Tomb, 2008

Here, 2007

Pocket, 2005

Ceramic Camera, 2009

Untitled, from the series Public Sculpture, 2001

Sunset, 2009

All images © Will Rogan

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Ben Jones

Mixing it all up in a kaleidoscopic fusion of painting, video art and furniture design, Ben Jones has created a contemporary world of fluro-coloured paintings, morphing, trippy video pieces and, more recently, 3D furniture pieces which are physical manifestations of these digital visions. Taking his cues from the pixellated madness and searing palettes of classic arcade games like Q*Bert, Jones’s work is unashamedly handmade in feel, which gives it a real charm.

Part of the Providence-based Paper Rad collective, Jones has been honing his style for the last five years, alternating gallery-based projects with commercial animation work for the likes of Nickelodeon and MTV. Which, in this day and age of blurred boundaries and shifting media, makes perfect sense when you think about it.  Alongside people like Takeshi Murata and Assume Vivid Astro Focus, Jones eschews the slick hyper-real CGI world of  James Cameron’s Avatar and instead creates something unabashedly  nostalgic and DIY in feel, as if the ghost of Keith Haring had been let loose in an Atari video console. 

'Mush Robo' video still

Dog Bench, 2009

'Materialized' show video still

Cubes, 2009

Islands 'Don't Call Me Whitney, Bobby' video still

'The New Dark Age' installation view, 2008

'The New Dark Age' detail, 2009

Dog Bench, 2009

'N.D.A.' video still

Ladders, 2009

N.D.A. 5 x 8'4", 2008

Nickelodeon 'Yo Gaba Gaba' video still

Mail Order Monsters, 2007

The New Dark Age video still

All images © Ben Jones