Tuesday, July 29, 2008

adam 5100

i'm a sucker for technique... always. i love seeing materials being manipulated and applied in unique ways. while i can appreciate phenomena like new media and conceptual art, contemporary art that really speaks to me is more often than not, modern in its content and classic in its execution. i love pop-surrealist artists like stella im hultberg or mark ryden who address the ethos and anxiety of the modern world in an old-master style: eerie, unsettling art rendered exactingly, fantasies and nightmares that slip into tangible reality. 

adam 5100, paints his world in impressive, prolific detail with a highly unusual and formidable tool: stencils. adam's art captures his world in delicately composed, snap-shot aesthetic works whose gentle simplicity belies the complexity of his technique. again with a mention of the bechtel show i saw at the sfmoma: the first time that i saw adam's work was like coming to the sudden realization that bechtel's snapshots were in fact paintings rather than photographs. i thought that they were watercolors, maybe pastels. i had to do a serious double take when i read that they were created with stencils and paint. there's such a sensitivity to his rendering, such a soft, hazy sort of daydream quality to them. what is really mind blowing is seeing the stencils themselves! like sanhji, intricate traditional indian paper-cutting art, the stencils are works of art in it of themselves.


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