This Week’s 5 Major Art Fucking Picks #1

Art is the only domain in which you can play God without needing permission or resources. Art is the only domain in which asking for permission means hanging your spirit, the only domain in which censor will hopefully always lose battles in the continuous war. We are constantly hungry for amazing artists: old and new, known or not, disturbing, with the power of making us cringe and crave. Breathtaking, human, inhuman, striking, painful and liberating, demonic, psychedelic.

This is a new column and varied Cultartes editors will contribute to it. So we are searching and saving and promoting what makes our darkness itch and our hearts melt, whats sets us off, confuses us and makes us want to taste more. What leaves us bare, scared and delighted.

That being said, mighty reader-soldiers, here are our top 5 choices for this week:

Konstantin Komardin

5 Major Art

Konstantin is a visual artist from Russia. While I didn’t find much information about him (it’s a shame that there are so many artists out there, untraceable. You can put a self on their work, but you might never know who they really are. And yet there is so much celebrity gossip shit, but oh well, this is the world we live in), I was stunned by his work.

There is an industrial feel to the modernly futuristic and grotesque artwork. Somehow I associate the cyber-industrial part with Communism. His works live in an alternate reality of our own, mixed with the possibilities of the future. Where technology has filled us with mold and corroded all that humanity used to fight for.

There is lust and there is destruction, there are cyber-punks and chimeras, the desperation of Mad Max and a seemingly still interesting nightlife. I would definitely call him if I wanted to go out for a drink in his Universe and hell! I would try out everything from there.

Ernst Haas

5 Major Art

After a career of 40 years, we really can’t say that this photographer born in Austria is unknown (although his site doesn’t work). He was a photojournalist and a pioneering color photographer. Ernst always shifted between the raw-realistic side of photography and the expressive, creative medium it creates.

He became well known because of the amazing coverage of events around the world after World War II and for innovating color photography. He worked for Magnum Photos as well, activated as a president and is the author of one of the most successful photography books ever. “The Creation” was published 1971 and sold 350.000 copies.

Now, I loved this photograph in particular because of how present it feels. You see, it was taken in New York in 1966 and you would think that distant times should bring a different set of feelings, the sentiments of sat era, one you’ll never know. But somehow, the shadows and the buildings give me the same sense of 21st Century, that of being lost between everything we created and consumed.

Cristóbal López aka Kerbcrawler Ghost

5 Major Art

Demons for all of your orgasms and twisted orgy fantasies. Kerbcrawler Ghost is a macabre illustrator from Chile. I love the sharp details and the maddening bloody red, I love how he brings life to nightmares in a way in which it makes you crave them. I don’t know what more to add. I’d rather keep looking, analyzing and feeling his work, thank you.

Jan Bernhardtz

Jan photographs the souls lost from buildings and places, street corners, people’s emotional marks and has a soft spot for Berlin. A city I am longing for a long time to discover.

Originally from Sweden, he is a mysterious creator and not enough people have heard about him, maybe because he is not the type of artist that will make you feel comfortable. You cannot hang one of his photographs on the wall and say “Oh, how pretty!”. You can’t because when you see them, the photographs, you ask yourself questions, you wonder why they make you feel the way they do and you ask yourself how can you come to terms with the cold and nostalgic air of his work.

Jan attended the photography school in Stockholm ran by the famous Christer Strömholm, but after finishing his studies, he didn’t approach a photographic career. This passion came back to Jan after retirement, when he moved to Berlin.

Ble

Another jagged one from Greece this time! His works make me feel as if they’re talking about the start and development of a mental illness. Whether it is Schizophrenia, Dissociative Disorder or Multiple/Split personalities with a tint of PTSD. There are Alter Egos eating out the self and ghosts withering hearts and issues breaking through the surface in a damn dirty way. There is the depression of the realization of your own abnormality/mortality and there is understanding, there is being, there is reality.

 

Bonus

Since my lucky number is 6 and I hate respecting any rules 100% (even my own), there always has to be a crack made for slipping through. This week’s slipping crack is from Romania, with love:

Jindul şi scârba by Marin Mălaicu-Hondrari

dacă e frig, mie îmi este cel mai frig.
când e cald, mie îmi este cel mai cald.
locul acesta cine l-a ales?

la zece minute de mers e raiul.
faţa ta e cernită
mâinile mele tremură.
de câte ori vine lepra, sapă gropile comune
le îndeasă cu ce urăsc ei şi iubim noi
până se şterg diferenţele.

solzii lacului nu ştiu nimic de grijile noastre.
noaptea alegem vocile care vin din metale,
sapă în lemn,
ies din ce ne spune focul.
în jurul vorbelor noastre
coboară o casă plină de fum.
nu aşteptăm pe nimeni să vină.
sunt ani de când ar fi trebuit să murim.
ca un copac smuls mă prăbuşesc in apă
şi trecutul cade peste mine
ca un copac stufos tăiat în apă.

dimineaţa nimic nu mai seamănă cu ce ştim noi.
soarele e gras, roşu, cancerigen
şi are faţă de maimuţă.
creierul coboară în stomac,
sufletul în chiloţi.
peştele cu buze lascive de femeie
puiază în Marea Moarte.
precum fătul în burta mamei,
nebunia dă la soroc semne în cap
şi în plămâni.

Marin was born in a farmer’s family în Romania, at Sângeorz-Băi and lived in a house without electricity with his grandmother until he was 5. However, things turned around and he moved to Spain, in Cordoba, where he lived for 5 years.

Between many jobs and learning the language, he started studying Spanish literature and thus begun translating important writers like: Mario Vargas Llosa, Julio Cortázar, Enrique Nogueras and others. It was in Spain where he wrote his first book, a collection of poems Zborul femeii pe deasupra bărbatului (The flight of woman above man). It was published in 2004 and received the debut prize for writers from Uniunea Scriitorilor din România, Cluj. Then came the novel, in 2006 Cartea tuturor intențiilor (The Book of All Intentions) and since then came others. In 2010 he was nominated for Radio România Cultural’s prize for prose and later on he received prizes from Poesis Internațional și Transilvania in 2011 (for poetry) and the prize for Literature of Bistrița in 2013 (for prose).

I choose this poem for two reasons. One which you will only understand if you know Romanian and the other is the associations of elements. The symbiotic relation between characters, stripped by delirious relation between symbols and how they melt and drip with the rest. The whole “you feel what I feel” from the first two verses broken by the question. The mention of heaven and leprosy, both falling in common pits, graves with love and hate. The scales in a lake and the words from fire. And what really went under my skin was from “sunt ani de când ar fi trebuit să murim.” to the end. The brain getting down from your head to your stomach and all the other verses. In English it’s different. English is the language of all souls, but it loses the specific subtleties of a certain culture. This brings me back to the first reason. If you understand Romanian then, when you will read this, I am sure it will take you in a walk through every corner of this country where you died and lived and loved and cried and went back to be reborn.

That’s all folks, the artists which mind-fucked me this week. Stay tuned for the next episode!

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Bucharest-based artist. Psychedelic photographer, brain-scratching writer / poetess and priestess of the macabre.

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