American Still Life by Willie N. Steiner
John Monaco’s AMERICAN STILL LIFE series brings together two disparate media, digital sculpture and images from the World Wide Web. Harkening to Caravaggio’s classic painting “Eros as Victor, 1596-1598” and the subjects of “Easy Riders” magazine, Monaco has developed a new language in the history of the still life. Monaco’s objects in this series are purely digital, never taking a three-dimensional form and the synthetic models and their environments are appropriated from publicly available sources.
The result of Monaco’s investigation is a definition of the artist/sculptor in the digital era and the age of information. Showing no signs of being any less obsessive about sculptural form, surface or texture than the likes of Brancussi, Monaco produces elegant idiosyncratic hybrid objects of some unknown origin. These objects are neither classical nor modernist, they simply are. They almost act as stand-ins for sculpture and speak directly to a thing’s objecthood.
It is also important to note that Monaco has chosen to present these visual homogenizations as a two-dimensional print. This seemingly odd presentation of the sculpture/model combination only helps to strengthen Monaco’s position in the age of mechanical reproduction, where by completely removing the object from its digital inception and three-dimensionality, yet calling attention to its inseparability.
One must come to Monaco’s AMERICAN STILL LIFE series with the sculptural seriousness by which these poetic objects were produced but, at the same time, find the humor, which is their by-product.
Visceral Collage Shane Murray
This body of work is driven by a desire to add a three dimensional element to collage and to bring organic form to magazine images. The series is inspired by the twisted and reshaped automobile forms of sculptor John Chamberlain and by my own desire to expand a magazine’s content out of its bound form. Each piece uses whole magazines, cut up, rearranged and re-presented as a sort of meat pulp landscape which conveys the magazine’s subject as both organic form and raw material. These visceral collages immediately display the guts of a magazine through loose intuitive movement, impasto application and texture.