Since its seedy genesis back in ‘98, Virtualgirl.com has attracted over 21 million customers who pay a small fee to download virtual strippers to dance in infinite loops on their desktops. 28-year-old net artist Petra Cortright is one of those customers and the general public will have the chance to view four of her own virtual girls featured in the exhibition “NIKI, LUCY, LOLA, VIOLA” running now until September 19th at the Depart Foundation Project Space in West Hollywood. Featuring larger-than-life projections of strippers against contrasting backgrounds, ranging from a green screen (reminiscent of the original website’s background) to layers of intricately photoshopped files and images. The creations are said to be enhanced by how (and how not) the audience chooses to interact with them.
//YOU THINK I DON'T APPRECIATE ART?//
Washing windows with Squeegees is boring. Making art with Squeegees is not; Hideki Kimura’s technique of using the big ol’ sponges to paint on glass has become his signature by way of creating a translucent skin that evokes a three-dimensional space. The thin layers of paint show both "visibility and invisibility of the other side objects” in what could easily be taken for an optical illusion. Translucency/skin - Squeegee Painting will be exhibited from July 18th to August 29th at the Imura art gallery in Kyoto, Japan.
It’s difficult not to close your eyes and picture Will Ferrell’s face as Jonathan Anderson sensually articulates his approach for the new Diet Coke bottle design. The London-based designer has been tasked with envisioning a new aesthetic for the iconic drink, saying “there’s not many chances in life that you get to project onto such an iconic form.” Symbolic of the fashion industry and supposedly the reason behind Karl Lagerfeld’s svelte figure, watch the facetious, Mugatu-esque video here.
//BECAUSE I'M LIVING IN REALITY//
Rivane Neuenschwander once commissioned two São Paulo chefs to prepare meals from shopping lists sourced on the floor of a Frankfurt supermarket. Now, she’s hoping to do it again. Or is she? (We actually have no idea). But what we do know is that the Brazilian-born artist is calling for paid volunteers to solicit grocery lists from unwitting Farmer’s Market goers for a project yet to be disclosed. So if you’re in the mood for a little moonlighting for the sake of art, applications can be made on the NYFA website here.
//BUT I'M NOT LAUGHING//
If you find yourself hanging out in Westwood around lunchtime on July 22nd and introspectively observe a craving to hear some strangers pontificate on the oeuvre of a critically-acclaimed late American photographer, stop by the Hammer Museum for a talk on Robert Mapplethorpe hosted by senior curator Anne Ellegood. It’s free, it’s short, and it’s just what you (apparently) need.
//EVERYONE USES BAGGIES//
There’s something about the way the Pearson brothers sing—perfect synchrony, two octaves apart—that makes one’s body respond as if they were stationed either side of you, pouring their distilled brand of funk directly into your ear canals. Thankfully, the LA-based duo (a.k.a. Thrillers) have just released a music video for their drug-laced jam “Body High” from their Cotton Candy Kisses EP. It features the brothers dressed like what Laurence Fishburne in The Matrix might look like if he joined an 80s new wave band alongside two women dancing in sexed-up versions of Sia’s leotard music video uniform. We suggest you experience the thrill for yourself and check the video out here.
//I'M LIVING IN A STATE OF IRONY//
In the wake of her highly anticipated video release last week, Queen Rih has unveiled a limited-edition capsule collection with Stance. The crew-cut, over-the-knee socks morph news, typography, and movie poster art into street-couture pieces rightfully entitled “Murder Rih Wrote.” Allowing the ‘anything goes’ artists to take the reigns of the creative process, her full fall collection drops in September. Yes Riri, please take all my money.
//I'M SO TIRED OF BEING ADMIRED ALL THE TIME//
Continuing to grow in popularity and for good reason too, half of the screenings at this year’s seventh annual Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles will showcase some seriously talented female directors including the likes of Jillian Armenante with her sassy 1950s feature-length production Kittens In A Cage. Showing eleven independent films during the five-day event held July 22-26, screenings are to be held at venues such as Downtown’s historic The Regent Theater.
//BUT JOE HE'S 11//
Kamaljeet Ahluwalia and Nori Shirasu—two visual artists whose work interfaces with music either literally or inspirationally—are currently exhibiting at LA Artcore for the Arts. Applying her extensive knowledge on the topic of Indian classical music, British-Indian Ahluwalia has herein developed a union between musical arrangements and painting, visually translating the characteristics of the music via audio accompaniment to her work. Shirasu meanwhile, has shrewdly found a way to capture the essence of various musical genres through portraiture and abstraction with a focus on street culture amidst urbanization. On show till July 26th, it’s definitely worth the trip to Little Tokyo even if it’s just for a bowl of ramen afterwards.
//I FEEL NOBODY'S REALLY HONEST WITH ME//
“Love you so much, don’t ever change” is what I whisper each night to my copy of The Bones of What You Believe as I tuck it beneath my pillow. I knew someone was listening. Just yesterday, Chvrches announced their sophomore effort Every Open Eye, and today they followed up with a lyric video for the album’s first single “Leave a Trace.” Rough, syncopated drum samples, shimmering synths, and Lauren Mayberry’s angelic yet commanding timbre—yes, it’s all here, just as we dreamed it would be.
//WHO IS THAT BORING PERSON THEY THINK//
We all know deep down that what street artists really desire fame and recognition. Granted, there’s a certain irony in documenting those whose reputation hinges rather heavily of their anonymity (think Banksy and Blek le Rat). The fact that Søren Solkær that has coaxed them into the spotlight is therefore no small feat; no wonder it took him the best part of three years chasing these elusive folk all over the world in order to produce the resulting book, SURFACE, the portraits from which are currently on show at their biggest exhibition to date at the Øksnehallen in Copenhagen, Denmark until July 29th.
//I DON'T THINK I CAN DO THAT//
First it was capsule accommodation, now robotic dinosaurs are defining the frontier of Japanese hospitality. The Henn Na Hotel got a fair bit of press when it first opened back in February being that is was the first hotel to be completely staffed by machines, but new footage showing the eery machinations of this robot-run lodging is making us wonder what other weird shit they’ve got in the pipeline.
//YOU'RE RIGHT YOU'RE RIGHT, IT'S TOO LATE//
‘What kind of loving are you in the mood for?’ is a serious question that deserves serious thought. Here to help you identify the answer—whether it be the lightweight pleasure of a sensual feather touch, a less salubrious episode of late-night delight, or an ape-like bonk (suggested by the depiction of King Kong himself)—cognoscente of the condom, Cloakwork is letting you know what you’re in for. The Malaysian illustrator has unveiled a series of limited edition Durex condom packaging that are sure to steer you in the right direction.
Edited by Madeline Saxton-Beer and Katie Gavin
Contributors: Irene Kim, Michael Esguerra, Katie Gavin, Madeline Saxton-Beer