Frohawk Two Feathers: Some Enchanted Faux-Naive, by Shana Nys Dambort, February 17, 2011.
Archive for February, 2011
Known for his master narratives, vivid re-imaginings of imperial history, and playful revival of colonial portraiture, Los Angeles-based artist Frohawk Two-Feathers directly references a legacy of historical art while troubling it with the modern. His upcoming solo show at Taylor De Cordoba, opening this Friday, is no different.
EC: You’ve been telling the history of the Frenglish Empire, a fictitious blending of 18th century imperial England and France, for some time now and this show focuses on your reinterpretation of the Haitian War of Knives… How has your work changed since your last L.A. show?
FTF: Instead of the whole Haitian Revolution, I’m focusing on parts, like a wide-angle and zoom lens at the same time. I’m peeling back the layers so my audience can see more of the characters. I have more of a handle on how I want to present the image and I’m getting more comfortable with compositions. It’s a perpetual learning process trying to narrow things down to get to the more intimate history that I’m recreating.
EC: I know a lot of people focus on the narratives behind each character and portrait, but I continue to be intrigued by the framing devices you use. I noticed that you shifted from the smaller, elliptical frame to a much larger frame with a rounded top and angular bottom. What made you switch to this new shape?
FTF: The new shape has multiple meanings. I like the shape first and foremost. The frame I use to make the outline came from a mirror, so it’s like people are looking at themselves when they look at my portraits. The shape also references a gravestone because everyone in the series eventually dies. Additionally, it references an Egyptian cartouche pattern, which is fitting since Egypt factors into the symbology and secret orders I reference, including the Company Crocodile……
Sasha Bezzubov: Wildfire,
January 8 – February 12, 2011
Taylor De Cordoba is pleased to present Wildfire, the galleryʼs third exhibition by Brooklyn-based photographer Sasha Bezzubov. The exhibition will run from January 8th through February 12th, 2011. The gallery will host an opening reception for the artist on Saturday January 8th from 6pm-8pm.
This exhibition consists of nine large-format color photographs that document the aftermath of wildfires in California between 2003 to 2007, including those at Running Springs, San Diego County and Cedar Glen. Bezzubov creates powerful images of mundane places that have been instantly transformed through the violent power of a natural force, into dreamscapes of apocalyptic proportions. The artist shows us the moments just after disaster strikes: a bare hillside with one precariously perched charred car; a spiral staircase jutting into the landscape surrounded by rubble of the home that once encased it; and eerily empty forests scattered with seemingly never ending rows of blackened trees. While these images evoke a post-apocalyptic sense of dread, there is something jarring in their quiet beauty.
With the photographsʼ muted, dusty palette and empty spaces, viewers often recall images of the “wild west” and the desert landscape of pre-development California. Russian born Sasha Bezzubov writes in his project statement that Wildfire “pays tribute to those earlier photographs, but also brings them and the landscape they helped to fashion into question.”Here, the artist presents a view that could be taken from a past period in history, just as easily as it could exist in a dystopic future. Yet, there is something undeniably calm about these images that are nearly devoid of any evidence of man and industrialization. Standing before these epic works, one canʼt help but reflect on how little control we actually possess when confronted with the unstoppable forces of nature.
Sasha Bezzubov is the recipient of numerous awards and grants for his photographic works, including two Fulbright Scholarship Awards for his work in Vietnam and India. He earned his MFA from Yale University in 1997. His work is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and has appeared in The New York Times, Esquire Magazine, Newsweek, Details Magazine, The Village Voice and Blind Spot.