I’m thrilled to have been selected for this year’s Islington Arts Factory’s Summer Salon! Two of my recent paintings will be exhibited in the Salon, which runs from 21st June-12th July 2019. The Private View will be on Friday 21st June, from 6.30pm - 9.30pm, entry is free and all are welcome!
My latest ongoing body of work, flesh, is a series of figurative oil paintings based on the classical composition of bodies and fruit. Framing the traditional motif of the Nude with fruit and vegetables in a contemporary juxtaposition of 'safe' still life and 'risque' nakedness, to highlight how the world ‘ripe’ is used to describe both implying they are both things to be consumed. The consumption of the fruit into the body, consumption of the body through the eyes of the viewer.
Flesh is portraiture based in the landscape of food, featuring fruit and foods produced and consumed in the UK, through the feminist lens of dismantling the traditional male gaze. The fruit and meats in the compositions allude to global issues of farming and agriculture, contained within the ethical and ecological concerns of climate change, GMO foods and industrial farming, and changing habits in consumption especially with note to veganism.
I’m excited to be exhibiting my Sustain Series photographs as part of Cuntemporary’s upcoming group show, Eco Trash! Deep Trash is a bi-annual event which features live, uncensored and challenging performances, installations, artworks and visuals in East London’s legendary Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club. The exhibition will show art from over 40 international artists whose works explore present and future visions of our ecological landscapes in a variety of utopic possibilities and dystopic realities.
The venue will be open from 8pm, with a 1-hour curated screening on loop. The event will also include an exhibition, interactive and immersive installations and all-night performances that address sexuality, gender and race in relation to the environment and ecology.
DEEP TRASH Eco Trash
Friday 19 April 2019
presented as part of Ecofutures Festival
at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club
20:00-02:00 (last entry midnight)
The portrait is personally an interesting subject to me, through my studies I've come to place more emphasis on exploring the presentation of self; the different ways we portray ourselves to others, the different faces we wear, as opposed to having a fixed identity. Erving Goffman’s dramaturgical notion of the self is one of context, of a sense of who one is as a dramatic effect emerging from the immediate scene being acted out. His theatrical metaphor explains that we present ourselves to one another based on cultural values, norms, and beliefs.
Our ‘selves’ are ultimately a presentation to get other actors to see us as we wish to be viewed. This concept of curating an identity is reflected in the fragmentation of the composition; a traditional portrait surrounded by floating, contrasting elements which draw the eyes all across the canvas.
These portraits are also a stylistic and conceptual experiment in avoiding and subverting the male gaze. In these pieces, I combine three-dimensional elements of traditional portraiture with two-dimensional painted collage features to create multi-dimensional, colourful portraits that reflect the energy radiated by the women's strong, and sometimes averted, gazes.
As any scholar can affirm, the women of Greek mythology are a well-known Classical motif, their bodies cast in marble and depicted in oils by The Masters. This series of paintings is an exploration and subversion of this tradition of male artists portraying women as mythologized creatures; symbols of bounty and fertility, death and danger, desire and disgust.
As a female painter creating these images outside of the male gaze, I explore the female form as a visual motif which simultaneously attracts attention and causes people to avert their eyes. The title of the series is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the popular euphemisms used to refer to women’s sexuality - yet another way of making myth - and a literal nod to the subjects.
/BUY ART FROM LIVING ARTISTS - THE DEAD ONES DON’T NEED THE MONEY/
My very first art market! So excited to be exhibiting at CREATIVE DEBUTS X KERB - ART MARKET this Saturday. A free day-long event bringing together the most exciting independent publishers, emerging artists and designers to show off, promote, share, and sell their creative wares.
The fair will include 30 stalls featuring the work of local and national makers and a programme of creative workshops running alongside. Plus, this collaboration is in association with KERB, London’s most talented and innovative street cooks that operates markets across the city!
They say babies figure out who they are by affecting change; by knocking things over and picking things up. By touching the things around them, and moving them, they realise where they end and the world begins.
I think that’s the same with me and art.
It’s about time I wrote a description for this ongoing series, so here goes:
These works are a series of analogue collages, handcrafted from my vast collection of women’s monthlies magazines. Glossy, ‘perfect’, problematic - these magazines are well known for their editorial appeal and their questionable messages.
Collage is my way of exploring manual image manipulation. It’s a theme which is reflected in the pages in these publications - Photoshopped limbs, airbrushed thighs, even the graphic design in the layout. No image is neutral.
Image manipulation first interested me whilst I was conducting research for my undergraduate dissertation - in which I explored the use of digital editing tools on social media. These practices, in turn, lead to the commodification of the visual of the body, thus dictating ideal forms of ‘being’ and creating an aspirational culture amongst the consumers of the images.
This series is my subversion.
Most of the images feature works of land art that I created in the sand - using smooth sea-polished pebbles, or the effect of touch upon the silica surface. This was probably one of the most diverse works I’ve created to date, in terms of it not featuring people. I absolutely love making art about people. That’s why I find this series to be so special, it’s completely not my usual credo and as an artist I believe you must always push yourself out of your comfort zones. You never know what you might create.
I took these photographs in the summer of 2011. My mother, a fashion designer, created a conceptual collection of garments for a conservation society show.
These pieces each tackled a different theme: The Condom Dress highlights issues around safe sex and the HIV crisis in Africa, The TV Dress tackles the e-waste and recycling issues that modernity has brought, and The Magazine Dress is fashioned from the disposed-of pages of consumerism.
I directed and captured the photoshoot against the backdrop of Lagos streets. The professional models juxtaposed against a setting strewn with litter and the decay of debris, adorned in haute-couture trash.
This is the state of the earth.
Malte Bruns (b.1984) is a German artist who recently graduated with a Masterclass from the Academy of Art Düsseldorf (2009–2014) where he studied sculpture with Prof. Georg Herold. During this time he was also a Gueststudent at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich with Prof. Stephan Huber. In 2014, he was the recipient of a prestigious travel grant from the Kunstverein Düsseldorf, which allowed him to take part in a project-independent journey and further the development of his artistic work. In 2016, Bruns was shortlisted for the prestigious Nam June Paik Award.
Bruns took part in numerous group shows during his time at the Academy, exhibiting his works in several exhibitions. He has since had solo shows, in 2015 he showed a collection of works in I’ve done… questionable things - the title of which is a reference to the sci-fi film Blade Runner (1982) directed by Ridley Scott. The film explored concepts of artificial intelligence and the nature of humanity, themes upon which Bruns bases his laboratory-esque works, firmly situating his practice within the realm of New Media.
More recently, Bruns showed his works at an exhibition titled Tremors 2017 at the KIT in Düsseldorf.
Malte Bruns' references point to atmospheres and themes that deal in a medial way with the world of work, mechanics and machine. His both backward-looking view of realities and innovations of the industrial revolution, and forward facing in today’s illusion techniques and animation capabilities, reflect the inventiveness and spirit of progress. Bruns’ works are interdisciplinary combinations of cinematic elements, photography, sculpture and architecture in installative environments - which are often reminiscent of special effects studios strewn with Franken-prosthetics, genetic engineering laboratories, and freak shows. They all share an element of artificial creation; however he sets himself in opposition to the prosthetics industry's aim to perfection, instead favouring the grotesque, the unfinished, the uncanny.
"What I've found are puzzles that you don't want to solve", with this statement Bruns ventures into the eerie realm of transhumanism through the darkly comic depictions of disembodied anatomies. His sculptures are exemplary of E. Jentsch’s essay On the Psychology of the Uncanny (1906) which explained situations perceived as strangely familiar, he particularly addressed this phenomena in relation to automata, the mechanical human-like creations popular at the time. He also influenced Sigmund Freud who mentions the work of Jentsch in his essay The Uncanny (1919) in which he argued that the uncanny's mixture of the familiar and the eerie confronts the subject with unconscious, repressed impulses. Interestingly however, Freud dismissed human-like automata as source of the uncanny, a position at odds with contemporary anxieties. These fears have since been outlined in Masahiro Mori's hypothesis of Bukimi No Tani (1970), which forecasted a revulsion to robots whose appearance resembled, but did not quite replicate, that of a real human.
Bruns' cyborg creations blur the lines of distinction between the dichotomies of organism and machine, art and nature. He portrays the body as a site of technology, not as a site of nature, and appears to be posing the question of "how far can this go?" through his works. He explores the notion of The Uncanny by exposing the mechanics behind the future of medicine and technology. His posthumanist visions bathed in eerie lighting, in unnatural shades, are fleshy though not alive and remind us of the increasing presence of the artificial in our lives.
the sand is cold under my feet
as I rearrange the earth
salt hangs in the air
I can almost taste the sea
as I create the second ring
one after another
the pictures take shape
I am so happy to announce that I have been chosen as one of 40 boundary breaking artists to exhibit in Empowerment, a show co-curated by Creative Debuts and Nasty Women Exhibition in collaboration with Nasty Women North East, Nasty Women London, and Nasty Women in Amsterdam, Lisbon, and Brussels.
To celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March, part of the money raised from the exhibition will be donated to End Violence Against Women Coalition to protect women’s rights worldwide. Come and show your support for myself and all the fantastic artists from 7pm on 8 March! RSVP essential #EmpowermentLDN