Chilean photographer Andrés Durán’s recent work has centred on reinterpreting everyday sights in Santiago, his native city. In the series, Cartel House (2001), he documenting hidden locations in the city’s residential outskirts via appropriated billboards. Meanwhile in Viewpoint (2011), he captured inverse perspectives on advertising. In his latest body of work, Edited Monument (2014), he digitally transforms Santiago’s public sculptures, resulting in images that trick our perceptions. Neglected military figures, politicians and national heroes are seen from a new perspective, with their pedestal inverted and placed over the top of the effigy. In this way, he draws our attention to historically and politically important statues that have long been forgotten about – expect perhaps for the occasional photo by a passing tourist. Durán was born in 1974 and is currently a professor in the digital image department at Universidad ARCIS in Santiago. Photo: Prócer de pie, 2014, (S#1, P#2) © Andrés Durán. Courtesy of the artist and Metales Pesados. Santiago.
Syrian-born Safwan Dahoul explores the physical and psychological effects of alienation and solitude in his figurative paintings. Born in 1961 in Hama, Dahoul’s ongoing Dream series is partially autobiographical. His work is thought to recreate a subconscious impetus towards drawing inwards that takes place during times of crisis, whether it be in mourning or political conflict. His contorted female protagonist, who is a recurring figure in the series, is freed from any known location. These ambiguous paintings are currently on show at Ayyam Gallery, Dubai, until May 21st, 2016. Dahoul was initially trained by leading modernists at the University of Damascus before travelling to Belgium, where he earned a doctorate. He later became a prominent member of the Damascus art scene. Photo: From the Dream series. Safwan Dahoul. 180 x 200 cm. Acrylic on canvas 2015. © Safwan Dahoul. Photo courtesy of Ayyam Gallery, Dubai.
Dutch-born Hellen van Meene is best known for her portraits of young girls, which pulsate with psychological tension. These elegant images show girls in various stages of adolescence, though the realism in these photographs is threaded with a fantastical element. The resulting uncanniness is redolent of fairy tales, but also of images from art history, recalling the works of artists like Vermeer, Velasquez and Millais. Characterized by their use of light and their exquisite elegance, they combine classical references with gothic horror, alluded to in these images of solitary, faceless, sometimes headless, girls. The artist, who works from the outskirts of Amsterdam, is well versed in the traditions of classical painting. She was born in Alkmaar, The Netherlands, in 1972, and now lives and works in Heiloo, The Netherlands. Untitled, Chromogenic print, 2015, 16 x 16 inches, edition of 10. © Hellen van Meene, Courtesy of the Artist, Yancey Richardson Gallery.
The elusive Swedish artist Hilma af Klint (1862–1944), the subject of a new exhibition at London’s Serpentine Galleries, is finally bursting into the limelight. The artist, today considered a pioneer of abstract art, was an obscure figure in the art world until very recently. But this was partly of the artist’s own doing – she herself stipulated that her abstract work should be kept out of the public eye for two decades after she died, out of fear that she would be misunderstood. Indeed, it was not until the mid-1980s that her works were seen publicly. Moreover, whether through geographical distance or deliberate intent – she had little to do with other artists working at around the same time, and who had similar preoccupations to her. Even though she worked at the same time as well-known abstract artists like Wassily Kandinsky and Piet Mondrian, she worked in isolation from the European avant-garde. To continue reading this article, please download the latest issue of The Kurios here. Photo: From The Ten Largest , 1907, by Hilma af Klint and …