The work is about communicating what beauty is in our daily life, and is about exploring what is beauty to me in the process, concept, and visual appearance. I attempt to approach different subjects, such as landscape, form, and pen mark. I am discovering and representing beauty in my mind that reflects the outside world of what I see. My classical training background offers me a path to combine both traditional standards of beauty and my own understanding of beauty through both Eastern and Western perspective.
I am interested in how fluorescent color affects us in a daily base and the rich history of Chinese Painting and the philosophy. The artificial (unnatural) colors I investigate represent the vision of reality, beauty, and the color scheme of my generation. Through the meditational process of mark making, I am examining neon color, space and landscape. The visual statement envisions the entity of being. I believe the continuing pursuit of physical being of nature merging or conflicting with fluorescent color will define who I am as a visual communicator.
As an artist with considerable skills and extreme dedication to making my art, I am able to work in virtually any artistic style, format or medium. Allowing me the flexibility to communicate visually in any way that suits the ideas I am trying to portray. The inspiration for my work comes from many places, experiences I have had, socio-political events and ideas and a long standing search for ways to depict the elusive qualities and feelings of living. In order to convey some raw truth of these elusive elements, it is part of my regular practice to draw memories or visions with my eyes closed. Oftentimes, these drawings become the central component of my work.
My work does not easily fall into any one category commonly used to describe contemporary art. In part from my continued exploration for new invention and ways of communicating through the various media I use. The central thread that weaves through my work is that I strive to maintain the ability to experiment and freely express inner thoughts and feelings, no holds barred. These paintings are made with passion and urgency in an effort to have the viewer not only be invited into my world, but for them to see and feel familiar elements of their own experiences.
Born and raised in Chicago’s inner city, Tom Torluemke has always had a powerful impact on his immediate environs, including his current home of Dyer, Indiana, just across the Illinois border, as he continues to advocate for the educational role of the arts and strengthening the social and civic bonds between people and their communities. Through numerous public art projects, he has successfully employed the visual arts as a means to catalyze life-affirming skills in diverse groups of people, allowing them to realize their unique potential to improve society.
While Torluemke’s work in many ways is anchored by a firm sense of place, including the rich cultural diversity of his life-long home, his aesthetic transcends the concrete and allows for a fully developed voice within the context of his concern for truth and expressions of deep emotion, feeling and spirituality. At the heart of Torluemke’s work is a yearning to understand and improve the human condition while coming to a greater understanding of humanity’s true place in the universe.
Torluemke works prolifically in a variety of media, including mural painting, stage design, mosaics, oil and acrylic painting, watercolor and sculpture. Solo and group exhibition highlights include: “After Glow” at The Chicago Cultural Center; “The Inland See: Contemporary Art Around Lake Michigan,” curated by James Yood; “Critic’s Choice” at Jan Cicero Gallery in Chicago; “Present” at the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago; “In the Company of Strangers” at the Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso, Indiana; “Bounce” at the South Bend Regional Museum of art in South Bend, Indiana; “Peace in the Arts” Baíhai International Peace Conference in San Francisco; the Alabama Watercolor Society Exhibition at the Birmingham Museum of Art; and the “In Indiana” series at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
In 2007, Torluemke was named a recipient of the Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship (Central Indiana Community Foundation) for the period of April 2007 – April 2008 and a winner of the Great Ideas Competition of the Arts Council of Indianapolis. His project “Light The Way” was completed in December 2008. Three large-scale commissions in the city of Indianapolis are testament to the relevance and scope of his ideas, and his ability to present them in a meaningful context within
their communities: In 2006, Torluemke was commissioned to create two 1,000-square- foot terrazzo floor designs for the redesigned Indianapolis International Airport, which opened in 2008. Torluemke’s epic mural at the main branch of the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library, reviving a rich tradition in the spirit of the public works projects of the WPA era, was unveiled in April 2009 in the Nina Mason Pulliam Special Collections Room on the sixth floor of the Central Library.
Looking outward and inward in tandem, Torluemke’s work transcends boundaries of race, class and gender, as he makes art as a collaborator in the diverse communities of Indiana and Chicago’s steel belt, his individual work often directly faces personal or socio-political concerns. “I try not to concern myself with categories, descriptions or rules when viewing or making visual art,” Torluemke says. “I feel this makes the work honest, flexible and hopefully fuller.”
For more info: http://www.tomtorluemke.com/
Hugo Michel Hernandez
My body of work focuses on the duality of meaning in reclaimed objects and images. The paintings, drawings, and installation work are research oriented-projects informed by various interrelated sources including cultural history, architecture, language, and literature. The work attempts to seduce the viewer into places that are once eerily familiar yet ineluctably foreign. It wants to convey a sense of nostalgia based on memories that bespeak a culture of reinvention and banal planes of reflections. These references are conveyed through the specific and repetitive use of images, objects, textual language, as well as the use of traditional and non-traditional materials.
M.O.L.D. is a hot zone-themed wet lab and workshop at Angels Gate in San Pedro (5/3-6/12) that investigates the science, politics, and culture of food decomposition. The audience is invited to participate in various experiments and build their own amateur bioindicators to assess food quality and safety. www.finishing-school.net/mold.html
Finishing School is an interdisciplinary artist collective that explores contemporary social, political, and environmental issues. Their projects conflate praxis, play, and activism and seek to engage audiences through various participatory models. Finishing School was established in 2001 and is based in Los Angeles.
Patrick Holbrook lives and works in Chicago. His work examines the spaces and movements of commodities and people, the intersections of power structures, ideological expression in engineered and cultural forms, cultural memory, and speculative possibilities of alternative ways of living. Based in video and digital media, but including other materials and objects, it has been shown at spaces such as The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Antena in Chicago, and in solo exhibitions at Eyedrum and the Saltworks Gallery Project Room in Atlanta, A\V Space in Rochester NY, and Washington State University Tri-Cities. He is an Adjunct Professor at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College, was a visiting artist at Rhode Island School of Design, Scripps College, and The University of Memphis, and was an Assistant Professor at the Georgia College & State University Art Department from 2002 to 2007, where he started the digital media area. He also curates exhibitions at Eel Space. He grew up in New Hampshire and received an M.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, a B.A. from Hampshire College, and plays music with The Wood Knots.
|A Record of Consumption
HDV, 2 Minutes and 23 seconds
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HD DVD (2 minutes), 2008.
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HDV, 2 Minutes 40 Seconds, 2008.
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My work investigates post-industrial culture through the common uses and origins of modeling, gaming and information technologies. In my projects 3D models represent a quixotic attempt to make sense of things. To me games draw attention to the rules we (un)knowingly agree upon from one situation to another. I also use games and models for their association with childhood, which I see as an endless condition.
Lately I’ve become interested in shooter games and how they construct and conflate entertainment, childhood, war and masculinity. The video “Halcyon Atmosphere” and the sculpture it generated, “Semi-Automatic”, both use the sublime transformation of fearsome or horrific subjects into objects of contemplation and beauty, approximating of the kind of sublime experience of becoming immersed in a shooter game.
In shooter games, the gun quickly replaces the body as the primary site of agency, status and control. So in “Friendly Fire” we stripped a shooter game of all its other elements, including gravity. Only guns are left, floating in an infinitely empty expanse. “Friendly Fire” explores basic questions of personal agency within a set of rules and a field of “play” that appear to be familiar, but are in fact all inverted. The more the player shoots, the more guns appear and the less control the player has.
This sort of inversion is similarly illustrated in “on_The Ball”. A cue ball, which, like the shooter’s gun, is another presumptive “actor” or site of agency and control, has been fixed to the center of the video image. The table bounces around the ball, an inversion which calls attention to the limits of the playing field. The table becomes a metaphor for the unspoken rules we agree upon from game to game, from moment to moment. Who has more agency, the player or the agreed-upon boundaries of the game?
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“The Statue of Yong” is a self portrait bronze sculpture by artist Yong Choi. The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago let him display his sculpture throughout the museum. Yong Choi received a BFA from the School of the Art Institue.
My art is the best method to communicate with others. I want to share my feelings with other people because I can get inspiration from my ordinary life and others are in my story without their will and opinion. So I want to give a little present to them in return. When I carted my statue on the street, many people asked me to take picture of me with my bronze twin, and I was glad to pose with their children and answer their questions. I tried to do my best. Some of them got my information, and sent emails including the photo images with cheers. I love the mutual activities. I would not expect spectators see my work raise their heads. That is why I made him laying down on the ground, and people can come and see him easily.
At 4’ x 5’11” and 400 lbs my bronze piece is not light. The traditional medium, bronze, makes me jump into history. I recorded my idea and thinking of every single day. And bronze “YONG” can travel the world and survive after a couple of thousand years conveying my will. Nobody knows the future. That is why life is so hopeful and I overcome my difficulties in the moment. The affirmative concept of my life often helped me to grow into a better man, and overcome my anger and frustration. If I change my point of view, my keen cutthroat competition can be comic film to others. So I do not want to be too serious and will take a cheerful view of life.