Taking a picture is no great deal anymore. Often it's reduced to a casual gesture, it may even happen unintended. Alexander Blank takes pleasure in flukes and slip-ups. He is intrigued by images with accidental fragments and by the space between objects (it is quite a challenge to deceive the eye, which is keen on recognition and filling in any gaps!). He made a selection from his extensive collection of lucky shots and based his new brooches on them. They have shapes that conjure up diverging associations, and suggest what could have been, but never was.
His working material - corian - is as elusive as the footage. Chance is reigns supreme in the finish: a random pattern drawn by a grinding machine allowed to find its own way. The resulting pieces make the onlooker wallow in vagueness, enjoying the unpredictable. Compare it to strolling the streets among strangers, without expectations or dates, and yet, there is somesort of interaction, glances are exchanged, fantasies spring up. The path you take is like the acidental markings on the surface of these pieces.
Sprawl & Sprout
Alexander Blank is alive and kicking, and didn't loose his sense of humour (if not to say mischief..). He worked with portraits before, trying, for instance, to visualize the different senses linked to the head, or searching for the real person hiding behind all those pleasing, glamorous instagram faces. Blank revels in unmasking our presentday society, in which people never get tired of improving themselves and projecting an ever further enhanced image of themselves. The material he picked for his latest variations on the topic of 'the portrait' is also not without irony: the cork comes from yogablock's - small rectangular support elements intended for happiness-granting yoga exercises.
In this new work he wishes to take people simply at face value. To show more empathy by emphasizing each facial feature as an autonomous statement. Their sculptural prominence provides a sense of actual realism and attests to the fun in creating them. For the brave among us it's an option to wear a full face, made up from four or five pieces, but to put on just one or two elements will be as adventurous... Whatever you might choose, these brooches will give you plenty of opportunity - yes, it is unavoidable - to express your own personality.
Blank's work is often based on very recognizable, contemporary imagery. You could even state that his variations on the Smiley turned it into his signature icon. High time to produce a new version: now was the moment to make it into a ring...
Once again an uncontrolable proces is part of the charm of the result. Blank starts out by producing a conventional circular ring - so that diverse sizes are possible - which is melted unto 7 to 8 grams of liquid silver (or gold!): a precise, hazardous action. The resulting blob of precious metal on the ring is consequently treated with a heavy hammer to produce the desired dome-shape. After that, the eye's and the grin are all separately punched in by hand. Each act influences the expression of final result. As was already clear in the harshly battered Smiley brooches, the artist is not particularly interested in making sweetly smiling, standarised faces.
All the works in this catalogue are for sale! Should you want to have any additional information about sizes, wearability or other matters, don't hesitate to contact us by phone or email. As is customary in the gallery, we send work free of shipping costs all over the world. We would love to hear from you and we hope you will enjoy admiring Alexander Blank's stunning new works!
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