KUXAN SUUM BY AARON GLASSON

by Ariadna Zierold

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Aaron Glasson (previously featured here) collaborated with Celeste Byers in Tulum, Mexico. The head is hollow and inside has room for many people. Their hope is the structure is used for get togethers, alone time, ceremonies, jungle picnics, music, meditation etc. Climbing plants will be planted around the perimeter and moss will turn the head green over time.
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The concept was inspired by a Maya prediction that goes as follows… Tulum was one of the first points of contact for the Europeans who evidently invaded and colonized Mexico. Tulum, once part of the Mayan empire is no longer what it was. “The souls of the wise elders are vigilant and dwell under the ruins of Tulum and they’re waiting for the Kuxan Suum, the cord that connects the world to reunite. The Mayas are looming and at the first signs. their ancient powers will begin to return. ” -Marco Antonio León Diez

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A FORGOTTEN JUNGLE BY DAWID PLANETA

by Ariadna Zierold

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Dawid Planeta is a Polish artist who battles his depression by painting. He created an imaginary world where a small man is traveling through long forgotten jungle meeting his weaknesses and fears presented as giant animals with glowing eyes. The vision created by the artist is dark, mysterious, and very beautiful.

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TROPICAL ATMOSPHERES BY NIKKI MALOOF

by Ariadna Zierold

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Nikki Maloof lives and works in Brooklyn. Jungle animals and exotic vegetation appear frequently in Maloof’s drawings, paintings and collages. Often surrounded by luminous tropical hues, tigers, monkeys and bats can seem either benign or sinister, reticent or theatrical, and adopt an anthropomorphic quality that discloses a sense of the artist’s compassion for her subject matter.

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The same lightness of hand with paint, color and line, hints at the somber and dejected aspects of the domestic and quotidian – drooping flowers, in a vase or overcome by rain, and the view, from a distance, of the warmly lit interiors of people’s homes through window panes. Maloof’s works tend toward the familiar yet maintain a level of un-specifiable strangeness that produces their emotive quality.

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KC ORTIZ / FORCED REBELLION / KNOWNGALLERY

-Opening the same night as POSE`s show my friend KC ORTIZ is showing a collection of his photos from his recent experience with the Hmong rebels in Laos and Vietnam. He literally risked his life to document these people whom were abandoned by the US military and left to continue the fight alone in hostile territory… The Hmong peoples continue to live life on the run and continue fighting the war to this day…

kcortizknowngallery

Rebels, Communists, CIA agents, and the legacy of a never ending “Secret War” all played their part in KC Ortiz’s photo reportage on the remaining Hmong in the jungles of Laos, which opens at Known Gallery on May 22nd.
For three weeks in December 2009 and January 2010, Ortiz lived with the jungle Hmong in order to document their plight and living conditions. Over a year of planning, secret meetings, and a clandestine entry into Laos brought him to the Hmong rebels and a world unseen by outsiders.

Ortiz’s photos document the remaining Hmong in the mountainous jungles of Laos. The Hmong live a life constantly on the run from the Laos Peoples Army (LPA) and Vietnamese forces, systematically targeted for having served for the CIA during the Vietnam War. During that time they went where no American or ally could be, behind enemy lines in Laos, in what is referred to as the “Secret War”. Their missions varied from rescuing downed American pilots to fighting off the North Vietnamese soldiers. Recognized as some of the world’s greatest guerilla fighters, they served their American bosses, the CIA, with bravery and honor.

Unfortunately for the Hmong, changing political climates caused the US to pull out of the region, leaving them behind in an extremely hostile environment. Since that day, the Hmong have continued to fight for their survival against incredible odds. Thirty five years after the fall of Saigon, the Hmong still remain fighting the remnants of that long ago war, and live a life far forgotten by most in the world. Ortiz’s work also invariably explores American foreign policy and questions the role and potential outcome of current allies in America’s modern war fronts. Will history repeat itself? Will the United States abandon her current allies? Will others be left to the same doom the Hmong have faced?

The Hmong’s struggle, desperation, daily lives, and ongoing fight were captured by Ortiz and will be shown under the title “Forced Rebellion” at Known Gallery. Ortiz’s photos from his time in the jungle of Laos have been published in numerous international publications, including The Independent and A-Magasinet.

KC Ortiz is a photojournalist based out of his hometown, Chicago. His work focuses on under-reported issues and over looked people and has taken him to all corners of the globe in pursuit of his work.

Posted By Revok