When artist Francesca Pastine takes an X-acto blade to the glossy pages of the esteemed ARTFORUM magazine, a stunning organic growth, resembling a lava flow, forest fungi, or a waterfall, unfolds from the thick periodical. Now showing at the Eleanor Harwood Gallery in San Francisco, “Unsolicited” is a collection of Pastine’s unsolicited collaborations with the magazine and their famous cover artist. The 1-inch thick magazines are excavated by cutting through the pages until only selected parts remain.
In the artist statement for her “ArtForum Excavations“ series, Pastine says, “I began using ARTFORUM magazines as a medium for my work in 2008. I noticed that they were familiar fixtures in my friends’ homes. Apparently, because of their glossy nature nobody wanted to throw them away. I was intrigued by their square format, particularly when the bloated art market was reflected in their one-inch thickness. I began asking my friends for their unwanted magazines. Starting with the covers, I cut, bend, manipulate, pull, and dig my way through them, revealing a visceral topography of art trends. The finished worked becomes an unsolicited collaboration with the magazine and the cover artist. Maintaining a strong connection to the physicality of drawing, my X-acto blade mimics a pencil. I eschew glue or other manipulations that change the inherent character of the magazines. In this way, they retain their association to what they are, carriers of information that have been handled, earmarked and scuffed over time. Through physically intervening with these familiar icons of the art establishment, I suffuse the inanimate with emotional power creating a palpable complexity of form and information.”
“Unsolicited” will be showing at the Eleanor Harwood Gallery in San Francisco through July 7, 2012.