Foundations (Artsy) 2023 — Selections

Conceptual Projects
Selections
Published in
5 min readJul 30, 2023

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Whenever I need to find out the price range of an artist, I usually visit Artsy. It is one of the largest online companies dedicated to selling art. The site hosts numerous galleries and works by a wide range of artists, and they regularly partner with fairs and host auctions. Foundations was born out of this activity. A first contact by Artsy with the organisation of a fair. It is a commitment to small and medium scale galleries that represent and support emerging artists.

In the last few days I have explored some of the presentations of the more than 100 participating galleries, many of which I did not know. I see this online initiative as a great opportunity for everyone to discover young artists and get a sense of what’s brewing in the contemporary art world. That’s why I thought it would be nice to share some highlights. Of course with a focus on photography.

The fair will be online until August 8th. It is easy to access and totally free. So if you want to discover what is brewing in the contemporary art world, I highly recommend you to take a look at the Artsy page.

System of Culture (Toshimitsu Komatsu and Yuma Sasaki). The Coin Toss, 2023

System of Culture is a Japanese photographic collective formed by Toshimitsu Komatsu and Yuma Sasaki. Their practice is characterised by a special interest in the details of every scene that takes place in their surroundings. Their images, heavily inspired by paintings and film stills, explore the structure and functions of photography through rigorously staged compositions. Each of these scenes shows how the medium is capable of evoking different emotions, as in this case the tension of the moment of tossing a coin. A seemingly banal scene that System of Culture manages to show as a decisive moment.

System of Culture

CALM & PUNK GALLERY / GASBON METABOLISM

Gaëlle Choisne. Anathem — polydactylie, 2022

Gaëlle Choisne’s Anathem series is a group of assembled sculptures made from a variety of materials and found objects, among which we can find textiles, wood or ceramics. Her work has captivated me because of her use of the image. In this piece, the photograph of a jewelled hand, transferred into textile, acts as a referential point and junction with the three-dimensional elements displayed, most of them found objects from Gaëlle’s trips to Haiti. With her elaborated works, she provides the complex vision of Caribbean colonial history merged with spiritual, ritualistic and personal items.

Gaëlle Choisne

Nicoletti Contemporary

Kennedi Carter. Ebonee in Topanga, 2019

Featuring primarily Black subjects on her portraits, Kennedi Carter exposes the sociopolitical struggles of being Black in the US. Born in North Carolina and based in Dallas, Carter quickly noticed how, over the years, Black beauties and experiences have been put aside by the predominant white male gaze. This particular image of a young abstracted woman laying on a sofa is full of sensitivity. Her blank stare reveals the trauma, but also the strength and confidence to reclaim her space.

Kennedi Carter

Cierra Britton Gallery

Adrian Balseca. Phantom Canoe, 2018

Phantom Canoe comes from Grabador Fantasma (Ghost Recorder), a project in which Adrian Balseca seeks to raise awareness of the environmental crisis suffered by his native Ecuador and in general, our planet. In 2018, he built a canoe which was powered by solar panels. This boat, developed together with an energy company called Kara Solar, was also equipped with a sound system. While offering an alternative system of fluvial transportation, the canoe recorded the natural sounds of the rainforest, emphasising the importance of listening to the sound of the wilderness.

Adrian Balseca

Madragoa

Larry Achiampong. Cipher #1, 2015

Larry Achiampong’s intriguing group family portraits are globally recognisable. In them, every Black person in his images has the head covered by a black circle with bright red lips. Achiampong explains the origin of this motif and its reiteration as the result of numerous personal racial experiences as a child growing up in East London in the 1980s and 1990s. He took the concept of ‘Blackface’ and reproduced it literally in his images. This act was inspired by comics and graphic novels that used the mask as a symbol of protest against totalitarianism.

Larry Achiampong

Copperfield

Gleeson Paulino. Alvorada, 2018

It is really hard not to be mesmerised by this image. A faceless figure emerges from the dark water, its spine and ribs standing out, half-covered by the murky water. The photograph clearly references the act of baptism which ultimately symbolises purification. For Gleeson Paulino this act evocates a reconnection with oneself and nature. Originally from Brazil, he was born into a conservative evangelical family. For a long time he felt trapped in religion. Water as a theme served as a metaphor for renewal and reconnection with his homeland.

Gleeson Paulino

Galerie Gomis

Hope you enjoyed the article and if you want to discover more about emerging photography. Visit our website for more information and make sure you follow us on Medium!

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Text by:

Juan Blasco — Founder & Curator of Conceptual Projects

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