For many people, eating gluten-free is a way of life. But, what happens when you not only remove wheat products from your diet, but from art history, too? The amusing Tumblr called Gluten Free Museum shows us just what that’d look like. It strips the offending protein from paintings, advertisements, and Chief Wiggum’s hands.
There’s a “before” and “after” element to each Gluten Free Museum post. The before, of course, is the original artwork, and the after is it sans grain. You don’t necessarily realize how integral gluten is in artistic compositions throughout history. Suddenly, though, things look bare. There’s no bread on the table, and the peasants are just picking at the ground without purpose. It demonstrates just how large of a role gluten plays in the art world, and sometimes, it’s at the center of it.
Artist Allen Hampton‘s drawings are foreboding as they are. The medium for this series, though, makes them especially grim: blood on paper. Obscure texts, doilies, birds (both flying and dead) fill each sinister landscape of the Blood Drawings series. The blood at once references itself as splatters in its liquid form and a versatile ink staining each yellowed page. Hampton also turns his attention to the portrait, ironically drawing the human body with the fluid that animates it on the page and biologically.
Each project carried out by Winkler + Noah has a meaningful focus with a motive to provoke serious thought. My favorite has to be the “Short Life” series. “We had been working for about a year and a half at the Shortlife project when we found a newspaper article with the following title: “DIES WHILE WAITING IN LINE FOR THE ART SHOW AND TOURISTS TAKE PICTURES”. An old man died while waiting to see the Raffaello’s exhibition in Florence and other tourists started to shoot at him with their cameras as if it were the most natural thing to do. This was the sad confirmation of what we were trying to represent in this photographic project: the end of respect for man means the end of everything: everything is legal, commercial and sellable. Nothing is private anymore, nothing can be stopped, everyone can do whatever he/she wants, without rules or morals, in a accelerating process that leaves nothing behind. Not even death can stay out of the show.”
As you can probably tell by now we’re big fans of color over here at B/D. Athena Melton is a fan of color as well, bringing us these gorgeous monochromatic still life photographs. It’s amazing how a simple move such as grouping similar colored objects together can completely change the dynamics between them and create a powerful visual. Kudos to Athena for a great body of work.
Inspired by his southern memories American artist Wayne White intervenes directly on vintage landscape reproductions, penetrating and filling the vintage scenes with three-dimensional words and phrases. Provocative, ironic and sometimes humorous, his work explores cultural and social themes such as vanity, ego or pride.
Michael Ferris Jr. designs mosaic immortal portraits. Made out of reclaimed wood, hand painted with vivid and brilliant colors, he translates the voyage of a mortal becoming a semi-god, confronting the humanistic presence to the abnormal traits he acquired. The technique used is intarsia, where the fields of different colors and materials appear to be inlaid in one another, but are in fact all separate pieces. He says he was greatly influenced by the inlaid gaming tables from Middle East which used to ornate his home as a child. He insists he only uses discarded wood and acrylic pigmented grout, creating an intricate geometric pattern which overlays the surface of the busts and faces.
The artist is influenced by Chinese tales of immortal beings. He imagines simple mortals like people he knows going through a physical and a spiritual transformation towards immortality. This rebirth into eternity is materialized by the complex language of drawings Michael Ferris Jr. is unveiling on the sculptures. He highlights the contrast between the remaining humanistic presence with the classic form of a portrait and the singular vibrant embellishments. We are influenced to react to a conventional human normality that has become something other than normal. ‘Ultimately my aim is to express the psychological and spiritual complexity of my subject’.
British architect/artist/technical wizard Alex Chinneck is at it again. We have written about his last project here on Beautiful/Decay, and his latest public sculpture is just as impressive as his others in the past. Known for creating strange, surreal interpretations of urban architecture (like a slouching building facade, and a levitating market building), Chinneck has a knack for surprising even the most cynical observers. Keeping with his habit for curious titles, his newest work is called A Pound Of Flesh For 50p and is visually as interesting as it’s label. Working for over a year with many different chemists, wax specialists and engineers, Chinneck has managed to build a house completely from wax.
Perfecting the art of replicating bricks from wax, he has completed another one of his ambitious projects, this one featuring over 8000 authentic looking bricks. He has built a two story building for London’s Merge Festival and it is definitely a sight to behold. Set to melt over the course of 30 days, this house will eventually be nothing but a pile of waxed lumps coagulated on the ground with pieces of window and door frames sticking out. Naturally, Chinneck has to manually set it alight to help the structure melt in the right way, assuring the disintegration happens at an even rate. The process will be something of a surreal slow motion break down of matter; where the wax will look like an organic disease spreading out down the building. The wax will consume itself – like something out of a bad B Grade horror movie.
Celebrating the Bankside district in London, this project links back to the original building on this site that was actually a candle-making factory a couple of hundred years before. (Via Fastcodesign)