Los Angeles naive Andrew Hem paints epic, supernatural scenes that use color and movement to create moments of the otherworldly. His paintings are utterly breathtaking and feature a true knowledge of color theory and master a saturation that runs similar to the impressionist works of 19th century Europe. His treatment of flesh and rounded rendering of the human body is reminiscent of an Eastern aesthetic — creating ties with his Cambodian heritage. His vibrant figurative work holds similar notes to the powerful paintings of Dana Schutz; both painters using a pastiche of painterly traditions to create works that are undoubtedly contemporary and unmistakeable their own — their paintings hold no boundaries due to the sheer talent they hold as painters. Hem’s work is alluring and demanding. He brings his viewer around the world, creating works that depict scenes from Asia, South America and the United States. Each piece captures a moment of pause and perhaps, even enlightenment. There is a true essence of ethereal energy within these works. For example, his pieces such as Igloolik, Close to the Edge, Lost and Found and Civic show bodies in motion, unnatural flotation. There is a fairytale like element in his work — like each painting is a new scene within a story about Hem’s fantastical life. Experiencing the work of Hem is like peering into the unknown, maybe witnessing something sacred and hidden from the common eye.
Already a huge presence in Australia, Flume has been gaining a lot more attention in the US, especially with the recent release of his self-titled debut on Mom + Pop Music. I was lucky enough to catch his recent sold out performance at the Echoplex in Los Angeles.
Truth be told, I don’t go to a lot of EDM shows, but after hearing his album I was hoping to see some of the guest vocalists that are heavily featured on his debut. WIth the likes of George Maple, Chet Faker, Moon Holiday, and Jezzabell Doran all appearing on his record, it would have been extra special to see some of them perform live. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, BUT I did manage to dance my ass off with a crazy sold out crowd to his ear-shattering beats.
Songs like “Insane” featuring the before mentioned Moon Holiday had the crowd singing along and jumping wildly to every beat. He’s currently in the midst of a US tour with shows coming up at Portland’s Mississippi Studios on March 31st and a sold out show at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg on April 2nd among others. In May he’ll be back in Australia for his first headlining tour titled, The Infinity Prism Tour with Chet Faker supporting. Check out the video for Left Alone and definitely try to catch him live before he heads back down under.
Katie Bell’s portfolio is full of engaging painterly sculptors and sculptural paintings that bring together minimalism, collage, pattern, and found objects.
Salutpublic is a graphic design studio based in Brussels. They started in 2002 and specialize in book design, architectural identity of graphic design, and web design. They invite you to take a look at their new website!
Photographer and grad student Kaija Straumanis has created a playful self-portrait series in which her image is captured right at the moment a random object seems to be thrown at her face. A pumpkin, book, dodgeball, boot, and even a mojito smash into Straumanis’ head, smooshing her face and glasses into an awkward contortion. Despite the impact of the objects, in each photo, Straumanus stares a seemingly unaffected gaze into the camera lens. The collisions are set during everyday tasks and among familiar environments, resulting in a humorous series of striking moments. According to HLN, Straumanis creates the photographs by layering images into a composite and artfully manipulating them until they appear seamless. She practices mashing objects into her face, looking into a mirror to create the perfect pose, then layers images accordingly. “I feel like it’s disappointing that I’m not actually getting beat up,” Straumanis admits. “I’m duping the Internet!” (via bored panda)
Bang! Bang! Studio, based in Russia, collaborated with IT company Yandex to create an interactive weather application for the iPad. Utilizing the studio’s rich variety of illustrations, 70 works are animated to keep your daily check of the weather fresh. Best part? App is totally FREE and available in Russian and English. Reviews suggest the size of the app makes it a bit slow, but the pictures are still nice to look at, and I like the idea of adding some art to a daily activity without losing functionality.
Sybille Paulsen is a fiber artisan and designer who crafts beautiful and symbolic artifacts from human hair. As she writes on her website, “Hair is a unique and enchanting material that evokes a lot of sentiment” (Source) — as part of our physical identities, it is integral to the way we see and understand ourselves, and as it grows it signifies both personal change and transformation.
The loss of one’s hair as a result of chemotherapy is a devastating change, representative of the emotional and physical trauma of the disease. To try and help people understand this loss, Sybille has embarked on a project to turn the hair of cancer patients into beautiful necklaces. The project is called Tangible Truths, plural because it refers to the diverse experiences of each woman enduring illness and treatment, “tangible” as it transforms abstract pain — the loss of hair — into a touchable, wearable art piece imbued with sentiment and hope. As Sybille writes:
“The loss creates something new and the helplessness is juxtaposed against a tangible artefact. This object can be the introduction to an exchange of difficult feelings that are otherwise hard to communicate.” (Source)
If you’re like me you probably listen to podcast’s in your studio while you make work. Until now there has only been a handful of comedy and news related podcast’s to listen to but I’m happy to say that The Conversation: An Artist Podcast is here to entertain you and help pass the time while you make work in solitude. Started by Michael Shaw, The Conversation is an intimate one-on-one interview between Shaw and artists working in every medium imaginable. From painters such as Charles Irvin (pictured above) to photographers such as Lilly McElroy the podcast focuses on emerging and mid-career artists working internationally. Void of the usual heavy handed art speak that you’d find in some art publications, The Conversation feels like an informal chat between two creative people about the good, the bad, and the ugly side of being an artist. We at Beautiful/Decay are extremely excited to have a quality podcast out there focusing on art and we hope you are too. So make sure to visit their site, subscribe on iTunes, and maybe donate a buck or two!
Levi Van Veluw’s eerie Origin Of The Beginning installation draws from his own childhood memories to thematically and narratively develop his own brand of self-portraiture. Creating 3 “rooms” covered with more than 30,000 wooden blocks, balls and slats the spaces feel both like wooden prison cells and as metaphosr for the artists darkest memories. Watch a video of the installation after the jump.