Molly Segal’s Brutal Brush Strokes Of Vulnerable Moments

Brutal, arresting, and violent, Molly Segal’s large format watercolors of hungry, rabid pack animals serve as symbols of both watchers of and participants within pernicious social situations; these scenarios, coupled with paintings of messy, passionate, unleashed sexuality are all depicted using loose, uncontrolled brush strokes, that often leave dripping paint behind. Her watercolors are made on a waterproof paper called Yupo, so before she even beings her process, she has initiated a battle between contradicting mediums. In her statement, she describes how this impacts her work:

“The loose, wet on wet technique of watercolor on Yupo paper helps me explore the ambiguities of our own boundaries. Because Yupo paper doesn’t absorb any of the paint all of the pigment sits on top, vulnerable to the elements and impermanent. The impermanence and vulnerability of the paint itself references the fleetingness of youth and the fluctuating nature of memory.”

Molly Segal is originally from Oakland and is currently an MFA candidate at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Annita Maslov’s Brooding Illustrations Done With Pen On Paper- Skulls, Roses, and Pupil-less Ladies

 

Tasty illustration work from Melbourne artist Annita Maslov. You gotta love the pen and paper approach. It’s so direct- you can almost feel the labor involved in every calculated line and stippled shadow. And Maslov’s subject matter fits well with her inky media of choice. Dark and brooding, the images sort of require drawing’s organic touch to stave off a cold, disconnected vibe. I’m pretty sure things would turn out okay if I never saw a vector skull presented as “art” again. If you’re doing stuff like this, then, well, do it like this. Please.

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Figurative Sculpture Made With Legos- Indoors and On the Street

 

These are real legos. Nathan Sawaya works with the popular toy to create large-scale figurative sculpture. Legos’ shatter-prone tendencies and the plastic material involved lend a fractured, modern quality to these. The cold geometry involved in each sculpture sets up a nice opportunity for reflection, and Sawaya’s emotional posing of the figures spurs even further questioning.

But the sculptures  work just as well when taken at face value: legos were, and are a lot of fun to play with.

Lately, Sawaya’s been placing 15-inch “Hugmen” in various public spaces (see above), adding a little love to the daily grind. Click past the jump for more lego sculpture.

Photos courtesy of the artist and Erica Ann.

Supporting Partick Thistle: Paintings, Rob McLeod

As part of our ongoing partnership with Dailyserving, Beautiful/Decay is sharing Marilyn Goh’s article on Rob McLeod.

Even fanatic football fans would be hard-pressed to remember a Glaswegian football team called Partick Thistle, a perpetual underdog in First Division Scottish Football League that’s oft-joked about because of their non-winning ways. Getting behind a team that tries every week but gets nowhere requires no small measure of faith, an action probably synonymous with holding out hope in the long term for that which may never materialise. Supporting Partick Thistle is a show that utilizes the metaphor of supporting a losing football team that is akin to the nature and process of painting, a medium which Glasgow-born artist Robert McLeod believes most people think should be dead and buried.

McLeod’s hardly naive about this realm – he recognizes all too well the usefulness of painting in what he does – yet he remains a steadfast bearer of its gilded history and value, practicing it, then teaching it. He came to New Zealand 40 years ago wanting to continue where abstract artists such as Willem de Kooning and Alan Davie left off, looking to break away from the rigid formality of his art training in Glasgow. But after 30 years of studying minimalism and abstract expressionism, McLeod noticed a part of Micky Mouse’s ears in an abstract work and turned his practice to exploring the figurative. Most of the work in this show comes from the past decade, comprising mostly three-dimensional paintings on plywood, where layered forms and colour combine to create a motley crew of cartoonish figures that are loud, grotesque and irreverent.

Colorful Pixels Integrated Into Unique Portrait Photography by Ashihiko Myoshi

 

Cool photographs from Akihiko Myoshi. The photographer is captured in a mirror as bars of color, meant to evoke pixels, are positioned in the frame. A nice commentary on personal identity in the Digital Age. But the coolest thing about this series is Myoshi’s process:

The photographs included here are of mirrors, paper and tape often adhered to the surface of the mirror taken with a large format camera as they attempt to unpack the structural mechanics of photographic representation.

Originally a computer engineering PhD candidate, Myoshi now makes art and teaches at Reed College. (via)

Shay Kun’s Photo Realistic Dreamlike paintings

 

Shay Kun’s paintings push viewers to challenge their philosophical and aesthetic limitations. While the paintings use appropriated images from the internet, glossy magazines and daily life, they question where fantasy begins and reality ends. Our dreams and thoughts are capable of taking us on journeys beyond reality, but when do we actually cross that threshold? Could we have actually experienced scenes as we remember them?

Each piece in the exhibition explores fantasy and escapism not only with evocative imagery, but also with a variety of source materials and methods of display. In Brief Encounter, Kun offers a film noir still of a car driving into the depths of a rainy night and invites onlookers to remember not only familiar films with similar atmospheres, but their own experiences with departure and loss. Kun also manipulates the foreground into a complex, dramatic tableau; the foreground presents an almost surrealist puddle without the literal interference of a window. Condensation from precipitation, however, is reserved for the background; the scenario is physically impossible, and the painting teases the mind to understand its dissonance.

Objects like ropes, hot air balloons and old-fashioned cars accrue an almost satirical element with their nostalgic references to a pleasant past and childhood. These idyllic environments are predominately kept in the background of these pieces, but the masterfully painted objects feel at once fresh with their photo-realistic qualities. These are contemporary works that challenge the effectiveness of memory and suggest that nostalgia shapes and colors our interpretations of the past.

Arabic Graffiti from Tunisian Artist eL Seed

 

eL Seed is a Tunisian artist who writes graff in arabic. His work is often socially aware- he recently completed a large piece in his home country that translates to “Oh humankind, we have created you from a male and a female and made people and tribes so you may know each other.” The phrase, a verse from the Quran, was used to “convey a message of mutual respect, tolerance, and dialogue in a country brimming with countless possibilities.” And last November, he did a wall that read “this is just a phrase in Arabic” as part of a commentary on Western prejudice and misunderstanding of Middle Eastern culture. Pretty solid skills to top it all off as well.

Mark Robinson’s Moody Mixed Media Works

 

Recent Manchester University grad Mark Robinson uses folklore narratives as a jumping-off point for his moody mixed media works. Robinson’s paintings, which contain visceral, almost spontaneous textual elements, serve as an outlet for his various frustrations and impressions. I like his flat use of color and black. And the piece directly below the jump, a silhouetted cowboy/bandit figure done in blue, suggests a good sense of texture. Definitely some interesting stuff from this young artist.