Ben Bunch lives and works in New York. Using EVA foam, foamcore, chipboard, glue, paper collage, paint marker and spray paint Ben Bunch constructs intricate small-scale sculptures that resemble organized electronic components. The contraptions show a reverence for the color and geometry of 80’s consumer devices and sometimes cross over into the video game world. Because of the heavy use of foam in the work Bunch’s sculptures are soft to the touch even though they represent hard objects. “Bunch is interested in the intersection of craft and industrial fabrication. Consumer and fashion trends saturate our life in an endless echo chamber of branding and nostalgia. Bunch enjoys peering into this chasm through a solitary hands-on sculptural practice. Nowadays, many artists employ the same methods of manufacturing that are found in the consumer landscape. Outsourcing, fabrication, and mass production are well-established tools in the contemporary artist toolbox. However, Bunch rejects these processes of artistic industrial fabrication to address the issues of pop imagery and consumerism in a different way. Using materials of humble scale, weight and substance (mostly foam) his objects are hand-made employing basic tools in the most time consuming manner. The end result is an object that mimics the look of industrial fabrication and relishes the geometry and beauty of consumerism.”
Nick Albertson lives and works in Chicago, IL. He meticulously organizes mundane household items such as straws, napkins, rubber bands, and coat hangers until they form a textural tapestry. He then photographs these geometric abstractions and presents them as elaborate patterns. His work reminds the viewer that everything is part of a bigger whole and that beauty can be found in all things.
McNabb & Co. is a design studio that is reimagining the urbran landscape. Their “The City” series is a collection of wood sculptures that represent a woodworker’s journey from the suburbs to the city. Each piece depicts the outsider’s perspective of the urban landscape. Made entirely of scrap wood, this work is an interpretation of making something out of nothing. Each piece is cut intuitively on a band saw. The result is a collection of architectural forms, each distinctly different from the next. (via)
Check out the artwork of Japanese artist Takahiro Iwasaki. “Not only are his small buildings and electrical towers excruciatingly small and delicate, but they also rest on absurdly mundane objects: rolls of tape, a haphazardly wrinkled towel, or from the bristles of a discarded toothbrush. Only on close inspection do the small details come into focus, faint hints of urbanization sprouting from disorder.” (via).
As part of our ongoing partnership with In The Make, Beautiful/Decay is sharing a studio visit with artist Alexandra Grant. See the full studio visit and interview with Alexandra and other West Coast artists at www.inthemake.com.
Alexandra’s studio is in the historic West Adams district of Los Angeles, just a short distance from Koreatown and Downtown. From the outside her building looks like a non-descript, kind of funky commercial space that in no way expresses how big her studio actually is. The place is huge with a cavernous feel to it— cold, shadowy, and resounding with echoes, it heightened every one of my senses. Everything I took in seemed exaggerated: the damp air, the bright fluorescent lights, the vibrant colors of Alexandra’s paintings, and the steady rhythm of her voice. Long after our visit those impressions continued to linger, as did much of my conversation with Alexandra. She is a force to be reckoned with— her brain is agog with ideas that she expresses in a continuous flow of conversation, often jumping from one thought to the next as they wildly run through her mind. Her energy is infectious and inspiring, and makes you feel like the world is in fact full of promise, insight and adventure. Many of Alexandra’s paintings are collaborations with writers and their ideas, which makes sense because she appreciates the complex nature of dialogue: the exchange of both concepts and language, the act of deciphering and interpreting, the twists of subtext, and the inevitable losses in translation and how we make up for them. By borrowing writers’ poetic language she utilizes the format of dialogue to create “conversation” between image and text. In engaging text and image this way, the work then becomes a liminal space that challenges the viewer’s ability to perceive and hold both elements at once.
Young Hungarian photographer Noell Oszvald creates elegantly surreal images. Her black and white photographs resemble mid-century fashion photography as much as it does the work of her surrealist influences. Severe contrasts between light and dark create graceful lines and a definite composition for each piece. In this way each image is intriguing, not only for its dreamy content but also because they are simply pleasing to look at. Perhaps what is most surprising, though, is the fact Oszvald’s relationship with the camera is relatively new. Only twenty-two years old Oszvald has only been using the medium for a little over a year. [via]
Donna Ruff lives and works in New York. With her local paper as a starting point, she makes intricate repetitive cuts until an elaborate pattern emerges. The result resembles ornamental doilies and other textiles. Because she is doing this to current newspapers one could read into the work as a comment on censorship and alteration of truth within national news. From her bio: “Using unconventional techniques to make densely patterned drawings that refer to calligraphy and natural forms, she finds beauty and inspiration in sacred texts such as the Torah and the Qur’an, but also in the New York Times and the Manhattan phone book; in cathedrals, mosques and synagogues, but also in the warehouses of Chicago and Brooklyn.” (via)
The work of Scott Young is a playful turn on food photography. His fruits and vegetables seem not so much delicious as rebellious. Young photographs various produce covered with studs usually found on clothing. He mixes the language of punk rock fashion with that of food photography to in a way that each undermines the other. The simple idea is strangely amusing. The disparate context of each crash together to create a new one that seems to somehow make sense in its own way.