In a series titled Light Rorschach, photographer Nicolas Rivals paints with light in dark spaces. Using a torch light and a camera with a long exposure, the artist draws and contours an arresting image. When I look at these photographs, I instantly see a face. But, Rorschach can refer to a couple of things. There is the Rorschach inkblot test, which is a psychological test. Additionally, a character, the anti-hero in the graphic novel Watchman has the same name. Knowing this and studying Rival’s work, his interpretation seems to be a combination of the two influences.
According to his website, Rival wants us to question the reality of the photographs. Could these things possibly exist? And, if they do, what are they? Rival insinuates that the beings in in Light Rorschach exist, referring to subjects as masks, meaning that they have some sort of identity. And, they observing us as we look at them. He writes:
…turns observer and observed through the eyes of spirited but ultimately see some of your own personality and therefore yourself. Cross between the work and the viewer as an introspection looks these masks seem to shout.
“Tell me what you see and I’ll tell you who you are.”
If the eyes are the window to the soul, then the soul of these light masks are serious and demand your attention. The lines of the painted light frame the neon blue, red, and green discs.They definitely aren’t human, and seem like they belong in a sci-fi story.
A visually interesting and literally engaging material many artists are drawn to mirrors and other reflective surfaces for their visually interesting qualities. Based in concept, Dan Graham’s “pavilions” blur the line between sculpture and architecture. Toying with perception the pavilions employ two-way mirrors and glass to engage a viewer and disorient his sense of space.
Inspired by artists like Graham, Danish artist Jeppe Hein is interested in illusion and turning passive visitors into participants. Hein uses mirrors and other reflective surfaces in his work. Finding the place there art intersects with architecture, and technical inventions, Hein often adds an element of humor to his pieces.
With similar interests Alyson Shotz also investigates issues of perception and space by using reflective materials. Often Shotz’s works become visual representations of concepts from theoretical physics (string theory, dark metter, etc). Other times her work exposes changing surroundings. Shotz says of her works such as Mirror Fence, “I’m interested in making objects that change infinitely, depending on their surroundings. The light at different times of day, the weather…what the viewers are wearing, all these are just some of the variables that will make the piece different every time one comes in contact with it. For me an ideal work of art is one that is ultimately unknowable in some way.”
Ryan Everson is a multimedia artist who reveals the sentimentality often associated with an idealized natural world. As he explains, Fear addresses the “abstract emotional states stirred up from specific self reflective moments.” Sometimes apparent, and sometimes camouflaged, Everson’s Fear creates a deeply rich symbolic metaphor for the feelings evoked by fear.
David Altmejd employs mirrors in his works to help him, and a viewer, explore a fantasy world that puts reality into perspective. Depicting mythical creatures, Atmejd blurs distinctions between real and perceived.
British artist Joseph Loughborough creates dark and grotesque , yet delicate and beautiful charcoal drawings that challenge and trigger existential questions and anxieties.
Loughborough’s trademarks an expressive, impulsive and honest style that strikes as vague at first; however, a closer look reveals deep and thoughtful technical decisions that render his concepts fairly well; his choices are simultaneously charming and intimidating.
Through his eerie,whimsical subjects, whose faces are usually deconstructed, Loughborough renders the grim side of human nature: sin, desire, fear and anxiety over one’s own absurdity.
I can understand why my work is considered dark but I have never really looked at it in this way. I have always intended it to be revealing, honest and expressive. Some of the pieces act like a personal exorcism through which I try to express, rather than deny, the emotions I encounter. Through my drawing, I strive to grasp a comprehension of the human condition and question how we interpret our oft-untold fears and desires.
Joining 3D printing and digital textile printing, the idea of a sprayable, wearable and fabric has the inventors of Fabrican LTD imaging the possibilities which go beyond its initial usage in the fashion industry. Fabrican’s ‘Euraka!’ moment came from another famous canned sprayable, Silly String. The science of the process involves the creation of a liquid suspension which is then applied using a spray gun or aerosol canister. The resulting sprayed fabric has natural, synthetic and recycled fiber options, and when applied typically feels like a breathable suede.
Practical applications have ranged past fashion shows into automobile interiors, furniture upholstery and even entire rooms (the material is easily washable). The fabric can be embedded with a variety of supplements and additives which make separate colors, patterns and (which also opens up the possibilities of quick-creating medical applications such as casts, bandages and even antiseptic-wound cleansing).
According to Fabrican-inventor, Spanish fashion designer Manel Torres, “As a non-woven material, Spray-on Fabric offers possibilities for binding, lining, repairing, layering, covering and moulding in ways previously not imaginable.”
Watch a slightly NSFW video of Fabrican LTD in action after the jump!
Left: Midwife/High School Science Teacher, 2008. Right: midwife/business consultant, 2012
A bartender’s fridge in 2008 (left) and 2012 (right).
Left: The fridge of a carpenter and photographer in 2008. Right: The fridge, with the photographer now a homemaker, in 2012.
Photographer Mark Menjivar wants to know what’s in your fridge. His series You Are What You Eat began in 2007 (it was previously featured on Beautiful/Decay here), and it captured the insides of 60 different people’s fridges. Menjivar thought of the series as a portrait project, with food defining someone’s identity. Several years later, he revisited some of the fridges. The new photographs depict how lives change over the years, as illustrated by food. For some, their habits have changed drastically, while others, more or less, are the same.
The ingredients in one’s fridge tell us a lot. Not only what kind of food they eat, but do they cook regularly, do they drink alcohol, do they like barbecue. And what about fresh produce? When the photographer met with a midwife and science teacher in 2008, they had started a commitment to eating only local produce. In 2012, with ready-made fruit packs in sight, we can see that commitment didn’t exactly last. The fridge that was chock-full of takeout containers in 2008 was owned by a bartender. Still a bartender in 2012, he has, according to Menjivar, started eating healthier and lost weight.
You Are What You Eat was originally shot for an exhibition at the Houston Center for Photography. Since the release of the series, the exhibition has travelled to 15 cities. In each city, Menjivar collaborates with communities to create a conversation about food issues in their area. The series will eventually become a book. (via Slate)
To celebrate this day of giving thanks our good friends at Made With Color want to offer Beautiful/Decay readers a special holiday deal in honor of the great updates they just launched.
Made With Color has a host of new designs to make your site look sleek and professional and they have just launched three new stylish layouts: Corbusier Ocean, Wright Noir, and Wright Paynes. If that weren’t sweet enough, now you can choose their new square thumbnail gallery for showcasing your work.
As always their portfolio sites are responsive and optimized for viewing on a desktop, tablet and smart phone, so your work looks great where ever you view it.
To celebrate Thanksgiving we want to share a little extra cheer with everyone by offering a 29% discount to all new users for their first year of service with Made With Color! Simply sign up and use discount code “thankful29” in the “My Account” section of the site and enter your credit card info to let the savings roll in! This discount code is valid through December 3rd so make sure to enter your credit card and discount code in before then to redeem the 29% discount!
In lieu of kitschy turkey paintings I decided it would be fun to collect a few vintage images of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The earliest of these was taken in 1931, and the newest in 1975.
The tradition started in 1924, tying in for the second-oldest Thanksgiving parade in the United States along with America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been a staple of New York life since the late 20’s; the popularity grew as the parade started to get televised in the 1950’s. Till’ this day, there’s nothing more iconic than the giant balloons that stroll across the city during this time of the year.
Until 1980-90’s the balloons in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade came in two varieties. The first and oldest is the novelty balloon class, which fit on the heads of the performers. The second, and most famous, is the full-size balloon class, primarily consisting of licensed pop-culture characters.
On behalf of the B/D team, we want to wish you all a very happy thanksgiving. May you spend this day with your loved ones, and yummy food!
Olivier Ratsi‘s latest project Onion Skin is an attempt to create an unreachable plane by physical means. Two walls are connected at 90 degree angles, and a series of visual light displays plays simultaneously off of the joined walls, created a uniquely intangible, unreachable dimension. This type of work is typically elaborate for Ratsi, who describes his works as “The deconstruction or fragmentation acts mainly as an emotion trigger, which does not aim at showing what things could be, but more at questioning their references.”
Shapes that begin to form are quickly changed, morphing into others and blending into a seemingly 3-Dimensional landscape. Ratsi, who is also the co-founder of visual art label AntiVJ, gives the viewer a sound component to coincide with Onion Skin‘s hypnotic geometric shapes overlapping, peeling and unfolding. Ratsi explains, “Its aim is to generate a break with the meaning of the original items, to propose a new viewing angle and to provide the public a new field of experience, another way of looking at space and time.”
Onion skin is currently installed in Belo Horizonte, Brazil (until November 30th, 2013), after which it will be included at an exhibition at the Parque Lage in Rio De Janeiro (December 7th and 8th, 2013). (via designboom)