Beautiful/Decay is excited to bring you our exclusive artist feature in partnership with Made With Color, the premiere platform for artist websites. Each week we join forces to bring you some of the most exciting creatives working today who use Made With Color to create their clean and sleek sites. All Made With Color sites not only work beautifully on your computer but also come optimized for mobile and tablet users making sure that your portfolio looks professional no matter how you view it. For this weeks artist spotlight we bring you the lush paintings of Virginia Broersma.
The work of Los Angeles artist Virginia Broersma explores the concept of allure within the human form. Built of brash and intuitive marks that congeal into something very precise, her paintings have an intensity that is formed not only from the image, but from the intuitive action of painting itself. Though it deviates from the human form, Broersma’s imagery is complicated by associations one may have with the body such as attraction, repulsion, embarrassment or pride. Her work explores how even a distant representation of a person can be conflated with measurements of perfection, beauty and the ideal.
About her process and influences she states:
“I begin with something vague that I am interested in portraying – a gesture of the head, an interesting form, a location or a mood – and as I work it develops on the canvas. I am drawn to other painters working within abstract figuration that similarly use the paint to really create, push, manipulate, and determine the form, such as Frank Auerbach, Willem deKooning, Chaim Soutine, to name a few of my favorites. “
Jon Jacobsen, a Chilean photographer, creates images and animations that are metaphorical in nature; his usage of image as allegory is often referential to surreal worlds and occurrences. Through his experience as a fashion photographer, Jacobsen is able to put forth a product that combines both a fashion-editorial aesthetic and the feel and look of something that, say, Salvador Dali created. His work is indicative of imagined scenarios that in a sense encapsulate real sensory experiences. Although there is no specific continuity to any of his work, any one of his photographs alone is enough for viewers to become interested in Jacobsen’s personal experiences and wild imagination.
“As a child I dreamt of becoming an astronaut, now I create a universe myself”
According to his short statement on his Behance profile, his animated GIFs are inspired by specific moments in times where feelings, thoughts, and the senses go out of control [smelling or seeing something that provokes strong emotions, going through a difficult emotional experience,etc].
Catherine Nelson’s newest series Expedition is comprised of hundreds of photographs, collaged and digitally “painted” together to make five imaginary landscapes. Using her experiences in the creation of visual effects for feature films like Moulin Rouge and Harry Potter, Nelson assembles the countless photographs into one seamless, vibrant, and surreal image. This style of working isn’t new for the artist, and we’ve previously featured her incredible floating worlds before.
In a short statement, she describes what her motivation was for her style, writing:
When I embraced the medium of photography, I felt that taking a picture that represented only what was within the frame of the lens wasn’t expressing my personal and inner experience of the world around me. With the eye and training of a painter and with years of experience behind me in film visual effects, I began to take my photos to another level.
When you see the images up close, you appreciate at her photo manipulating skills even more. They are flawlessly put together and not to mention rich with great details. She features luscious greens of all kinds, plants, animals, and even humans, making references to mythologies like the story of Narcissus. All elements were inspired by Nelson’s memories of growing up along the east coast of Australia. (Via Colossal)
The photographer Sarah Anne Johnson snaps shots of the most intimate kind, asking friends and acquaintances to sit for her while engaging in sexual activity: intercourse, foreplay, kissing, masturbation. Later, the artist enters into a new kind of dialogue with the erotic photos, covering her portraits in glitter and gold plate or scratching away their emulsion in strategic places.
The form of Johnson’s series, titled Wanderlust, brilliantly echoes its content. In penetrating the materiality of the photographic medium by altering its surface, Johnson makes as much of a statement about artistic or creative lust than she does about human sexuality. The gently cracked, ashy layer of a burnt chromogenic print mirrors a lover’s tender caress; similarly, a halo of scratches parallels a couple’s orgiastic pleasure.
Despite Johnson’s unconventional process—perhaps even because of it—Wanderlust seems a powerfully honest rendering of sexual intimacy. At times, human closeness becomes cosmically infinite, a moment of love solidified in gold plate or starry glitter. But many of the photographs complicate the notion of what it means to be truly vulnerable; often, her collage work obscures and flattens one lover, leaving his or her partner alone, isolated in the frame and utterly naked.
Johnson’s work relies on this tension between connection and isolation, a theme which serves to imbue the series with a palpable sense of sexual tension; for instance, two bodies are deconstructed in Puzzle Pieces, formatted to appear unified under one complex and paradoxically disjointed aesthetic. Simultaneously penetrating the viewer and and leaving us to gasp for air, the body of work is a must-see. It is currently on view at Toronto’s Stephen Bulger Gallery. (via Art in America and Feature Shoot)
A memorial to the victims of the worst mass shootings in modern history was recently announced, as the country revealed the selection of a design by Jonas Dahlberg. Almost three years ago on the island of Utøya, Norway, a gunman set off several bombs and killed 77 people. Rather than erecting a building or edifice in remberence, Dahlberg’s submission chose to focus on nature itself, separating the end of the island with a man-made fjord where the shooting took place. Across the channel, the names of the victims will be etched in stone, which will be seen by visitor’s in the viewing area. Separated from them physically, Dahlberg explained, “The concept for the Memorial Sørbråten proposes a wound or a cut within nature itself. It reproduces the physical experience of taking away, reflecting the abrupt and permanent loss of those who died.”
The Swedish designer’s submission was unanimously selected (his project description can be read in full here) Dahlberg explained the presence and loaded feelings upon visiting the future building site, ”An emotional observation informs my overall concept. During the initial site visit to Utøya, I noticed how different the feeling was of walking outside in nature, compared to the feeling of walking through the rooms of the main building. The experience of seeing the vacant rooms and the traces of extreme violence brought me — and others around me — to a state of profound sadness. In its current state, the building kept close within it the memory of the terror acts of July 22, 2011. Like an open wound.” (via gizmodo)
A self-declared lover of beauty and gentleness Nir Arieli‘s photographs of male dancers combine those passions with great technical skill. For this series, which he titled “Tension,” Arieli described his role as being a “visual choreographer.” The portraits are the outcome of a verbal dialogue between the photographed dancer and Arieli and of the work he says, “I don’t pre-determine the result-insisting on well-planned perfectness-but rather establish a strong understanding, let the dancer improvise and capture his movements. Afterwards, I experiment with layering various photos on top of each other, searching for intriguing combinations.” Dependent on coincidence and uncontrollable movements, Arieli trusts the physical intelligence of his subjects.
Arieli began his career as a photographer for the Israeli military. Perhaps this is where his interest in capturing the physical abilities of the male body emerged. Unusual in their depiction of the male (versus female) form as a source of grace and beauty, the images are striking for their sense of movement. In his statement Arieli says, “I can’t dance, I can’t in my room, nor in a club, let alone any kind of stage. Whenever I am forced to try I stumble or freeze or drink enough to disappear. However, this time, for the first time, I found myself actively involved in dancing-even if by using someone else’s body.” Indeed, as a viewer, we feel involved with the dancer, as impossible as the postures might be for us. Arieli wonderfully captured the movement and allowed us to feel a part of it. (via LensCulture)
Artist Jesse Krimes stands in front of his 39-panel mural Apokaluptein:16389067 (federal prison bed sheets, transferred New York Times images, color pencil) installed, here, at the Olivet Church Artist Studios, Philadelphia. January, 2014.
In 2009, Jesse Krimes (yes that is his real name) was sentenced to 70 months in a federal penitentiary for cocaine possession and intent to distribute. The judge sentenced Jesse to a minimum security prison in New Jersey, close to support network of friends and family, but the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) opted to send him to a medium security facility in Butner, North Carolina.
His way of coping with the life-changing sentence went a bit more differently than you would expect. He got by with a little help from federal prison bed sheets, hair gel, The New York Times, and some color pencils. Although money was limited in prison, he never struggled to gather enough money to purchase these objects. You might be thinking these are random, but, in fact, they are what made prison life a somewhat more passable experience.
While experimenting with these four materials, Krimes discovered that he could transfer the newspaper images onto the prison bedsheets. At first he used water to do this, but that did not work. Hair gel, on the other hand, had the requisite viscosity to do the job. He was not aware that three years after, he would end up with a 39-panel mural. Each transfer took 30-minutes. Thousands make up the mural. Krimes only worked on one bed-sheet at a time, each of them matching the size of the tabletop he worked on. The laborious routine kept Krimes sane, focused and disciplined.
Eiko Ojala(whose cut-paper illustrations were previously featured here) crafts quietly-detailed work which straddles the lines of art, design and commercial illustration. Beginning with hand-made illustrations, Ojala then combines physically cut, layered paper and occasionally digital to continue reducing the images until they are clear, concise and minimally fantastic. Subtlety seems to be the strongest method of delivery for the Tallin, Estonia-based illustrator and graphic designer, who describes himself as one who “ likes to study the forms of shapes, and to work closely with light and shadow. He likes to keep his illustrations minimal and well-advised.”
This most recent blue series was created for Intel as an effort to show the insides of anything, and seems a perfect match for the illustrator’s deceptively simple trademark style. Ojala has been increasingly recognized for his commercial efforts, having been been nominated in 2013 for a Young IIllustrators Award at www.illustrative.de, a YCN professional Award and ADC Young Gun. (via hi-fructose)