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.
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)
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.
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.
French photographer Emmanuelle Brisson created this photo series, L’air frissonne des choses qui s’enfuient, which depicts a woman clad in thin white linen interacting with butterflies (moths?). The pictures are so quiet. They seem to exist independently from any worldly concerns. Looking at them, everything goes away. Each image is it’s own boundless meditation, and the loose context involved allows you to create your own significance for each one. See more from the series after the jump. (via)
Cool project from the DDB China Group for the China Environmental Protection Foundation:
We decided to leverage a busy pedestrian crossing; a place where both pedestrians and drivers meet. We lay a giant canvas of 12.6 meters long by 7 meters wide on the ground, covering the pedestrian crossing with a large leafless tree. Placed on either side of the road beneath the traffic lights, were sponge cushions soaked in green environmentally friendly washable and quick dry paint. As pedestrians walked towards the crossing, they would step onto the green sponge and as they walked, the soles of their feet would make foot imprints onto the tree on the ground. Each green footprint added to the canvas like leaves growing on a bare tree, which made people feel that by walking they could create a greener environment.
It’s nice to see a project that gets the public completely involved without sacrificing any quality control. See some detail images after the jump. (via)
Ice Man, beauti-loser, and love letter scribe Steve Powers is hitting NYC’s Joshua Liner Gallery with a solo show on September 6th. You can expect some pretty tasty typography and graphics from the artist this go-round. The show is entitled A Word is Worth A Thousand Pictures and is definitely one to check out in person. The works on display range from 10-x-8 in. to 10-x-10 feet, and include Powers’ “Metaltations”- spontaneous enamel works on aluminum. And if you can’t make it over to Chelsea before September 29th, check out a preview of the show below.
In 2007 and 2009, Mexico City-based artist Carlos Amorales created two huge installations, both entitled Black Cloud. The works positioned thousands of paper black moths on walls and atria, forming a swirl of darkness. Each moth was a replica of one of 36 different species. The end result of each work contains an overwhelming force that evokes biblical overtones. See more images of Black Cloud after the jump. (via)