Lia Melia’s Swirling And Turbulent Paintings Of The Forceful Ocean

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Artist Lia Melia grew up a few minutes walk away from the sea, and today it is still her main source of inspiration. And, you can definitely tell – her colorful, swirling paintings are reminiscent of the large body of water. Mythology has also been a life-long love of hers, and she depicts elemental forces that are represented by the gods.

Melia uses a variety of methods to create these highly-textured works, and she’s developed her practice over the course of many years. Powered pigments and solvents are baked into aluminium, or occasionally, onto glass. She uses fluid mixes which require high levels of control, so they are often thickened to make the medium easier to use. Different elements are layered to give them a rich, visual depth.

Looking closely at these paintings, we see that her skill in creating textures give the illusion of crashing waves, stormy skies, and ocean foam. Melia’s tightly-cropped compositions freeze a split second in time, and anyone who has stood in the water can imagine what happens beyond this scene. (Via Saatchi Art Tumblr)

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Joel Parés’ Powerful Series Examines What Happens When You Judge A Book By Its Cover

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Joel Parés is a U.S. Marine-turned-photographer who’s created a series titled Judging America that illustrates the prejudices we often have against people who are different from ourselves. As the old saying goes, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” and that’s what you’re liable to when you first see these stylized photographs.

Each image is broken up into the two parts – a stereotype of a particular societal group versus who the character actually is. The tattooed, gun-toting gangster turns out to be a Harvard graduate, a decorated stripper is a buttoned-up widowed mother of three kids, and more. You get the picture here – Parés is demonstrating that talented, incredible people come in all different packages.

“Many of us judge incorrectly by someone’s ethnicity, by their profession, and by their sexual interest,” Parés told PetaPixel. “The purpose of this series is to open our eyes and make us think twice before judging someone, because we all judge even if we try not to.” (Via Bored Panda)

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Sebastian Zimmermann Provides A View Into The Unique Offices Of New York City Therapists

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What’s behind the door of a therapist’s office? Psychiatrist and photographer Sebastian Zimmermann provides a look into these spaces with his new book titled Fifty Shrinks. It features 50 portraits of New York City therapists in offices that are normally only seen by their patients.

In contrast to other medical specialists’ offices with their practical equipment of examining tables and rolling tools, the therapist’s work space has few obvious demands beyond seating for clinician and patient,” Zimmermann writes in the introduction. It’s fascinating to see how these offices vary, each with their own idiosyncrasies that meant to support those they’re trying to treat.  An essay for the book, by architect Elizabeth Danze, explains that the spaces are “floating vessels, places of sanctuary and protection, healing, and reconciliation,” and goes on to say, “a patient reflects on the trajectory of his or her therapy, an indelible part of that recollection involves the space in which it took place.

Depending on your personal preference, some offices are more appealing than others. The colors, textures, and choice of seating are all different and no doubt unique to their own philosophies. Zimmermann had the idea for this project about 13 years ago, when he was starting his own practice, and became “aware of the paradox that I spent most of my time interacting with many people yet feeling that I worked in isolation.” (via Hyperallergic)

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Lucia Giacani’s Interesting-Yet-Bizarre Fashion Photos Of Models And Animal Anatomy

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Italian fashion photographer Lucia Giacani’s series Under My Skin shows just what kind of editorial liberties are taken in this interesting-yet-bizarre photoshoot. Originally shot for Vogue Italy, the colorful images feature a high-fashion model clothed in gorgeous garments while she dons unconventionally-colored makeup. It complements the props used in the photo; surrounding her are medical anatomy of the animal kingdom. Rabbits, goats, and chickens are all halved so we can see their insides.

Giacani’s photographic style is very clear and visual. Nothing is hidden in obscurity, and we see a lot of interesting details in the spotlight. The juxtaposition of the two main elements – the woman and the anatomy – creates a strange narrative. It makes us ask ourselves questions, like, who is this person? How do the two seemingly disparate subjects relate to one another? It’s this ambiguity that makes for a compelling and ultimately unforgettable image. (Via Illusion)

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Mash Ups Pair Classical Art With Contemporary Magazines Covers

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Pop culture and classic, fine art mashups aren’t anything new, but they nevertheless provided an interesting juxtaposition between the visual culture of then and now. Philippines-based multimedia producer Eisen Bernardo has created a series that places the covers of contemporary magazines like Vogue, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair.  It’s appropriately titled Mag+Art.

Bernardo told Buzzfeed that he began the project because he felt that magazine covers were inspired by classical paintings. This is his way of comparing the aesthetics of the long ago as well as the present. What kind of clothing, hairstyles, poses, etc. are popular now? How has beauty changed or stayed the same. He poses the question, “Do we still see a naked woman as an object of art/beauty? Can the celebrities and models on magazine cover be considered as muses of the contemporary masters?” And, he hopes that these covers can be considered classic art. (Via The Huffington Post and Buzzfeed)

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Clement Valla Finds The Uncanny Landscapes In Google Earth

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If you’ve spent any time looking at Google Earth, you’ll notice that the photography isn’t always perfect; sometimes things appear a little weird. Brooklyn-based artist Clement Valla looks for these oddities, scouring the site and viewing places from different vantage points. At certain angles, highways appear as if they’re melting, dipping into ravines and rivers. It’s trippy. He collects these images and calls them Postcards From Google Earth.

These scenes aren’t the result of glitches or of errors in the algorithm, but are the logical result of the system. Valla explains, “They are an edge condition—an anomaly within the system, a nonstandard, an outlier, even, but not an error. These jarring moments expose how Google Earth works, focusing our attention on the software.” 3D images like we see here are generated through texture mapping, where the flat satellite image of earth is applied over 3D terrain. Most of the time this is seamless, but sometimes, when the spaces are so different, things look wrong. Valla goes on to remark:

Google Earth is a database disguised as a photographic representation. These uncanny images focus our attention on that process itself, and the network of algorithms, computers, storage systems, automated cameras, maps, pilots, engineers, photographers, surveyors and map-makers that generate them. (Via Amusing Planet)

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David Waldorf’s Intimate And Peculiar Portrayal Of Trailer Park Communities

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Photographer David Waldorf seeks to capture the truth in people’s eyes, and his series Trailer Park documents the people that live in these types of places. The slice-of-life images are in Sonoma, California and are partially what you’d expect from a place like this: double-wide trailers, faux wood panelling, and fake astroturf are visible. There are some peculiar elements to them as well. We see a picture of a woman in a wedding dress with a fire blazing in the foreground. She’s holding a shirtless man’s hand, and the scene is bizarrely reminiscent of the iconic painting American Gothic by Grant Wood.

If you aren’t familiar with a trailer park or have never been to one, Waldorf’s series offers a fascinating look into the goings-on. The plots where people live are technically mobile, but are decorated with performance. Some of the images detail the struggle of the working class – like the family of four that lives in these small spaces – while other photos are just plain odd, and seem like a throwback to the 1980’s except in present day. Time moves slower there. (Via Boingboing)

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“Exquisite Corpse” Exhibition Explores What It Means To Be Human In the 21 Century

Alfred Steiner

Alfred Steiner

Michael Shaw, Dan Attoe, Austin Eddie

Michael Shaw, Dan Attoe, Austin Eddie

Exquisite Corpse Book

Tom Sanford

Tom Sanford

MASS Gallery in Austin, Texas recently opened its newest exhibition, Exquisite Corpse. The group curated by Beautiful/Deay’s founder Amir H. Fallah features a myriad of artists, with many that we’ve featured in Beautiful/Decay publications and on our site: Dan Attoe, Jay Davis, Bill Donovan, Austin Eddy, Amir H. Fallah, Chie Fueki, Joshua Hagler, Adam D. Miller, Kymia Nawabi, Christopher Pate, Max Presniell, Colette Robbins, Maja Ruznic, Tom Sanford, Alfred Steiner, Michael Shaw, and Dani Tull. In their own way, each artist explores the body and what it means to be human in the modern world.

Exquisite Corpse refers to the collaborative game whose origins are rooted among the Dadist writers as a poetic exercise and the Surrealist later turned into a drawing game. You might’ve played it before; when each person does their part well, it creates an alluring, sometimes grotesque body that was completely unexpected.

This exhibition brings together artists working in both Los Angeles and NYC. As MASS Gallery poetically describes:

A central problem of 21st century life is that the old, psychologically fortifying myths are fading.  Philosophers and scientists have described us as wet robots and biological algorithms, which is perhaps an intentionally shocking way to describe humanity, but these descriptions also seems to get close to a dangerous truth that contains a kernel of abject horror.  It is the artist’s job to create psychologically coherent images which look forward.  It is now a matter of viewpoint whether, when it is all said and done, you are a dead body or an Exquisite Corpse.

In addition to the show, the gallery also produced a full-color catalog that showcases all of the work and an essay by Bill Donovan. The limited-edition, 102 page publication features a beautiful spot UV with fluorescent cover. If you can’t make it to Austin for the show (it’s up until October 25), then the inexpensive-yet-high-quality catalog is totally worth it.

More work by the featured artists as well as sample spreads from the publication after the jump.

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