Location is important to Canadian artist Aaron S. Moran. The wood sculptures he creates are both inspired by, and dependent on pieces of wood that he finds in a particular area. From them, he assembles the discarded material into works of art. Using a variety of colors, textures, and patterns, he creates pieces that create a dialogue between place, media, and the viewer.
At times, his sculptures feel like they are going to combust. In his series If You Resist This! and Wash Up (Boundary Bay), wood is unevenly matched in color and size. Pieces are wedged, layered, and placed where they will fit. The non-matching feels almost haphazard, like the piece’s shelf life wasn’t supposed to be very long. This visual tension feels volatile, as if there is something is ticking inside them and about to burst.
At other times, Moran’s sculptures are more docile. They hold an entirely different air and attitude. Here, he uses wood that’s been painted colors of a pretty sunset. Moran has considered placement of colors and arranged the wood in patterns. He titled the series Kite Contest/1991, conjuring up the feelings you’d get from a warm, pleasant day. He writes this about the series, poetically stating, “Sun filtered nostalgia, memories of vibrant kites flying high in the sky along the shore of a beach. Lively patterns from days gone by, blurred by time. Sun bleached photographs of smiling faces. Picnic blankets and pinwheels moving in the warm breeze.”
Moran is currently pursuing his MFA with the University of Windsor in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. He lives along the Detroit River on the border of Canada and the United States. You can follow his works in progress and inspiration on his Tumblr, Year On A River.
It is difficult not to imagine a narrative when seeing the work of Terrence Payne. The Minneapolis-based artist uses elements of design, iconography, typography, pattern and figure, all rendered in a decorative style and soft pallete but with subject matter that is anything but. While the artist occasionally focuses on a central word or scrawled text behind the animals and repeating, archetypical figures, Payne’s paintings use loaded narratives that combine believable earnestness and well-intentioned antagonism.
To achieve the softness in the work, Payne first uses colored pencils to enhance the quality of light and jewel tones, then applies layers oil pastels which allows the the under-drawings show through. Payne says:
“I want you (the viewer) to see the mechanism of it. The idea is just how can I reinforce the sense of this being artificial, that these people aren’t real. They are just representations of what I am thinking about“
Terrence’s recent work has been concerned with “cataloging the human effects of trying to keep your head afloat in an increasingly polarized world of haves and have-nots” and “examining a person’s perceived place in society” and how that affects the way the work is perceived. This most recent work will be collected in an exhibition alongside Nick Howard (previously here) called Cake, at the artist-collective space Payne helped found, Rosalux Gallery in Northeast Minneapolis (which was named Twin Cities’ Best Gallery in 2013). Cake opens October 12th and runs through October 31st.
After just a month and a half the eight installment of the Beautiful/Decay Book series is sold out! Beautiful/Decay: Strange Daze as with all other Beautiful/Decay books, will never be reprinted in its entirety turning into a limited edition collectible that will be passed down from artist to artist as the ultimate source of inspiration! If you didn’t get a copy of the book you have one final chance to get one of the highly coveted 1,500 copies. We have 10 copies reserved strictly for subscribers on a first come, first serve basis. Simply subscribe as soon as you read this and during checkout ask that we start your subscription with Beautiful/Decay: Strange Daze and you just might get one the very last copies available. We can’t guarantee that you’ll be one of the lucky ten but those that miss out will start their subscription with our following book set to release next month!
“Official Music Videos” are usually lame but this hilarious video for the movie “Take Me Home Tonight” is 3:57 minutes of fun that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Enjoy the full video after the jump!
This dream-like mural is the result of two long weeks rubbing clay, mud and dirt, day and night into the walls and floor of Rice Gallery in Houston. Since 2008 Japanese artist Yusuke Asai has been creating these earth paintings. His latest one, titled Yamatane (meaning Mountain Seed in Japanese) was created purely with locally sourced natural materials. With the help of volunteers and the staff of the gallery, Asai collected 27 different shades of dirt from around Houston. His palette is surprisingly varied – the fertile soils of Texas provided him with many tones of yellows, reds and even a rare shade of green. Wanting to form a connection between his visual art and the location he is working in, he says digging for the various samples is an important part of the process. Asai speaks of his fascination with dirt:
I choose to use the earth as a medium because I can find dirt anywhere in the world and do not need special materials. Dirt is by nature very different than materials sold in art stores! Seeds grow in it and it is home to many insects and microorganisms. It is a “living” medium. (Source)
Not formally trained, Asai learned his image making skills from sketching animals in zoos and visiting the museums of his native Japan. Observing different mark making techniques from other cultures and folklore, he has been building his own version of the natural world for some time. His subject matter also echoes those that are fundamental to primitive societies – that of the nature that surrounds us. Asai says:
Imagery of figures and creatures comes to me in the moment. Fox, bird, cat, and sunshine – everything has a role; parts disappear and something is added. I begin each work thinking of the countless small things that come together to make a larger world. (Source) (Via Colossal)
Graffiti artist Jesse Hazelip tackles major social issues in his work. Here are some of his pieces from the exhibition Sentimental Journey in which he reflects on WWII and our occupation in North America. For those who are curious, the name Sentimental Journey comes from an actual bomber plane.
Ben Foster‘s sculptures almost appear to be comptuterized digital renderings at first glance. An industrial and natural artist, Foster creates these life-sized animal sculptures out of enamel-coated aluminum, often placing them in the natural environments that surround his New Zealand home. The sculptural form juxtaposed against the natural landscape has a stunning effect, appearing to be at once disparate and cohesive.
From his website, “Foster’s geometrical rendering is suggestive of the animal’s inherent connection to, and place within, the natural environment. Characteristically, it relies on the interplay of light and shadow and while the subject matter is ostensibly pastoral, the result is dramatic with the sculpture’s silhouette as commanding as the mountainous landscape it resembles.” (via colossal)