British illustrator Fickle Fate’s (AKA Timothy Hunt) quirky and minimal style boils down ideas to the bare basic shapes,thoughts, and visuals to create fantastic graphics that will have you saying “Oh I get it!” Now I just wonder what sort of clever wordplay and graphics can be found on his business cards?
Illustrators who have dabbled in graffiti at some point in there career always have a lil extra something in their work and Phomer is no exception. From employing various types of printing services to applying paint straight to wall, Phomer’s mix of word play, iconic color schemes, and beautiful hand drawn typography has something for everyone.
Léonard Condemine is a French mixed media artist who sculpts enigmatic masks and photographs them in haunting contexts. His work is influenced by occultism, mythology, and the tribal arts, representing the body in arcane relation with the earth; nude figures crouch by the fire, in the forest, and beneath starry skies. Decorated with paint, feathers, and mirror shards, the masks are stunning works of art that transform the subjects into mythic (or perhaps monstrous) beings. Impressively, none of his images have been digitally manipulated; the magic of his work arises from a brilliant synthesis of setting, costume, composition, and light, thereby transforming reality into the realm of dreams.
Condemine is interested in the dual forces of identity formation and identity loss. The masks, albeit on a human body, are extremely adept at obscuring the figures’ humanity; with their faces (and thus their emotions) inaccessible to the viewer, the figures become embodiments of mystical forces and the wilderness around them. This effect is so powerful, that when Condemine and his brothers posed for the final series of photos last November, not even their closest friends could identify them beneath their masks. This alienation from subjectivity is both unsettling and compelling, revealing identity as a construct, and also opening the images up to endless interpretation.
Learn more about Condemine and his work on his Tumblr and Instagram. More detailed images of the masks can be viewed on his blog.
Judy Miller’s Imaginary Dioramas series is the kind of work that makes you think, “Wait, what?” The famous faces in the photos are recognizable, but off in some subtle way. The backgrounds are ambiguous, and the combinations of celebrities and scenes, “Outakes” as they’re titled, create curious narratives.
It’s almost a relief to find out that these artists and celebrities, whose faces we’re so familiar with, are actually wax figures photographed at Madame Tussaud’s and Photoshopped into scenes. The strangeness abates, but only briefly. It’s not only the waxy visages that are uncanny, but the situations as well. Most of the celebrities are not named or tagged, which presumes a certain amount of pop-culture familiarity in the viewer. Some photos only include a part of a face or body, making the identification even more difficult.
Robert E. Knight, Executive Director of the Tucson Museum of Art, writes, “Judy Miller does not create her work in the isolation of a studio. She researches, travels, photo¬graphs, and then brings her images back in-house for final editing. Culled from the photo files of celebrity wax figures the artist has compiled over the years, Miller cleverly inserts her figures into fantasy settings with the finished composites ranging from humorous to odd, and compelling to camp. … Resembling excerpted film stills, the discordant emotional separation of Miller’s figures are in¬triguing in their awkward uncertainty. They truly have become actors in her play, and they’re just waiting for their cue. Even titling her images as “outtakes” references the artist’s interest in, and respect for, the influence films have had on our society.
What, for example, are Einstein and Picasso doing dressed alike, deliberately avoiding eye contact in a round room with many windows in “Newton’s Nightmare”?? Seemingly less bizarre is “Outtake #22, Exit Left”, which shows Jacqueline Kennedy facing front in the foreground and Marilyn Monroe’s red sequined back in the background. It’s easier to find context for this work but no less thought provoking. What if the two women really did meet? Each image poses unanswerable questions, which is Miller’s intention.
My goal is to create a dynamic juxtaposition of elements that spark individual interpretation.
Gonzalo Fuenmayor’s work examines ideas of dislocation and exoticism through a series of large-scale drawings. Cross-cultural and hybrid identities are explored through obvious and clichéd aspects of tropical culture together with Rococo and Victorian style elements.
The struggle to imagine cultural specificity is inherent in the intersection of extravagant and decadent 17th and 18th century imagery (chandeliers, mirrors, velvet curtains) together with exuberant tropical landscapes. Different strategies are employed in order to subordinate the contradictory into a delicate and imaginative order, with the aim of questioning notions of place and belonging. As the past, the present, the exotic and the familiar collide, absurd and fantastic panoramas arise.
Gordon Parks was one of the seminal figures of twentieth century photography. A humanitarian with a deep commitment to social justice, he left behind a body of work that documents many of the most important aspects of American culture from the early 1940s up until his death in 2006, with a focus on race relations, poverty, Civil Rights, and urban life.
Recently The Gordon Parks Foundation discovered over 70 unpublished photographs by Parks at the bottom of an old storage box wrapped in paper and marked as “Segregation Series.” These never before series of images not only give us a glimpse into the everyday life of African Americans during the 50’s but are also in full color, something that is uncommon for photographs from that era.
The B/D shop sale is still going strong with 50% off all our books, magazines and apparel until this Thursday! Just enter the discount code “AMERICAN50” during checkout, save big and add some creative inspiration to your life!
Michael Clinard is one of the many, many, many talented creative minds that make up the Beautiful/Decay creative community. Michael didn’t ask to be posted on the blog and didn’t submit his work. I found his site while reading a comment he left on one of our blog posts. Lucky for me (and you) Michael happens to be a brilliant photographer whose photographs are smart, playful, and conceptual all at once.Hope this makes up for the auto play video Michael!