This vid is also made by Niles Atallah, Cristobal Leon & Joaquin Cociña
“Taggart’s project began when she met a Mambo, or female Vodou priest, named Rose Marie Pierre, who runs a temple in the basement of a nondescript storefront in the working class neighborhood of Flatbush. It was here that Taggart made these images of priests and laymen undergoing possession by the Loa—powerful spirits that act as intermediaries between humankind and Vodou’s distant god, Bondye. Most Loa are benign, some are malevolent, but every spirit has a distinct personality, role in the world and set of demands and services. In their different ways, practitioners believe, these spirits determine our fate and must be consulted and appeased.
Beckoning the Loa requires elaborate preparations unique to the particular spirit desired. Practitioners indicate the Loa they want to call upon by drawing its vever, or symbol, in cornmeal sprinkled on the floor. They place offerings on an altar and perform particular songs and dances. When the Loa possesses the worshiper Taggart says the scene becomes “wild, very physical and intense.” Though she works with black-and-white still images, Taggart is able to convey the noise and energy of these rituals. “There is screaming and thrashing…sometimes [congregants] run around the room as if confused. It can happen suddenly, so it’s often jarring. People immediately gather around the one possessed and assist them with what they need and catch them if they collapse.” Practitioners say the experience induces short-term amnesia; “Mambo Rose Marie is always surprised (sometimes shocked) to see my documentation of what has taken place while she was possessed,” recalls Taggart.” – Myles Little
David R Harper’s artwork is about the projection or imposition of meaning on an object, especially concerning memorial in death. He embroiders over taxidermy animals on prints of still life paintings from the 18th century. He sees the dead animals as a human way of addressing mortality; feeling empathy for the dead animal, but also as a way of avoiding grappling with our own inevitable demise. The embroidery creates a void or emptiness, especially literal in the white thread, and more dynamic but equally vacant with the use of green patterning in The Fall. Thread operates in most cases as a cold medium and Harper employs it extremely effectively in combination with his meticulous technique.
His most ambitious work is titled I Tried, and I Tried, and I Tried, presumably a quasi-reference to the Rolling Stones song (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, as well as Napoleon’s conquests. Harper embroiders the entire horse of David’s Napoleon Crossing the Alps. In the original artwork the horse is mostly white with black on its tail and head, where Harper creates a gradient that transforms from black to light grey. What is truly incredible is that this process doesn’t flatten the horse; it retains its form in the sculpting of the flow of the thread. The beast becomes much more powerful and haunting
Art Info has a great slideshow that compares Harper’s sculpture and embroidery work to other well-known artists. See it here.
Beautiful/Decay is pleased to release Book 9: The Seven Deadly Sins!
Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Pride, and Envy have been explored—and challenged—for centuries by artists, scholars, and writers. In this issue of Beautiful/Decay, you’ll find artists who explore these themes through a contemporary lens, either by explicitly calling out those deemed guilty of committing one of the Seven Deadly Sins, or by turning the sweeping notion of sin right on its head.
James Gobel tackles Pride through felt portraits of colorfully clad, sexually charged, plus-size bears, and continuing the exploration of Lust, we have the raw and lascivious Polaroids of Jeremy Kost. View Tom Littleson’s bloody portraiture drawings and their relationship with Wrath. See how cover artists Tim Noble & Sue Webster’s adept use of personified garbage channels Gluttony. Libby Black’s paint-and-paper sculptures replicate Envy-inducing luxury brand goods, while paintings and drawings from Brendan Danielsson address the social and physical epidemic of Sloth. Finally, Greed lies at the center of Ghost of a Dream’s hypnotic sculptural art and immersive installations. We’ve also invited international artists, illustrators, and designers to create original pieces for our Project Pages based on all seven sins.
Other featured artists: Carolyn Janssen, Okay Mountain, Colette Robbins, Cleon Peterson, Micah Ganske, Zoe Charlton, Penelope Gottlieb, Paul Mullins, Keith Puccinelli, Travis Somerville, Kara Maria, Aideen Barry, Travis Collinson, Geoffrey Chasedy, John Knuth.
Each copy of Beautiful/Decay: The Seven Deadly Sins comes blind packed with either a zine by Terence Hannum or Heather Benjamin or a limited edition silk screen print by Paul Nudd!
Place, placed in Argentina, plays with parts of people and pieces of precipitation. Oh, and is really good at creating surreal and beautiful images. Their most current project is for MTV, making MTV just a little bit cooler (what with no music videos aired anymore, they sure need it).
Stefan G. Bucher is a graphic designer, illustrator, author, creator of monsters, and pursuer of obsessions. The (sole) creative force behind 344, his clients have included art galleries, film directors, magazines, record companies, Saks Fifth Avenue and the Blue Man Group. If you’ve seen the Yeti themed Saks Christmas windows, you’ve seen Stefan’s work. The Daily Monster is his, too. The cover of The Matrix soundtrack; typography for Mirror, Mirror; Blue Man Theater. All Stefan G. Bucher.
Aside from his amazing and prodigious creative skills, Stefan is an astute observer of culture and a consistently funny writer. He agreed to be interviewed for Beautiful/Decay.
B/D: Thanks for talking with me, Stefan—I’m just going to jump right in. What’s the most interesting thing you’re working on right now?
Stefan Bucher: It’s my pleasure. The most interesting project I’m working on right now is the pitch for an animated show surrounding the Daily Monsters. It’s a long process of uncertain outcome, but it involves a lot of things I love—illustration, working with a brilliant writer and a genius animation producer, thinking about music and character design. It’s great! I’m also working on a solo gallery show for the spring. That’s just a big beast breathing down my neck. I don’t know how much of it will be retrospective and how much will be new work. I just want it to be a fun trip for the audience.
Interesting series of sculpture from Brooklyn artist Jaye Moon. The boxes almost look like evolved versions of those dioramas you had to make in elementary school to depict scenes from some novel you had to read for class. Except whatever scenes these are meant to reproduce are so much more cerebral. Clean, almost marble-like materials mingle with glowing elements of subdued color to make you wonder. I Could stare at these for a long time coming up with my own scenarios. See more of the artist’s box work after the jump.