Compelled by her love for birds of prey, the Connecticut-based artist Brenda Lyons paints naturalistic images of animals real and imagined onto delicate feathers shed by wild turkeys. Her painting style is heavily influenced by the work of 19th century ornithologist John James Audubon, the author of the legendary illustrated text The Birds of America. Juxtaposed with the indexical aesthetic of her illustrations is the imaginative and fragile surfaces, which miraculously hold the luminous, soulful animal portraits.
Lyons’s work is a true marriage of science and imagination; alongside the more objective Audubon, she cites influences like Arthur Rackham and Susan Seddon-Boulet, famed for their magical images of faeries and mythological beings. With her brush, pen, and pencil, Lyons depicts the fantastical phoenix with the same realism as she grants the gray-nosed golden retriever. Domestic animals are afforded the same wildness as feral creatures; a cat sits, a mischievous glint in his eye.
The paintings, like living beasts, blend seamlessly into the turkey feathers, as if they grew and sprung forth from the same mother bird. The curves of the lost feathers dictate the movement and form of the animals; an eagle’s wing vanishes into the downey tufts of twin feathers, their shafts seeming to support his body. The phoenix crouches, his talons caught in the ashes that collect at the base of the feather.
For the artist, the painted features are a way of satisfying her wanderlust; like birds of flight, her hands dance, imagining strange and wonderful worlds where animals run wild. Take a look. (via Oddity Central)
Our friends at portfolio site builder Made With Color have teamed up with Beautiful/Decay yet again to bring you exclusive artist features. Each week we join forces to bring you some of the most exciting artists and designers working today who use Made With Color to create their clean and sleek websites. Made With Color doesn’t just help artists create minimal and mobile/tablet responsive websites but allows them to do so in a few minutes without having to touch a line of code.This week we are happy to share the work of mixed media artist Cassandra Jones.
Cassandra Jones uses thousands of found images collected from stock photography
agencies, eBay, and public domain archives to create her dazzling digital collages. Culling through thousands of found images, she compiles these photographs to create imagery that tell stories about human observation and the power of photographic imagery in our snap-happy contemporary lifestyle.
Two standout bodies of works by Jones includes her Good Cheer and Lightning Drawing series. In Good Cheer Jones takes stock photos of peppy cheerleaders performing stunts that flaunt their briefs and transforms them into a mesmerizing geometric patterned wallpaper. This type of photography, a young girl in uniform with one leg up in the air, has a duel connotation of family values and pornography all in one image. Good Cheer surrounds the viewer in this paradox of ethical ambiguity. In Lightning Drawing Jones turns to found images of lightning. Merging “Remix Culture” with traditional mark making, Jones groups and connects stock photos of lightning bolts, end to end, to draw a series of circles. Each of these pieces is executed with a different and distinct line quality, including bold, thin, feathered, overlapping, meandering, and fluid linear scores.
About her work Jones States:
My photography archives and the works I create from them are documents of a banality that have emerged from an over-abundance of common imagery. Led by a desire to create a counter to convention, I am attempting to liberate specific visual clichés by embracing them. I draw connections between theses images to demonstrate that the most prevalent scenes we are compelled to capture, somehow link us. Alone, these photos have diverse meanings but when intertwined and woven together they reveal much larger stories of history, ritual, desire and innate human aesthetics, regardless of author.
Located in the heart of Kansas City, this project represents one of the pioneer projects behind the revitalization of Downtown KC. The iconic book bindings clad the outside of the parking structure for the new downtown library and help solidify the building as the cornerstone to the new Library District. Designed by Dimensional Innovations, local residents got to vote on which books would appear on the libraries facade. (via)
The current political situation in Greece is on everybody’s mind at the moment. So the installation by Madrid based artist SpY couldn’t be more poignant. Made up of €1000 worth of 2c coins, he glued the coins to a neighborhood wall in Bilbao, spelling out CRISIS in bold, eye catching capital letter. Not surprisingly, given the current financial state across the continent, the passing public helped themselves to the work, and in less than 24 hours, all of the coins had disappeared.
An active urban artist since the 80s, SpY has been long involved in making subtle social commentary for all to see. He often installs large letters or text-based work on the sides of buildings, or creates shapes in ivy on walls; has wrapped up a police car in plastic and has also formed inaccessible areas that make people look twice. He interrupts people’s daily routes to work, or comments on the urban structures that surround them.
The bulk of his production stems from the observation of the city and an appreciation of its components, not as inert elements but as a palette of materials overflowing with possibilities. His ludic spirit, careful attention to the context of each piece, and a not invasive, constructive attitude, unmistakably characterize his interventions. (Source)
No doubt SpY’s techniques are effective – his irony and positive humor draw attention to pressing social matters, and in a non-aggressive way, make viewers think twice about their political and physical environment.
SpY’s pieces want to be a parenthesis in the automated inertia of the urban dweller. They are pinches of intention, hidden in a corner for whoever wants to let himself be surprised. (Source)
Thank You Very Much, an artist collective out of Buenos Aires, looks like a really cool, ambitious group. Limiting access to different creative vehicles is never a good thing, and TYVM is definitely not trying to do so. Working with over 40 artists from around the world, they’ve got their hands in everything: production, exhibition, design/marketing, etc. Recently, co-director Luciano Podcaminsky staged in exhibition of five installation pieces at the Centro Cultural Recoleta in B.A. The show, which “mixes conceptual art with POP culture”, gives you a good idea of what the collective is interested in doing. Find more images and some words from Podcaminsky on the exhibit after the jump.
Baltimore-based artist Jordan Kasey creates large-scale oil paintings of surreal scenes that include monumental figures and objects. In these strange worlds, her subjects occupy entire compositions and are often distorted by a canvas’ constraints. Although they could seemingly exist anywhere, we see them fused with both the aquatic and natural landscape.
There’s an emphasis on hands and fingers in Kasey’s paintings. We’ll often see pair of hands hugging or carefully cradling colorful, rock-like objects. Fingers on opposing hands match up to form tiny arches that make her faceless subjects look as though they’re plotting something. It doesn’t feel sinister, though, but almost absent of any emotion whatsoever.
While some of Kasey’s works are devoid of identifying details, others replace the expected with the unexpected. Facial features are altered with aquatic rocks, coral, and sea plants. It creates an odd-yet-familiar place whose tightly-rendered subjects begin to approach a level of uncanniness. While we know Kasey’s work is fantastical, it looks realistic enough that we might try and apply logic to it.
Lithuanian artist Severija Incirauskaite embroiders everyday metal objects like pans, spoons, watering cans, shovels, and even cars. Incirauskaite drills holes into the metal objects, then uses cotton thread that generally corresponds to the color of the chosen object, emphasizing the importance of the object. She generally uses mass patterns from different hobby magazines, combining popular craft techniques with nontraditional methods of execution. Of her work, she says, “Personally, I don’t like extraordinary situations – I like everyday life. People often think that a situation like a wedding or exotic travels etc are the most important in their lives. I think the opposite, I think that everyday life is more important because it unites all our lives.”