Cynthia Ona Innis‘ paintings are explorations between the relationships of, “the healthy/sick, sublime, wet/dry, sexual, growth/rot, stiff/limp/squishy, thriving and failure that are the fragile properties of the body and nature.” These abstract explorations and relationships are represented in a mixture of blobs of colors, shapes, lines, composition and space. As she herself mentions, she has a great interest in organic forms that can be seen represented through colors chosen and shapes.
The Story behind Snow White: On september 18th, the day of the shooting, Cornelia was celebrating her 94th birthday. She traveled 500 km to celebrate that day here in Buenos Aires, with almost 50 relatives. She arrived to the shooting with Pilar, her granddaughter. And I couldn’t believe that woman was that age! She is adorable, with a contagious energy. Mother of 12 children, having lost 6 of them, she grew up in the countryside and has had a strong life. However, she keeps such a great attitude & sense of humour. She is that kind of people who makes you to realize how beautiful life is.
The Story behind Superman: That wednesday, when I opened the door, there was a tall man impeccably dressed, in a grey suit. His name is Nestor, a 75 years old man, widower since 2 years ago after having been married for 41 years. Losing the partner of his life made him to realize that he must do something to continue, and that was how he discovered the passion about acting, singing and dancing. He is a very polite man, and his energy is admirable. At the age of 75, he does exercise every day and enjoys working, more for fun than for money. He is such an interesting person!
The Story behind Wonder Woman: I met Virginia more than 7 years ago, when she started taking care of Lorenzo, my 8 years old godson. Now she is like his grandmother. Mother of two sons and married for almost 40 years, she came to Buenos Aires at her 15 years old. Since that moment she never stopped work. I knew she would be happy to do this photographs, she is so smily and funny person; she is always ready to help and really knows how to enjoy life. I think I never saw her with bad humour in all these years…That is why I choose her to be Wonder Woman.
Romina Ressia set out to confront the realities of life and the fallibility of our childhood inspirations in her series “Not About Death”. The captions record her relationship to her subjects and her reasoning for casting them as each character. They are humorous portraits – especially when set up beside each other in the poster format – and the humour makes them that much more appealing as true figures of inspiration.
730 liters (193 gallons) of white paint were needed to cover the 1625m2 (2000 yards) rooftop of an old chocolate factory in Moscow. Pokras Lampas and his team manufactured 4 big brooms of 1 meter long each that he used to ‘write’ on the floor. During 2 days, the artist designed and producer Sergey Valyaev filmed the experience. (See the video above) Alternatively showing the talent of Pokras Lampas, the huge surface he used a his canvas and the passion and wonder which transported the young artist. The whole team a.k.a. Smokin’ Heroes, risked the possible rain and the potential delay of the paint delivery coming from another city to achieve the colossal artwork.
The entire surface of the rooftop is covered in calligraphy in concentric circles in a language ‘dedicated to the moments of inspiration and creativity’. The aesthetic and the style is close to artist Retna’s work which, at a smaller scale, also covers walls. The cursive letters and the urban locations used by artists who calligraphy create a modern approach to a traditional art. Behind the performance, there’s a desire to trigger visual excitement for the eyes.
Tucson boy Andrew Hayes creates industrial sculptures from books. His work, reminiscent of minimalist pieces from the 1960s and 1970s, uses seemingly simple manipulations to create beautiful compositions employing the use of color blocking and the glorification of materiality.
Drawing inspiration from the American desert landscape in his earlier works, Hayes created the foundation of his style through fabricating steel. After his studies, Hayes worked as an industrial welder. While bouncing between jobs, he found himself as a Core Fellow at the Penland School of Crafts in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Bakersville, North Carolina. During this time, Hayes began to explore with various materials and forms, eventually finding his way to the book. He states,
“The book is a seductive object to hold and smell and run your fingers through. I am drawn to books for many reasons; however, the content of the book does not enter my work. The pages allow me to achieve a form, surface, and texture that are appealing to me. The book as an object is full of fact and story. I take my sensory appreciation for the book as a material and employ the use of metal to create a new form, and hopefully a new story.”
Sticking true to the celebration of form and material, Hayes work is truly striking and exudes a sort of power associated with fabrication. However, the introduction of the book allows a softness that is not only a fun play on an aesthetic staple, but also hints at a element of elusiveness — as he does not use the contents of the books — his work invites an aspect of imagination for the viewer. (via iGNANT)
George Boorujy is a New York-based artist who paints large-scale animal portraits with ink. His subjects are non-human inhabitants of North America, such as bluebirds, lynxes, vultures, and black bears. Each species is incredibly researched, and it shows; after visiting zoos and studying photographs, Boorujy recreates the animals with painstaking detail. Every feather and tuft of fur is accounted for, creating a palpable and almost hyper-realistic sense of texture and animation. Set against a white backdrop, the viewer gets the rare opportunity to study the animals and appreciate their distinctiveness and beauty.
There is no denying that Boorujy’s subjects have a way of demanding our attention; their silent, steady gazes drill into the soul, in a deeply personal encounter. When our eyes meet, the boundaries between “humans” and “animals” fall away into a greater awareness of cross-species consciousness. The following quoted statement from Colossal reveals the emotional and philosophical intent of Boorujy’s works:
“Boorujy challenges the viewer to confront both the animal and their preconceived notions about it. Through their gaze an interaction evolves with the wild that otherwise would have to be sought out or birthed from happenstance. However fleeting our exchanges with the wild are, an impression of their presence marks our memories. There is something mystical at play; a silent exchange that either moves us towards awareness or heightens our fear of the unknown.” (Source)
Designer Nickolay Lamm has designed a “Normal Barbie,” who has the same body issues as “regular” people. This doll, called Lammily, comes with stickers to show acne, tattoos, stretch marks, and other imperfections that make us (and her) human. Now, before you rush out and buy one for every child in your life, it’s probable this design is tongue-in-cheek, and questionable how much kids will enjoy it at first.
However, it is a good barometer to measure ourselves against. Barbie- the old school Barbie I had growing up- embodies the idea of perfection, one that is fed to children at a very young age and subconsciously produces vast feelings of inadequacy and the idea that woman should measure up to specific proportions, proportions that aren’t even attainable. Everyone knows that Barbie’s curves cannot exist on a real human’s body. So why do we form her that way? What role models are we giving our children and what does that say about our society? Food for thought.
Here is some more about Lammily:
“A sticker pack that comes with the doll allows kids to apply all the sorts of skin imperfections that real people have, teaching kids that they don’t have to aspire to or value the unrealistic body images promoted by Barbie or Ken dolls. And, judging by the reactions of the 2nd-graders Lamm showed his doll to, the message has been received with open arms!”
Beautiful/Decay is honoring its DIY zine roots by teaming up with 5 artists from around the country to bring you their limited edition zines. Mailed exclusively to Beautiful/Decay subscribers, each copy of Beautiful/Decay Book:8 will come complete with
it’s very own zine. Each B/D subscriber will receive a different zine blind packed into their issue. These zines are not available in stores, only B/D subscribers will receive them. Subscribe today to make sure you get your hands on one of these exclusive zines. Read about the talented zine makers after the jump and click on the subscribe link to reserve your copy of Beautiful/Decay Book:8 with the limited edition zine today!
Jon Rafman has been featured a few times on Beautiful/Decay, but this time it is for his 9-eyes blog curation project. It’s named 9-eyes for the camera Google Maps uses to create ‘Street View’, and he has managed to find some very captivating images. Each one holds mystery, as you wonder how such a moment might have been captured. Some are more easily explained than others, of course, such as the blue car run into a ditch. Others are not so much mysterious as seemingly improbable or exciting (how did it happen that the monkey looked straight at the camera just as the Google Van rolled by?) The most interesting, though, are the ones for which you cannot find an explanation. Here is where your imagination runs free, and the magic happens. This is because of the uniformity of the format, and our familiarity with Google ‘Street View’.
It is understood that Google ‘Street View’ photographs are taken by a camera atop a van as it journeys across the world. It is firmly stationed in reality. Still, we are provided with these surreal images, captured entirely by chance. It’s exciting, and creates wonder in the viewer to see something that is difficult to imagine could be real, yet seemingly must be, because it’s actually less believable that it isn’t. Having seen Donnie Darko, I can’t help but imagine that the watery trail left behind the vehicle in the second picture is that same kind of time path. Obviously it is not, but what makes these images so exceptional is that they did happen, whether by error or by some means outside our rational understanding, and so we are allowed to let ourselves imagine how they’ve come to be. It’s the closest we come to objective documentation of the world we live in, and it still manages to be surprising without our purposeful interference.