As part of our ongoing partnership with Dailyserving, Beautiful/Decay is sharing Marilyn Goh’s article on Rob McLeod.
Even fanatic football fans would be hard-pressed to remember a Glaswegian football team called Partick Thistle, a perpetual underdog in First Division Scottish Football League that’s oft-joked about because of their non-winning ways. Getting behind a team that tries every week but gets nowhere requires no small measure of faith, an action probably synonymous with holding out hope in the long term for that which may never materialise. Supporting Partick Thistle is a show that utilizes the metaphor of supporting a losing football team that is akin to the nature and process of painting, a medium which Glasgow-born artist Robert McLeod believes most people think should be dead and buried.
McLeod’s hardly naive about this realm – he recognizes all too well the usefulness of painting in what he does – yet he remains a steadfast bearer of its gilded history and value, practicing it, then teaching it. He came to New Zealand 40 years ago wanting to continue where abstract artists such as Willem de Kooning and Alan Davie left off, looking to break away from the rigid formality of his art training in Glasgow. But after 30 years of studying minimalism and abstract expressionism, McLeod noticed a part of Micky Mouse’s ears in an abstract work and turned his practice to exploring the figurative. Most of the work in this show comes from the past decade, comprising mostly three-dimensional paintings on plywood, where layered forms and colour combine to create a motley crew of cartoonish figures that are loud, grotesque and irreverent.
Malick Sidibé’s magnificent portraits of sweeping personal and cultural changes in post-colonial Africa have been celebrated around the world. Positioned at the junction of Malian independence in 1960 and a period of rapid modernization, his works bear witness to the joy, insouciance and confidence of Africa’s youth revolution.
Artist, Designer, Filmmaker, and all-around dude-that-makes-stuff, Greg Ruben, just released a new music video project for So Many Wizards‘ “Inner City.” The video follows an average joe dressed in business-usual as he embarks on the ultimate lunch break in and around a lot of unique spots in Los Angeles. The film’s aesthetic approach is really hypnotizing. You’ll have to see for yourself after the jump…
Decadent desserts are paired with sexy legs in Argentinian-based artist Camila Valdez’s series of life and table-sized sculptures. The faceless beings are placed in public and are posed on benches, seen exiting restaurants, and enjoying a picnic in the park. Despite the fact they can’t convey emotion through eyes or a mouth, Valdez has made their legs expressive. They are straight and together if trying to look pensive, or partially open as if trying to suggest something else.
This series literally objectifies women and compares them to a sugary treat that will rot your treat and should be enjoyed only every-so-often. At the same time, they reference outdated objects from the middle of the 20th century, where legs were attached to things like lamps (as seen in the film A Christmas Story). Valdez pokes fun at this absurd and fantastical objectification of the population. (Via HiFructose)
Sarah Bowman is a photographer based in Nanaimo, Canada, whose passion for portraiture and surrealist imagery has blossomed into this darkly beautiful series, entitled Maiden of Ravens. Made in collaboration with model/visionary Annalise Silverwolf, these images present a romantic, alternative world, wherein an ethereal goddess-figure stalks through the trees and underbrush. With sticks and grasses adorning her head and her forearms covered with what appears to be gauntlets of blood, she melds beautifully with the ominous environment, invoking the spirit of ravens — those beautiful and dark carrion birds that symbolize both life and death. The model’s pale skin and dark red dress add further to the series’ grimly alluring atmosphere. Sarah has done an excellent job accentuating the green and red tones, which highlight the ghostly and rain-wet beauty of Vancouver Island’s forests and swamps.
When I chatted briefly with Sarah about her photography and future projects, she expressed a burgeoning desire to collaborate with designers in the creation of fine art portraiture, as she is inspired by “whimsical, ethereal, and surreal creations.” As an artist, her utmost goal throughout all of her work is to “please [her] viewers and hope to overachieve their expectations,” while also “collaborating with models and […] mak[ing] them feel beautiful and extraordinary about their talent.” Given the depth, intricacy, and evocative power of Maiden of Ravens, there is no doubt that Sarah has indeed achieved and surpassed her creative and professional objectives. Follow her Facebook page and check out her website to keep up with her work as she continues to collaborate with more designers and models in the creation of surrealist, fine art imagery.
For over two years Mark Addison Smith has been keeping a visual catalogue of strange, funny, awkward, and quirky conversations he’s overheard. Each day he writes down things he hears and at the end of the day creates simple yet effective text based illustrations based on the one liners. What started Mr.Smith on this epic project? Here’s what started it all in the artists own words- ” The idea for this on-going series came about in 2008 during an evening walk to the train. A girl approached me in the Chicago Loop and asked me for a cigarette. I don’t smoke. She replied, “ahh, you look like the right type” and ran off. I ran home and illustrated her words, and have been drawing dialogue ever since.”