Kristina Diamond‘s photography series, “I Will Be Dying and So Will You,” makes you feel like you’re having one of those dreams that you don’t particularly care to wake up from. You know, the one where you’ve finally discovered the other fantastic and terrible world residing just around the corner of your consciousness. You have those dreams too, right?
Well, Diamond does. She has developed a moody sort of wonderland in which man is not king, in fact he, or she in this case, seems to be struggling to maintain her very existence. Falling from rocks, blotted out by shrubbery–I don’t believe our flaxen-haired heroin is long for this world.
It’s this sense of anxiety in Diamond’s photographs that is most intriguing, the sense that something awful is about to happen. Diamond captures that bittersweet lull before the storm with delicate accuracy. But is our heroin simply afraid of waking up? Or is the disquiet caused by something more menacing?
Rajni Perera’s work is a wondrous fusion of different mythologies, cultures and viewpoints. Her wildly colored drawings combine Hindu imagery, pre-historic animal beasts, galaxy prints produced by the Hubble Deep Field Telescope and the figures of exotic women. She works with techniques and symbols from Indian miniaturist art, Blaxploitation and pop culture references, forming her very own mythology.
Born in Sri Lanka, Perera is drawing on her own immigrant background and her transient state moving between Eastern and Western cultures to illustrate a unique standpoint that it both specific and universal. Her work is an exploration of what it means to be cross cultural in today’s world, and is her trying to dissect those layers in a way she, and us, can understand. A big subject in her work is the representation of female sexuality, and also the presentation of Asian and South Asian cultures in a predominately male Caucasian world. But she says perhaps it isn’t that straight forward.
I don’t know if I really want to make statements about racial prejudice, at least maybe I feel I’ve moved past that in my work. More like I try to make images questioning the projected, or fabricated sexuality behind circulated images (be it on screen, print or the web) of the colored female body in pop culture or otherwise, i.e. ethnic pornography. (Source)
We’ve all seen them- they’re these hyper-stereotypical web images of African girls in beads and wood, Japanese girls in kimonos, and Indian girls in saris; all very subservient, all very saleable; this is my point. There’s something for sale there. (Source)
For Perera the thing that is a common thread connecting Eastern and Western cultures is Kitsch: The idea of culture being re-appropriated by, or passed between, one another. Hollywood and Bollywood are essentially two heads of the same beast, and Perera certainly draws that beast spectacularly.
Brian Jungen turns every day objects on their heads, revealing the potential for magic and mystery in even the most mundane moments. Above, baseball mitts become a punk-rock mannequin, or a warrior’s armor. Plastic lawn chairs become the hulking exoskeleton of a whale. Hundreds of trash bins become the building block for a sci-fi geodesic dome, or a giant turtle’s vacated shell. His ability to transform is nothing short of alchemical!
Beautiful/Decay wants to wish intern superstar Jennifer Razo a big thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all her hard work and help over these last 3 months! Jennifer is a prolific creative….from design, photography, illustration and beyond. Check out her work on her Flickr account and blog! We are looking forward to all your future creative endeavors!
From re-blogging work by other artists to generating your own solo digital exhibition, the ability to collect and show art has never been so fast, affordable, and publicly personable, thanks to Tumblr. According to Brad Troemel, viewing art on this platform can help us “gain a greater art-informed appreciation for worthy cultural relics long deemed non-art.”
Take Tim Bierbaum and John Miller. Their online “Baguette-Me-Nots” Tumblr blog series consistently pairs a vast array of comedians with baguettes in contemporary settings. While some might simply call this series a lowbrow photo fad parallel to “planking” or “breading cats,” others might compare it to something like Dada meets “cyber” street art– brilliantly funny, evoking nonsensical play, and showcased in an egalitarian manner: on a digital wall outside of the gallery system. After all, the word Dada might have been born from Tristan Tzara and Marcel Janco’s constant usage of “da, da” meaning “yes, yes” in Romanian– a word comedians and improvisers know and love fondly.