Jeffrey Meyer‘s latest investment is creating a series of collages. Maybe not a series, but a bunch of collages. They’re retro and weird and fun and bright and everything we here at Beautiful/Decay love and adore… including space and high-waisted pants.
Photographer SD Holman uses her talent as a portrait photographer to capture women who fall outside of the traditional gender binary. In her series “BUTCH: Not Like the Other Girls,” masculine women are not oddity or other. These are photos of women who identify as butch captured by a butch woman—they are women defining themselves. In this way, Butch has much in common with the current social campaigns stripping women of makeup, enhancements, and retouching and declaring them more beautiful without the artifice. This is part of Holman’s intent with the show—to use the Butch identity as an example of one of the classifications through which women are objectified. The difference though is the hate and fear that Butch women have faced as transgressors of societal constructs of femininity. Holman says:
“Butches and all gender variant folk walk in a world that is really hostile to them, so we tend to look inward. I was inspired to show their beauty by my wife Catherine, a femme who loved butches, and encouraged me to do this when I started talking about it.”
The rich diversity of butch women is evidenced here. Just as there isn’t one way to be a woman, Butch includes women of all shapes and colors and styles. The fluidity of gender is apparent in each photo.
Holman is an artist. Her portraits are classically beautiful, with their artful lighting and dramatic contrasts. The subjects mostly gaze through the lens to the viewer, unapologetic and authentic. There is no contrivance in these images, no sense of willful provocation nor is there any sense of apology. Author Amy Bloom writes, “Intimacy is being seen and known as the person you truly are.” These photos are intimate and groundbreaking, brave and matter-of-fact, beautiful and handsome.
Interesting paintings done in oil on lexan from Brooklyn-based artist Liza Lacroix. Portraits rendered in lush, swimming applications of color, the works maintain a haunting distance and obscurity. Our faces are the most expressive elements of our bodies by far, and somehow Lacroix’s denial of direct access to such expression makes you want to stare at these tormented paintings even more; to try and uncover the meaning that’s hidden in plain sight.
The artist opens Works, a solo exhibition, this Thursday, 7-10 PM at Candamill Gallery, 89 Mercer St. NYC.
Zach Johnsen‘s use of graphite and watercolor in his work such as Coffee Break, and many other pieces, is what really attracts me to his work. I like how he doesn’t use the watercolors in the most traditional style. The watercolor and graphite work well together and individually, and his subjects plus style just make me want to study all the details of his different pieces. Zach Johnsen also has a really interesting style and way of working because he uses coffee as a medium in a lot of his pieces which give them a really unique look and makes him stand out as a artist.
Our obsession with cats has a long and multi-cultured history. Long before Grumpy, Garfield and Felix, the Japanese were depicting cats in their artwork. A new exhibit set to open at New York’s Japan Society entitled “Life of Cats” studies the feline’s depiction during the Japanese Edo period. The period comprises a little over 250 years between 1615-1867, that saw a prolific use of cats (hi harmony), particularly in pieces made from Ukiyo-e woodblock prints. The printing technique was initially introduced to distribute texts of Buddhist scriptures. In 1765 a new technology made it possible to produce a single sheet using up to 20 colors. This allowed artists to take full advantage of palette and soon cats were appearing in a multitude of roles.
The first cat surfaced in Japan around the sixth century. They were brought over from China on ships transporting sacred scrolls written by monks. The Buddhists believed cats were mindful creatures and when an enlightened person died they would first come back as a cat before reaching nirvana. The exhibit at Japan Society is divided up into 5 categories: Cats and people, Cats as people, Cats vs. people, Cats transformed and Cats and play. Since the woodblock prints mainly depicted courtesans and Kabuki actors we see these figures in numerous works interacting with cats. The colors are exquisite and most of the scenes between human and feline is endearing. Some of the weirder prints are hybrid looking cat people and as mentioned earlier stems from the Buddhist belief of an enlightened being transforming into a cat before reaching nirvana. A popular motif was the common leisurely activities of a village, in these we see cats role playing as people relaxing at spas and playing in parks. (via hyperallergic)
Moritz Resl is a graphic designer based in Vienna, Austria. A smart designer with a minimalistic style, Moritz does not pollute his work with a number of narrative imagery all sharing one composition and message. Instead, he communicates the concept of his work by creating just a single, simple image. For instance, based on this year’s World Cup event, Moritz created a poster featuring an impression of a torch (edit: vuvuzela! Even better! Thanks for noticing the error guys) by combining various world continents together, all sitting in a sea of blue. Smart, well-articulated, and aesthetically sound.