In 2009, Brazilian artist Néle Azevedo created 1000 men and women figurines made out of ice for the completion of her Public art installation, The Minimum Monument (Melting Men). Throughout its life in the outdoor space, the ice figurines slowly melted until their disappearance. Originally placed in Berlin’s Gendarmenmarkt Square, the piece was to bring awareness of Global Warming. Minimum Monument was then installed in Ireland as part of the Festival of Queens; there, the artist, recreated the original in order to visually remind people of the melting ice caps in Greenland and Antarctica. Since then, the installation has travelled to many cities around the world and it remains internationally known as ‘climate-change art’.
Browsing through Keith Allen Phillips’ website, I found many sexy portraits of nude women, but with his series Messy, he takes his photography in a different direction. Phillips covers his models with a variety of foods from chocolate to Cheetos to sprinkles and icing sugar, and the results are pretty unexpected. Although some are still quite sexual, like when the model looks out at you from below a layer of creamy and chocolate while licking a finger, most don’t have that ‘food sex’ kind of vibe. By the time I reached the ones with a pink marshmallow mohawk, I realized I was barely processing the food as food, anymore.
Recently I wrote an article about Will Cotton, and Phillips feels like the anti-Cotton. Whereas Cotton’s world of food and women is soft, beautiful, and delectable, Messy has a harder edge, and one that I find more appealing. Once again, I’m drawn to the marshmallow mohawk woman, this time screaming out. She looks like a very intimidating alien. I find that although I have some difficulty with the idea of Phillips smearing food all over these women, the women rock it with a powerful presence, which is more than I can say of Cotton’s work. Each artist is experimenting with food, and beauty and sexuality in women. Phillips takes the viewer somewhere they didn’t expect to go. (Via Lost at E Minor)
Photographer Jean Francois Lepage has been recycling. Lepage is a well known fashion photographer who in recent years has been concentrating on fine art projects. One called “Recycle” uses his fashion photography as background to his painting, drawing and cutting. This presents a kind of superimposed painting onto a photograph which has both modernist and classical references. The works hint at Picasso, Calder and Klee, but also finds new ground in the photo image combined with other mediums. Whereas fashion photography mostly projects a self-absorbed glance, Lepage reinvents these same photographs to look within its subject instead of just on the surface.
In some of the pictures, he draws over the faces to hide the features. This turns the picture into a more abstract form and allows the shapes of his subjects to be seen as free flowing objects instead of just perfect physical specimens selling a product. In others, Lepage renders marks which could be interpreted as word bubbles or strange appendages, sometimes outlining and extending beyond the figure. The colors are bold and primary in some while in others he opts to color over in softer pastel shades. The more intriguing works are those with less coloring and just black outlining which lend a sculptural element.
Lepage finds an agreeable shortcut to the painted image. He finds inspiration in the balance of what is real and imagined.
It’s not often that I post artwork by kids but the Aidan really struck a chord with me. Aidan is no ordinary 5 year old boy, in fact he is quite extraordinary. What sets him apart from most kids is his love for all things scary. He loves monsters, clowns, drawing, and dressing up. He doesn’t wait for Halloween to roll around to have an excuse to wear a costume. And you better believe while in costume he will break character for nothing. His Drawings are full of attitude and motion, featuring werewolfs, scary clowns, and ghoulish monsters (i.e. my favorite stuff!) We’re probably the first art blog to feature Aidan but don’t be too surprised if we shortly become the first Art publication to feature him as well!
Another thing that makes Aidan different than most children is that on September 13, 2010 he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). He was strong and pulled through his first round of chemo all while teasing his nurses and vistors. Although this was a small victory, Aidan unfortunately must go through 2 to 3 more years of chemo treatments and everything that goes along with that.
In an effort to help raise funds for Aidan Beautiful/Decay will donate $2 dollars from every subscription from October 29th to November 30th towards Aidan’s medical bills. It’s a small gesture but with the help of fellow B/D Cult members we can help raise money for a good cause and support our fellow artist Aidan. Make to forward this post to all your friends. I know that times are tough but one of our own needs us! So get those wallets out, get a subscription or two to Beautiful/Decay and help us kick some Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia ass!
I’m loving these layered yet simple abstractions by Vancouver based painter Jeff Depner.
Samuel Fosso is one of the most renowned and prodigious young African photographers. His fantastical portraits of different types of people – from African Chiefs to American women – are revealed, upon closer inspection, to be self-portraits. A witty and ironic exploration of self-identity, Fosso’s work has been shown in major global venues such as the Photographers’ Gallery in London and the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
Artist Mister Finch is a seamster, dollmaker, and reclaimer of lost souls. He works in discarded trinkets and found objects, cobbling them together into sculptures and models from a strange and much more wondrous place. “Scraps of thread, fabric and paper are stitched and pulled into fairytale creatures looking for new owners and worlds to inhabit,” the splashpage to his webpage proclaims. “They hide in the woods, behind masks, some have died along the way and are buried under spoon lockets.”
For inspiration, Mister Finch turns to nature and his native British folklore. “British folklore is also so beautifully rich in fabulous stories and warnings and never ceases to be at the heart of what I make,” he says. “Shape shifting witches, moon gazing hares and a smartly dressed devil ready to invite you to stray from the path.” The fantastical touch of myth and fairy tale can be seen in the inviting curl of pristine pastel toadstools and creatures that are half fox, half human.
By all appearances, the materials of his art have been truly transformed from their former life in this world, becoming something magical along the way. Of his choice to recycle, Mister finch says: “It’s a joy to hunt for things for my work… the lost, found and forgotten all have places in what I make. Most of my pieces use recycled materials, not only as an ethical statement, but I believe they add more authenticity and charm. A story sewn in, woven in.” (via This Is Colossal)
Special Problems is a multi-disciplinary creative studio composed of Campbell Hooper, Darron Lilley and Joel Kefali. Their work fuses hand drawn, painted, video, animation and illustration–often recontextualized in new and surprising ways. They recently interviewed with Beautiful/Decay to discuss their design collective, their approach, and thought processes behind their videos.