The ink drawings of Anton Vill are exquisite and small – about the size of your average fork. Vill is highly skilled in wielding a pen, and he makes tiny marks so fine that they appear as a pencil drawing or even as an engraving from the 17th century. But, looking closely at the subject matter, you discover that they are wholly contemporary, like something out of a nightmare.
We see babies piled in a shopping cart, a grotesque separation of someone’s head, and countless people that are wrapped up in the long hair of a Cousin It-type character. Vill’s work is quietly visceral and bizarre, and it doesn’t immediately strike you as strange; this creates a greater impact when you study his drawings. The longer that you look, the more you’ll discover and get a glimpse into the artist’s imagination. (Via Faith is Torment)
If you haven’t heard the tale of Dock Ellis throwing a no-hitter under the influence of LSD, then you my friend are about to have your socks blown right off. Story goes, Ellis was visiting friends in Los Angeles under the impression he had the day off and went ahead and dropped some tabs and started to chill. Just so happens that Ellis had slept through an entire day, and luckily a friend told him he had to pitch against the Padres that night, so Ellis boarded a flight back and threw a no-hitter despite not being able to feel the ball or clearly see the batter or catcher. Talk about performance enhancing drugs! Well No Mas and artist James Blagden have teamed up to present an awesome animated retelling of Dock Ellis’ legendary LSD no-hitter. Enjoy!!
American artist Robert Wechsler is a bit of a trickster. He takes everyday objects and transforms them into unexpected oddities and puzzling sights. He alters things and spaces, changing our understanding of the most understated and mundane item/place. His latest ‘practical joke’ Money was commissioned by The New Yorker and involves him cutting notches into different coins and slotting them together to look like atoms or complex cube shapes.
He has a fine sense of humor, and has practiced it extensively through previous projects. He has welded nine bikes together to create a giant carousel, re-plumbed a public drinking fountain that fooled thirsty members of the public, and instead of quenching their own thirst, watered nearby plants. Wechsler has also worked with currency before – he has cast a penny 30,000 times it’s size and replaced a manhole cover with it. He explains his motivations:
My focus is necessarily on the familiar. Comfortably accustomed to everyday objects and spaces, we are blind to their unseen beauty and elegance. Who looks at a shopping cart or a toaster for the object itself? This state of static expectations is fertile ground for surprise. It is a conscious re-examination of my subjects that re-instates the novel back into the familiar. This is the moment of surprise, the moment we discover what is unseen in what is always seen. In reverence for what initially appears modest we get a small glimpse of the boundless elegance of our world. (Source)
Adding another conceptual layer to the project, the Money series is exhibited on Cointemporary – the online gallery where you can purchase artworks with bitcoins. (Via Fubiz)
Matt Kaliner is a sociology lecturer at Harvard University with a fascinating side project: the construction of elaborate, beautifully strange sandcastles. “Although I study the sociology of art, amongst other things, I have not worked up anything particularly deep about sandcastles,” he told The Atlantic. “I am motivated entirely by the sheer joy of playing on the beach, and making something out of what I can find that day” (Source). Despite his modesty, Kaliner’s creations are remarkable works of art with imposing presences; fortified with sticks and underground braces, they rise powerfully from the sand, twisted and knotted like ancient geological formations.
Despite the tenuous, ever-crumbling nature of sand, Kaliner’s castles are surprisingly formidable; most of them are swallowed by the rising tide rather than knocked down by it. “Curious kids are the No. 1 killers of my sandcastles, which I certainly sympathize with,” Kaliner says good-humouredly. “I would have done the same at that age!” (Source) Whether by nature or meddlesome child, the inevitable destruction of Kaliner’s works makes them transitory works of art; their limited lifespans heightens their beauty and intensifies their presence.
Check out Kaliner’s work on Flickr. More gravity-defying castles after the jump. (Via Booooooom)
Recently Beautiful/Decay teamed up with our good friends over at Stickerobot.com to print a few new custom stickers and boy did they come out great. We’ve been working with Stickerobot for many years and we love their high quality full color vinyl stickers that hold up whether they are stuck indoors or out. To celebrate the awesome new batch of stickers we just got in we’ve teamed up with Stickerobot.com to bring you a special 10% off code exclusive to Beautiful/Decay readers. Simply visit their site, order your custom vinyl sticker in any size (did I mention you can do full color stickers!), and use the discount code BD10 at checkout to save some cash on your next batch of stickers! Check out more examples of high quality stickers and their many artist collaborations after the jump!
Berlin based architect Diébédo Francis Kéré grew up in the west African nation of Burkina Faso. Kéré is the founder of Schulbausteine für Gando, a non-profit organization that provides aid in education, health and infrastructure for Gando, his home village in Burkina Faso. He uses his architecture firm, Kere Architecture, as an agent in his quest to strengthen Gando. Kere Architecture has built office buildings, schools, libraries, and opera houses in Burkina Faso in addition to its many completed projects around the world. Check out this public library in Gando: clay pots, provided by members of the village, are embedded in the library’s ceiling to provide “natural illumination and ventilation”. (via)
Melbourne-based photographer Biony Ridley describes her work as an adventure or a fairytale, saying that her lack of organization when it comes to shooting images helps lends her work an element of chance.
A while back I had a chance to do an interview with artist Kim Dorland- and was excited to learn that his show will be opening at Mark Moore gallery this Saturday, March 20th! I haven’t gotten a chance to see them in person yet, but these works are gorgeous. Dorland makes use of a sumptuous impasto creating narratives that are visceral, expansive and nostalgic all at once…all the more reason to see them in person.