As 2013 draws to a close, it becomes easier to see the trends in art, design and visual storytelling that attracted especially popular interest over the year. Among them were the use of superheroes, which only decades ago were confined to a mythology only ‘nerds’ spoke of. But with superheroes becoming ever-more popular and Geek culture no longer a source of shame, comic book and science fiction heroes have become instantly recognizable forms of pop symbolism for many. Beautiful/Decay featured the work of Andreas Englund’s aging superhero paintings, Alex Lukas’ referential superhero screenprints and Antonio Strafella’s comic heroes as saints, all who took these mythologies and blended them with updated styles, forms, perspectives and techniques.
Josh Lane (Ln) took the same cues with his perfectly titled Hero-Glyphics series, combining a variety of classic comic book (the X-men, Spiderman, the Avengers) and sci-fi (Star Trek) heroes, and re-imagining them in the style of Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Ln expands on the classic heroes as well, also casting 90’s nostalgia (in the form of the Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) as well as newer comic and movie characters (Kick-Ass).
Prints available here, “excavated and restored by artist and adventurer Josh Ln”.
Nic Joly’s tiny figurative sculptures are proof that you don’t necessarily have to go big to grab viewers attention. His brilliant miniature sculptures create narratives that we can all relate to such as walking on the edge of danger (or a razor blade) and riffs on the famous sayings such as “The pen is ,ightier than the sword”
Photographer Shanna Allyn is the master of a universe where women are covered in kittens, faces are obscured with food, and they have eyes like a cartoon character. Her series, Strange Beautiful, is, not surprisingly, strange. This coupled with Allyn’s style of photography (which seems less focused on technical aspect and more on documentation) takes the viewer through a bizarre world where there are more questions than answers.
In a statement about her work written by T. Martin Crouse, co-founder of the publisher Sic Semper Serpent, he describes it as, “The use of quirky objects combined with the locations and postures of her models creates a sense of surrealism. Out of place props in a variety of lateral interpretations have a strong effect.” Later, he goes on to say, “In Shanna’s universe of tampon cigarettes and hotdog mouthpieces, who really has control?” That statement itself is absurd and captures the essence of what Allyn is trying to do. These photographs record what goes on in her world, which is comprised mostly of a group of women with cartoonish eyes. They wear them as a mask, allowing them to look unaffected and apathetic. Nothing phases them, and we don’t immediately understand their motivations.
I see Allyn as a documentarian, capturing images that aren’t full of tension or sadness, but just show a day in the life of Strange Beautiful. The emotions that these models don’t show is compensated by our associations to objects in the images and content she presents.
Artist and architect Hong Yi emphasizes ‘art’ in culinary art. Her simple white dishes are plated with food. However, this is more than a simple meal. Only using these white dishes and food ingredients, Hong Yi recreates famous works of art, light hearted scenes, and pop culture icons. The project began as 31 days of creativity in March – an exercise she began to encourage more creativity every day. Each day Hong Yi would create a new piece and post it on instagram. [via]
Armando Veve’s stippled drawings take you to microscopic forgotten worlds.
Eliot Lee Hazel may be an LA based photographer but his photographs subjects look like the inhabitants of an artist colony on mars. Think Silverlake but in space.
Do you know thousands of artists and designers who need to get some well deserve exposure? Do love writing about art and want an outlet? Do you want over a million monthly readers from around the world reading and hanging on your every word? Do you want to join Beautiful/Decay in our quest for all things groundbreaking and creative? If so then send a few short writing samples (or links) as well as a cover letter about why you want to join the Beautiful/Decay blog contributor team to contactbd(at)beautifuldecay.com.
We are looking for smart writers and contributors in all corners of the globe who have their hands on the pulse of the contemporary art and design world and want to join our independent group of writers, critics, and art enthusiasts. Writers must be able to commit to a minimum of five 300 word posts per week. This is a paid freelance position.