Garrett Pruter constructs architecutral wonders with collage and drawing techniques. He combines graphite and acrylic on top of collage to create mini villages on the page. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were mini civilizations occupying his turn-of-the-century cityscapes. He is currently studying Illustration at Parsons School of Design.
Although we aren’t hiring here at Beautiful/Decay, we wanted to share Manny G‘s portfolio with you all. Navigating through media seamlessly, this recent CalArts graduate pretty much does it all. Whether it’s transforming a found book inside and out, illustrating Chewbacca with only one intense image-making technique, or revealing the cuter (?!) side of sex, Manny G delivers visual feasts.
Since the weather in LA has been unusually cold and crappy the last couple of days I thought i’d bring some sunshine and warmth in by posting this music video for Sleepy Sun called “Golden Artifact.” It’s a trippy, sun drenched, psychedelic voyage through peacock feathers and butterfly covered islands.
Animation by Nadia Shireen Husain.
Mikie Poland does what he wants, and that is awesome. Some might read this and think that it’s juvenile, but in a world where most people play a passive role in their own lives – I’m truly inspired by someone who is willing to pursue their passions with everything they have at their disposal. Poland is on the road about half the year touring with one of the two bands he plays in (Giving Up or State Champion), and spends much of his remaining time working odd jobs and helping to promote Sophomore Lounge Records in whatever way he can. As the web manager, primary art director, and right-hand-man of the label’s creator (Ryan Davis) you might wonder where he finds time to do much else. As it turns out, there is a good amount of “downtime” in the van in between gigs, and Poland often spends this time productively. Whether he is drawing posters for upcoming shows or clever illustrations referencing everything from Jazz to Dracula – Poland stays busy.
The nature of his practice could force a comparison to Raymond Pettibon, but Poland’s aesthetic is very much his own. There is certainly a gritty quality to the work, but his quick wit and keen understanding of texture and mark making have an intentionality to them that belies the crude manor in which many of his illustrations are fashioned. Having a fine arts degree from a conceptually oriented school like the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (where Poland received his undergraduate degree) often leads one down a path of pretention that can be hard to escape, but Poland manages to keep things in perspective. His observations are honest, the tone is real, and I enjoy looking at the work. If you scroll through these drawings and at least one of them doesn’t put a smile on your face I think it might be time to re-evaluate how seriously you take yourself. Giving Up will be on an east coast tour this June, and if you like what you see below I encourage you to check out their shows and pick up one of Poland’s expansive zines at the merch booth.
Lee Stoetzel carves fast food, life-size VW buses, vintage Mac computers, and even fine art from wood, recalling iconic objects, and ironically, examining worn-out symbols or ideas in contemporary art, initially cultivated from the likes of Chuck Close, Rube Goldberg, and Claes Oldenburg.
Whether its mesquite or cypress, each renewable resource favors sinewy flaws or wood marks that, according to Stoetzel, feel comparable to brush strokes, providing another layer of texture and pop of craftsmanship.
Check out the video of Stoetzel discussing his work in his studio and see a few more stills after the jump.
Jerry Kearns’ new work meditates on the construction of images post-9/11. The stark blue sky found in all of the paintings sets the mood as surreal and stands in for the strange blue sky behind the Twin Towers after the attack. Kearns explores various ways of representing the present body by subverting notions of masculinity and strength with both feminine and androgynous signifiers.
Artist Zsuzsi Csiszer’s installation may at first seem massively out of place. An actual subway car emerges out of the floor into the Museum Kiscelli in Budapest. It seems poised to make a stop and move on to its next otherworldly destination. The subway clearly references a journey – one of more significance than just from one neighborhood to another. More importantly perhaps, subway cars transport groups of people. Maybe it sounds cheesy, but the piece is similar to a larger journey we all make. One in which we share with various people who come and go.
Artist Eugenio Merino produces overtly political sculptures. His witty work explores issues such as class, violence, war, religion. For example, the piece Redecorate Your Life is an ultra-realistic silicone model of a homeless man who seemingly fell asleep (or died?) while flipping through an Ikea catalog. His home, however, is simply the packaging of the items he was glancing at. Merino’s work cleverly comments on materialism, poverty, and homogeneity. His sculptures make a statement with a sense of humor while retaining a sense of gravity.