As part of our ongoing partnership with Feature Shoot, Beautiful/Decay is sharing Alison Zavos’ article on Photographer Hal.
When looking for couples to model for both this series, Couple Jam, and his ever popular work, Flesh Love, Tokyo-based Photographer Hal goes to underground bars in Shibuya and Kabukicho (Tokyo’s Red Light District), places he describes as “luscious nighttime bee hives”. Musicians, dancers, strippers, service workers and businessmen are all fair game as models as long as they are willing and able to contort their bodies to fit in the confined spaces Photographer Hal obviously has an affinity for.
These photographic “events” take place in the models bathrooms. Photographer Hal explains, “I think of the bathroom as being one of the most private and intimate place in anyone’s home, this provoked a shyness in the models, and created a unique excitement and inspiration in the scene.”
Here at B/D we love funny lighthearted drawings! There’s nothing like seeing a colorful little critter give you a quizzical look to start your day off with a smile. Well friends, if you agree, then you will love the work of London based illustrator Marcus Oakley. His mischievously whimsical creations start with a vibrant palette, and always seem to have furry little creatures running around acting like humans. What’s not to like about that?
Cinta Vidal Agulló‘s paintings depict a topsy turvy yet mundane world. There’s a dream-like quality to her work, like Alice falling down the rabbit hole and remarking on the various jars of marmalade. With a background in painting backdrops for the theater, Agullo excels and creating immersive worlds that, though they have an M.C. Escher-esque sense of physics, seem like they are a part of real life.
“With these un-gravity constructions, I want to show that we live in one world, but we live in it in very different ways – playing with everyday objects and spaces, placed in impossible ways to express that many times, the inner dimension of each one of us does not match the mental structures of those around us. The architectural spaces and day-to-day objects are part of a metaphor of how difficult it is to fit everything that shapes our daily space: our relationships, work, ambitions, and dreams.”
Agullo’s paintings are lushly illustrated like one of Graeme Base’s children’s books, almost playful in the way they explore the spatial and emotional connections between the tiny figures that inhabit them. Though they are definitely surreal, we’re invited to imagine how the different parts of each painting might fit together, like the puzzle pieces of our everyday lives.
What are the relationships between the people in her paintings? We can’t tell for certain, but it’s clear that the orbit around each other or, at the very least, they are neighbors in the same world — if not the same reality. (via Hi-Fructose)
As an arts blogger I spend most of my day looking at amazing things created by artists, performers and creatives. If you’re reading Beautiful/Decay, a good portion of your time is likely also spent in awe of the creative output of others. I decided to make a move to the other side of the screen, rolled up my sleeves and learned to create something awesome. I joined forces with Skillshare, an online learning community that provides access to over 15,000 creative classes, to help accelerate my creative inspiration. Whether you’re looking to learn graphic design, illustration, photography or practically anything else, Skillshare can teach you what you need to know to execute your vision. Even better, they’re offering Beautiful/Decay readers two free months of Skillshare Premium (usually it’s $10 per month). Visit this link to redeem the promo or use the promo code BEAUTIFULDECAY..
Marshmallow Laser Feast is an interdisciplinary arts studio that uses tech to create interactive and magical experiences. From laser-bearing drones to movement-reactive instruments, their works fuse together lighting, sound, and visuals in a synesthesia-like exploration of enlightening and alternative realities. Their newest project, In the Eyes of An Animal, revisualizes the world we think we know as it is perceived by different creatures. When wearing Marshmallow Laser Feast’s strange, pod-like virtual reality mask, participants are immersed in 360° renderings of Grizedale Forest, exploring the treetops and undergrowth as a dragonfly, frog, or an owl. The world was created using a synthesis of multiple techniques, including CT scanning, photogrammetry, and an aerial camera.
The video above provides a teaser of what the experience looks like. In a tour of parallel worlds, the mask guides you through the forest while accentuating and transforming the senses: molecule-like particles break apart and shift; trees, plants, and animals become flickers of abstract color; and bird song, insect calls, and music melt together in an otherworldly melody that slows down time and flows in rhythm with the undulating forest. The effect is haunting yet spellbinding, reinvograting a child-like curiosity about the deep dark woods and the beings that inhabit it. Marshmallow Laser Feast’s artistic interpretation of different perceptions reminds us that reality is not singular or concrete, and that we live in a world of multiple worlds. In the Eyes of An Animal demonstrates the freedom, empathy, and beauty in exploring realities that exist alongside our own.
I’ve always been interested in the creative energy that comes out of Australia and Nick Thompson’s work is just another reason to love the land down under. His work is clean, bold, and full of impact. Watch the video for the image above and see a fantastic selection of his creative output after the jump!
In deconstructing Barbie dolls and repurposing them as jewelry for “Plastic Bodies Series,” the designer Margaux Lange forces us to enter an uncomfortable space between disgust and worship of the iconic toy. Barbie, who has been a target of the last decades’ feminist debate, occupies an ambiguous role in the social and sexual development of girls; she exudes sexuality with her adult figure, but she also remains virginal, never revealing her nipples or genitalia.
Lange’s work powerfully evokes the girlhood tension between reverence and anger felt towards the doll and its conflicting representation of female eroticism. At its most practical, the art is a function of style; elevated to the status of precious jewels, Barbie’s eyes and breasts inspire nostalgia and desire. Yet the doll is so clearly dismembered, and therefore violently objectified, and her selfhood becomes reduced to a series of nearly identical body parts, arranged for your consumption.
Arguably, the most compelling of the works include Barbie’s male companion doll Ken. Although the dolls often serve as play actors for a child’s early exploration of sexual desire and experience, their plastic forms obscure and confuse concepts of intimacy. In isolating the dolls’ features, Lange is able to express more clearly-seen longings within the previously sterile dolls; they become fixated between metal filigrees, robbed of their eyes but permanently in contact with one another. In use, the relationship between the owner and the doll also reaches new levels of fetishistic fascination. In one pair of earrings, doll hands reach out to touch the curve of the human neck; a necklace allows a tiny pair of metal lungs, filled with the breath of Barbie and Ken, to lay atop the wearer’s own chest. Take a look. (via Margaux Lange and BUST)
Manchester illustrator Kris Tate’s work is bold, vibrant and full of life. Her work mixes digital and hand drawn elements in neon colors that pop. Her influences range from 60′ and 80’s vintage culture and music to Scandinavian knitwear. Her work is fresh, edgy and very relevant for today’s hipster cultures. I for one am loving the sweater dressed animals and their bright pop environments.