Published in 2009, The Red Book contains Jung’s self-explorations, representing the source of many of Jung’s theories regarding the collective unconscious, archetypes, psychological types, and the process of individuation. “The overall theme of the book is how Jung regains his soul and overcomes the contemporary malaise of spiritual alienation. This is ultimately achieved through enabling the rebirth of a new image of God in his soul and developing a new world view in the form of a psychological and theological cosmology.” Accompanying the calligraphy of Jung’s text are incredibly controlled surreal illustrations of psychologically and spiritually thematic images.
Art critic and Huffington Post contributor Peter Frank considers The Red Book a great work of art, writing, “It is an endlessly fascinating and staggeringly luxurious artifact, a thing of beauty and of magic. It could pass for a Bible rendered by a medieval monk, especially for the care with which Jung entered his writing as ornate Gothic script. It just happens that his art is dedicated not to the glory of God or king, but to that of the human race.” Frank also identified the presence of a small egg within every image included in The Red Book, explaining that “the egg starts to give off light and then to explode out.”
Jung writes at one point in The Red Book, “There is only one way, and that is your way. You seek the path? I warn you away from my own. It can also be the wrong path for you. May each go his own way. I will be no savior, no lawgiver, no master teacher unto you. You are no longer little children. … May each seek out his own way. The way leads to mutual love in community. Men will come to see and feel the similarity and commonality of their ways.” You can read the entirety of The Red Book as an ebook over at the Internet Archive. (via npr and independent)
The installations of Elmgreen & Dragset are a special brand of humorous – they are absurd. The art duo blend installation art, design, and even performance to turn a skeptical eye toward the familiar. The duo often begin with familiar objects and situations of habit. A slight variation seems to make the situation absurd, the behavior required silly. For example, a series of crates presumably contain art either resting in precarious positions or are already ruined. A botched art delivery becomes a commentary on the value of art.
Dominic Wilcox is a British artist whose works balance on the margins of bizarre, yet somehow very logical and poignant at the same time. His cutting-edge inventions vary from unbelievable tech-wizardry (GPS shoes), to everyday objects that would actually find a place in our household (tea cup with a fan). Despite often humorist approach, Wilcox crafts his devices until they look and work like intended.
When asked, what is it that he does, Wilcox hesitates: “If I had to title myself, I would say I’m an artist/designer/thinker.” He says he loves innovation, creativity and finding conceptual surprises hidden in the banal, mundane things that surround us everyday. Thus, most of his concepts are light, direct and with a pinch of witty intention. Artist isn’t afraid to be the lab rat for his works. For example in the Switch project (below), he was wearing the metallic toggle for nearly a month, day and night.
Besides actually making these crazy inventions, Dominic starts each idea with a sketch. To pay tribute to all the unaccomplished ideas, he has published a book titled “Variations on Normal”. Full of insightful illustrations, this book may give you some inspiration on your next invention, say… a family poncho or a machine that strengthens handshakes.
A bright idea is bringing together the talented homeless population of Barcelona and typography lovers from all over the world. Homeless Fonts is an initiative from Arrels Foundation and is a platform for selling the handwriting of these street sleepers to business and individuals. Around 10 fonts are available and all profits made from the sales go towards supporting the 1400 people connected with the foundation.
We all know how much handwriting reveals about a personality; the history of the writer, and this project highlights the talent and the stories of these fascinating individuals. Often overlooked on the street, they all have reasons for living how they do, and share a side of life we usually know nothing of.
Fransisco for example, in a previous life was a graphic designer. Born in Spain, raised in Brazil, he set off to experience the world. After hitchhiking around South America, he returned to Spain an old man. Living years without a permanent address, his days are still full of adventure. He says:
“The experience of the street has taken away my vanity. The only thing I’ve learnt in life is that you have to learn, because if you spend your life without learning, you haven’t lived.”
Argentinian born Guillermo uses cardboard, newspaper, anything lying around to practice his love for art and writing. Born in London, Lorraine found herself stuck in Spain after a thief illegally used her passport to travel on. Ever the optimist, she now enjoys sleeping under the stars with new friends in her adopted home.
The kinks and loops of these fonts are such an immediate and rich art work, they are perfect for making statements with. They are certainly a powerful form of communication.
In the middle of the California desert (Slab City) there is a pretty cool collaboration and installation work checking out. Graffiti artist Christina Angelina has teamed up with Ease One to work on a impressive, emotional project called Kinetoscope. Taking over an abandoned water tank in the middle of a dusty plain, they have painted a massive circular mural reflecting on the ideas of women, intuition, gender, and the current zeitgeist.
Combining many different elements, the installation is a multi-sensory experience. After climbing up a 15 ft ladder, visitors then descend into the middle of the empty water tank to find themselves surrounded by larger than life faces and will hear amplified sound echo around the structure. While in the middle of the space and turning around, the visitor will experience a certain type of magic inspired by photographer Eadweard Muybridge. He was the originator of the Zoetrope – a machine and technique that animated still images, and would bring them to life, by quickly spinning them on a circular form.
The women’s faces Angelina has painted reflect on her own magical, personal moments when she has used her intuition – an attribute she feels is undervalued and overlooked by society. Additionally, she has painted a type of mysterious font around the border of the tank in a striking combination of Eastern and Western script. The words spell out lyrics to Society by Jerry Hannan and Eddie Vedder:
It’s a mystery to me
We have a greed with which we have agreed
You think you have to want more than you need
Until you have it all you won’t be free
Society, you’re a crazy breed
I hope you’re not lonely without me
Kintoscope was sponsored by Starfighter Studios. They have kept a diary of sorts reading more into the experience of being based in the desert, away from society, while putting the installation together. You can read more of their insights here.
A little over a week ago, we featured an interview between James Jean and Jeff Staple. This week, check out another vid of Staple stirring up some insightful chatter with a talented artist.
NYC artist Jose Parla is known for bringing the most subtle graff references to his abstract expressionist paintings. Tags and drips meld seamlessly with texture and scale in his atmospheric work, eschewing the familiar graffiti-aesthetic-as-gimmick-syndrome.
Full interview after the jump.
As part of our ongoing partnership with Feature Shoot, Beautiful/Decay is sharing Alison Zavos’ article on Matthew Albanese.
“DIY Paradise” was constructed from cotton, salt, cooked sugar, tin foil, feathers & canvas.
My work involves the construction of small-scale meticulously detailed models using various materials and objects to create emotive landscapes. Every aspect from the construction to the lighting of the final model is painstakingly pre-planned using methods which force the viewers perspective when photographed from a specific angle. Using a mixture of photographic techniques such as scale, depth of field, white balance and lighting I am able to drastically alter the appearance of my materials.—Matthew Albanese
Matthew Albanese is a fine art photographer from New Jersey who specializes in creating and photographing miniatures from common household objects and materials. “New Life I” (pictured above) was constructed using painted parchment paper, thread, hand dyed ostrich feathers, carved chocolate, wire, raffia, masking tape, coffee, synthetic potting moss and cotton.