Seattle based Charles Krafft has spent decades creating gorgeous porcelain sculptures referencing everything from war to pop culture. In this short documentary hear Charles describe his inspirations, process, and his use of human bone china to memorialize friends.
With a witty sense of humor and an inventive mind, Spanish artist García de Marina, creates photographs based on the reinvention of mundane items. How about reworking a couple of spoons for sunglasses, or a slim comb for a bar code ? No wonder Spanish poet José Luis Argüelles once referred to him as the “photographer who knows how to capture things we aren’t able to see.”
Marina’s compositions come to have this nostalgic feel, not only because maybe the objects he is using are reminiscent of our own lives, but mostly because perhaps, at some point in our lives, we’ve all come to re-imagine that which is around us. There is more than just a clever re-interpretation of objects here. If we look closely, the artist is proving his viewers with alternative observations, perhaps, an ultimate surprising escape to the mundanity of our world.
They are very simple images. I try to create images that are easy to understand-and that hopefully don’t need any kind of explanations. I want to make an impact, give my viewers a little surprise. I hope that they will inquire more, and do further examinations.
Photographer Suzanes Heintz is a self-proclaimed spinster. As a single woman, she got fed up with the bombardment of questions about when she was going to get married. Tired of being pittied, she decided to confront this issue head on. She purchased two mannequins – one male and one female child – and the series Life Once Removed was born. Dressing up and posing with her fake family, she stages witty representations of the American Dream. Ski trips, vacations, and stereotypical romantic moments are all acted out by Heintz, and she sets the scene perfectly. These colorful images feel saturated, in both how they look and the emotional exuberance of the her expression and body language.
Heintz rejects the notion that to be a successful woman means that you have to fulfill a laundry list of achievements, not limited to an education, career, home, family, accomplishment, and enlightenment. In an interview with Feature Shoot, she explains why she created Life Once Removed:
I’m simply trying to get people to open up their minds and quit clinging to antiquated notions of what a successful life looks like. I want people to lighten up on each other and themselves, and embrace their lives for who it has made them, with or without the Mrs., PhD. or Esq. attached.
All of these photographs are shot on location. When Heintz lays her head in mannequin’s husband’s lap while in the park, it’s totally real, and an important aspect to Heintz’s series. She goes on to say:
While I need the public to act as character and context for the actual photo or video, I also need their responses to make the effort a success as an instigator for social change. The reaction can vary from a raised eyebrow with a head turn, to a blast of laughter, to taking their own snapshots while posing with the mannequins. It depends a lot on the location. But most importantly, it stops people in their tracks long enough to ask me what the heck I’m doing. Because the project is so audacious and flat-out funny, it helps me reach the public, and actually get them to let their guard down long enough for me to have a conversation with them. (Via Feature Shoot)
Mary O’Malley is a New York based potter trained in traditional English and Japanese techniques. Her work is primarily an ode to her craft and an homage to her childhood spent by the sea. However, it is also structured around delicate binaries involving the human need to search for beauty. She states:
“The technical difficulties I began to encounter when enveloping the service ware with ferocious and unforgiving aquatic life got me thinking about a common need we all have to control our own representation of beauty. There is so much fastidious control involved in creating each one of the Bottom Feeder pieces, but with ceramics there is always a margin for error, and some degree of control must be sacrificed. The composition of barnacles and crustaceans populating each piece, the way the iron oxide discovers every nook of the creatures I’ve created, the way the tentacles warp in the firings, etc., is always a surprise. I’m never exactly sure how anything’s going to turn out.”
She fuses different modalities, both literally in her potting techniques as well as what each form represents. The more classic aspects of porcelain, the cream white tea pot, the gold rimmed vase, correlates with a more tamed, predictable side of life. These pure little moments of calm crafting are then overtaken by octopus tentacles, barnacles, and coral, representing the aspect of chaos the is inevitable in everyday life. She explains:
“This play between total control and inevitability has sustained my interest and attention because it mimics life in so many ways: we try our hardest to compose the aesthetics surrounding us—from the buildings and environments we live in to the way we dress and present ourselves. Our daily fight against nature is a fruitless pursuit, yet one we never seem willing to abandon. I find this play between forces endlessly challenging. The dance that results from trying to find a balance between what we can control and what we cannot is where I believe true beauty lies.” (Via Colossal)
Beautiful/Decay is excited to bring you our exclusive artist feature in partnership with Made With Color, the premiere platform for artist websites. Each week we join forces to bring you some of the most exciting creatives working today who use Made With Color to create their clean and sleek sites. All Made With Color sites not only work beautifully on your computer but also come optimized for mobile and tablet users making sure that your portfolio looks professional no matter how you view it. For this weeks artist spotlight we bring you the illustrations of Kelley Hagemes.
Savannah, Georgia based artist and illustrator Kelley Hagemes creates mixed media works that reference various religious and mythical iconography. Imagery of the sublime is mixed with rich symbolism of life, regret, death, and the unknown.I
When I was a kid I had to go to Catholic school for a period of time, and my parents made were quite the Catholics. I feel like I was always surrounded by these images of the Sublime, dripping with symbolism and encased in ornament. Images of things that were supposed to be beautiful but also strike some sort of fear or uneasiness in you.
More broadly Kelley’s work is about dealing with lifes demons, finding happiness after sadness, transformation and strength while having to find beauty in some pretty ugly places throughout the process.
Pinar Yoldas is a designer, artist, architect, and organic chemistry enthusiast. Her work is a reflection of her interests in neuroscience, evolution, gender studies and science fiction. In her work she explores new materials and new production tools in order to blend conventional media with digital media. I remember seeing these sculpture/organisms (often resembling the female anatomy) at the UCLA Design | Media Arts (both of our alma maters) 2nd Year grad show Exit Strategies. I was significantly and equal parts titillated and fascinated at these creatures, seemingly inanimate yet surreal-y possessing life like qualities. We’re also throwing a fundraiser party for her injuries and medical bills from multiple biking related accidents tonight in Echo Park (come come!). Check out the flyer after the jump!
From vagabonds to physchonauts, Leif Podhajsky has some pretty awesome designs. Leif is an artist and designer from Melbourne, Australia, were she is currently co-running a design studio called And. We love the work, keep it up!