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Pink Ladies: Melchor Bocanegra’s Candy-Colored Portraits Explore Playful Aesthetics And Hidden Sadness

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Melchor Bocanegra is a digital designer based out of Salamanca, a city located in the Mexican state of Guanajuato. His work is characterized by portraiture mixed with candy-cream absurdity; his subjects are usually set against empty or washed-out backdrops, acting out expressions of play or alarm. He often incorporates surrealist elements, such as thick tears or fluorescent goop smeared across their faces. Despite the innocent colors and fun compositions, Bocanegra’s images grab our attention with their discreetly unsettling aspects; in the following statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, he describes his style and explains how he seeks to convey conflicting emotions:

“I always work with portrait and I really like to mix feelings of isolation and melancholy with colorful and friendly aesthetics. I use simple compositions, trying to focus on the expression and emotion of the character. I could say that I try to create portraits with a passive/aggressive hidden sadness.”

Featured here is his Pink Ladies series, which present us with a cast of pastel-hued characters in various ambivalent and bizarre poses. The underlying themes in these images explore insincerity and idealized femininity, blending sexualized elements with the symptoms of banality; combined with the models’ superficial expressions, the fake tears, exposed breasts, and over-the-top makeup and jewelry convey a sense of exhaustion and meaninglessness. There is also the sense of loss, a grief over something that went missing during the transition into commercialized, sexualized adulthood. As Bocanegra explains, “[these] images create messages or questions about insincerity; with gestures of concern and ambiguity, we discover symbols of the unattainable, a longing for something we do not know or barely remember.”

Visit Bocanegra’s website, Instagram, and Facebook page to learn more.

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Half Humans, Half Animals. The Creations Of Crystal Morey Act Like Talismans That Connects Us To Nature

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Tiny humans wearing animal heads. Crystal Morey creates porcelain sculptures to represent her personal connection to nature. The little characters, part of her ‘At the Edge of Time’ new series are full of meaning and power. The artist envisions them as talismans meant to deliver a message and protect their owners.

Each naked human body has its top part covered with an animal head; an eagle, a bear or a deer. The texture of the skin, the eyes, the teeth are intricately depicted. The sculptures are left white, a color associated with fragility and purity. And their height doesn’t exceed a few inches, which emphasizes their dainty and frail look.

Crystal Morey symbolizes nature and the role the environment has on humanity. The humans forced to live with an animal appearance unveil the deep and dark feeling of being trapped. A sentiment the artist is experiencing while watching human kind forcing its destiny on nature.
Questioning this relationship is the purpose of Crystal Morey’s art work. She wishes that the viewer will come across the sculptures and take the initiative to contemplate the world they are living in. And hopefully reconsider their role within this planet or envision new perspectives on how to create a better place for both species. (Via Hi Fructose)

Crystal Morey’s ‘At the Edge of Time’ series will be displayed at the Antler Gallery in Portland until December 31st 2015.

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Chinese Artist Vacuums Beijing’s Polluted Air for 100 Days And Creates A Brick Out Of His Findings

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Climate control has been a controversial and momentous topic, well, for at at least two decades, but, the issue of global warming seems to be re-trending in light of the the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. One tactic of addressing the issue’s importance, as we have seen, has been the thousands of activists marching all over the world (and the silent protest in Paris due to recent events). However, a Chinese performance artist who goes by the name “Nut Brother” has decided to take a more quantitative and perhaps informative approach. Beijing, the capital of China (the country that has largest CO2 emissions in the world), is a city of industrial smog. The artist announced a plan to literally vacuum the dust from the Beijing’s air for four hours a day, for 100 days in a row. As a performance, the artist walked the streets, starting in late July, with a pony tail, often a respirator mask, and vacuum with suction nozzle held in his hand to collect debris. On November 30th, the last day of his project, he gathered all 100 days worth of dust and brought it to a brick factory to be mixed with clay and turned into an alarming soot filled brick. Nut Brother is aware that he is not actually changing the air quality, however, he hopes his project will provoke passerby’s to consider their relationship to the environment and their surroundings. (via QUARTZ)

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Life Of Cats: An Exhibition Exploring Japan’s Historical Obsession With Cats

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In the age of the internet, we are used to seeing cats, cat videos, and cat-related memes permeating our social media. But delve into the archives of art history and you’ll see that people have always been a little obsessed with cats (it was no secret in ancient Egypt). In a show held at Manhattan’s Japan Society last spring, over 120 artworks—consisting largely of ukiyo-e prints from the Edo period—were exhibited that explored Japan’s own infatuation with their feline companions. Most of the pieces were on loan from the Hiraki Ukiyo-e Foundation and the rest were gathered from collections around the US.

The show was divided into five sections: “Cats and People,” “Cats as People,” “Cats versus People,” “Cats Transformed,” and “Cats and Play.” The animals were represented in a variety of ways—sometimes in the cute, domesticated contexts we recognize from the internet, and sometimes in courtly (and even eroticized) scenarios. Many are anthropomorphized to partake in human activities, from argumentative social gatherings to traditional dances. In other prints, they take on a more sinister appearance, conjured as muses for cryptic samurai duals. Coupled with nude or reclining women, cats take on a sensual symbolism.

The exhibition ended last June, but you can learn more about it on the Japan Society website, and there is a video tour available here. (Via Hyperallergic)

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Peter Olson Prints Photographs On Ceramic Urns Creating Panoramic Narratives

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Pennsylvania based artist Peter Olson has merged the ancient tradition of pottery as narrative and panoramic photography. As a professional photographer who has traveled “the world many times over,” Peter Olson has documented and experienced an extensive array of cultures and environments. Through out his journeys, from “corporate culture to religious iconography, he finds meaning in the repetition of human expression.” Each image is taken from a moment in his life, from his point of view. His pottery series, titled Photo Ceramica, refers to each piece as an “urn.” Defining the pieces as such almost allows every individualized work to act as a ceremonial ending to a specific point in time. The urns are, perhaps, a way for the artist to collect and put to rest certain times in his life. His work is created by transferring images onto the ceramic by encasing them in ink left over from his photographic prints. When the urns are then fired, the ink burns away, leaving an image from the iron oxide in which the ink is created from. The aesthetic is formed through a sort of collage, depicting personalized narratives and motifs. For example, his work “New York City Urn No. 8” is a panoramic view of the city, starting with the the iconic city street lamps, followed by a amalgamation of classic New York City imagery such as the city sky line from various points of reference along with more personalized moments including a portrait of women standing in front of graffiti. Peter Olson has created a delicate, shrine like body of work that allows him to document his own life by intimate and clever means. (via Hi Frustose)

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A Step Closer To Being A Cyborg: Tech Tats Are Cyberpunk Tattoos That Monitor Vitals

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Chaotic Moon, an Austin based software design company, has created cyberpunk “tattoos” that monitor vitals. As a new addition to the “quantified self movement,” Chaotic Moon’s new invention, Tech Tats, invites a creative answer to the Fitbit. Using ATiny microcontrollers and electroconductive tattoo paint, Tech Tats are temporary tattoos that exist directly on the skin and, through sensors, gather information that can measure temperature, heart rate, hydration levels and others of the likes. When connected to a smartphone app via Bluetooth Low Energy, Tech Tats can allow users to keep track of their bodies as well as send data directly to doctors. Unlike it’s predecessors which are wearable devices, Tech Tats offer a lightweight low-key option that can be hidden under clothes if so desired. Or, the on the other hand, Tech Tats also offer the ability to self design a cyberpunk tattoo that can be worn anywhere on skin. The design is still in the prototype phase, however, the company has high hopes for the product. Chaotic Moon aims to some day replace the nuisance of the annual trip to the doctor’s office. They also foresee a use for the military, as they could detect injuries, toxins and other stresses. Another use could transform banking as the microchips could store credit card information within our skin instead our wallets. The product has potential to be a step further to cyborg-hood, just as it’s aesthetic suggests. (via hyperallergic)

 

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Made With Color Presents: Tik Ka Shares His Inner World By Painting Angelic, Heaven Sent Children

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Artists from all over the world choose Made With Color to Create beautiful portfolio websites that set them apart from the pack. With clean layouts, easy to use interface, and drag and drop functions you can build a professional website in minutes. This week, we are pleased to present the embryonic world of  Made With Color user Tik Ka.

It’s a fantasy dreamland we’re entering. Tik Ka is a Chinese artist whose emotions translate in a multitude of soft, joyful colors. He depicts characters which could be aimed to entertain kids. The eyes and expression of his subjects speak a language of empathy, sincerity and gentleness. And even we, as adults, are touched but the vast generosity Tik Ka is offering us.

The work of Tik Ka is also known as “So Ha” Art. A combination of traditional Chinese culture and lovable babies and kids. The artist has incorporated Chinese characteristics with Western elements and Japanese superflat technique. He has created a style of his own, a signature easily recognizable. His most recent work has led him to represent purity and innocence with just a hint of a smile on the children’s faces. They appear angelic and heaven sent.

Before the life journey begins, we have all waited on a platform, gasping for the first breath, opening our eyes and catching a glimpse of the whole new world.  The platform is a place of purity, where only the heartbeat of the mother and the murmur of the outside world can be heard.”

Children’s faces, babies still connected to their mother by an umbilical cord. Tik Ka’s depictions dives our souls into an inviting, delightful and poetic aura.

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Carol Milne Intricately “Knits” Glass To Create Dainty And Beautiful Objects

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Carol Milne is a Seattle-based artist originally from Canada who has been making beautiful “knitted” objects out of glass. A knitter since she was ten and long fascinated by the sculptural arts, Milne invented an interesting glass-forming technique that combines these two passions. First, she wraps the soft glass around a knitting needle to get the coils, which she then unfurls into “stiches.” After that, she interlocks the stitched pieces together to create the knitted texture. Each sculpture is an experiment in color, resulting in everything from pastel hues to rainbow gradients. Watch this video from Heather DiPietro for a longer description of her process.

Milne has a lot of experience sculpting with other materials (such as bronze casting and metalwork), but she has always been fascinated by glass. As she states in this article by The Creators Project, “[glass] can take on an infinite number of forms and textures. It can show an interior image and an exterior image simultaneously. It’s translucent and transparent. It plays with light. It looks cool when it’s hot” (Source). Exploring the malleability of her medium, the result is a series of endearing and delicate pieces that change the way we see ordinary knitted objects, enlightening us with new forms of everyday beauty.

Visit Milne’s website and Facebook page to view more of her sculptural work. (Via The Creators Project)

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