Hey guys- we haven’t run a contest in a while because we were holding out for something that would really benefit our readers! Well, here’s a contest that will put cold, hard cash in your pockets as well as further your creative careers. We’re offering the opportunity to win $1000.45, as well as be featured in a month-long exhibition at Synchronicity Gallery here in Los Angeles. The event will be curated and promoted by yours truly and the directors there. Synchronicity is quickly becoming a go-to gallery for discovering & breaking emerging artists! We thought this would be a great opportunity to give some recognition to our readers… See below for full rules and how to enter, and good luck!
For 3 months of the year, Corey Arnold is a commercial fisherman. For the rest of the time he travels around Portland, Oregon and the surrounding areas photographing the wildlife in a very sincere and earnest way. Beginning his life at sea, he first worked as a deckhand on a crabbing vessel in Alaska in 1997, and from then started documenting his experiences in an on-going series called Fish-Work. In it, Arnold captures the lifestyle of the commercial fishing world, filled with images of men in neon colored rain jackets, bundles of ropes, dead bait, enormous waves, monstrous fish and hoards of birds.
In his new series though, he has concentrated just on animals and their personalities. The exhibition Wildlife is as unpretentious as it sounds. Arnold has been able to become quite intimate with his subjects, capturing bears, birds, seals, sharks, and moose all in a relaxed, natural state. Spliced with images, once again, from the fishing world, we get a good idea of how seamlessly Arnold fits into his environment. It seems the animals caught on camera don’t notice the presence of this human one bit. The artist reflects on his obsession with the wilderness and also his ability to go unnoticed within it:
I harbored a deep desire to be an animal living in nature and I didn’t have far to travel. The lush gully in my backyard, just out of sight beyond a thicket of poison oak, was home to coyotes, raccoons, possums, stray pets, snakes, lizards, rats and crawdads. Any bustling in the bushes was a potential mystery to unravel or a prey to stalk. I was a particularly curious child, an amateur wildlife tracker, behaviorist and hunter who often pressed the boundaries of human/wild animal proximity. (Source) (Via Super Sonic)
AJ Fosik is the mastermind behind these insanely colorful wood sculptures that seem to be part-alien, part-folk tale monster. For some reason, these creatures remind me of a demented “It’s A Small World”–like some of Seth Adelsberger’s work in 3D form.
Kissing is an act of intimacy that has been iconically portrayed throughout art history — take the sculptural power of Auguste Rodin’s The Kiss, for example, or Gustav Klimt’s own interpretation of the erotic gesture at the dawn of modernism. Fast forward over a century later, and photographer Maggie West has revisited this tradition with her own contemporary style. Described as “dreamy” and “hallucinatory,” West’s debut book KISS is a sensual photo diary of LA-based artists. Dripping in a haze of neon eroticism, the gentle lovers in West’s photos embrace and engage each other with intense intimacy. In a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, West explains the concept and creation of KISS:
By placing a common activity in such a dreamlike setting, I wanted the readers to reexamine the energy and intimacy taking place each time a couple embraces each other. Through the color choices and extreme close up angles, I hope that the viewer can appreciate specific aspects of a kiss that they may not have otherwise noticed.
[…] One of the objectives of the book was to examine the dynamic between a variety of relationships — not just established couples. Some couples had been dating for years, some were just friends, some barely knew each other, etc.
Initially everyone, no matter their relationship, was a little nervous. However, kissing is such a physical act that within a few minutes the models were so engrossed in each other that they seemed to forget they were being photographed.
Most of the models were chosen from among West’s friends who she knew in the LA community — “models, musicians, artists, porn stars, dancers” and more make up the group. Portraying the kiss as an act that knows no distinctions of identity or lifestyle preferences, KISS features a variety of ethnicities and sexualities, celebrating diversity and the fluid nature of attraction, desire, and love. “The kiss is a beautiful exchange regardless of the relationship,” West writes. And this is what KISS allows us to focus on: the gentleness of the moment, the tantalizing hesitation, and the oscillation of desiring energy and tenderness that makes kissing one of the most powerful ways to connect both flesh and heart.
KISS features a foreward by artist and journalist Hannah Stouffer. The launch party for the book is taking place on the rooftop of The Ace Hotel in Los Angeles on June 14th at 8pm. Visit West’s website, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to view more of her work. (Via Juxtapoz)
If you’re like us at B/D then you are just as anxious as we are about the surprise installation taking place on the 2nd floor of the Uniqlo NYC flagship store. The viral video released in February by Uniqlo only gave us vague clues but now more information has leaked in anticipation of the March 28th grand opening. To add to the mystery Uniqlo has just released the above video which gives us a bit more of an indication of what they’re up to. Whatever they’re doing it’s clear that it’s going to be an exciting collision of art and fashion (and Starbucks!)!
To add to the excitement Uniqlo is kicking off their Lucky Line where shoppers can create pixelated avatars, hang out in futuristic virtual worlds, and even stand in line at Uniqlo to win all sorts of giveaways and prizes. It’s anything but ordinary and a fresh take on shopping.
Antonella Arismendi is an Argentine fashion photographer and visual artist whose colorfully esoteric works explore alternate planes of consciousness. In a striking divergence from mainstream fashion photography, Antonella splices her work with dark symbols and glitch-like art, dissolving bodies into a white-noise fuzz and superimposing faces over volcanic eruptions. In some of her more quiet and scenic pieces — such as Tephra, for example — Antonella uses fashion to explore haunting-yet-spirituality rich worlds, depicting a model who stands in reverence beneath an empty, alien sky. By blending darkness with light and incorporating multiple symbols, Antonella produces beautifully obscure images of enigmatic and ever-transforming power.
What inspires me the most is to isolate myself from everything that has already been done visually and create something new. It’s an intense process to convert ideas from the ethereal to the tangible plane — it’s when the alchemical act happens. (Source)
By utilizing and fusing symbols of the occult, the Cabbala, and astrology, Antonella’s expressive photography reinvests such symbolism with contemporary meaning; like a visualization of cyber-age witchcraft, the images are portraits of inherited, ancient spiritual practices, blended with visual art to show the plateaus of meaning between apparently disparate traditions. As she continues in the interview, “I believe that the spiritual movements that have occurred in different times arise from the same origin and have simply reinterpreted it. […] One of my greatest motivations is based in astrology and spiritual knowledge. Photography is simply the tool to express them.” (Source)
Berlin-based artist Ivan Prieto sculpts colorful figures whose very existence seems to be burdened by their own body. In his 2014 exhibition titled Icarus, a cast of characters pepper the gallery, each with their own affliction. One lean figure has an intrusive rock growing from its skull. Another is armless and has its torso wrapped in large red coils. As a whole, the group is beautiful yet tragic.
The name of the exhibition could give us some clue about these character. It refers to the Greek mythological story about Icarus, the son of Daedalus who dared to fly too near to the sun on wings of feathers and wax. Before takeoff, his father warns of him of having hubris and requested that he not fly too low or high because the sea’s dampness would clog his wings while the sun’s heat would melt them. Since he flew too near, his wings melted and he fell into the sea.
Like their namesake, there’s a sense of these characters suffering physical consequences for their choices, be them foolish or misguided. You feel for Prietro’s sculptures, because they could be any of us.