Sometimes it seems that the more successful one is as a professional artist, the more important personal projects become. Such is the case for photographer Zhang Jingna who has partnered with video concept artist Tobias Kwan and several guest artists for the project “Motherland Chronicles.” A weekly project, the series of 52 images has recently been completed.
“It’s an exploration of sort. An attempt at putting together elements and themes I’ve loved since I was a child. It has a bit of a don’t-want-to-forget-my-childhood-dreams sort of thing going on; since I’ve been working for almost 7 years now, I don’t want to lose track of who I am, but it’s easy to as you grow and do too much commercial stuff, you know? So it goes back a lot more to my creative roots, more illustrative and painterly, like artworks that inspired me to create. Loosely linked together with hints of dark fantasy.” (Source)
The themes for the series developed organically. As the weeks progressed, the fantasy element became pronounced, colored with Jingna’s affinity for manga, Japanese rock, and fashion. The artists’ whose work she was inspired by includes Antoon van Welie, Suemi Jun, George Frederic Watts, and Yoshitaka Amano, and their illustrative influence can be seen in the work, particularly in the even light. Each image takes between 5–7 hours and a team of 5–6 people to complete. In her fascinating blog she writes about the process of beginning a personal project, using “Motherland Chronicles” as an example, and gives excellent, step-by-step instructions on what to consider and which pitfalls to avoid.
“Pictures always start from a single point; it could be an item, a piece of jewellery or even just a vague idea for a concept. Say I want to do a shoot with firs, I’ll ask myself questions such as: what kind of environment am I creating? What types of fire can I make? How does my character interact with it? What type of character does that? At the same time I do research on art, costumes, culture and sometimes also myths and legends.” (Source)
Jingna and Kwan hope to have a book for “Motherland Chronicles” completed and ready for sale in early 2015. (Via Juxtapoz)
Now when the sun goes down cyclists can feel a little safer. A new product developed by Volvo called “LifePaint” is a spray riders can put on their clothes and bikes which will remain invisible until night falls and the headlights of a car hit and then it will turn a shocking white alerting the driver. The spray is currently available only in the UK and can be sprayed on clothes and bikes which will last up to a week. It can be easily washed off if needed. From the demonstrations shown it gives the rider a ghostlike appearance adding to the alert value against the night sky. According to reports free samples have been flying off shelves and those locations where it’s not available have had many inquiries.
There has also been a lot of criticism from cycle advocacy groups who feel the auto industry is putting blame on the victim for creating such a product. They feel these huge conglomerates should focus on making cars safer for cyclists by installing outside airbags and restricting cars to lighter colors. They also claim very little evidence exists supporting the product’s success rate.
Either way, if you do ride at night, always make sure to have front/back blinking lights and proper reflectors on both wheels. Staying on bike lanes, wearing florescent reflective clothing and always wearing a helmet will also ensure better safety.
In celebration of the upcoming 4th of July festivities, Beautiful/Decay has decided to launch an explosive 2 week sale! All of our latest Spring ‘09 inventory is on sale from $30 down to $25.95, and all other Beautiful/Decay apparel has been discounted from 10-50%! All of these shirts are close to sold out, and once gone, will not be re-printed. So be sure to take advantage of this opportunity- the sale ends July 15th! Click HERE to visit the shop!
From collage to film, Aaron Maurer is one talented guy. Aaron hails from the frozen tundra of the Midwest. After growing up in Minneapolis, MN, he headed East to attend Rhode Island School of Design, where he majored in film and animation. He now lives and works in New York… in a cave.
It’s not often that we post about deceased artists but a show about the imaginatvie and bizarre work of surrealist Remedios Varo merits a mention.
The first exhibition of Remedios Varo to ever take place in the western United States, Indelible Fables at Frey Norris illuminates the ever-imaginative and prescient world of this deceased surrealist artist. Spanish born Varo certainly died prematurely, by heart-attack in 1963, but in a short career she had acquired a cult-like following among friends in Mexico City, her adopted home. Many of these friends were involved in an informal investigation into esoteric religion and the teachings of George Ivanovich Gurdjieff and his student Peter Ouspensky. As part of this soteriological pursuit, with close friend, the celebrated English artist Leonora Carrington, Varo created some of the most inventive painted scenarios of any of the artists associated with surrealism. Varo would remain something of a marginalized, but popular figure in Latin American art right through the 1990’s, when a solo exhibition at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC elevated global awareness of her work and in part catalyzed an ever accelerating level of scholarship and market demand. View the show at Frey Norris from January 19th-February 25th.
Just in time for the holidays, self-proclaimed “painter, illustrator, writer, jeweler, and up-to-no-gooder,” Hannah Rothstein has cooked up a Turkey-day treat. Straightforwardly titled, “How Famous Artists Would Plate Thanksgiving Meals,” this series of photographs portrays plates of tried-and-true Thanksgiving staples reimagined as if they were created by celebrated figures in modern art history.
Based in San Francisco, Hannah “focuses on finding clever and humorous ways to look at ordinary objects and ideas.” Whether simply rearranging the food or drastically fracturing the plates, the works comprising her “Thanksgiving Special” represent her playful, experimental approach.
In true Piet Mondrian fashion, Hannah has divided her rations into a geometric grid. To evoke the work of Pablo Picasso, her meal is fragmented and rearranged into an unrecognizable form. In homage to Georges Seurat, she has turned her peas and potatoes into a pointillist picture, while plopped morsels and splattered cranberry sauce mimic Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings.
With aesthetic allusions to myriad other artists, including Vincent Van Gogh, René Magritte, Mark Rothko, Julian Schnabel, Andy Warhol, and Cindy Sherman, there will certainly be no scarcity of art at the table this year.
French photographer, Thomas Mailaender, exudes so much humor into his documentations. I genuinely enjoyed looking through his gallery, through all the amazingly funny, and weird images. It would be amazing to put these images up on my wall as posters, or even just as postcards.
Beautiful/Decay just released seven new designs just in time for Fall! Artists Colin Strandberg, The SickSystems, Ben Tegel, Jessica Hische and Official Classic created some stand-out graphics you have to see to believe!