Artist Erika Lizée re-imagines reality in twisted, magnificent forms that bend through our world and into the next. In her incredibly installations, she uses acrylic on Duralar, a translucent kind of film that allows light to pierce through some of the work. They are paintings that have sprung into the third dimension. Lizée’s sculptures are like otherworldly beings, shifting in and out of our world’s outer boundaries. By using Trompe l’oeil painting technique, she creates an illusion that you can see this other being behind the wall of the gallery. It is as if there is a magical world that we now have the chance to peer in to.
The mysterious and ominous mood that is created from Lizée’s large, flowing installations reflects her intent to express the beauty and mysteries of life. Her work seems to be in a state of flux, shifting back and forth, expanding and contracting. The artist explains that this shift is like the collective consciousness that is continuously altered by scientific discovers and new experiences. The way in which we think of the world and understand our environments are constantly being redefined
All of this combines with the complex ways in which we internally create our own notions of reality based on perceptions, beliefs, and filter.
Erika Lizée’s breathtaking installations pull us in to a foreign space of flux and transformation.
The installations serve as a metaphor for the journey of our personal and shared life experiences.
Blood Mirror is a collection of various works of art composed of blood donations from gay, bisexual, and transgender men which have been rejected by the FDA. The mixed media exhibit is made up of a short film by Leo Herrera which traces the story of nine gay men who have chosen to “donate their blood for art” given the FDA ban on donations from MSM( men who have sex with men). Their donations have been placed in a large cube through which light reflects on a panel painted with blood. The exhibit will include a sculpture, “Untitled”, composed of the blood collection tubes and blood bags of the nine men from Herrera’s short film. A “Blood Flag” will also be a part of the exhibit.
Aside from the vastly controversial aspects of using human blood as an artform, Blood Mirror has a strong political stance and strives to generate a dialogue surrounding the FDA’s regulations on blood donations. The use of blood in such an aesthetic manner provides not only strong visuals but also underlines a situation present within the medical world. The merging of the science and art worlds displays the necessity and beauty of elements such as blood give us the chance to think about the importance of speaking about things such as the right to donate.
Blood Mirror will be on display at the American University Museum from September 12th to October 18th.
Designer Bilge Nur Saltik creates stunning objects that magnify beauty by playing with light and geometry. Featured here is Op-vase, a series of glass vessels crafted in Istanbul that are cut to produce kaleidoscopic effects. Once a flower is placed inside, its image is dispersed across the concave, faceted surfaces; a single rose is transformed into an illusory bouquet that shimmers and proliferates behind the glass. With human perception as the catalyst, each angle produces a unique and subjectively experienced pattern. Watch Dezeen’s video above and see how the flowers magically change as the vessel turns.
Saltik’s fascinating oeuvre includes similar works that create enchanting effects by distorting and multiplying reality. In 2014 she created a wall light containing layers of textured panels that reflect light and warp patterns as they rotate; similar to the Op-vases, Saltik also crafted a collection of glass objects carved with geometric surfaces that trigger optical illusions as they move. With a keen eye for contemporary design and a knowledge of the seemingly limitless capacities of human perception, Saltik’s work unfolds worlds of mystery and hidden beauty.
SKWAK is a French illustrator who draws elaborate crowds of what he calls “maniacs”: colorful characters who skitter and dance together with a look of celebratory absurdity. SKWAK is no stranger to Beautiful/Decay; over the past few years he’s collaborated with us on various projects, using his signature style to design kooky merchandise for our shop.
SKWAK is our cover artist for Beautiful/Decay Issue J, a magazine that focuses on groundbreaking artists with offbeat styles that oppose the elitism often associated with mainstream art. Also featured in the issue is Michael Scoggins, who draws nostalgic and self-exploratory images on crumpled pieces of notepaper, as well as Misaki Kawai, who creates expressive craft art with a raw, intentionally “amateur” aesthetic. As one of our most popular magazines, Issue J is sure to delight you with its curated collection of artists that strive to do things their own way.
We interviewed SKWAK in 2011, giving us fascinating insight into his art. Featured here today are some of the pieces he’s produced in more recent years. Among the works are the eye-catching, jittering throngs of his maniacs; wide-eyed and grinning, they mesh together amongst vibrant patterns and cartoon images of eyeballs and snakes—as well as more subtly sinister depictions of skulls and dismemberment. Among these mad assemblages are a couple of individual character drawings, wherein he focuses on illustrating the bodies of his maniacs with the same colorful, psychedelic fever. In the past few months, SKWAK has also embellished classical busts with his undulating line work.
Immerse yourself in the eccentric world of SKWAK and similar artists by picking up a copy of Beautiful/Decay’s Issue J, available here.
Monique Schreijer makes prodigious, multi-colored and wearable wigs. So far, six samples have been designed by the artist in her NYC studio. Each one has a theme and a story leading to dreams and fantasies. Monique Schreijer has created wigs that, aligned together, resemble to a world of tales. Inspired by Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, braiding her own hair and playing with Barbie dolls when she was a child, she brings something innocent yet symbolic in each wig.
Almost everything including the jewelry is hand made, except for the birds and butterflies. Monique Schreijer uses mixed medias such as of Kanekalon hair, tinted powder, faux pearls, hot glue, feathers, rubber bands, found sticks, wire, glitter, toys, and scraps. She has come up with six wigs over two years. Each wig has a name, a color assigned to it and a detailed theme, narrated on the hair and which is taking most of the space:
‘1.Black – Plague of Marseilles, 2.Red – Queen, 3.Pink – Cotton candy/unicorn, 4.Green – Valley of Cocora, 5.Multicolored/sailboat/dog – California. 6.Blue – Dreamy girl’
Monique Schreijer uses symbols to express what moves her. Ladders to reveal escapism, black skeletons and rats for darkness and evil, flying birds and a flourishing nest for freedom and fertility. Not only are the wigs beautifully crafted, they are a source of creativity and imagination.
The incredibly innovative, tech-infused work of artist Sprios Hadjidjanos is created from an impressive variety of methods using modern technology. He combines the amazing world of 3D printing and other modern devices with the natural, tranquil world of plants. When you first glance at his series titled “Displacement/Height Maps,” it is almost impossiple to tell how the work was made. Using UV prints on carbon fiber, Hadjidjanos miraculously births an amazing hybrid representation of a part of our natural environment and made-man substances. Large-format, Technicolor images of different flora are created, colored brilliantly in all different hues of the spectrum.
Sprios Hadjidjanos beautifully captures the balance of the natural world in juxtapose to artificial elements in his other series, which transforms the photography in the historical book Uniform der Kunst from 1928. The artist’s unbelievable techniques have rendered these blooming flowers three dimensional, allowing you to see every line and detail. He did by scanning the original photographs, then using intricate algorithms, printed the images onto hundred of points. The artist’s version of the photography looks similar to the original, but look much more mechanical in an almost science fictional way. He not only uses modern technology in his processes, but also displays them in his art, like his larger than life iphone. His installations, like Network Gradient, use a combination of wireless routers, optic lights, and electronic circuits to forms beams of light like that of another world. His artwork ingeniously lays our world of technology out in a strange, futuristic way that is both strange and beautiful. (via Hi-Fructose)
Jae-Hyo Lee’s latest work is a true work of perfect imperfection. He works with the imperfect forms and patterns of wood and reworks them in order to produce smooth, polished, and functional works of art. The combination of the wood’s natural shapes and the work he puts into the wood himself make for a series of pieces that are a perfect balance of nature and the presence and interference of man in nature. He creates a sort of hyper perfection which relates our relationship with beauty to our relationship with nature.
The process of Lee’s work is equally interesting to note: he spends time assembling an assortment of bits and pieces of wood, which he then spends time polishing and burning. This process allows him to rework the structure of the wood and create the meticulous shapes that can be seen in the final product.
Lee’s work is however not only a process of creation: he expresses the way in which he works very much with the natural structure of the wood, He says that he likes to “ make the most out of the material’s inherent feeling”, which underlines the fusion of nature and the man made. His project is full of a positive energy that brings a new perspective on the roles of wood its presence in our everyday lives. The fact that his series includes both sculpture and furniture adds to its beauty and complexity.
Flavia Carvalho is a Brazilian tattoo artist who provides voluntary service for women left with scars from domestic violence and mastectomies. The project’s name is A Pele da Flor (The Skin of the Flower), deriving from the Portuguese expression “A flor da pele” (deeper than skin). In support of the healing and empowerment of women, Carvalho’s scar tattoos are entirely free—all the client needs to do is to choose a design. Her goal is to help women feel better about their bodies and selves by reclaiming their scars as marks of transformation and strength.
Everything began two years ago, when Carvalho worked with a client who had been stabbed in a nightclub by a man she turned down. Over her abdominal scars, Carvalho tattooed blooming flowers and a bird—symbols of beauty, sensitivity, and growth. After seeing how deeply touched the client was with her tattoo, Carvalho decided to bring her services to more women. Since then, her project has received deservedly positive reception on social media, raising important issues related to domestic violence, the battle with cancer, and body image.
In an interview with Huffington Post, Carvalho speaks about the emotional impact of her project—turning feelings of shame into self-love—and the deeply rewarding connections she creates with her clients:
“The feedback I have gotten from women who were helped by this project has been extremely surprising. The sense of affection, sisterhood and camaraderie is deeper than I ever imagined. They contact me from all over the country, as well as from abroad. They come to the studio, share their stories of pain and resilience, and they show me their scars. Embarrassed, they cry, and hug me. Then we design the tattoo and we schedule the session. They become excited, optimistic. It is wonderful to see how their relationship with their bodies changes after they get the tattoos.” (Source)