Working in her studio in Sausalito, CA, sculptor Sophia Collier uses a combination of acrylic block and algebraic function (with a little help from a CNC router), to carve sculptures of wind. The clear, floating relief works look like freeze-frame slices of the water’s surface. She spends a great deal of time replicating the effects that both wind and light create on a large body of water using custom rendering software and sound recordings of the wind. Collier carefully mimics its movements and reactions with a series of digital “brushes” she has created, working to develop unique strings of information to carve out each piece. The sound waves move and fluctuate in the digital space just as they do in the physical realm—and the result is a crystallized portrait of the wind, giving the visual effect of sunlit water. She outlines her entire process here.
The anonymous wedding photographer from behind the @socalitybarbie instagram account may be delivering one of the greatest social commentaries of our time. The familiar pseudo authenticity and inspirational life quotes that flood Instagram are all so present in our daily social media lives, and, this us just what Socality Barbie seeks to address. The account is full of snaps of Barbie at the trendiest coffee shops, draped in bohemian blankets, or looking flawless at the beach. Part of the inspiration stemmed from the Socality Instagram account itself, a group which describes themselves as a combination of “social natural tendencies assembling in communities”, which may seem vague at first, but delivers a very specific and distinct aesthetic.
Socality Barbie is a hilarious yet striking commentary on how we have become within ourselves, while trying to find our “true selves”. On top of the hazy, heavily edited photographs displayed on the account, the captions under each one bring an extra element of humor by using Instagram buzzwords such as #blessed #liveauthentic and #pnwlife. They sometimes even border the nonsensical: ” I love being a part of this creative community that inspires us to create and encourages us to collaborate with other creatives.”
The creative mind behing Socality Barbie knows just what she is doing, and points it out accurately by stating that:”Either her(Barbie’s) Instagram looks like yours or you know at least one person whose Instagram does”. Through this project, she underlines the desire to be seen as authentic, salt of the earth, true people while achieving just the opposite through our particular use of such media as Instagram,She also underlines the plastic nature of such a self image by pointing our that her use of a “mass produces plastic doll” would express her points on authenticity and originality in the most adequate way.
Vincent Kohler’s Turnaround series is an artistic project focusing on the theme of the baseball bat.It consists of a collection of thirty baseball bats, turned in different species of woods, each unique in form, and a book combining texts by various authors and photographs specially done on this subject.
Sammy Slabbinck’s surreal collages disassemble the world and construct a surreal place of strange happenings. Taking portions of found imagery, the artist builds compositions in which women are out of proportion and larger than life. They are integrated into the landscape and dominate the scene, while others in the frame barely seem to notice these beauties. There are other bizarre events happening in Slabbinck’s artwork, such as men carrying sections of the galaxy, buildings sprouting out sexy legs, and people at a dinner party watch a bomb go off while appearing unaffected. It almost seems like that the only people that seem aware of their surroundings are the giant women. These are the characters that confront us as viewers, looking right back at us.
Drawing inspiration from vintage books and magazines, Sammy Slabbinck’s collages have a classic feel to them with a modern twist. The composition he creates tends to be both humorous and seductive, as different elements that were once normal now become bizarre through distorted scale and strange juxtapositions. Everything should seem out of place, but Slabbinck’s perfect placement and imagery combinations make everything appear perfectly balanced. You can see more of Sammy Slabbinck’s work on his site or at Saatchi Art.
Romanian artist Mircea Popescu‘s series Head Stock unravels the typical portrait. These obsessively detailed pieces are linocut prints – the image etched, inked, and impressed on paper. Portraits often become stand-in’s for the sitter they identify. Instead, Popescu’s faces float independent of bodies and clear facial features. The images seem to be piled with countless layers hinting at a physical face and pointing to something deeper behind it. The complexities of the Popescu’s faces reflect the intricacy of identities behind portraits.
Swiss artist Daniele Buetti’s light box constructions feature punctured holes that emit light from beneath the surface of the image creating a glowing highlight to the images of the distressed models and adding poetic text and musings to her provocative works.
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.”
Scott Campbell is quickly becoming a popular name in the downtown NYC art scene. Already a world-renowned tattoo artist, Campbell also dabbles in the world of fine arts, making a variety of works including his signature stacks of laser-cut currency. His recent show “If You Don’t Belong, Don’t Be Long” at OH WOW gallery in NYC had its detractors, but that didn’t stop it from being a huge success. Following in the footsteps of Mike Giant, Dr. Lakra, and Sailor Jerry, Campbell might just be on his way towards a bright and productive career.