Franklin Evans examines the processes of making art—the generation of ideas and materials, their transformation from one to the other, and the many varied states in between. For this exhibition, he will present paintings, sculptures, photographs, and a sound piece in an all-encompassing environment. The wall paintings and collage environments of past installations, such as timecompressionmachine from Greater New York 2010 at MoMA PS1, have been collapsed by the artist and transferred to the surface of large-scale canvases. Mundane materials such as artist’s tape that previously played a key role as a barrier, frame, and drawing tool, are carefully recreated as trompe l’oeil representations, as the use of actual tape in the final compositions diminishes.
In the past, Evans has used gallery press releases to create a framing system presented as temporal floor sculpture. This practice has morphed into the usage of visual highlights from the artist’s gallery visits, captured online images, text highlights from books read over the past year, and scanned photographs from family albums. The viewer will discover various aspects of Evans, as an artist and a person: his childhood in Nevada, his mixed Mexican heritage, and his gay male identity. By focusing on the myriad visuals referencing the various aspects of Evans’ personae, some of these “peripheral” images remain on the periphery, while others become a focal point, as they do for indexicalmeasfocalscreen2012. The archive of hundreds of photographs is threaded to create an “image curtain” that divides the main gallery in two and which occupies an artistic space that builds on the Atlases of Aby Warburg and Gerhard Richter.
Entering this tandem exploration of periphery and focus, the viewer walks into the gallery over Evans’ sculptural “library”, an elevated floor and installation object in flux. It starts as a representation of the literal, moves to a residue of process, evolves as the ideas are extracted from the represented books, and settles into the sound piece 1967 in the main gallery room. 1967 consists of 350 fragments from his readings in the past year, ranging from Justin Spring’s biography of Samuel Steward, Secret Historian, to October Files’ Robert Rauschenberg. The text extractions are voiced by five performers and are played on random shuffle. Operating in the slippery non-linearity of memory, 1967 takes us back to Evans’ birth year. Eyesontheedge is on view at Sue Scott Gallery in NYC until April 15th, 2012
Bang! Bang! Studio, based in Russia, collaborated with IT company Yandex to create an interactive weather application for the iPad. Utilizing the studio’s rich variety of illustrations, 70 works are animated to keep your daily check of the weather fresh. Best part? App is totally FREE and available in Russian and English. Reviews suggest the size of the app makes it a bit slow, but the pictures are still nice to look at, and I like the idea of adding some art to a daily activity without losing functionality.
Illustrator Liza Corbett lives and works in New York, previously having studied at Syracuse University and the Studio Arts Center International in Florence, Italy. Her dark fantasies and fairy tales populated by angular ladies, weed-people, and animal bones have appeared in exhibitions both here and abroad, as well as on the pages of Atlantic Monthly, Bitch Magazine, and – best of all, amirite? – now Beautiful/Decay. Check out her creations after the jump. Oh, and maybe try to find all the severed limbs. It’s like a Where’s Waldo of scissor-cut hands, really.
Sparkling sequence and plush yarn are just some of the mixture of materials that artist Rachel Denny uses in her work to cover bodies, or sometimes just heads, of animals. This Portland based artist’s work lives in a world somewhere between taxidermy and your grandmother’s craft room. Her unique take on animal trophy heads uses cashmere knitting and twine to transform what looks like the shape of the head of a dead animal. Denny’s artwork includes a diverse variety of woodland fauna, including deer, horses, goats, lambs, and even bears. Sometimes her colorful, eclectic materials, including satin, matchsticks, and pennies cover an entire body of a creature, other times it is just the head unattached to its body.
The creative and interesting use of materials used transforms the animals into something different, something very inviting and attractive, but also unnatural. The seductive sparkles of the black sequence Denny uses pulls you in closer, all the while there is a “bear” underneath. There is a theme of masking over organic beauty with our own human inventions that is apparent in the artists work. Humans often take a natural object or creature that is already beautiful, and try to improve on it. We alter it so that it fits our own needs, or that we may see it as looking even better. Although Denny’s work is incredibly bright and fun with her pastel yarn and sparkling materials, there is a dark hint of the hand that humans have on the natural environment. (via The Jealous Curator)
The work of artist Alessandro Boezio is somewhere between a cross of beautiful, anatomic sculptures and a science experiment gone wrong. Created from clay and fiberglass, Boezio’s sculptures take on a strange life form all of their own. The mutated anatomy included in his work display hands with misplaced digits, spidery entities with fingers used for legs, and limbs with mismatched body parts. The artist has an amazing talent in sculpture as his hands and feet, which he mainly focuses on, are incredibly life-like. At first glance, you may not see the odd mutation of the individual hand. However, the uncanny feeling soon forces you to reckon with its disturbing deformation.
The sight of unattached body parts formed into stand-alone creatures can be quite unnerving. As some of Boezio’s hands are missing many vital fingers, many have a plethora of digits that give them a new life. The fingers become spider-like legs that allow the sculptures to become creepy-crawly creatures that can spin a golden web. They become centipedes made up of our own body parts that inch across the floor. The larger the limb, the more peculiar and abnormal each piece becomes. Boezio’s most life-like sculpture includes a fleshy, peach color to resemble skin, and displays legs and feet in place of fingers. The hand’s tone is incredibly similar to life, which makes the mutation all the more bizarre. Unbelievably, you can even see the veins and hair on the hand. Boezio’s detailed artistic skill is just as incredible and shocking as the misplaced anatomy in his work.
Jess Riva Cooper’s ceramic sculptures are as beautiful as they are disgusting. Her works have the viewer going back and forth between pleasure and revulsion, creating a welcome confusion to be examined. This juxtaposition of attractive and off-putting elements is not a new phenomenon in art – think Jessica Harrison’s ceramic women, and whose work we’ve featured on Beautiful/Decay – and although her artwork is also similarly violent, the aggression is expressed quite differently. Cooper’s busts are overtaken by plants, leaves, and sometimes bugs, which are often gagging or otherwise obstructing the female’s sensory capacities. The plants grow from the women’s heads, the leaves with an almost leech-like gesture extend out with determination.
It’s painful to see the women bound by nature in this way, also because, as a bust, they are without arms or hands to defend themselves. She renders the women with a great deal of skill, their expressions soft and subtle. In her artist statement she speaks about nature reclaiming its place and “a loss of control…as the parasitic entity subsumes the host” as well as her interest in sculpting the figure as a way to illustrate “physical and emotional vulnerability of the individual.” She addresses these themes plainly in her work, which is what makes it so successful and enjoyable.
Artist Brandon Muir creates dark, creepy, digital collages. With creatures such as a vintage pilot whose nose seems to have been burned off, a smiling blue child with red melting eyes, and a boy with a mutated head including a third eye complete with tentacle arms, Brandon Muir’s potential patrons of hell are truly what nightmares are made of. They are reminiscent of The Twilight Zone meets The Munsters meets Basket Case (1982). They are undoubtedly demonic, however, the work also has this sense of playfulness (perhaps solely because they are displayed using the lighthearted platform of the GIF). Muir’s work has an of aura of jest, perhaps taking notes from the type of kitsch found in 1950s horror films. In his own words “[My] one intention with these animations is to ride the line between a disgusted cringe and a smooth chunky chuckle” (source). His process begins as any collage artist’s would — he collects images taken from magazines such as National Geographic and LIFE magazine. After he creates his more traditional collages, he then uses programs such as Photoshop and AfterEffects to formulate the digital rendering. By placing the work into a digital format, Muir allows himself to explore more complex textures, colors, and juxtapositions, creating striking images you can’t seem to get off your mind. (Via The Creators Project)