Take a stroll along the High Line in NYC and you can’t help but notice Chelsea’s very own eye-popping mural by Eduardo Kobra on 25th and 10th. This towering piece of street art infuses a rainbow bolt of color into Manhattan’s skyline, emoting nostalgic imagery: re-imagining Alfred Eisenstaedt’s 1945 classic photograph “VJ Day in Times Square.” Likewise, if you live along the west coast in LA, you might have noticed Kobra’s psychedelic Mt. Rushmore redeux at 1255 La Brea Ave, exposing the art of democracy.
Interestingly, this artist is not from America, but São Paulo, where his passion for blending vintage or classic iconic imagery into contemporary settings first emerged in the late 1980s and has traveled internationally ever since. The intention was and is to pay homage to the parts of a country’s past or remind the city inhabitants of their historical precedents– emphasizing a certain level of romanticism.
Jesse Auersalo is a London based graphic designer and illustrator who was recently featured in Beautiful/Decay Magazine Issue Y, and contributed the issue’s cover. We loved the design so much that we decided to create a t-shirt from the iconic cover. Here is a photo of “Clown,” the as-of-yet unreleased shirt!
Jesse Auersalo’s work is at once haunting and seductive; rather than reinforcing the likeness of his subjects, he purposefully complicates and obscures their recognizability. His cast of characters features a plethora of bizarre veils—whether bandannas tied over faces, helmets covering heads, taped shut sweatshirt hoodies, or even Halloween-style fake gag noses, as shown in this t-shirt. They appear like a ramshackle gang robbing your home with makeshift masks. Perhaps this is what simultaneously lends Auersalo’s works an irresistible sense of intrigue and unavailability to the viewer. Jesse himself has noted: “You normally want to get what you can’t have. It’s the most common way to tease and to make itself attracted. Even the most boring secret can reach everybody’s curiosity if it’s well wrapped and hidden.”
You can’t get your hands on this design just yet but keep an eye out for it when it debuts in March for our 09 spring collection!
Michael Shapcott is an emerging artist from Connecticut. His paintings and illustrations take traditional portraiture and add elements of folklore and dream imagery, his main source of inspiration. His work is nothing less than powerful, inspiring, and emotional.
NYC via Arizona artist Joe Sorren creates oil paintings of idyllic children and their soft, forgiving companions. He shares a similar palette with Dave Cooper, and both artists have also been represented, at one time or another, by the same gallery (Jonathan Levine in Chelsea, NYC). But that’s pretty much where the comparisons end. Where Cooper depicts hedonistic wood-nymphs frolicking in the woods, Sorren places children sitting on a blanket reading a book. The artist’s beautiful paintings show us that there is as much intrigue and mystery in the lighter (and perhaps also sad) elements in in life as there are in the dark, animalistic realm of self-serving greed. Sorren will hold a small solo show in Levine’s project room in December.
Hungarian artist Flora Borsi’s latest work was fueled by the emotions she felt after visiting Detroit. The artistic examination of architectural and infrastructural ruin has proven to be a topic of interest for many a creative person. From the ruins of once bustling institutions comes an idealization of the past that in turn triggers reflection on the future. She explains that she was “saddened by the state of abandoned buildings and factories”. She transferred this feeling into her latest project, simply entitled “Detroit”, which is a clever series of photos where she places old photographs of people in Detroit on top of photos she took during her time visiting the city.
Her photos include couples roaming the streets, children ice skating, and factory workers manufacturing tire parts. She merges what she sees as a very alive past and a very much less alive present. Through her splicing of past and present, she addresses the melancholy associated with the decay of an urban setting and the nostalgia of a metropolis in its heyday.
Her series reaches beyond a simple display of sadness and neglect, and the clashing of the city’s past and recent present provides strong grounds for reflection on the idea of rebirth. By doing this, she has somewhat created her own vision of urban decay in a way that is both bleak and hopeful.
The painter Casey Baugh’s vibrant images are so astoundingly realistic that they could easily be mistaken for photographs if not for the eery, impressionistic brushstrokes that are only visible at close range. In rich and moody blues and blacks, the artist imagines a social and psychological landscape dominated by technology, a world where humans and machines coexist in a heightened state of tension and theatricality.
With conventionally beautiful women serving as his subjects, Baugh seduces the viewer; the photorealistic flesh glistens in soft, dreamy blues. Technology becomes a fetish object of sorts as wires coil about the curves of the female body, entangling and binding her while her sensually lit face surrenders to a strange sort of ecstasy, her body reclining suggestively.
Despite the powerful allure of technology, Baugh’s work also serves as a warning against our surrender to it. The remote, mechanical aspects of our modern lives— electronics, social media—entrap the human self with their metallic sheen and magnetic glow. A woman is seemingly choked by a collar made of industrial piping; the piece, titled Ammonoid, suggests that the foreign object has in fact integrated itself into her anatomy. Similarly, a girl is bound in glistening cellophane and confined to a cell, hooked up to televisions without chance of escape. Sadly, Baugh’s women, drawn to the irresistible blue screens, have become as much machine as human being.
The form of the work mirrors its thematic content; at first, the images look like photographs, captures of real events, but upon second glance, it becomes clear that the scene is an expertly-painted illusion. How much of our experience with technology is real? At what point do we sacrifice a truthful mortal existence for the entrancing (and ultimately fleeting) world of technology? (via HiFructose)
Alva Bernadine is a British photographer, so dedicated to his craft that he risks his freedom… literally. He has a new book called Gratuitous Sex and Violence: My Favourites. The images investigate the violent nature of sex and the sexual nature of violence. The images make you feel uncomfortable, but command your attention. Alva is a seasoned veteran, having worked for 25 years as a photographer for many publications like GQ, Elle and Vogue. Get mesmerized by Alva’s erotic surrealism!
The art of Adeela Suleman is built of common cooking utensils found in her home of Karachi, Pakistan. Suleman utilizes objects such as strainers, measuring spoons, tongs, and enamel pots among many others. While many of her pieces appear organic, others seem to be a form of armor or helmet. She juxtaposes traditionally domestic tools with the appearance of items of aggression and physical protection. Perhaps, a reminder of physical abuse directed against women as well as the absurdity of violence.