French artist Olivier Garraud has created Second Life, an installation that encapsulates the life cycle of flies in real time. The piece consists of two parts: an apparatus that allows flies access to food, and a tube filled with maggots and flies connected to an amplifier. Second Life allows us to examine the relatively short life-span of an insect on concise, bare bones terms, generating a context which can be applied to personal events. More images after the jump, and you can also check out a video of the installation in action here.
Catherine Chalmers manages to make captivating and beautiful those creatures that cause most of us to feel squeamish. Chalmers travels the world to capture images and video of rodents and insects in their habitats. Being one part scientist and one part artist, Chalmers is interested in bringing focus to nature using art as her vehicle.
For her most recent project, Leafcutters, which was partially funded by a Guggenheim Fellowship, Chalmers captured the activities of ants. She was intrigued by the many similarities they have with humans. She noted that like us, they inhabit almost every ecosystem on Earth, are one of the dominant species in their habitats and they impact the grand structure of other biological systems. Beyond that they also wage war, take slaves, raise and keep other animals for food, and are also capable of making their own antibiotics. They’re also, as Chalmers demonstrates, highly photogenic.
Chalmers American Cockroach series, equally beautiful and tough, captured arguably the world’s most dreaded insect. Forcing us to confront our discomfort with cockroaches Chalmers wondered if she could seduce people into liking them because, as with the ants, they’re a lot like us.
Jesse Edwards isa painter from Seattle who’s been living in NYC for nearly two years. I moved to NYC around the same time as he did and he was one of the first artists I met here. Jesse is really funny because he does these really technically amazing paintings with a Monet sensibility but then he acts all ruggish-thuggish. His subject matter is often “real shit” and its even funnier to see him talk about painting. Talking to Jesse about painting is awesome because he instantly kills all pretension. Its really fun to hang around someone who doesn’t give a shit, yet has more cred than someone who gives too much of a shit. Check out some of his paintings and maybe this will start to make more sense..
Scott King is bringing some interesting ideas to the table concerning celebrity culture, social revolution, and Globalism. He often includes humorous elements in his work, which is hardly ever a bad thing. King has produced conceptual graphic design, print design, and installation work (large and small) with equal skill and insight. From a piece depicting Ulrike Meinhof as the Mona Lisa, to punk flyers, sculpture, and altered magazine covers, King is doing it. And he’s doing it well.
Do you revel in hot, anguished tears rolling down the innocent face of a child? We certainly do not. How can you solve this world-wide problem? We suggest you subscribe to Beautiful/Decay. As artist C.W. Moss has illustrated in Reason #2 of our hand-painted illustrated series, a subscription a year will erase every child’s tear.
In 1995, artist Bryan Lewis Saunders decided to create a unique self-portrait every day for the rest of his life. In 2001 he committed to taking a different drug or intoxicant every day before making his daily portrait, calling this sub-series “Under the Influence.” From absinthe and cocaine to cough syrup and computer duster he sniffed, swallowed and smoked his way through interesting art and into mild, but reversible, brain damage.
Though these are only a small fraction of the collection of over 8,600 self-portraits, they have received the most attention, resurfacing in the media over and over throughout the years. Saunders has mixed feelings about this, telling Fast Company:
“To be honest I’m not proud to be on any drugs in any pictures. I think drugs make me look really ugly. And I’m really a six trick pony, but the world only likes one of my tricks. Each year 500,000 kids around the world discover drugs and so the virus never dies.”
The portraits themselves are fascinating. Is it possible that one day of a psychotropic medicine would have such a clear effect? Are some of these images influenced by Saunders perception of the drug, and not the actual effect of the drug itself? Does it even matter?
“For hundreds of years, artists have been putting themselves into representations of the world around them. I am doing the exact opposite. I put the world around me into representations of myself as I find this more true to my Central Nervous System.”
This is art, not a science experiment. If the idea of the drugs has more of an effect on the art than the drugs themselves, that’s Saunders’ artistic prerogative. The work is provocative and often more than a little bit haunting. The brain spilling Saunders on Abilify and the dark, isolated, limbless Saunders on Nitrous Oxide/Valium represent disturbing and disturbed states of mind. Though he no longer takes drugs in the pursuit of art, the self-portrait series continues, and continues to fascinate.
Like many of us photographer Klaus Pichler wondered what happened at museums after hours. However Pichler took the next step and contacted his local Natural History Museum to see if he could poke around after hours and document his findings. The result of Pichler’s curiousity is a multi-year project titled “Skeletons In The Closet” which gave the photographer unlimited access to every room, cellar, storage space, and closet in the museum. Focusing on the more unknown parts of the museum where exhibits are put together and excess materials are stored, Pichler documented remarkable juxtapositions that the best imagination could not put together. (via)
” As a photographer with limited knowledge of scientific research methods, the museum’s back rooms presented to me a huge array of still lives. Their creation is determined by the need to find space saving storage solutions for the preservation of objects but also the fact that work on and with the exhibits is an ongoing process. Full of life, but dead nonetheless.”
Giuse Modica (aka Giuse) is an artist/illustrator who really loves skateboarding. In his self-explanatory new series called Animals Skateboarding, Giuse gives some beasts of the wild a chance to share his passion. There’s dogs doing ollies, and eagles doing 360 flips. With a background in drawing and character design, it’s no wonder Modica is able to bring so much personality to each of these animals. Modica attended the Williem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, while also studying abroad at the Art Institute of Boston. Modica also loves doing illustrations for children’s books, so don’t be suprised if you see some of these anthropomorphic characters again!