The humor may be pretty obvious in displacing hot rod models and putting them in odd, working class, mundane, broke down car scenarios, but Liz Cohen’s photographs are humorous nonetheless.
Zeroing by Andrey Nepomnyasochev makes me think: What if the entire world was a crumpled sheet of paper sitting tightly in someones hand waiting to be torn apart.
We’ve recently explored the world of creative dog grooming, and now it’s time to turn an eye towards portraits of ornate fowls. Singapore-based photographer Ernest Goh documented the world of Malaysian Chicken Beauty Pageants. Yes, believe it or not, these events exist (because why not?), and are captured in Goh’s tongue-and-cheek titled publication, Cocks: The Chicken Book.
Goh selected the Ayam Seramas breed of chicken for his series, who are known for their beauty. He sets places each creature against a black background and allows their exquisite coloring and patterned feathers shine. These photographs highlight their outward appearance as well as their quirky personality, as the cock their heads and strut their stuff.
On his website, Goh features a quote that’s some food for thought. It’s taken from the famous novel Animal Farm, and it seems very appropriate for this energetic series: “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” The results of the colorful portraits are akin to what we’d see if a human had the lens turned on them. With this similarity, perhaps chicken beauty pageants aren’t that silly after all. (Via PetaPixel)
Artist, illustrator, and muralist Saddo creates paintings that are a fusion of birds, humans, armor, and more. In stately-looking portraits, these hybrid creatures look as though they’re ready to enter battle or to try and cheat death. Sometimes, act as the grim reaper themselves. The dark-colored images match the somber subject matter, and many of Saddo’s surreal works are meant to echo that sentiment.
The catalyst for Saddo’s subject mater comes from a move to Lisbon with the artist Aitch. Some imagery is influenced by Spanish and Portuguese explorers and conquistadors from the 15th to 18th century, as well as illustrations of birds, Islamic miniatures depicting battle scenes, and science fiction movies. Other paintings are inspired by the cold. “…the winter caught us by surprise, we didn’t expect it to be so rainy, gloomy, and depressing.” Saddo explains.“It deeply affected our mood and even our physical state, we often felt trapped inside our dark, moist house, inside slow moving, joint aching bodies.” Every once and a while, a coffin would appear in their illustrations and paintings.
The culmination of these disparate influences facilitate morbid, strange, and fascinating works that have intriguing small details hidden within each composition.
Manal Al Dowayan is a Saudi Arabian contemporary art photographer based in London, Dubai and her native land of Saudi. The basis of her work is black-and-white photography, however she recently introduced more layers to her work by working on sculpture and installations .
Suspended Together, first displayed on the 54th Venice Biennale’s The Future of Promise exhibition is comprised of 200 fiberglass doves that hang from the ceiling by transparent nylon thread. Each of these doves are imprinted with images of written postcards and stamps.
The piece is visually striking and it evokes an interesting set of complex emotions and ideas that challenge the spectator’s view on Saudi women and their initiatives and downfalls to find freedom. At first glance, Suspended Together gives the impression of movement and freedom, however, a closer look, leaves the spectator looking at doves that are static in movement, suspended in flight. Manal tells Nafas Magazine that the written text and images imprinted in the doves are real “permission documents issued by an appointed guardian when they [women, in this case successful professionals] have to travel [get surgery, or any type of important procedure]” ; women in Saudi are not able to conduct themselves freely, and although reforms to improve the visibility and freedom of women look promising, they don’t seem to pass through King Abdullah, Saudi Arabia’s leader. This struggle is visually present in Manal’s work, as she successfully implements imagery that illustrates the contradiction of many important women that found success in their profession [the dove], yet find themselves suspended in flight, as they try to find their way to do the small tasks of everyday life with volition and freedom from their ‘guardians’.
Beautiful/Decay recently had the opportunity to go behind-the-scenes at Mark Moore Gallery while artist Cordy Ryman was installing his latest exhibition, “Hail to the Grid.” As the show title implues, Ryman both riffs off the conceptual frameworks of minimalism and abstraction, and simultaneously playfully transgresses some of the movements’ core philosopies. While minimalism delights in the precision and rationality of its more reductivist tendencies, at the very core of Ryman’s sensibility is an opposing sense of spontaneity and free-form creation. Many of his works are self-referential, responding to their own materials or processes as sources of inspiration and thematic vocabulary. For instance, the cast off remnants of Velcro used to install a piece to the wall are later integrated into a grid-like abstracted collage, which, in turn, becomes the subject matter for a painting. Ryman delights in the elegance of distilled form, though instills a sense of sincerity in their physicality: hand-cutting, painting and fashioning his constituent parts with an affectionate hand. While a minimalist like Stella, for example, savored the steely finality of his imposing black paintings, Ryman in contrast frequently re-works his pieces, allowing chance and flexibility to enter into the work at any time. Even the installation of works are constantly in flux–shortly after Beautiful/Decay snapped up photographs of Ryman’s installation in process, Ryman called to inform us that one of the pieces was now on the wall and the entire exhibition looked different! Be sure to visit Ryman’s exhibition, opening this Saturday and running until Dec. 21 to see the final results! Full interview with Ryman, including his process for creating works, installation and outlook on art, below.
Luke painter’s vividly rendered drawings could be sets for dreams where everything is still, calm, and just a bit frightening.