Artist Motoi Yamamoto is known for his sprawling installations entirely composed of carefully poured salt. His newest installation Charlotte, North Carolina’s Mint Museum is titled Floating Garden. Existing for slightly under a month, the community was invited to ‘dismantle’ the installation. A huge swirling pattern, one familiar from nature, covers the floor. Upon closer inspection, the hurricane-like shape is a tight network of neat lines of salt. Salt is replete with symbolism in Western culture but has special meaning in Japanese culture. The museum explains:
“Salt, a traditional symbol for purification and mourning in Japanese culture, is used in funeral rituals and by sumo wrestlers before matches. It is frequently placed in small piles at the entrance to restaurants and other businesses to ward off evil spirits and to attract benevolent ones. Motoi forged a connection to the substance while mourning the death of his sister, at the age of twenty-four, from brain cancer, and began to create art out of salt in an effort to preserve his memories of her.” [via]
Sophie de Oliveira Barata’s Alternative Limb Project applies an artistic approach to prosthetic limb design, seeking to create unique and personalized prosthetic limbs for amputees. With her degree in Special Effects Prosthetics for film and television from London Arts University and 8 years of work for prosthetic providers creating realistic limbs, de Oliveira Barata has now established her own studio working as a specialist consultant alongside prosthetists to create alternative prosthetic effects with direct input from clients. She also collaborates with other artists – designers, laser-cutters, metal, plastic, and wood workers – in order to maximize the potential for a unique prosthetic. In addition to her “surreal” and “unreal” prosthetic designs, she is also highly skilled in crafting realistic looking limbs.
The experience of losing a limb, often under intense and strenuous circumstances, can be alienating and disempowering. Through her work, de Oliveira Barata offers a creative form of empowerment, one that is both functional and fashionable.
“Generally the whole technology is moving towards trying to recapture a lifelike limb that looks realistic and also acts realistic in motion,” says de Oliveira Barata. “In this instance I’m doing the complete opposite and I think it does capture that whole childlike imagination — it’s like being a superhero with super powers.”
“It’s drawing attention to their disability in a positive way…Rather than people seeing what’s missing, it’s about what they’ve got…Having an alternative limb is about claiming control and saying ‘I’m an individual and this reflects who I am.'” (via cnn)
For fans of pop-culture mash-ups, Rocky Davies has an amusing throwback for you. The artist takes iconic villains of the 1980’s and fuses them with the music of the same era. Its outcome is a bizarre series of fictional album covers. Using fonts and colors that are reminiscent of the time, Davies creates slick designs that channel a darker version of Lisa Frank art.
The stark black backgrounds give way to fluorescent accents, and nearly all of his designs feature his subjects wearing Wayfarer sunglasses. Looking impossibly cool, these characters intermingle with bold, geometric patterns and a lot of lens flare. Lyrics from songs like the Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)are designed around the floating head portraits and take on a new meaning.
Davies’ series comes at the right time. It’s no doubt nostalgic, and it speaks to those who were coming of age in the 80’s. There’s enough time between their popularity and present day for people to realize how borderline cheesy these things were. These fake album covers are both an homage and poke fun at an era of visual excess. (Via Brother Tedd)
Speaking of surrealism how about the works of Sarolta Bán? These epicly surreal photographs are painstakingly created digitally creating a seamless world where bears read stories to small birds, trees grown in the sky, humans live inside cameras, and keys as tall as buildings are portals to an alternate universe. Sarolta’s images transport us deep inside storybook fictions where every dream can become a reality as long as you believe.
Love these bizarre sculptures by Chinese artist Hu Ke.I couldn’t find much about what they are about or how they are made online but maybe one of you smart Cult Of Decay members will put on your investigator cap on and report back to cult headquarters with your findings.
Okay, I like word art. Also, I like cookies. Nothing like a fresh batch of warm cookies. Now imagine Helvetica font speeding down the street, crashing head-on into unsuspecting Sugar Cookie – Beverly Hsu knows the result. You can find out after the jump!
Since I started Beautiful/Decay while attending the Maryland Institute College Of Art I have a soft spot for artists working in Baltimore. There’s something about living Baltimore (see “The Wire” for more on that) that changes you and your artwork forever. Baltimore is a giant pot of crazy that just seeps into your work and wont let go. Keep up the good work Suzanna and make us Alums proud!
Check out Suzanna’s Flickr account here and her portfolio over here.
Not only was Brad Elterman always present at the right time and the right place, but he also has a story to tell about every moment he captured with his camera. From nearly getting beaten up by Robert Plant’s roadies for getting a shot of the singer in his briefs playing soccer, to the moment Joan Jett flicked him off and thus allowed him to get one of the most quintessential late 1970’s images of rock n’ roll. He’s still shooting like crazy and if you follow him on Tumblr, where he’s quite the sensation, you can check out all of his great photos of yesterday as well as today. Brad Elterman’s photographs will also be on display at Kana Manglapus Gallery in Venice Beach from June 28th – September 10th.