Tragedy can yield new ways of working and thinking, especially in the case of artist Jess Landau. After a lifelong friend committed suicide in 2013, she was struck trying to come to terms with the loss, and it lead her to explore new ways to cope with the event. What resulted was a stunning series that conveys the fragility of life itself as expressed through nude figures on eggshells.
Before she landed on eggshells, Landau decided that the traditional materials of wood, papers, etc., just weren’t cutting it. She wanted something more delicate. The decision to use the shells coincided with her learning to use liquid emulsion, a chemical that makes paper light-sensitive and allows images to be projected onto it in a darkroom. “Liquid emulsion will only adhere to surfaces that have a tooth — shiny and smooth surfaces like glass and certain plastics don’t work unless you sand-blast them,” the artist explained to Huffington Post. “Eggshells have an appropriate texture for the emulsion to cling to.”
First, Landau photographed the models with a 35mm Minolta camera and then developed the images by hand in a wet lab using traditional darkroom methods and a few modifications. Because of the eggshells’ curved shape, Landau applied several layers of evenly-distributed emulsion to to them. The exposure would vary depending on the shape of the shell, making the process for each slightly unique.
The effort that went into the production of this series had therapeutic results in addition to its beautiful aesthetic qualities. “Life is fragile and temporary, and it should be cradled in the palms of our hands — which is the process that I engaged with as I delicately created each of these works manually, with my hands.” The nude bodies represent vulnerability of its subjects, and printed on a delicate surface demonstrates the fleeting nature of life itself. (Via Huffington Post)
Photographer Paul Kooiker has a creepy little voyeuristic collection of work that is not only unnerving, but quite beautiful all at the same time. In this way, his work really stands out to me, it is observation perfected – maybe even surpasses to intrusive. This terrifying, and talented photographer doesn’t need gore to freak you out. He just needs the eerie-calm and the psychological imprint he leaves behind that has you suspicious of just who is standing behind you. I am going to have some weird dreams tonight…
Just in time for the holidays B/D present 19 brand new prints designed exclusively for B/D by some of your favorite artists from around the world. Each high quality print is printed on thick archival paper with the boldest inks for maximum color and resolution. Add a few prints to your collection today and make those bare walls disappear this holiday season!
Photographer Magdalena Bors, who currently works out of Australia, has spent much of her artistic career exploring the creation of small worlds. Often toying with domestic situations that have catapulted nearly out of control, her work toys with domestic life through a silly exaggeration of common routines; crafting to the point of knitting an entire rooms worth of goods, thumb tacks that have grown into their own ant hills on a desk. Thoughtful yet comical, she pokes fun at routine while also creating a rather transfixing sculpture out of it, pointing out an underlying beauty and the inherent art in nearly everything. Her work is child-like yet sophisticated, and reads much like a scene that has lost control through its own charisma and momentum.
“The characters in my latest series of images The Seventh Day have been overtaken by a seemingly uncontrollable compulsion to create complex environments from materials found in the domestic realm. The processes undertaken to create the landscapes are extremely labour intensive and involve repetitive, painstaking tasks. Food scraps and remnants of materials seen in the images allude to the passing of time and the physicality of the processes involved. The resulting scenes resemble familiar, sometimes iconic natural landscapes.” (Excerpt from Source)
The work of Hungarian photographer Mate Moro is cool, nearly cold. His photographs carry an modern fluorescent cold – even the bodies of his subjects don’t lend much heat. They nearly seem to act as objects just as other objects in the images interact with the scene. Slightly surreal, his work is disconcerting like a waking dream in which something is vaguely out of place. Moro has a talent for composition – coupled with obscured faces the viewers eye never seems to settle on just one place in the photograph.
At quick glance, these manga illustrations by Japanese artist, Shohei Otomo appear to be traditional – black, white, red. Not quite though: tough Geisha playing table tennis, far from. Such a violent spin with these renderings, you really sense the impending impacts. Fun.
When an artist works with patterns- repositioning, repurposing and giving new context to his or her subjects- it is often in the interest of creating more from less, big from small. It’s a way of demonstrating a well-worn flavor of creative vision, one that lets the world know that you not only can see the unseen, but you can create the bridge between that which exists, and that which, as of yet, does not. It’s a way of asserting how smart you are (after all you’re a step ahead of everyone else). This is a good way to be. But it doesn’t take that much effort to be smart, to see the bigger picture. For many of us, it’s really just a matter of opening our eyes. What’s really special -what separates the thinkers from the human computers- is the ability to really understand your subject. And that’s something that takes time and effort, not some abstract, bullshit self-assertion of ‘creative vision’. What’s really special is to use pattern to go inward instead of outward. To demonstrate not how one thing is actually a part of something else, but how certain elements make something not like something else. To highlight how some things are just inherently the way they are.
Take Ron Ulicny’s recent work on view at Spoke Art in San Francisco: clever sculpture and belligerently patterned works that force you to really absorb the materials from which they’re made. Ulicny’s technique finds a way of getting inside the things that we usually use to make other things. A way of finding the small structures within the already small. Forced to confront his subjects in such a direct way, we begin to feel strangely acquainted with the work.
Dan Bannino is an Italian photographer who translates ideas into visual stories, often through the creation of eclectic still lifes. Featured here is a new series titled Niche of Wonders, which explores the lives of musicians throughout history. From Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to Alice Cooper to Taylor Swift, Bannino has constructed “shrines” that explore their individual quirks and hobbies. We discover (among many other things) that Roger Daltrey is an avid fisherman; Nikki Sixx uses photography as a creative outlet; and Grandmaster Flash collects mugs as souvenirs.
Niche of Wonders makes us wonder how musicians live every day, outside of the talent and stage presence that has made them famous. In a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, Bannino encourages us to imagine what they are like “when the show is over,” so that we can consider them as unique individuals who channel their personas and ambitions into other projects. If we imagined niches for two recently-deceased artist, for example, we would perhaps see chess pieces for David Bowie, and a collection of Nazi memorabilia for Lemmy. In a playful call to curiosity, Bannino states, “Be prepared to change your thoughts about your favorite rockstar, and perhaps next time you could even consider to buy them the right Christmas present.”