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García de Marina Rearranges Mundane Objects Into Witty Compositions

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With a witty sense of humor and an inventive mind, Spanish artist García de Marina, creates photographs based on the reinvention of mundane items. How about reworking a couple of spoons for sunglasses, or a slim comb for a bar code ? No wonder Spanish poet José Luis Argüelles once referred to him as the “photographer who knows how to capture things we aren’t able to see.”

Marina’s compositions come to have this nostalgic feel, not only because maybe the objects he is using are reminiscent of our own lives, but mostly because perhaps, at some point in our lives, we’ve all come to re-imagine that which is around us. There is more than just a clever re-interpretation of objects here. If we look closely, the artist is proving his viewers with alternative observations, perhaps, an ultimate surprising escape to the mundanity of our world.

They are very simple images. I try to create images that are easy to understand-and that hopefully don’t need any kind of explanations. I want to make an impact, give my viewers a little surprise. I hope that they will inquire more, and do further examinations.

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Amy Boone-McCreesh’s Vibrant Works Immerse You In Colorful Complexity

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Amy Boone-McCreesh’s sculptures and 2-D mixed-media works are both self-referential and highlight a larger aesthetic idea, which is the visual aspect of celebrations. For years, she’s explored the way in which different cultures commemorate events in their lives, particularly how they express it with decoration and objects. Now, with a new body of work, Boone-McCreesh goes beyond this initial inspiration and uses things she’s previously created as raw material for new pieces.  They debuted at a recent two-person exhibition with artist Sarah Knobel entitled Anything Sacred at Hamiltonian Gallery in Washington, DC.

The delightfully dizzying pieces are full of texture, color, and have the same sensibilities that we’ve seen in her previous works. Boone-McCreesh explains the idea behind her rich and vibrant aesthetic:

Anything Sacred is a birth of new from the old. Through digital manipulation, collage, printing, and reworking, I allow visual elements from an extant body of work to become new imagery printed on vinyl, paper, and custom fabric. The complex layering, stripping, and blending of the digital with the handmade gives birth to a new visual language.
In sampling my own imagery and re-contextualizing it in an immersive visual experience that is both cyclical and unifying, I am challenging traditional notions about value and pushing for a more complex, dynamic personal aesthetic. Simultaneously, my work in Anything Sacred continues to examine the use and meaning of decoration through formal arrangement and design.

You can view Anything Sacred now at Hamiltonian Gallery in Washington, DC until June 21 of this year. More shots of the candy-colored walls and lively work after the jump.

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Street Artist INSA’s Animated Graffiti Gifs

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Street artist INSA paints graffiti murals that he then turns into gifs – called “gif-itis” – by photographing multiple frames of a mural he paints several times, then combining the successive images to create animated gifs. Animating these street murals allows for a viewer to engage with the street artist’s work without leaving their home. The murals exist in the real world as a static image, but when combined with technology, they become a moving image only accessible in the virtual world.

In 2013, INSA traveled to Kubuneh Village in Gambia to paint murals on local structures for the Wide Open Walls Project. He completed his most recent piece (the revolving skulls and hearts at the beginning of this post) a few weeks ago after spending 2 days painting 8 layers of the mural.

You can watch a video of the making of one of his gif murals here. (via don’t panic)

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Famous Paintings Photoshopped Like Modern Fashion Models

gif_565x396_21efa2Titian, Danaë With Eros, 1544gif_565x362_fed333Sandro Botticelli, Birth of Venus, 1486gif_565x313_698da2Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Grande Odalisque, 1814gif_565x558_b68f2aRaphael, Three Graces, 1504–1505

Unfortunately, today’s media offers a limiting vision of female beauty, urging all women to have slender waists and full chests. Bodies that deviate from this standard are tossed by the wayside by publishers and media giants, photoshopped into figures that conform to an often impossible ideal. But it wasn’t always like this; Baroque painters like Titian and Peter Paul Rubens idealized fuller figures, imagining their nudes with sensuous curves of the flesh.

Lauren Wade, a senior photo editor for Take Part, has seen firsthand the digital nipping and tucking that goes on behind the scenes in the publishing and entertainment industry. In response to the societal obsession with “perfect,” unrealistic female bodies, Wade has digitally altered Renaissance, Modernist, and Post-Impressionist masterpieces to mimic the ways in which fashion models and celebrities are edited today. By releasing a series of gifs showing the extreme lengths to which industry standards alter the human form, she hopes to bring awareness to the fact that what we see in the magazines is entirely unrealistic and to remind us that “beauty” comes in all shapes and sizes.

Here, the female subjects of Paul Gauguin and Edgar Degas, once considered to be idealized, get uncomfortably slim waists and oversized breasts. Raphael’s three graces, once representing the characteristics of female perfection— charm, beauty, and creativity— are also cruelly altered. The goddess of beauty herself, Botticelli’s Venus, doesn’t conform to 21st century societal standards, and she too is deeply changed. Even Titian’s Cupid gets a makeover. Wade’s work reminds us that definitions of “beauty” are in constant flux; as the centuries pass, we set one arbitrary ideal before another. In the end, aren’t all figures lovely and worthy of artistic representation? (via Design Boom)
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Haunting Photographs Of Places Marked By Tragic Suicides

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This series from the landscape photographer Donna J. Wan might at first seem exhilarating, with its sweeping views of turquoise blue, frothy water; however, overlaid each magnificent seascape is the knowledge that tragic suicides have occurred in these exact spots. The artist, inspired by her own postpartum depression, names her body of work Death Wooed Us after a line from the poet Louise Gluck: “Death wooed us, by water, wooed us.”

Wan’s stunning images look startlingly like the work of of Caspar Davd Friedrich, whose dark romantic landscape paintings capture the spiritual bonds between human and nature. Friedrich, who is widely assumed to have suffered from depression, also used the shifting tides, colored with mist and fog, to express the lonesomeness of the human condition. Where the 19th century painter employed a human figure, his back facing the viewer, Wan leaves her bridges and overlooks painfully empty; any (wo)man who has sat and contemplated his (or her) life and death here has since departed.

Wan’s tragic photographs stretch endlessly to the edges of the frame, as if her somber landscapes could barely fit within a single shot. They alternate between vitality and utter silence; where some capture the bubbling surf and faraway beach-goers, others present the water fixed and frozen, still as a glass mirror. The materiality of the bodies of water is powerful; we can imagine their impact, cold and wet. Standing at the precipice, viewers feel the danger of the majestic waters; ultimately, we are compelled to turn away, the unforgettable image pressed into our mind’s eye. (via Feature Shoot)
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Made With Color Presents: Emily Silver’s Work Celebrates The Comic And Tragic In Everyday Life

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Emily Silver

Emily Silver

Beautiful/Decay has partnered with premiere website building platform Made With Color to bring you exclusive artist features. Each week we join forces to bring you some of the most exciting artists and designers who use Made With Color to create their clean and sleek websites. Made With Color helps makers build their artists space on the web. Every Made With Color site comes with a built-in mobile site and is totally responsive for smart phones and tablets. This week we’re excited to bring you the exuberant sculptures, paintings, and videos of Made With Color user Emily Silver.

The mixed media work of Los Angeles artist Emily Silver seeks to examine the space between the celebratory and tragic moments that simultaneously exist in the life of an event. As subject matter Silver look to funerals, parties, parades, and carnivals, in their finite nature, for the work to be actively a part of these sensual celebratory spaces. The materials hold a metaphor of the ephemeral and the cherished creating objects and videos that play with what is monumental or decorative, comic or tragic, and beg the viewer to reconsider their relationship to these ideas.
 
Many of the sculptures that she creates become part of short humorous animations that shift our perception of what is real, what is desired, and what is anticipated. This work mashes the individual and group, the celebratory and discarded, the monumental and diminutive. Though these pieces seem overtly playful, there is an under current of the tragic, absurd and unexpected invading these spaces. About her work Silver states:

“I spent many years working doing floral arrangements for major events, and for a time I worked in a mortuary doing only large funeral arrangements, where I found myself spending a lot of time in the cemetery (maybe too much time). I have always had a fascination with the celebratory in relation to death, and the things that we don’t talk about at the/an actual party/event. That is a large influence in the making and research of the work.”

See more of Silver’s work as well as her animations after the jump.

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World’s Smallest 3D Pen Lets You Write And Draw In The Air

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The latest in handheld 3D printing, Lix is the smallest 3D printing pen in the world. This device allows you to write and draw in the air, without using paper. Lightweight (around 1.5 ounces) and easy to use, the pen fits the hand more comfortably than other, larger handheld 3D printers, allowing for more intricate details and designs. Even better, the tool can be powered by a wall charger or a USB port. The biggest challenge for the designers has been the reduction of the mechanical parts to fit into the 12mm diameter aluminum tube.

Though it was exceeded the amount of requested funding, Lix still has a Kickstarter campaign in the works, and you can check out even more information on their website. The pen is currently available for $155, including 5 bags of mixed colored plastic. (via colossal)

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These Otherworldly Fungi Have To Be Seen To Be Believed

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The Australian-based photographer Steve Axford captures some mind-boggling fungi, including tropical mushrooms that had likely not been caught on film prior to these images. Compelled to adventure into obscure places left unexplored by most men, the artist documents strange organisms, many of which are found in his native area, the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales. A number of species exhibited in his body of work exist in more temperate zones, like Tasmania and the state of Victoria.

Axford, a retired computer system designer and manager, hopes to marry science and art. His photographs, in addition to being beautiful, are useful in the identification and cataloging of species previously undocumented. Prior to Axford’s efforts, the hairy mycena, a snowy white mushroom with a fuzzy cap and a translucent stem had not been spotted or archived in Australia. The same holds true for the blue leratiomyces, a plant native to New Caledonia and Lord Howe Island.

Seen here in striking detail are the most uncanny of fungi species, each enchanting in its own magical way. Some are bioluminescent, glowing an electric green in the night air; others are impossibly delicate, sprouting elegantly from moistened tree trucks. Unexpected colors spill into nature’s canvas with the growth of purple, blue, pink, and bright red mushrooms. The artist explains that photography has gifted him with the opportunity to slow down and absorb the earthly wonders that surround him; in shooting these strange, spindly lifeforms, he gives us the opportunity to do the same. Take a look. (via Colossal)
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