When Do Ho Suh first proposed “Fallen Star” to UC San Diego’s Stuart Collection, he “never thought it would be realized.” A cottage built from scratch and permanently joined to an existing campus building – several stories up in the air? Right, mm-hm.
“Fallen Star” is hard to miss. The 18th addition to the renowned collection of site-specific sculptures at UC San Diego is in a central campus location. It sits atop Jacobs Hall, also known as Engineering Building 1 – cantilevered at an angle from a corner of the seventh floor.
The house was built during the fall of 2011. On Nov. 15, it was gently hoisted 100 feet and then attached to Jacobs Hall.
It has since been furnished and accessorized. Its garden is growing: There’s a plum tree, a wisteria vine, tomatoes and more. Lights flicker on at night; a TV, too. And steam, simulating smoke, sometimes rises from the chimney.
To some, imagining Oz, it might look like a tornado-tossed interloper from Kansas. To others, more biologically minded, perhaps like a small blue creature living in symbiosis with its much larger host. Either way, it can be seen from multiple vantage points on campus and off. (Watch a video about the installation after the jump)
For the artist Maria Raquel Cochez, her body is both her subject and medium; choosing to undergo and photograph 3 weight-loss surgery procedures, she catalogs a complex relationship with body image. For this series, titled “Life Performance,” and subsequent videos, paintings, and photographs, the artist courageously addresses the difficult ways in which women are expected to conform to physical ideals.
For “Life Performance,” Cochez relinquishes all control, surrendering both her body and her camera, leaving others to cut, transform, and document her as she undergoes a breast reconstruction and implant and gastric bypass. Each photograph poignantly blurs the line between performance and experience, boldly welcoming the public into a profoundly private emotional space.
Four years after “Life Performance,” Cochez presents “Belly,” a gorgeous video capturing the effects of surgery and life on her midsection. Seen floating in a full bathtub, her excess flesh is seen as touchingly soft yet powerful; isolated from the rest of her body, it seems to breathe independently, rising from the water and sinking back again. On the righthand side of the frame, a child plays with the female belly, innocently exploring the space that gave him life. He kneads it like bread, then strokes it carefully.
The work is painfully moving for the artist’s total surrender to her craft and audience; as viewers, we bear witness to her insides, to folds of her naked skin. For this reason, her impressive body of work seem less like an exploitation of the self than a miraculously intimate confessional. Despite their potentially painful content, her creations are strangely warm and generous; for example, in Life Performance No.1, romantic black and white images of her smiling face and her soft backside gently bookend the frighteningly colorful photographs of her surgery.
Ultimately, the work reads as a richly nuanced love letter to the human body, one to which all humans, regardless of experience, can relate. Take a look at Cochez’s paintings, videos, and photographs after the jump, including her uncomfortably, painfully seductive self-portraits of eating binges.
It is important to note that body dysmorphia—along with other mental- and eating-disorders—are much better covered by new healthcare legislature; especially with groundbreaking ACA regulations now taking effect. If you or a loved one are coping with such a disorder, please remember that there are options out there.
Ryan Duggan‘s posters are hilariously colorful and eye catchy. Although the illustrations are simple, combined with various elements and symbols, they make up for one great event poster. He has been working for the last few years in Chicago and his greater work contains series of poster for different art and music events.
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 artists create gorgeous websites without any coding. This week we’re excited to bring you the work and website of Los Angeles painter Justin Waugh.
With a desire to break painting down to its fundemental components of color, line, form, and surface, Justin Waugh creates a restrictive set of criteria that has a rich dialogue with minimalism and post minimal abstraction. Using those movements as a starting point, Waugh working to engage the language of minimalism with a contemporary sensibility that is both familiar yet subversively fresh. Justin had this to say about this series:
“This series began as paintings that address the repetitive horizontal grid, a hallmark of minimalism, and the use of industrial materials. Instead of a consistent, mechanized application of paint there is evidence of a hand painted surface; the use of oil paint and graphite, traditional painting materials; and a bold use of color. As the series progressed I began working on handmade paper, further giving the work an organic quality that created an interesting tension with the rigidity of the pattern. I am also interested in the overall compositions being made up of repetitions of two inch bands of color, rendering them in a sense without focal point, and egalitarian in composition. I’m fascinated by the use of repeated forms and patterns, and how one can take a very simple gesture and scale it up into something greater than the sum of its parts. “
Sven Lamme seems to playfully sit on the fence, so to say, between art and design. In collaboration with landscaper Terra Incognita, Lamme constructed these three “seating elements” throughout a nature preserve in the Netherlands. They at once serve as kind of landmark for the natural surroundings as well as a means to passively interact with the environment. Lamme also makes use of visual puns in the design of his seating elements. The first seat a literal interpretation of sitting on the fence, and the third resembling a buoy – a reference to the lands elevation below sea level.
Contrary to what these photographs might lead you to believe, the people in them are dead; they represent a special kind of funerary service that involves anything but laying down. Instead, the deceased are posed doing things that you’d see them doing while they were alive. Miriam Burbank is seen with a can of Busch beer and menthol cigarette between her fingers, while the body of Christopher Rivera is propped up in a faux boxing ring.
These strange and creepy displays aren’t anything new, although they are unusual. The phenomenon first appeared as early as the 1984 funeral of Willie Stokes Jr., a Chicago gambler known as the Wimp. He sat through his services behind the wheel of a coffin made to look like a Cadillac Seville. And even earlier than that are the post-mortem photographs of the Victorian era, where the recently deceased were captured while sitting in their finest clothing. While it’s not a funeral, they show how throughout time, we’re trying to remember those passed for how they lived.
Elsie Rodríguez, vice president of the funeral home that organized Rivera’s service, explains some of benefits of these situations, telling the New York Times, “This is not a fun or funny event; the family is going through a lot of pain. With these kinds of arrangements, “the family literally suffers less, because they see their loved one in a way that would have made them happy — they see them in a way in which they still look alive.” (Via The New York Times)