Scot Sothern is an older photographer, who due to a gnarly motorcycle injury, now walks with a cane. His stunning black and white photographs taken years ago explore what many consider to be the world’s oldest profession, prostitution, while his recent color shots document the random scenes he encounters on a daily basis. And while many of us roll up our windows and try to avoid even subtle eye contact with street corner hookers, Sothern welcomed them into motel rooms to pose for his unnerving lens and even partake in debauchery reserved for a pervert’s imagination and Charles Bukowski’s pen. He was probably the only person to ever shoot his subjects with something other than a gun or semen and his photos, mostly taken in the late 1980s went largely unseen until his first exhibit in 2010 at DRKRM Gallery in downtown LA – just blocks away from where a fan could’ve gotten into some serious trouble if they were inspired by the work. Besides living a wild life and making sure to have a camera there to capture it all, Sothern is also a wonderful writer who is able to describe his experiences with literal crack-addicted whores like they were the most elegant things you’ve ever read about in your life. WARNING: This post contains images that are NSFW.
Julia Fullerton-Batten’s models seem naked in their nudity, and this is not just a clever play on words. John Berger, in his book Ways of Seeing, explains the difference: “Nakedness reveals itself. Nudity is placed on display. The nude is condemned to never being naked. Nudity is a form of dress.”
Here, in Fullerton-Batten’s Unadorned series, each model is indeed nude, as Berger suggests, posed on display, manipulated by the photographer to convey an idea, however . . . because he or she wears a certain type of nudity in the vein of old world masters from the 15th – 17th centuries . . . and because they are arranged in contemporary settings by female hands . . . and because their bodies are curvy and soft, as opposed to thin and hard . . . what results is also a fascinating feeling of nakedness: a complex historical/sociological revelation of us as a species in relation to gender, weight, and image.
James Thurber said, “Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility,” which seems to be a tactic comic artist and illustrator Kate (Ellen) Lacour has mastered in her recent drawing series Bodies, which she has only described with three words, “body horror beauty.” The motives, inspiration, or goals behind the series have not been disclosed, yet appear to be a distinct side-project from her usual cartooning work, replacing a visually lighter style with a combination of human anatomical drawings found in textbooks. The results twist the familiar style of textbook, anatomical human renderings, creating drawings which utilize symmetry, unique and unusual body arrangements, and religious or spiritual iconography.
Symbolic poses are taken by transparent, headless bodies, such as the Lotus position, a pose with Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist relevance. Lacour (who perhaps tellingly also works as an art therapist) enhances this peaceful, evocative aesthetic by drawing lines with ink and pen but softly coloring the drawings in with food coloring. However, even with the emphasis of religious and anatomical text, the drawings evoke a humorous effect, replacing heads with comically screaming mouths and adding eyes to the Fallopian tubes of a levitating uterus. The most successful works are those which pack in detail, such as Devouring Mother (first drawing, above) where a creation myth entirely new is presented by mixing tales and traditions of the past. (via hi-fructose)
Russian physician turned turned artist Leonid Tishkov’s latest project consists of a portable crescent moon photographed in nostalgic and sentimental scenes all over the world. Creating images in china, new zealand, taiwan, the arctic, France and beyond, Tishkov’s global ongoing project tells the story of ” a man who met the moon and stayed with her forever.” (via)
Even through a computer screen Tauba Auerbach‘s work is wonderfully confusing. To answer the question that you may likely be asking right now: Yes, these are paintings. Auerbach folds, rolls, crinkles, and otherwise manipulates the canvas prior to stretching it. She then sprays it with various colors of acrylic paint from different angles. The resulting paintings are definitely two-dimensional work. The process, though, produces an extremely realistic three-dimensional effect, as if the painting were indeed folded and wrinkled then lit by colored lights.
In honor of Spring, Beautiful/Decay is offering back issues at over 55% off the cover price! We have slashed ‘em down to the lucky price of just $3. Who wants to scrub floors or clear out a dusty garage for “Spring Cleaning” anyways? We suggest you buy some of your favorite B/D back issues, curl up on a porch swing, and savor the feeling of getting a great deal instead. Buy B/D Back Issues here!
This sale ends April 1st and 3 back issues have already sold out so get your copies now!
Jesse Edwards isa painter from Seattle who’s been living in NYC for nearly two years. I moved to NYC around the same time as he did and he was one of the first artists I met here. Jesse is really funny because he does these really technically amazing paintings with a Monet sensibility but then he acts all ruggish-thuggish. His subject matter is often “real shit” and its even funnier to see him talk about painting. Talking to Jesse about painting is awesome because he instantly kills all pretension. Its really fun to hang around someone who doesn’t give a shit, yet has more cred than someone who gives too much of a shit. Check out some of his paintings and maybe this will start to make more sense..
In the spirit of All Hallows Eve, we thought it would be cool to share some of our favorite Halloween memorabilia for all of you B/D ghouls and ghosts. This includes vintage horror movie posters and pumpkin carvings; many of which were created by sculptor extraordinaire Ray Villafane. Enjoy! We did!