The lovely Catlin Moore of Mark Moore Gallery was so kind as to provide Beautiful/Decay with a sneak-peak at Kiel Johnson’s upcoming exhibition entitled “Publish or Perish.” If you’re unfamiliar with Kiel Johnson’s work, his work, he creates transmorphic drawings, paintings and sculpture that seem to synthesize the ever-expanding media explosion through a kind of personal narrative. Really lovely line work, almost animation-like. Check out tons of amazing studio shots and the artist at work after the jump.
María Aparicio Puentes’ collaborates with a wide variety of photographers to create her interesting mixed media pieces. Armed with thread and a sharp needle, María stabs into the photos repeatedly to create geometric patterns and shapes that even Buckminster fuller would be proud of. (via faith is torment)
Amanda Manitach’s drawings of skinny girls in t-shirts plays with gender roles and feminism in a thought-provoking way. The sparse style of these ink drawings, sometimes painted over with watercolor, offers an intriguing aesthetic.
Fair haired women standing, sitting, or walking their pet unicorns with nonchalance and a hint of lethargy. Their faces wear little more than ennui, but their black t-shirts, adorned with sardonic statements, pack a punch. There is one thing they all have in common: PENIS. Ranging from wanting penis to not wanting penis, having a penis, the problems with penis, and boner jokes, she has it all covered with wry humor. Seattle-based artist Amanda Manitach is well known for these figures, which almost remind you of Henry Darger’s Vivian Girls, on a heavy dose of xanax. Some of the girls have male genitals, which in combination with the t-shirt sayings, seems to imply a sort of hermaphroditic independence, or is it just a wet dream?
Either way, these women sure don’t seem to give a damn about having a man.
“In my paintings I use the violence and romantic sadness of the natural landscape to provoke a sense of fragility and melancholic instability beneath the surface of the image. I like to use a variety of images that are beautiful and sad with natural elements that can also be seen to parallel the worst parts of our human animalistic behaviors.” -Sarah Emerson
There is a sense in Sarah’s work of sadness and impending doom that i really enjoy.
Katherine Newbegin creates rare beauty in photographs of old cinematic houses. Traveling throughout India she sought out these forgotten places and transformed them into celluloid dream sites. Her quest led her to the more rural areas. These out of the way places provided a history and character needed to create an interesting narrative. Behind a sensitive lens, depictions of these magnificent structures transports one back in time to a place of make believe and desire.
Each of her pictures exude a ‘if only walls could talk’ sensibility.The cracked and peeling surfaces mimic the colors seen on sari’s worn by women in that part of the world. Perhaps the same women who once sat in the now empty seats engrossed in another’s story with dreams of their own. Instead of just focusing on the actual auditorium, Newbegin also photographed the staircases and projection rooms. In some instances, these anonymous spaces are turned into brilliant frames of abstract color. In others, film canisters and tea mugs become painterly still life subjects.
India ranks as the largest producer of films in the world and is known for its Bollywood stars. Newbegin’s quiet, intimate photographs project another side of that industry, one that appropriately preserves an important part of India’s social history.
Hollie Chastain is a collage artist from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Her eye for puzzling together found paper scraps with cut images, shapes, or silhouettes, matched with a rainbow pop of arresting color, gives her collection a vintage yet contemporary appeal. So, it’s no surprise to see her work grace the covers of not only the literary Oxford American but also musical albums from The Figgs and Lightyear.
Most recently, Chastain had brunch with The Jealous Curator to discuss her love of antiquing for found imagery and her pretty heavenly book cover series (above), noting her process: “I never plan them ahead of time. When I find one I like, I sit down with my scraps and move things around until something feels perfect. Most of the time, I will first decide what I can’t bear to cover up on the original cover and that is the beginning of the shape of the composition.”
London-based artist Jessica Dance specializes in creating handcrafted models, props, and sets that have a wide-range of commercial appeal clients include Vogue, Vanity Fair, Google, and more). Her work features a lot of conventional, everyday objects reimagined in a delightful, unconventional way. Dance knits food, toothbrushes, and even calculators on her domestic knitting machine, and it’s a playful twist on the real thing.
The knitted pieces are made from wool, and they look like something you’d want to snuggle up with. It’s an odd feeling to want to hug a giant turkey, but that’s the power of fiber arts (or any art, really). We attach associations to materials and sometimes nostalgia prompts us to touch, pet, or squeeze brussel sprouts and meatballs.
Brooklyn, NY based illustrator Austin Ansbro’s work is full of humor and playful energy with images of hotdogs falling like the Titanic and astronauts exploring the final frontier of Cacti.