Chris Labrooy (previously featured here) is United Kingdom based artist and graphic designer who thrives in small projects which take a small idea and run with it. His most recent project, Auto Aerobics began as an exercise in place and context. Inspired by a winter trip to Brooklyn, La Brooy began to manipulate a Pontiac car which originally only served as a background object, but became the focus of the entire series.
By taking the familiar shapes and forms of the American Auto’s chassis, La Brooy digitally manipulates them by bending, stretching and combining, and seemlessly building them into the landscapes which they were inspired by. The bizarre, impossible, and totally impracticle images result in strikingly memorable floating sculptures that feel both alien and familiar. (via ignant)
Janol Apin’s “Métropolisson” is a creative project that illustrates the literal translations of the names of various Parisian Metro station stops. The collection of photographs features more than 100 images of Apin’s friends posing in the underground subway stops; from an astronaut in the Champ de Mars station, to a couple dancing tango under the Argentine stop, he leaves nothing out.
With clever puns and creative costumes, Apin makes it possible for this work to be understood by anyone…there’s obviously no need to speak French to capture the essence of this work. Almost every snapshot from this series is comprehensible through the upbeat and universal imagery that the photographer creates. (via Bored Panda)
Artist Christopher Murphy paints memories, using old family photographs as source material. He paints the Hoover Dam, large family gatherings, his younger self, and more. Murphy’s work is technically very good, and the realistic renderings of his paintings to look like photographs. They also depict quiet moments. While a lot of them involve people, there is very little tension among subjects. Colors are desaturated, which ages the look of them. Murphy spoke to New American Paintings about his work. He describes the overarching theme of his paintings, as well as his decision to use old photographs for reference. He says:
Imagination playfully cavorts with authenticity to fabricate the essence of memory. It is at this intersection, between the poles of fiction and truth, that my current paintings and drawings are situated. Issues of contrast, specifically of finding harmony between dissonant elements, have been a constant theme in my work. I see my paintings as opportunities to explore the conceptual contrasts of reality versus illusory and permanence versus ephemeral as applied to memory.
I choose old family photographs (largely culled from my own family’s albums, but supplemented with a selection of found photos from estate sales and thrift stores) to serve as the basis for my work, because of their unique qualities of semi-permanence, staged semblance, and ostensible candidness. In these photos, skies fade to pale yellows, skin tones sink, and details blur and grow fainter with time. Sometimes, dated technology necessitated blank stares or static poses, caused colors to skew, or impacted the framing of an image. By either exaggerating or minimizing these characteristics, along with re-contextualizing figures and objects or dramatically re-staging the action of a photo, the divisions are obscured between the reality that existed at the moment of the photograph, the memories of that moment, and the possibilities of reality that are presented in my work.
Olaf Breuning‘s The Art Freaks, is a group of color photographs transposing the signature styles of seminal 20th-century artists into prosaic body painting. If the manners in which Breuning’s subjects have been painted are not immediately identifiable, then titles like Andy, Frieda, and Piet confirm their references. Stemming from the artist’s recent investigation into his idiosyncratic relationship with modern and contemporary art, the larger than life-sized prints of elaborately painted bodies, which comprise The Art Freaks, conflate the tropes of so-called high and low artistic techniques as they discuss notions of kitsch, cliché, and reproduction.
As Breuning humorously attempts to imitate Takashi Murakami’s character Kiki (Takashi ) or the mounting release of Edvard Munch’s The Scream (1893) in Edvard (2011), he also mimics street performers who paint their bodies to transform into unique characters for the amusement, and pocket money, of passers-by; a tantamount treatment of craft, medium, and cultural signifiers that pervades Breuning’s multifarious oeuvre. Whether through his drawings, sculptures, or well-known website, the specific brand of pastiche Breuning employs in his work is a decidedly indiscriminate one that draws on everything from the Easter Bunny to Andy Warhol’s Marilyns.
Both humorous and uncanny, The Art Freaks not only questions our relationship to the enduring artworks Breuning choses to reference in his series, but also to the reproductions and consumable patina through which most of us experience these artists’ works and their distinctive aesthetics. (via davids sketchbook)
If you want to see more work by Olaf Breuning we recommend Beautiful/Decay Magazine Issue: Y which includes a very nice feature on the artist.
Dutch designer Yoni Lefevre’s series Grey Power has the simple aim of honoring our old and wise grandparents in a quirky, fun, and imaginative way. Using children drawings of their grandparents Lefevre transforms the hilariously bizarre drawings into charming and playful photographs that depicts grandparents as active and fun heros.
About the project Lefevre states:
“We are living in a rapidly ageing society. A majority regards this as a negative development. Older people are perceived as standing on the sideline, having lost their independence. But I see the great value this generation can offer. For ‘Grey Power’ I used drawings made by children of their grandparents, to create an image boost for this generation. Children do not regard their grandparents as grey and withered, but as active human beings who add color to their lives. Their fresh perspective can contribute towards a more nuanced and positive view on the composition of our society.”
We at Beautiful/Decay abosolutely love this project as it is proof that sometimes a simple concept can pack a powerful (and hilarious) punch. (via designboom)
Lithuanian photographer Tadao Cern has created a series of photographs entitled “Comfort Zone” that depicts resting sunbathers at the beach – people who are sprawled out on blankets, their few beach belongings sitting around them. The series asks the observer to create a narrative of the unknown person, to let the details speak for the narrative. Cern says, ”I started this series because I was surprised how a certain place or surrounding can affect people’s behavior. During our everyday life we attempt to hide our deficiencies, both physical and psychological. However, once we find ourselves on a beach – we forget about everything and start acting in an absolutely different manner. Is that because everyone else around you is doing the same?”
Cern seems to be addressing the seeming lack of inhibitions and the overall embracing of comfort that the beach environment courts. The variety of body shapes and positions paired with patterns of swimsuits and towels/blankets create a unique aesthetic of comfort for each sunbather – an aesthetic that is relatable and immediately puts you at ease. In these photographs, the towels and blankets don’t just serve as practical (and comfortable) beach gear – they also serve as backdrops for each portrait, framing the sunbathers but not confining them.
Cern asserts that the sunbathers had no idea they were being photographed, and that he purposely chose to only photograph people with concealed faces in order to ”grant an observer with an opportunity to calmly scrutinize each and every detail without being distracted. It also helps to avoid empathy or connection between people in the photos and the observers. It really does not matter who they are – the details not only reveal their stories, but make us face ourselves as well.”
According to Cern, the selection of photographs found on his website is only part of the entire series which consists of 24 large scale prints. Images are for sale in limited edition. In addition to his personal page and Behance, you can find him on Facebook and Instagram. (via david’s sketchbook and behance)
The good folks at portfolio site builder Made With Color have teamed up with Beautiful/Decay yet again to bring you exclusive artist features. Each week we team up to bring you some of the most exciting artists and designers working today who use Made With Color to create their clean and sleek websites. Website builder Made With Color doesn’t just help artists create minimal and mobile/tablet responsive websites but allows them to do so in a few minutes without having to touch a line of code.This week we are happy to share the work of talented artist and long time B/D friend Terence Hannum.
Terrence Hannum has always been consumed by music. When Terence isn’t in the studio creating his next work of art he can be found releasing zines, designing and releasing limited edition vinyl, and playing in his acclaimed minimalist black metal band Locrian. So it should come as no surprise to discover that Terrence’s artwork also explores the world of music. Using the magnetic tape found in cassettes as raw material, Hannum creates glossy and lustrous paintings that explore the world of minimalism and geometry.
Hannum states about this body of work:
“Typically one does not engage with the material of the cassette. Unless it was being eaten by a tape player, the average consumer never gazed upon its reflective spool. To this point most media requires a certain precious handling of it, the CD, DVD and LP require the listener to hold only the edge. Perhaps speaking to the ubiquity of the digital file these days, the MP3, FLAC, WAV and others have no real handling instructions. I want to focus on the surface. Hence, everything is the surface and in my pieces I try to construct a quiet void.”
Mary Ellen Mark, Heather and Kelsey Dietrick, 7 years old, Kelsey older by 66 minutes
Mary Ellen Mark, Ned and Fred Mitchell, 50 years old, Ned older by 30 seconds
Julie de Waroquier
Julie de Waroquier
Twins: an almost illogically impossible phenomenon where two people look exactly, or almost exactly, alike. Stories of the bonds twins share are equally as fascinating; experiencing the same thoughts and dreams, or switching places to help one another out. It’s no wonder that both Mary Ellen Mark and Julie de Waroquier were drawn to them as the subject matter for their photographs.
Mary Ellen Mark is a well-known photographer based in New York. Considering herself both a documentary and a portrait photographer, Mark was drawn to twins as a unique subject of fascination over a long period of time. She first travelled to the Twins Days Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio in 1998. Enamored with the idea of making a full body of work on twins, Mark contacted the Festival in 2001 to arrange to do a documentary and portrait project there. Over two years she captured portraits and interviewed her subjects, ending up with over a thousand pages of transcripts. The photos themselves, created with the 20×24 poloroid, are stunning black and white images full of narrative and personality.
Julie de Waroquier is a French photographer and philosopher. Her twin series is titled “Chimeras.” Of it she wrote:
“twins have always fascinated me, and not only because I have a twin brother: they are almost magic, and yet they are real. Indeed, the fact that two people look exactly the same whereas they are not the same person is astonishing. It is like a real dream, or like a miracle. In some past or present civilizations, twins are even considered as gods…or as monsters.”
Capturing her chimeras in dreamy landscapes, de Waroquier’s images take on a kind of mythical feeling of their own, furthering the sense that the existence of twins is both mysterious and special.