With his collection of delightful three-dimensional GIFs, the illustrator Dain Fagerholm creates whimsical universes that are both wondrous and terrifying. Filled with monsters reminiscent of Maurice Sendak’s “wild things,” the precious animations exist in a space caught between childhood nightmares and dreams. The artist draws each by hand, and the illusion of three-dimensionally of the work is expressed by a fast-paced alternating between a few images drawn from similar but differing perspectives.
Fagerholm’s lovely work is infused with a playful sense of anxiety; his characters, both human and otherwise, curl on the ground of tightly enclosed spaces like affrighted children. Wide-eyed and appearing to move manically back and forth, they hold their knees close to their chest. In these strange, surreal narratives, we are invited to feel the claustrophobia of a time out, recalling the lonesomeness and isolation of being bound to our rooms. One girl seems to be trapped within a TV screen, seemingly sucked into a blue, static-filled haze by her own imagination, peering curiously and excitedly outward.
These sweet, solitary creatures play and daydream in a dark state of nighttime unease. A seven-headed dragon evokes images of the beast from the biblical text Revelations, recalling (in an unexpectedly adorable way) frightful notions of eternity and punishment. As if pulled from films like The Shining or Poltergeist, Fagerholm’s characters transcend the real world, reaching instead for a chaotic, nervous aesthetic. With eyes dazed like hypnotic spirals, these little monsters seem to wait impatiently for sunrise and open air, for someone to keep them company. (via Demilked)
Artist Takahiro Iwasaki is a master when it comes to constructing elaborate, miniature landscapes. However, these small-scale scenes are not formed from Lego’s, but from much more unlikely and unstable items such as cloth fiber, dust, and human hair. This Japanese artist takes the most miniscule, seemingly insignificant materials and uses them to create something incredibly complex and enchanting. His newest installations, which are part of the series titled Out of Disorder, contain mini-scenes of recognizable landmarks such as Coney Island, ferris wheel and all. Inspired by painted landscapes on Japanese folding screens, Iwasaki comments on his work in relation to its inspiration.
“Just as the artist of the screens did, I would like to revisit a commonplace everyday scene from today’s Japan, and just as the screens embody a smooth flow from one season to the next, I hope to capture, in my work, the graceful transition of a Japanese landscape from past to present.”
Each tree, building, factory, and rollercoaster in Iwasaki’s work are brightly colored and fragile, as many of them are enclosed in a glass case. This glass reveals one of the most captivating elements of the landscapes; the layers of clothing that make up the earth in many of the installations. Each cloth is filled with diverse colors and clashing patterns, revealing a mishmash of layers that resemble section of sediment in the soil. They form the rolling hills and steep slopes that make up the miniature environments. However, not all of the artist’s creations are constructed from recycled cloth, but from toothbrushes, as well. Telephone towers sprout out of Iwasaki’s toothbrush bristles in this strange yet familiar installation. Out of Disorder is on display now at Takahiro Iwasaki’s first solo show Takahiro Iwasaki: In Focus at the Asian Society Museum in New York. (via Spoon & Tamago)
I’m sure most of us have a love of chocolate and confectionery – sometimes indulging ourselves a little, and sometimes we binge, purge and gorge our way to diabetes with the sweet stuff. Embroidery artist Charlotte Bailey of Hanging By A Thread has taken her obsession to a healthier place. Instead of eating the chocolate and candy bars, she has been reworking the logos and house hold brand names of the sweets with colorful, eye-catching embroidery thread. Bailey ever-so-slightly changes the wording of the labels to allude to the darker side of the confectionery industry.
Hershey’s is now changed to Hurtey’s; Milky Bar to Guilty Bar; Oreo to Ohno; Cadbury to Calories. The embroidered pieces are loaded with emotionally charged messages that remind us of the seriousness of an eating disorder. Bailey taps into the thought processes that pass through people’s heads when thinking of buying their next candy fix.
She points out the scary subtext that is always there with any kind of confectionery, or actually with any commodity that is superfluous to our needs. We are always being told to buy more; need more. Whether it’s the style of the attractive packaging and optimistic-looking font, or the level of sugar content in the product, we are always left wanting more.
And if you want more of Bailey’s clever designs, the collection of embroideries are on display at Menier Gallery in London from 28th July – 2nd August 2015.
Stemming from a desire to challenge the conventions of traditional portraiture, Bryan Drury has carefully selected affluent members of society to sit for him, and rather than acquiescing to expectations of flattery, he exploits the power of oil paint to describe their corporeal flaws as precisely as possible. Finding liberation in this reversal of patronage roles, Drury focuses on the organic quality of the flesh and shows the animalistic side of humans that we so commonly attempt to conceal. The works feature a single subject, executed with a painstaking degree of realism. The small-scale portraits capture the condescending and supercilious attitudes of the sitters, who gaze at the viewer with an air of disdain. Set against solid backgrounds, the sitters seem separated from the outside world, and their lifeless artificiality imbues the works with a sense of isolation. In an attempt to expose their vanity and the disconnect that exists between the corporeality of the body and the abstraction of identity, Drury meticulously renders facial details, paying special attention to imperfections and blemishes. His skillful use of light and shadow in portraits highlights the contours of the sitters’ faces, while the subtle glossy backgrounds further accentuate the tactile nature of the skin and hair.
When Isaac Tobin is not working as a senior designer for University of Chicago Press or playing with type design, then he is whipping up some pretty phenomenal collages with minimal resources. Each piece remind us that cutting back and holding the line is just as important as drawing it. His seemingly simple use of familiar and found paper products matched with sporadic vintage text and condensed doodling presents an accessible everyday charm that inspires affordable creativity.
So last week, B/D teamed up with MSTRKRFT & SPRFKR to present a creative giveaway. All you have to do is send us your COOLEST drawing of two dudes sporting mustaches and shades! You can draw MSTRKRFT if you want- or any other two guys sporting this incognito look. Three lucky winners will receive a MSTRKRFT prize package of a SPRFKR poster & MSTRKRFT’s latest cd, “Fist of God.” Winning submissions will also be featured on the Beautiful/Decay blog! So get creative- submissions can be digital, painted, crocheted, Bento boxes, whatever!
Louis Jacinto‘s series “Floating Away” is at once alien and familiar, like Norman Rockwell from space. His photographs are of the most mundane objects we see every day in our lives: signs, usually connected to buildings and rooftops, drifting away. One photograph features a water tower, suspended in mid-air like a Midwestern siren call. Unmoored from their surroundings, the objects seem to contain some kind of portent, like a surreal rapture of modern design.
Jacinto’s photographs of big company logos are particularly evocative; devoid of branding, advertisements and the adoring gaze of consumers, they seem almost lonely. There’s a nostalgia to Jacinto’s photographs. They’re haunted by ghosts of icons from the past.
According to a statement by the artist,
“I expected so much growing up in the 1960s. My home always included discussions of the day’s events and politics. I saw how people struggled, fought and died for what was right. I thought by the time I was grown, the world was going to be beautiful and wonderful. I see we are still getting it backwards. I do everything I can so that my own ideals don’t float away.”