This unusual carnival certainly isn’t the kind you find at a kid’s party. For “Funland: Pleasures & Perils of the Erotic Fairground,” artistic duo Bompas & Parr show off a series of bold and whimsical installations at New York City’s Museum of Sex. Immersive artworks include “Jump for Joy,” a giant bouncy house composed of blow-up breasts and “Grope Mountain,” a rock wall featuring phalluses and vulvas. As visitors munch on tasty treats, they are invited into “The Tunnel of Love,” a maze that ultimately ends at the G-Spot, an erogenous zone in the vaginal canal discovered by Ernst Gräfenberg.
While this all may seem like fun and games, the exhibition also illustrates earnest cultural ideas. Here, the artists worked closely with Professor Vanessa Toulmin, the Director if the UK National Fairground Archive, to illustrate the historical associations between traveling fairgrounds and sexuality. Toulmin proposes that at the apex of the industrial revolution of the mid-19th century, carnivals began to emerge as sites for “immoral” behavior.
The St. Bartholomew fair, she notes, was singled out for its sensuous—and overtly erotic— atmosphere. In this uncanny universe of play and mischief, the puritan ideals of the upper classes were tossed to the wayside. The fast-paced amusement rides were quite the novelty at that time, and dark tunnels and cars allowed for discreet caresses to pass between lovers. Some fairgrounds even charged admittance for burlesque and strip-tease shows. Bompas & Parr’s “Funland” certainly captures both the thrilling and the farcical aspects of the carnival scene. Simultaneously amusing and disturbing, the exhibit engages both the mind and the body. The show is currently on view and will run through Spring 2015. (via Design Boom)
The “illuminati” is at it again! Not really, but you may think so once you see the levitating all seeing eye created by artist Guy W. Bell. He has created a real-life, levitating “Eye of Providence,” featured on the back of the U.S. one dollar bill. Made from slate veneer and distressed brass, the pyramid Bell has created is split in two, with the top half literally levitating, thanks to innovative technology involving two magnets of the same charge. Because of these repelling magnets, the top section of the pyramid not only levitates, but can also spin, giving this “Eye of God” a 360-degree view. This panoramic line of sight can be seen through the eye in the pyramid, which contains a wireless, pinhole camera, giving the phrase “the all seeing eye” a whole new meaning. The eye itself is actually a prosthetic, larger than life eye replica created by ocularist and anaplastologist Michel D. Kackowski.
The Eye of Providence has been referred to as an illuminati or Freemason symbol, and was also commonly used in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. This symbol has become such a cult image, it is amazing to see a fairly large scale, levitating, moving sculpture that really does look back at you with its uncanny and familiar eye.
A talented painter, Bell had been interested in this idea of creating this infamous symbol, but had not yet made a sculpture of this technological magnetite. Luckily for Bell, with the help of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, he was able to make his dream a reality. This incredible sculpture can be seen at Bell’s solo exhibition Fourteen Minutes and Forty-Nine Seconds presented by the Thea Foundation in Arkansas. (via The Creators Project)
Beautiful/Decay has teamed up with Insight to present a Sample sale Friday, March 27th from 12-6pm, & Saturday, March 28th from 9-6pm!
The event will take place at 8940 Ellis Ave, in Los Angeles (90034). We will be selling rare, limited run and unreleased samples, as well as never before seen Beautiful/Decay prototypes! Some of these have as limited a run as 5 shirts made, ever! The sale will feature the insane discount of 50%- 80% ALL stock, including shirts and hoodies. Some come out, meet the B/D crew and get your hands on some great deals.
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!
We have been following William Emmert on the Beautiful/Decay blog for quite a while (see posts here and here). We enjoy the exploration into his past and the pop culture nostalgia he recounts. Emmert has recently expanded his practice by employing trompe l’oeil techniques using nothing but paper. His familiar use of 80’s Professional Wrestling imagery and quotes still remain but have taken a backseat to sculpture and installation. The viewer is confronted with what looks to be an exhibition space in transition before banal studio materials are revealed to be paper objects.
Jesse Greenberg lives and works in New York City. He utilizes a wide variety of materials to create foreboding structures that reference the natural world as well as the artificial. The majority of his work is made from plastic and displayed so that viewers may touch what they see as the tactility of the work adds to the experience. Greenberg takes a cheap mass produced material that many take for granted and morphs it into deteriorated monuments that comment on consumption and decay.
The explosive street art of David Hooke, otherwise known as “MEGGS”, moves in waves of color on walls all over the world. His murals harness an incredible energy and force that radiates off the streets in vivid streaks like flames consuming the building. The Australian artist often uses powerful animals such as tigers, snakes, and lions in his work, creating an incredible composition of strong imagery. His use of diagonal lines and composition just add to the already dramatic atmosphere.
MEGGS pull inspiration from an eclectic variety of different sources such as the natural world and socio-cultural issues. His use of bold color and the occasional loud text included in his murals shows a heavy influence from pop-culture. His technique and experimental technique reflects his determination and excitement in his artistic exploration. MEGGS doesn’t just stick to the traditional spray paint. One of murals in downtown LA also includes a glow in the dark stencil layer that creates an eye-popping affect. This piece, along with other of his murals, is based off of a previously done screen print of MEGGS. You can find his work not just in LA, but also in Hong Kong, London, San Francisco, Paris, and Tokyo.
“His life manifesto is that the ‘journey is the reward’ and his work reflects his eternal search for balance. MEGGS’ emphasis on constant growth and passion for travel is demonstrated by his continual exploration of artistic techniques and mediums.”