For more than several years now, Rosemarie Fiore has painted with fireworks. She does so by creating machines that produce an action, like lighting a combustible container to produce smoke. The results are colorful, non-representational images that are very gestural, as if the artist is taking us on a journey. Fiore writes about her work, stating:
My drawings are created by containing and controlling firework explosions. I bomb blank sheets of paper with different fireworks including color smoke bombs, jumping jacks, monster balls, rings of fire, and lasers. As I work, I create imagery by controlling the chaotic nature of the explosions in upside-down containers. When the paper becomes saturated in color, dark and burned, I take it back to my studio and collage blank paper circles onto the image to establish new planes and open up the composition. I then continue to bomb the pieces. These actions are repeated a number of times. The final works contain many layers of collaged explosions and are thick and heavy.
Fiore’s machine is built out of mixed media and found materials. It is fitted with wheels and is comprised of multiple connected containers. When lit, the machine creates a combustion that releases smoke at different intervals.
There’s no doubt that Fiore’s work is labor intensive, as she describes the physical and repeated process of building her images. Knowing this information provides for a greater appreciation of the work itself; It transcends what’s on paper and becomes the product of ingenuity.
It’s inarguable that making great art begins with a good foundation in the basics. And when access to studying foundations in art is free and available anywhere by simply signing up on Craftsy for one of their free online mini classes, studying drawing foundations becomes delightfully accessible to all.
Craftsy offers a wide array of online classes from drawing essentials to watercolor. Figure Drawing: An Essential Guide, taught by accomplished artist Patricia Watwood is one of the most popular classes. It’s the perfect way to try out Craftsy and experience the ease and convenience of taking a class from your home, at your desired pace. Watwood goes over the basics of rendering the figure with drawing materials in this free mini class. By guiding her students through stages, such as working with graphite pencils for sketching out simple angles, to moving into hatching for shading, drawing a figure becomes demystified. Watwood, whose gorgeous paintings are featured here, has exhibited her work worldwide at galleries and museums and has been featured on the cover of art magazines. Her understanding of drawing the figure is clear in her work and her ability to share it with her students is demonstrated in class drawings.
This online class is developed with live models, using classical techniques, making it a great fit for students at any level, from beginners to more advanced artists who simply want to brush up on basics. Convenient features such as being able to bookmark key moments, take video notes and re-watch concepts with the 30-second repeat feature make for a great student experience on Craftsy. Figure Drawing: An Essential Guide is free, so there’s no reason not to explore and give it a try!
As part of our ongoing partnership with In The Make, Beautiful/Decay is sharing a studio visit with artist Alexandra Grant. See the full studio visit and interview with Alexandra and other West Coast artists at www.inthemake.com.
Alexandra’s studio is in the historic West Adams district of Los Angeles, just a short distance from Koreatown and Downtown. From the outside her building looks like a non-descript, kind of funky commercial space that in no way expresses how big her studio actually is. The place is huge with a cavernous feel to it— cold, shadowy, and resounding with echoes, it heightened every one of my senses. Everything I took in seemed exaggerated: the damp air, the bright fluorescent lights, the vibrant colors of Alexandra’s paintings, and the steady rhythm of her voice. Long after our visit those impressions continued to linger, as did much of my conversation with Alexandra. She is a force to be reckoned with— her brain is agog with ideas that she expresses in a continuous flow of conversation, often jumping from one thought to the next as they wildly run through her mind. Her energy is infectious and inspiring, and makes you feel like the world is in fact full of promise, insight and adventure. Many of Alexandra’s paintings are collaborations with writers and their ideas, which makes sense because she appreciates the complex nature of dialogue: the exchange of both concepts and language, the act of deciphering and interpreting, the twists of subtext, and the inevitable losses in translation and how we make up for them. By borrowing writers’ poetic language she utilizes the format of dialogue to create “conversation” between image and text. In engaging text and image this way, the work then becomes a liminal space that challenges the viewer’s ability to perceive and hold both elements at once.
The STRP mutants were designed by Bart Hess together with Heyheyhey for the 2011 STRP Art & Technology Festival campaign. The mutants evolved around the idea of transformation. They visualize movement and the ever changing boundaries between the different disciplines: art, music and technology.
STRP Festival is one of the largest indoor art & technology festivals in Europe, that fuses music art and technology. The multidisicplinary program is a mix of a 360- degree experience with adventure which appeal to a wide audience. At STRP there are projects of young game designers next to major works from the international art circuit and experimental live cinema next to succesfol pop artists and DJs. At STRP you find interactive art, light art, robotics, concerts, DJs, theatrical and dance performances, experimental music, interviews, discussion, live cinema, films, lectures, video art, animation and workshops.
Performance artist Millie Brown uses her body in an uncomfortable way in order to create bright splashes of color on canvas (and sometimes clothes and people). Brown mixes colors into soy milk before regurgitating the milk onto her preferred canvas, akin to the drip-color style of Jackson Pollock. The artist first began experimenting with this method in 2005, and has since performed this act in many places, including for Lady Gaga’s 2006 video, “Excorist Interlude.” Brown, a vegan, only performs this body-exhaustive piece once per month. She fasts for 2 days before each performance so that her stomach is empty and her regurgitations purely the color of the milk she’s ingested; she can drink anywhere from one pint to four liters of liquid depending on the type of performance. The result of her performances are works of bright colors that are not obviously the products of puking.
Responses to her work have varied, ranging from laughing to crying, declarations of love, and even death threats, but Brown maintains that art is supposed to inspire powerful emotions in people. “I have an inherent desire to push my own boundaries within my art… By creating art from the very depths of my own physical being I am able to challenge people’s perception of beauty, expressing raw elements of human nature and in turn challenging myself both physically and mentally.” (via daily mail)
Steve Nishimoto lives and works in New York. He creates large pieces that approach abstract painting with a sense of humor. His paintings frequently examine modern subject matter such as the anonymous character featured on the display of generic ATM machines spread throughout the city or the word “Time” written as if it were a CAPTCHA on the internet. Another trademark is his magnification of the mundane and overlooked, from the security patterns within envelopes to 99 Cent Store tags Nishimoto reminds the viewer that anything can inspire.
Costa Rica based artist Marco Battaglini creates large pastiche paintings that combine a handful of genres, styles, and references. His paintings are often reminiscent of a Renaissance composition and include classicist figures painted alongside more modern imagery like graffitied walls, tattooed bodies, varying artistic allusions like Warhol and Lichtenstein, and other pop culture details. Upon closer inspection of the paintings, it becomes clear that the effect of the compositions reveals spatial and temporal disruptions that limit the interpretation of the paintings’ realities.
According to his Saatchi profile, Battaglini, “invites us to think that in today’s global village, with the ‘democratization’ of culture, the evolution of knowledge, information immediacy, immersed in the heterogeneity, the Patchwork Culture forces us to confront with a need understanding beyond our geographical boundaries of time.” (via hifructose)
Glamorous and unique leather bibs and chest plates by fashion designer Kat Marks. Layers of color, angles, and curves give these accessories an Art Deco slant – set in some sleek distant sexy future. This series of photographs is called The Karass: For Anais (2011) by photographer Paul Hine.