I recently met David O’Brien through a mutual friend while checking out various openings in the Culver City gallery district of Los Angeles. This type of event draws a specific demographic, and the likelihood that you will end up discussing various aspects of art/the art world is exactly one hundred percent. Often times these discussions involve an exchange of websites, and an eventual glance into the practice of your recently met acquaintance. I would be lying if I said that I am generally impressed by the endeavors of my newly made friends, but this time was a pleasant surprise. Not only is David O’Brien a genuinely funny and nice human being – his work is just as engaging to be around.
In his ongoing series Human Entropy O’Brien continues to build a collection of mass portraits using a series of hyper-collage diagrams that investigate personal relationships in a truly unique way. Much in the same way a painter (in the romantic sense of the word) may have many colors on their palette – O’Brien continues to photograph and amass an array of different people/poses as a personal visual vernacular for composing dynamic large-scale photographs. O’Brien begins establishing the structure of each piece by placing one figure down at a time, and then repeating this process until the work reaches a level of depth and space that serves his aesthetic and conceptual needs. Patterns begin to organically emerge from these localized interactions between individual forces to create some very compelling images.
Welcome to the Beautiful/Decay Black Friday Extravaganza! Simply use the discount code “Turkeycult” during checkout to get 30 percent off of everything on the site including our on sale items. This sale ends Sunday the 28th at Midnight so get to the savings before your favorite book or tee sell out!
Satan as a headless-masquerade holding ghost on an abandoned island floating in the deep, dark void of space creating life from clay and striking them down, all in front of tiny children. Yes! Amazing excerpt from a stop motion version of Mark Twain’s Mysterious Stranger, by Will Vinton. Censored from many TV stations. Yes!
The figures of Korean artist Wang Zi Won seem above all peaceful. His statues are also machines that perform prayers. He mixes Buddhist imagery with autobiographical depictions to illustrate a futuristic mix of technology and spirituality. It is interesting that Wang’s sculpture’s abandon the physical body – in a sense something Buddhism and visions of the future share in common. Indeed, his vision of the future seems to be a bit of an optimistic one. That is, one in which further harmony between man and machine leads to a more complete existence and identity. [via]
Beautiful/Decay recently “wrapped” up our Book 2: What a Mess! Release party at Synchronicity Gallery. The event was super fun, with the Beautiful/Decay team past & present in full force, including appearances by such former B/D intern superstars as Lyndsey Lesh, Greg Ruben and Alexis Kaneshiro! (Am I forgetting anyone?) The B/D team had a booth replete with gift wrap, the debut of Book 2 and more. Check out our Flickr page for images of the bash!
Tom Sanford just might be todays urban Norman Rockwell. Like the famed painter from the mid 1900’s Sanford is concerned with American culture. From paintings of famed rappers such as Tupac to history paintings featuring sleazy right wing radio hosts, Sanford documents, interprets and comments on the American psyche.
For his latest show opening this Saturday at Kravets|Wehby Sanford painted the famous, eccentric, historical, powerful and colorful residents of New York City that inspire him. Film maker Spike Lee, street artist Steven Powers, and even Mayor Bloomberg make appearances in paintings that shift from smooth graphic rendering to impasto patterning.
“I didn’t grow up in New York City but I moved here to attend Columbia at eighteen. I remember around that time my grandfather told me that “When you leave Broadway you’re camping out.” I have been here (pretty much) ever since, and I plan to stay. I relate to Dylan Ebdus in Lethem’s “The Fortress of Solitude.” I feel like I am missing it all, between my pathological devotion to my studio and my daddy duties I can go days without leaving home at all, and sometimes weeks without getting on the subway. But I need New York City. I feed of the culture. All the amazing people who inhabit this magical place, doing fantastic things. They create an energy, or perhaps an anxiety, that nourishes me and I must be close to the source. Hopefully I am contributing that energy as well.
For this show I made New York genre paintings, portraits and scenes of ordinary life in my city. The portraits are of some of the thousands of New Yorkers that make this place so rich. These are people that I associate very strongly with New York and the city’s culture. Some of them are people I have met, some I know, some I have just seen at a deli or on the street. –Tom Sanford
See more works by Tom Sanford here and check out a studio visit we did with him a while back here.
Wyatt Kahn’s wall sculptures are built from a series of stretcher panels and raw canvas beautifully pieced together to make one collaged structure. The crevices and peeking back wall help create compositional depth, captivating the eye, revealing clean and simple, yet geometrically intricate work, which is devoted to the complex juxtaposition of space more so than color.
Of Kahn’s art, Sam Cornish writes, “Broadly the type of illusion Kahn employs is one that comes after the reduction of minimalist painting. The flat, object quality of each part is in one sense simply accepted. There is no hint of the surface being broken, of a window open to an atmospheric or light filled space beyond (however shallow).”
Reed + Radar’s photography is both beautiful and haunting. I don’t know too much about this duo, but I do know that they’ve managed to give me the chills with all of these animated clown faces. Check them out, I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of them in the future.