Sin-Eater is a UK-based artist who draws murky scenes of ancient beasts and the dark arts. Like fable illustrations or tarot cards, his works are replete with eerie-yet-powerful symbols, such as the moon in various phases, leaking hourglasses, human skulls, and obscure runes hidden amidst fog and fur. His intricate linework and grimly religious imagery recall the works of Albrecht Dürer, one of Sin-Eater’s influencers; in a similar style to Dürer’s 1513 engraving “Knight, Death, and the Devil,” for example, Sin-Eater depicts his own esoteric, dream-like sequences wherein the underworld seeps through the surface of the earth, manifesting in visions of twisted forests and unearthly beings.
The name “Sin-Eater” comes with its own fascinating mythologies. From Mesoamerica to the English countryside, the concept has arisen in folklores across the world, referring to people who eat or drink the sins of a deceased person, thereby purifying the spirit’s soul. Through images of death, rot, and consumption, Sin-Eater’s artwork hearkens back to these ritualistic practices, using a traditional medium and ancient imagery to figuratively dissolve the “sins” of humanity across time and space. Like polished bone beneath the rot, the result is a series of illustrations that fester in the imagination before splitting open into near-transcendent beauty.
View more of Sin-Eater’s works on Tumblr. Prints and other merchandise featuring his work can be purchased on his shop. Sin-Eater has also designed items for the Irish clothing company Nine Lives, viewable here.
Erik Parker is a German-born, New York-based artist who paints mashed-up characters in psychedelic landscapes; from graffiti, to comic books, to hip-hop, his work represents a synthesis of subculture that has taken on a rebellious life of its own. His work is part of Beautiful/Decay’s Issue O:“…Is the Public Enemy,” a magazine dedicated to artists who critique—through different mediums—mainstream structures. Other featured artists include Anthony Hernandez, a photographer who documented over 40 years of marginalized people and disregarded places in Los Angeles, as well as Imaad Wasif, a singer-songwriter whose passionate, eclectic style traverses the realms of folk and psychedelic/postmodern rock.
Parker’s approach to the “public enemy”—normative society—is to animate cultural expressions of dissonance into grotesquely expressive beings. Order is twisted into madness; human bodies are melted into sensation-filled lava pools of eyeballs, mouths, and viscera; and playful, biomorphic shapes swell into the suggestively sexual. In true graffiti style, many of Parker’s works include words resonating with rebellion and discontent, such as “rize,” “torn,” and “sink/swim.” With their amorphous and infinitely unpredictable shapes, Parker’s paintings signify a fluid form of resistance that undermines structures of constraint.
To learn more about Parker, check out B/D’s Issue O, which includes a feature-length interview with the artist. Limited copies can be purchased in our shop.
A picture of a celebrity taped on a cracked wall. Otto Duecker not only depicts portraits, he also paints the surrounding that goes with it. Like all artists part of the hyperrealism movement (or photorealism) from far, the whole image can be misled for a photograph.
Otto Duecker depicts celebrities from the 20th century such as Mick Jagger, Basquiat,John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe and more surprisingly Yoda. The black and white photos are represented crumpled and torn. Hung by random pieces of tape on a contrasted colored wall, the faces appear naturally brightened and alive. The artist painstakingly reproduces the details of the faces’ features and the cracks which makes the nature of the piece even more confusing to determine.
Hyperrealism allows the artist to guide the viewer to a new intimate examination of the piece. How did the artist depict the whole thing? Did he tape a picture of the celebrity on the wall and reproduced exactly what he was seeing? Do this wall exist in reality? Through this process, the artist gets in the way and the dialogue is not between the painting and the viewer anymore, but between the artist and the viewer. We are seeing the subjects through the artist’s eye and that’s what make the experience unique. (via Faith is torment)
For the last forty years, Stan Herd has been transforming open plots of land into stunning works of art. His medium, which he refers to as landscape or earthworks art, involves sculpting the terrain by mowing outlines, trimming grass for depth, and using various plants to create shade and texture. His large-scale projects have cropped up across Kansas, reinterpreting famous art pieces and even delving into important social issues, earning him coverage and accolades from publications around the world.
In a recent piece commissioned by the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia), Herd reimagined Vincent van Gogh’s 1889 “Olive Trees” using an acre of land outside the airport. With expressive accuracy, Herd has transformed an otherwise flat, empty field into the likeness of van Gogh’s vision of nature and divinity, capturing the iconic, wistful trees and dancing sun. In the video above, Herd describes his inspiration and enduring admiration for the long-dead artist:
“The amazing thing about van Gogh’s painting is that there’s not a single straight line in the whole canvas; everything is organic and curved and flowing and it’s like a pulse. I’m just amazed that after months of looking at one painting that I continue to discover things in it. […] I think this is what van Gogh saw. Everything was moving for him, and everything was moving together.” (Source)
If you’re flying into Minneapolis this fall, be sure to keep an eye out for this masterpiece. You can learn more about Herd on his website and Facebook page. More images of “Olive Trees” and other works after the jump.
Agostino Arrivabene paints dreamlike visions of pain and beauty. With tentacle-like flowers growing from ethereal faces and branches reminiscent of veins encompassing bodies portrayed as saints, his paintings exist on their own plane of reality. It is almost as if they come from a time where time itself is non existent, as they seem to be simultaneously prehistoric and futuristic. His figures are almost treated in a pathological sense, yet are delicately sentimental, creating an innate sense of wonder.
His body of work aims to mimic “a room of curiosities” — referring to a collection of exotic memorabilia gathered by travelers. However, his collection is a metaphorical culmination of the excursions he has taken internally; he relates his process to that of the journey of Dante through hell. He is an artist that mainly lives in solitude, allowing him to fully immerse himself in his own bizarre world, drawing inspiration from his own dreams and the dark nature he surrounds himself in.
His extremely introverted and contemplative practice is heavily influenced by old masters. Using traditional methods such as grinding his own pigment, making his own paint, and using a near-extinct technique that combines egg tempera with oil, he allows himself to fully utilize the complexity of color. In doing so, he interjects himself somewhere in the middle of, or perhaps, within various aspects of, the history of painting.
Agostino Arrivabene transcends art history not only through technique, but also through content. His work winks at artists from multiple eras of time. There are strong connections to Italian Renaissance painters such as Sandro Botticelli, Symbolist painters such as Odilon Redon, Visionary painters such as Gustave Moreau, and the psychological darkness similar to the work of Francis Bacon.
Michael Murphy is a Brooklyn-based artist known for his perception-challenging sculptural installations. Featured here is a new work titled “Branded,” commissioned by the Manhattan creative consultancy Lippincott. In an exploration of the term “brand identity,” Murphy used 100 laser-cut images of graphic logos to create a human face—more specifically, the face of his daughter, Iris Isadora. Portions of her photo where printed across each logo. From a distance, the image appears complete; move closer, however, and the portions break apart into distinct logos—Starbucks, Instagram, and KFC among them. Watch the video above and see how the installation changes form depending on one’s vantage point.
Lippincott believes that a company’s brand represents not only an identity, but a possibility; “it is who you are and who you aspire to be” (Source). By constructing a human face out of logos, Murphy’s work intends to represent how brands themselves can function similar to living entities, changing and growing along with the cultural trends. The fact that perspective changes the form and cohesion of the installation suggests that one’s own experience of a brand can function within a subjective framework.
In addition to Lippincott, Murphy’s other clientele have included TIME Magazine, Washington Life, and Art for Obama. For the past two years he has been collaborating with Michael Jordan and Nike in the creation of retail centerpieces for the Jordan Brand. View Murphy’s website to learn more. Isadora is a musician whose work can be heard here.
In her series, Impressions, Scout Paré-Phillips’ uses flesh as her medium by photographing the imprints left from inviting undergarments. Through an almost monochrome, yet warm and familiar palette, her photographs are simultaneously quiet, yet demanding. At first glance, the images seem to display an act of seduction; they document marks of ghost articles of clothing worn for, most likely, the purpose of creating allure. However, with further reflection, the work runs deeper, having a softer, more reflective meaning. These impressions, are, perhaps, the physical representation of emotional indentations, or the struggle of vulnerability versus dominance during the act of sex. The fragility of one’s skin cannot help but to mimic the fragility of one’s state of being. She displays slight imperfections on otherwise flawless, blank-canvas-reminiscent flesh. Impressions, the marks made on us over time, whether they be permanent or fleeting, are what make us the intricate beings that we are. The artist speaks of the work in terms of the skin of a lover. She states:
“Their skin is sacred; it is the most honest container for these people that we love, sharing with us the timelines of their lives through birthmarks, scars, blemishes, tattoos, wrinkles, bruises, and even the marks left behind daily from their clothing. It is what we covet in our lovers, and what we abuse for our pleasure.”
The photographer, musician and model, Scout Paré-Phillips, is quite prolific in her making. Her multidisciplinary body of work culminates in the foggy, slight margin that exists between innocence and cognizance. She has somehow found a niche outside the realm of binary and has created a theme that functions in paradox. Being quite young herself, the artist’s work can be explored through the lens of coming into an awakened adulthood. The work seems to be bound by the true intricacies of emotional falsities and the strange balance between darkness and light that is the essence of being human.
Thread used as a mean to draw. German artist Annegret Soltau traces her face and body with a linear thread. Joining the eyes, nose and mouth to create a web that’s structured in different shapes. Some of the webs are harmonized with the face, others are claustrophobic. The artist is posing herself, claiming that “I am using myself as a model because I can go the farthest with me.”
The tension of the thread is an analogy to the relationships she encountered with her family members in her childhood. The strenuous connection with her mother and the heavy absenceof her missing father added to a grandmother forcing her to knit instead of doing the things she liked, weighed on her ability to cope with emotional strain. She admits that without her isolated past she couldn’t have followed the path of art.
The result is a series of portraits questioning the meaning of metamorphosis. Annegret Soltau’s method is intriguing and captivating but her focus is on the result. Her art acts as a deliverance. In the video below this article, we witness her expression while the thread is wrapped around her face. We wonder if she is feeling torture or a painful pleasure. It’s a process close to self-mutilation. Releasing energy by pulling the thread on her face marks a renewal, the abandonment of negative emotions. (via INAG).