Mathew Zefeldt PaintIngs Inspired By Glitch Aesthetics

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The work of Mathew Zefeldt (previously featured heresuccessfully balances improbable combinations – modern with historical, digital with classical, painterly foregrounds with computer-like backgrounds – all by densely rendering them in traditional painting techniques with oils and acrylics.  Having created an advanced personal lexicon of art historical references to classical sculpture, as well as to abstract and figurative painting, these figures cohesively exist alongside more modern glitch aesthetics, shifting colors, garish patterns, and computer-like repetition. Through the combination of these disparate elements, Zefeldt recalls the history of the painting medium, while referencing the potential to represent our new, hybrid reality. Explaining his work, the artist says, “My paintings are still-life arrangements that take place in my head; they are windows onto a fictional world, governed by rules based in the real world, but bent and broken…”. 

These still-lifes exist in another improbably capacity, that of using both illusionistic depth and perspective, but on two-dimensional plane. This use of the flat-plane is more often found in collage, as is Zefeldt’s tendency to repeat (almost) identical imagery. When asked by Beautiful/Decay why he chooses painting to construct his explorations of a variegated contemporary visual culture, Zefeldt replies, “It would be a million times easier to collage or photoshop rather than paint. But paint forces you to slow down. Painting the same thing over and over again is almost meditative. Painting can be subversive too. Everything is getting more digital, movies etc. I think its important to keep making things manually, by hand.” This attention to craft highlights a uniquely human quality, where each sculptural bust appears exactly the same, but holds its own standard of flawed beauty upon closer inspection.

The Minneapolis-based painter will be featured in the group exhibition Figure Ground (curated by Gideon Chase - previously featured here) at Eleanor Harwood Gallery in San Francisco, CA. The exhibition (which opens January 10th and runs through February 8th, 2014) features work which explores the relationship between the figure and the foreground, testing different styles of background, illusionistic dimensions and a flat plane’s ability to contain both subject and context in a search for meaning.

Nude BodiesTransformed Into Flora And Fauna

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Cecelia Webber‘s collage work features tessellated figures and limbs of the human body arranged to form images of plants and animals. Webber photographs nude models – including herself – in various poses before she digitally edits the images, cutting and coloring them to form particular parts of the new image. The final product features different bodies and body parts posed in the same positions. Many of the pieces take months to finish, but the longest image – the rose – took her a year to complete because of how tricky the angles were to capture and arrange. Webber creates an image with such a high resolution that they can be printed up to 6 feet tall, a size that would make the tessellated bodies even more pronounced and captivating.

“Each image takes many stages to create. I start by researching photos of the creature or plant I’m trying to create and then sketch poses I want to photograph in a notebook…I never warp my models or edit them to change them – it is important to me to portray real natural bodies. Once I have my photos I start laying out my piece and playing with colour and arrangements…Many drastic transformations take place during this stage, so it’s sort of magical, because so many different variations are possible. I feel many possibilities at once but the true form of my subject slowly emerges.” (via daily mail)

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Dylan Shields Reinvents Classical Sculpture Out Of Cardboard

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Dylan Shields, an artist based in London, creates sculptures that investigate the relationship between classical sculpture and contemporary materials.

The sculptures further explore and build upon the existent relationship between canonical works of art (in this case and its contexts within modern society by creating them out of cardboard, a relatively new (ish) material in the realm of art-making. He uses re-cycled cardboard and parcel tape to produce work that is at both familiar yet fresh by its original use of form and perspective.

“It has been a process of trial and error to perfect my style. One of the challenges of working with cardboard is the limitation of its flexibility. Also, sourcing the right colors has been difficult as I don’t paint the sculptures, so the colors have to come from the cardboard.”

(via ARTNAU and Junk Culture)

Animals Shed Their Costumes In These Ads For The SPCA

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If you have ever adopted an animal, then Jaime Toh’s SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) “Costume” campaign is sure to tug at your heart strings. Accompanied by the tagline, “Don’t put pedigree above personality,” the advertisements urge people to consider adopting animals in desperate need of a home rather being focused on finding a specific breed (that most likely comes from a breeder). In each image, we see a SPCA animal underneath the coat of a cat or dog with a higher pedigree. In a slightly morbid way, they wear their outsides as a suit, complete with zippers that behead their hosts.

Toh’s images feature smiling, happy dogs with cats do not look as entertained (I’m not surprised). Every animal looks more disheveled than its costume as he plays up the physical differences between shelter and a purebred/adopted pet. But, by visually shedding their outsides, it conveys the concept that when choosing a pet, personality outweighs looks. (Via InspireFirst)

Jenny Fine Reanimates Her Dead Grandmother

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American artist Jenny Fine creates Flat Granny, a life-sized cardboard cut-out of her grandmother. The artist is interested in creating a tangible ‘thing’ that would resemble her dear, and very influential relative. With this cut-out, she attempts to extend a relationship beyond death. Apart from the cutout, Fine goes a bit further and develops a more’ carnal’ approach to the cut-out of her grandmother…

In an interest to reanimate her still image, I turned Flat Granny’s photographic body into a costume.

The bizarre, yet endearing idea is inspired by Victorian traditions of post-mortem photography, as well as the novel concept of a Flat Daddy/Mommy , photographic cut-outs of deployed soldiers for their children/ family while the soldier is away at war.

The photographs you see here feel and look surreal. However, there is no way to escape these vibes when you are looking at an object that in essence represents the absence of someone dearly missed and loved. This project is personal, but it also goes deeper than just a moving gesture from a loving granddaughter. It brings forth the realities of our attachment to the physical world- and the physical body, as well as the lengths we would go to in order to fill that void we feel when we’ve lost someone important in our lives.

Can something like this do the trick? Or would it be just plain weird and inappropriate?

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Astronaut Creates Zero-Gravity Light Painting

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Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata has been creating beautiful light art while aboard the International Space Station. Using long exposure photography and a spiral top equipped with LED lights designed by light artist Takuro Osaka, Wakata produces light paintings in an atmosphere of zero gravity. In 2009, Wakata flew as a crew member of the ISS where he first experimented with the Osaka’s spiral top (also pictured here). In 2011, Wakata was assigned as a Flight Engineer for ISS Expedition 38 and the Commander of Expedition 39. Wakata is the first Japanese astronaut to command the ISS. You can check out more of Wakata’s incredible space photos on his Twitter feed. (via i09)