The series of work from Polish artist Jan Manski is aptly titled Onania – an archaic term for masturbation. The life-sized installations focus on ideas of vanity and hedonism. Dominated by a fleshy shade of pink, Manski seems to ambiguously address a cultural obsession with pleasure while neither condemning nor condoning it. Manski contrasts materials such as fat, leather, bones and fur with surgical steel, enamel, clothing, and cosmetics. Onania manages to repulse and be aesthetically pleasing – mesmerizing like a botched medical procedure.
Thomas Robson defaces paintings. The elements he introduces into these paintings deeply contrast with the aesthetic of the initial compositions. Robson uses bright colors and stark images to create new contexts. His work directly addresses ideas of appropriation, inspiration, and originality, as well as reflecting our current media saturated culture. These hybrid creations also resonate with remix culture while reflecting on how we think about media, design, and traditional forms.
Stung by the human desire to avert one’s eyes from death and decaying bodies, Emma Kisiel presents Down to Sleep, a series of images that—-like her other series At Rest— forces us to kneel in mourning over the bodies forgotten dead animals,. As she happens upon an animal, she crouches down, fixes each within a compassionate and gentle frame, immortalizing each in a way evocative of Victorian post-mortem photography, each appearing as if he is merely asleep.
Kisiel’s subjects, their lives affirmed and dignified despite their tragic and lonesome deaths, are afforded a painfully loving final farewell. Through their passings, their bodies are sectioned off and dissected by the artist’s frame, leaving only the most poignant physical markers of a meaningful life; with each patch of fur, each tooth and eye, each clasped claw, the viewer is permitted to examine the creature with a balefully sensual intimacy.
Viewers are invited to engage with each animal in a funerary ritual free of any artifice that might make their demise more palatable; they aren’t embalmed, stuffed, or even buried. The are left, haloed in nature’s humble offerings of grass or pebbles, in the exact place and time at which their lives were taken; as time passes, we recognize that these sleepy bodies will disintegrate.
Each animal subject, shot in natural light, offers an honest rendition of death, for as hard as the Kisiel’s camera might work to give meaning to a life lost, it also relentlessly reminds us that discarded bodies will inevitably be vanished and consumed by the earth. But perhaps this is the most compassionate way in which we can examine the dead, as eventually forgotten yet eternally potent reminders of the preciousness of life; in these happenstance grave sites, a simple but meaningful meditation on existence take place. (via Lenscratch)
The team known as Lang Baumann is made up of artists Sabina Lang and Daniel Baumann. Together they create large scale installations which playfully interact with the surrounding environment. Comfort, the series presented here, fills houses, barns, apartments, and more with tubes of air. The tubes twist through doors and windows completely overtaking the space they’re stuffed in. The installation and its title recall homes, living spaces, and an the perpetual search for physical comfort.
Using photography as a tool for generating evidence, South African artist Dillon Marsh approaches the creation of his serial landscape works with the methodology of a researcher. Marsh is constantly looking to capture his subjects “in the wild,” and his watchful eye has yielded a variety of interesting results—with some topics touching on landscape, ownership and disruption in both realms.
For his “Invasive Species” series, Marsh captures instances of oddly jarring, slightly unapologetic occurrences of poorly disguised cell phone towers as they dot the South African landscape. He notes: “In 1996 a palm tree appeared almost overnight in a suburb of Cape Town. This was supposedly the world’s first ever disguised cell phone tower. Since then these trees have spread across the city, South Africa and the rest of the world. Invasive Species explores the relationship between the environment and the disguised towers of Cape Town and its surrounds.”
I was following the pack
all swallowed in their coats
with scarves of red tied ’round their throats
to keep their little heads
from fallin’ in the snow
And I turned ’round and there you go
And, Michael, you would fall
and turn the white snow red as strawberries
in the summertime…
Also check out the BD interview of Sean Pecknold, the creator of the music video.
The boombastic Superoboturbo illustrations remind me of how excited I used to be when I saw monkeys on television. I used to be obsessed with those little fuzzy guys, and I’m beginning to swoon for this man’s work the same way. His controlled pallette and friendly line-weight make for a rambunctious duo that make it hard to pull my eyes away.
Also, he recently broke his leg so maybe send him a nice note or a little work to help cheer him up/pay the medical bills at: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Art for art’s sake, money for God’s sake. Gimme the readys. Gimme the cash”, the band 10cc sang in the ‘70s. Kevin Godley, the band’s drummer, and Lol Creme, both former arts school students, were the creative force behind the Stockport-based art rock quartet.
Essentially, the message behind the line ‘Art’s for art’s sake’ is that producing a work of art should not need any justification – monetary or otherwise. But with Arts degrees costing three times as much as science-based subjects like Biology, according to research by Voucherbox, and student debt higher than it has ever been – the highest in the English-speaking world, claims an online BBC report – sometimes it can be hard to stick to those principles. Godley spent eight years, not the usual three, studying to be a graphic designer. Just imagine the debt he would have been in had he graduated in 2016.