Beautiful/Decay recently had the opportunity to go behind-the-scenes at Mark Moore Gallery while artist Cordy Ryman was installing his latest exhibition, “Hail to the Grid.” As the show title implues, Ryman both riffs off the conceptual frameworks of minimalism and abstraction, and simultaneously playfully transgresses some of the movements’ core philosopies. While minimalism delights in the precision and rationality of its more reductivist tendencies, at the very core of Ryman’s sensibility is an opposing sense of spontaneity and free-form creation. Many of his works are self-referential, responding to their own materials or processes as sources of inspiration and thematic vocabulary. For instance, the cast off remnants of Velcro used to install a piece to the wall are later integrated into a grid-like abstracted collage, which, in turn, becomes the subject matter for a painting. Ryman delights in the elegance of distilled form, though instills a sense of sincerity in their physicality: hand-cutting, painting and fashioning his constituent parts with an affectionate hand. While a minimalist like Stella, for example, savored the steely finality of his imposing black paintings, Ryman in contrast frequently re-works his pieces, allowing chance and flexibility to enter into the work at any time. Even the installation of works are constantly in flux–shortly after Beautiful/Decay snapped up photographs of Ryman’s installation in process, Ryman called to inform us that one of the pieces was now on the wall and the entire exhibition looked different! Be sure to visit Ryman’s exhibition, opening this Saturday and running until Dec. 21 to see the final results! Full interview with Ryman, including his process for creating works, installation and outlook on art, below.
In Thailand, the term ladyboy is a nickname for transgender women, and they are a population often met with intolerance and prejudice. Their place in society is explored through photographer Soopakorn Srisakul’s series Mistress, in which he captures the daily life of his girlfriend and four other ladyboys. They all work at bars and as call girls in the infamous red-light Nana district in Bangkok.
Srisakul’s images are his journey in understanding his partner and the others experiences. There are few positions that are hiring transgendered women, so this community typically finds work in department stores, makeup counters, and cabaret venues. Those that are bargirls generally make better the better wages, which allows them to save up for gender reassignment surgeries.
Mistress presents us with poignant pictures of both work and home. There are moments of dark clubs, sure, but there are also quiet scenes in bright bedrooms. Srisakul writes:
They go out working, come back to their room, go relaxing outside, occasionally go back to visit family in the countryside, and then go to work. They, like anyone else, just try to get by. They laugh for joy, cry for sorrow, they work to earn a living, and they have an argument with their boyfriend, just like anyone else. In this sense, what makes them so different from us as to warrant a harsh treatment from the moral society, and do they deserve it at all? (Via Feature Shoot)
Artist Zsuzsi Csiszer’s installation may at first seem massively out of place. An actual subway car emerges out of the floor into the Museum Kiscelli in Budapest. It seems poised to make a stop and move on to its next otherworldly destination. The subway clearly references a journey – one of more significance than just from one neighborhood to another. More importantly perhaps, subway cars transport groups of people. Maybe it sounds cheesy, but the piece is similar to a larger journey we all make. One in which we share with various people who come and go.
Australian illustrator Stuart McLachlan works in a variety of styles but his cut paper pieces for fashion and editorial are the most powerful. These intricate hand made pieces have been used extensively on the fashion runway and have been published in Vogue, Karen magazine, on book covers, posters, editorial and commissioned art.
“Paper is a medium without boundaries, it can be molded, formed and cut into almost any form imaginable, I endeavour to push its physical boundaries and create imagery and art that is not expected from such a delicate structured material. The goal of art is to surprise and excite, to bring something new to the table.
Art is our universal language, one which all of us relate to in one way or another, be that sculpture, painting, film, music or even sport. The practice of ‘hand making’ my work is integral to what I do as I believe this is what fascinates people, they love rediscovering that it is still possible to create arresting objects and images by hand, and I get great joy from the challenge of bringing them to life.”
Malick Sidibé’s magnificent portraits of sweeping personal and cultural changes in post-colonial Africa have been celebrated around the world. Positioned at the junction of Malian independence in 1960 and a period of rapid modernization, his works bear witness to the joy, insouciance and confidence of Africa’s youth revolution.
A chemist by trade, Jon Smith‘s high speed photography captures exploding light bulbs. He first fills the bulbs with various textural elements, such as feathers, sand, candy, dust, and paint. He then sometimes dips the light bulbs into paint before shooting them with a pellet gun and capturing the results. Smith’s method creates photographs that are rich in texture, color, and movement. Back in March, Smith told Flickr “People see and use light bulbs every day. They’re something we don’t pay attention to…by shooting them, having them explode and filling them with different materials creates an interesting juxtaposition that I’m really drawn to.” Known on Flickr as WideEyedIlluminations, you can read more about Smith’s light bulb photography over at Flickr’s blog where he is also featured in a video discussing how photography saved his life.
Mark Adams, Managing Director of Vitsoe, discusses Dieter Ram’s 10 principles of good design during a visit to Vitsoe headquarters in London. Mr. Adams gives unique insight into the history of the brand and its meaning to Dieter Rams. He also demonstrates how Rams’ principles relate directly to the style and success of the Vitsoe name.