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The Conversation: An Artist Podcast

If you’re like me you probably listen to podcast’s in your studio while you make work. Until now there has only been a handful of comedy and news related podcast’s to listen to but I’m happy to say that The Conversation: An Artist Podcast  is here to entertain you and help pass the time while you make work in solitude. Started by Michael Shaw, The Conversation is an intimate one-on-one interview between Shaw and artists working in every medium imaginable. From painters such as Charles Irvin (pictured above) to photographers such as Lilly McElroy the podcast focuses on emerging and mid-career artists working internationally. Void of the usual heavy handed art speak that you’d find in some art publications, The Conversation feels like an informal chat between two creative people about the good, the bad, and the ugly side of being an artist. We at Beautiful/Decay are extremely excited to have a quality podcast out there focusing on art and we hope you are too. So make sure to visit their site, subscribe on iTunes, and maybe donate a buck or two!

 

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Alvaro Laiz Captures the Secret Lives of Transgender Mongolians

transgender

transgender

transgender

transgender

In Mongolia, where the weight of tradition and Soviet rule still hang heavy, it is considered dangerously taboo to be a homosexual. Gays, lesbians, and transsexuals must keep their identities secret, often secluding themselves or participating in prostitution, in an attempt to safeguard their lives against violence and discrimination. In 2011, photographer Álvaro Laiz decided to capture the secret lives of these Mongolians in his series “Transmongolian.” Laiz initially traveled to Mongolia because he was interested in how the country’s newly opened borders affected the population, with the tradition of Mongolian culture meeting with Western influences from the outside. His research led him to connections with transgender individuals whose stories he decided to document with his photography.

They cannot express themselves normally except in certain places,” Laiz explained to Slate. “Your life becomes a scenario in which you are pretending to be someone else. Your job, your relatives become part of this performance, and little space is left to act as you would really want to be. It is insane.”

Laiz captures these ostracized Monogolians conducting their day-today lives alongside images of them in traditional Mongolian queen costumes. Laiz’s Mongolian series is the first of a larger project exploring transgender people in societies across the world. (via huffington post)

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MDCCLXIV updates

Yes I know French gif artist MDCCLXIV has been a subject of our blog before, but I just wanted to share this image with you guys… this is how I feel right now. Dizzy and stuffed with colorful food. Still, 2 days after Thanksgiving.

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Wendy White And Five Other Artists Deconstruct Text In Paintings

Wendy White

Wendy White

Feodor Vornov

Feodor Vornov

Glenn Ligon

Glenn Ligon

Jose Parla

Jose Parla

Text phrases, words and letters abound in contemporary art, ranging widely from direct witty phrases to text that has become illegible in its adaptation.  With increased crossover between different fields of art, the craft of editing text in literary arts is a skill and practice that has been incorporated into the visual arts more frequently.  Jenny Holzer is an artist who comes to mind in this regard.

However, in this article I am examining the other polarity of text in art.  As an artist who regularly uses text in my own art work, I am always interested in discovering the ways in which other artists step beyond the all too prevalent witty-one-liner on the wall into an artistic language that is far more expansive and uniquely cultivated.  The artists included here demonstrate the beautiful grey area that emerges between abstract painting, graffiti, constructivist painting and the written word, to name a few.  Here text becomes a vehicle for additional forms of communication, used as a foundation to expand upon with the artist’s particular vision or agenda.

Wendy White, Feodor Voronov, Glenn Ligon, Annie Vought, Jose Parla and Jel Martinez are all artists whose work takes text and language and pushes way outside the box.  Wendy White’s use of the lines and structure of letters themselves is deconstructed and echoed in lines that emerge within her abstracted and color washed work.  In the images of her work shared here, I particularly love the way in which she goes beyond the canvas in architecturally reconstructing the text-like elements along the border.

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Rodrigo Fuenzalida

        

Did anyone hear about the possibility of the United States opening its travel sanctions with Cuba? I love Barack Obama! Before the 2008 election, the Castro administration stated that they were “very interested” in sitting down for discussion with the United States, but only after there were no Bushs in the white house. No joke. He really said that. And I cant blame him, Bush has been such a dickhead towards Fidel and Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez that we Americans had no possibility of becoming friends with our southern cousins. This is a small taste of the amazing Venezuelan graphic design talent that we are missing due to our modern day mccarthyism.

 

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Fredrik Odman’s Composed Animals

Fredrik Odman’s Composed Animals series combines some of my favorite animals into super animal combinations. Imagine how graceful a swan jackrabbit could be. He would be fast as lightening but as smooth as butter!

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Misha Hollenbach’s Crude Sculptures

Misha Hollenbach lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. Using found and created objects he presents the viewer with absurd and alarming “artifacts” in which the eloquent clashes with the primordial. Swiss publishing company Nieves describes his work as “…merging contemporary culture with tribalism. Working across the mediums of collage, screen-printing, painting, sculpture and installation, his work is often driven by carnal desire, and a return to the basics/basis of human existence.” While speaking of his motivations Hollenbach frames his body of work perfectly stating that “Things can always be a bit more insane.”

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Layer Upon Layer: Eva Jospin Sculpts Cardboard Into Dense, Mysterious Forests

Eva Jospin - cardboard

Eva Jospin - cardboard

Eva Jospin - cardboard

Eva Jospin - cardboard

Sculptor Eva Jospin constantly reinvents the idea of what a forest is over and over again. She cuts, layers, arranges, glues and builds cardboard into different interpretations of The Woods. Her pieces range from smaller 2D pictures compiled from dense sticks, branches and flaky bits of wood, to life size 3D installations that you are invited into, and can move around within. For Jospin, cardboard is just the medium for a larger message; these trees express many things:

The forest – an incarnation of nature in the wild – is above all the setting in traditional storytelling of tests of courage, and can be a gloomy or initiatory place. The forest is also where one encounters oneself. This walk through the forest initiates the visit to ‘ Inside’, which is also an inner journey. (Source)

Jospin uses a material that is not only durable, robust, strong, and supportive, but also fragile, impermanent, raw and insubstantial. She plays on these two points of view – they mirror the actual qualities of trees, nature and our relationship to it. These poetic attachments to Josie’s Forest pieces isn’t lost on her critics either:

To look at a forest is an optical experience that challenges the typical laws of perspective in western representation. Facing visually the depth of a forest means to forget the horizon, it means to get lost. And is not the danger of getting lost the only risk tied up to that natural labyrinth that is a forest? (Source)

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