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Jiyong Lee Carves Fragmented, Geometric Glass Blocks That Represent Cell Division And Growth

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Jiyong Lee is an artist and educator based in Carbondale, Illinois, who works in the medium of glass art. In a series titled Segmentation, Lee has created fascinating, geometric glass blocks that metaphorically examine life science. Mirroring the processes of cell division and growth, each sculpture is divided into fragments that represent “cells, embryos, biological and molecular structures—each symbolizing the building blocks of life, as well as the starting point of life” (Source). As a whole, they are firm structures, much like the proverbial “building blocks”; but internally, they are irregular and segmented, symbolizing the varying growth rates and beautiful asymmetry of organic life.

The glass Lee has chosen to work with varies in its translucency, which is significant to his theme. Sometimes the fragments are see-through; in other places they are dense and clouded. For Lee, these conditions of visibility represent “what is known and unknown about life science” (Source), for although modern science seeks to fully comprehend the workings of life, there will always be an unreachable mystery within. The internal haze also represents an unknown future for cells as they live and continue to change.

Visit Lee’s website to view more.

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Japanese Artist Daisuke Ichiba’s Intricate Drawings Interweave The Disturbing And The Grotesque

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Life is an inextricable combination of beauty and awfulness, good and evil, and Japanese artist Daisuke Ichiba captures these dichotomies in his highly detailed, densely populated drawings. Drawing is just one of the media that Ichiba has mastered — he is also a painter, filmmaker, and photographer. No matter the form, though, his content grapples with the reality of life and its grotesqueries.

“Choosing to create work that is only beautiful feels artificial. Thus I paint both. You cannot sever the two. The expression that results is a natural chaos. In my work I project chaos, anarchy, anxiety, the grotesque, the absurd, and the irrational. By doing so I attain harmony. This is my art. Put simply, I paint humanity (the spirit).”

At first glance it’s possible to miss the disturbing elements of Ichiba’s work. The Indian ink compositions are dense and unusual for Japanese art, which tends toward clean lines and minimalism, although they do include Japanese iconography such as the schoolgirl and cherry blossoms. Influenced by his early admiration of comic book art and manga as well as the loss of his mother at age 8, his works fuse vile, often many-eyed, monsters into domestic scenes. Figures are missing features—an eye here, a mouth there—and the occasional introduction of color feels threatening, reminiscent of spreading blood.

He meditates on sexuality and death and the intangible cord that ties them together. Ichiba’s haunting tableaus are a type of contemporary shunga (Edo-period erotic scrolls), in which beauty navigates chaos with one eye closed. (Source)

The impassivity of the deformed figures is striking in the work. Both human and monster accept their fates. The faceless children and severed heads represent the darkness in all of us, ubiquitous and unquestioned.

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Kooky Cacti- New Works by Brian Willmont

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Brian Willmont (who we featured in Book 3) recently added a new selection of works to his portfolio. His wacky wild west cast of cacti include Clint Eastwood style brambly bandoleers and prickly pistol-iers. The spook of the frontier’s ghost towns, outlaws and mining carts are infused with Brian’s unique sense of humor. I mean really, what’s better than a desert plant sporting oversized cowboy hats and shades?

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Justin B. Hansch: Girls and Grils

I grew up in rural Indiana, but Justin B. Hansch’s exhibition GIRLS & GRILS gives me a sense of nostalgia for a beach-based coming of age story that I never lived. Hazy memories of lazy days and sexy babes drive the content of the show, and a similarly instinctual application of paint is the perfect pairing for this type of imagery. Tight edged graphic elements punctuate luscious gestural moments with a natural ease. It is clear that Hansch has a solid grasp of what a well-designed painting is capable of.

The exhibition is organized in a Pac-man-esque timeline of girl, grill, girl (and so on) – which allows the paintings to operate individually and collectively as one larger installation. As summer comes to a close GIRLS & GRILS functions as “the last word” from America’s most romanticized season, and a welcome reminder that days like those portrayed will be back again next year with the same casual expectations as years past. The show will be on view at Steve Turner Contemporary until October 6th, and I encourage you to make time for it during these busy opening weeks of the fall gallery season.

P.S. I’ve included a few examples of Hansch’s previous work to give you a more well rounded representation of his practice.

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Phil Robson Turns Sneakers Into Clever Insect Designs

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Australian graphic designer Filfury (Phil Robson) is a sneaker freak, and it shows in his latest images. He takes photographic details of bright and colorful sports shoes and re-imagines them as new intriguing shapes. His series of images include different objects such as butterflies, beetles, skulls, bats, body organs and guns. Robson takes the textures, patterns and characteristics form classic sneakers like Adidas Originals Superstar, the Air Jordan 4 Retro, and the Reebok Shaq Attack, and chops them up. Threaded shoelaces become teeth in the jaw of a skull; breathable mesh turn into wings of a dragonfly; the Adidas stripes morph into the wings of a bat; the toes of a sneakers are now the body part of an insect.

After collaborating with many many corporate brands such as Nike Basketball, Adidas, Reebok and Sneaker Pimps, Robson is a pro at creating sharp, modern graphics. He has been featured on many top artist lists, and is definitely a talent to track. You can see more of his streamlined aesthetic here on his Instagram feed. (Via Design Faves)

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Melanie Daniel’s Apocalyptic Dreamscapes

 

Melanie Daniel explodes forms, objects, patterns, and color to make her paintings and the results are joyfully apocalyptic dreams. She gives us some recognizable forms–an arch, a fench, a tower, fish?– forms which make us turn much of the painting into a Rorschach test– Are those rectangle strokes cars? Are those squares buildings? Are those black lines woods that have overrun an industrial town? Or maybe they’re all just rectangles, squares, and lines, there to overwhelm us in this dreamscape. Whatever the case, her paintings are optical quick sand, making it difficult to stop looking and thinking about the worlds in front of you. Her show at the Asya Geisberg Gallery ends on the 20th, so try to stop by while you still can!

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B/D Best of 2010 – Human Bread, Anyone?

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Fe, Fi, Fo, Fum. I smell the blood of an Englishman, Be he living, or be he dead, I’ll grind his bones to mix my bread! Someone took the old British nursery rhyme a little too far it seems…In honor of the upcoming holiday, I’ll only be posting creepy art on the blog….In case you’re wondering, no, B/D has not gone into the gruesome business of baking humans- what you see is the artwork of Kittiwat Unarrom, a Thai artist and baker who sculpts macabre edible creations. He got his inspiration from working in his parents bakery- talk about playing with your food! I found a video on YouTube of the artist at work below- it seems to only be Thai but its cool to see the 3D works…

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Submit an artist for our blog, win a B/D shirt!

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We want you to contribute to our blog! In celebration of International T-Shirt day June 21st, Beautiful/Decay and Tee Junction are pairing up to dish out an awesome  new contest. Leave a link to an artist’s portfolio you think we should feature on the B/D blog in the comments section, along with a brief description of how you heard about them and why you like their work. If we choose your artist to be posted on the blog, we’ll send you a free Beautiful/Decay Apparel shirt! Submissions are due by Monday, June 8, 9PM PST. We can’t wait to see your contributions!

 

*Sorry guys- this one’s limited to domestic entries- shirts will only be shipped within the U.S!

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