Since October 2014, photographer Chris Forsyth has been capturing the architectural beauty and sophistication of Montreal’s metro stations. The city’s underground network is massive, with four lines, 68 stations, and over a million daily passengers. Forsyth’s vibrant, long-exposure shots accentuate an impressive side to the Metro, beyond its functionality: a creative and brightly bold character, which is both a hallmark of modernism and architectural design.
Construction on the Metro began in the 1960s, during the tenure of Mayor Jean Drapeau. Each station was assigned to a different Canadian architect in order to create unique designs for the spaces. For passengers today, it may sometimes be challenging to appreciate these artistic, historical nuances while in the midst of urban mayhem, but as Forsyth’s project description points out, “architectural portraits show that beautiful design is all around, even when we don’t have the time to slow down and notice.” Forsyth’s contemplative images reveal there are signs of human expression and ingenuity embedded in the very foundations of Montreal.
Visit Forsyth’s Instagram page to follow his ongoing project. For readers living in or visiting Montreal, be sure to share your photos of the Metro using the hashtag #mtlmetroproject.
Referring to both vulnerability and impermanence, Suzanne Jongmans’ investigates the texture and feel of both the present and past. Since 2007 she has been working on the series ‘foam sculptures’: caps and collars, inspired by 16th and 17th century Flemish and Dutch “Golden Age” paintings, made from materials currently used for packaging and insulation (cheap material which is often discarded after use). By using these materials Jongmans makes a reference to consumerism and the rapid circulation of materials. Jongman transforms old costumes into new plastics and old masters into new photographic works. By using time foreign materials, plastics and techno’s, she is creating a time crux, a tension of time for all of us to enjoy.
Martin Heuwold (aka MEGX) of Wuppertal, Germany makes public art installations and murals. Heuwold created “Lego-Brücke”, or “Lego Bridge”- literally a functional bridge in Wuppertal made to look like giant lego blocks. The piece took 4 weeks to complete. It’s funny how really simple ideas like “Lego Bridge” actually have a really huge impact on our public spaces. Life becomes a little more pleasant when people take ownership of their daily environments and build stronger connections to their cities. All it takes is just a small, personal interest.
Fabio Esposito is a London-based (Italian-born) fashion and beauty photographer with an alternative and darkly sensual style. Among his impressive list of collaborators are the designers Jitrois, Pam Hogg, Úna Burke, and Jay Briggs (who we featured recently — read more here), as well as the artists Amanda Lear and Francesca Belmonte. No matter what Esposito is shooting — be it leather couture, surrealist still lifes, or bizarre head apparatuses — his results are consistently expressive, using powerful lighting and color schemes (often in monochromatic tones) to evoke emotion and tell a story. When I inquired about how he would describe his style, Esposito explained:
“My style keeps changing with my emotions, but it’s always a fight between my dark side and the part of me that could not live without vibrant colours. When you strive to express your inner world and somehow show it through your work, then this is what I think makes it different and unique.”
There is no doubt that Espostio brings an original and exciting element into fashion and beauty photography. Inspired by artists such as Dalí and Caravaggio, his work follows artistic traditions while transforming them into something new; like a contemporary Dalí, many of Esposito’s works contain strange and surprising elements, such as the armless, nude woman wearing a mask that resembles a crossover between a disfigured classical sculpture and a cyborg. Recalling Caravaggio, Esposito’s photos often have a chiaroscuro-type effect, using blotted shadows to create bold contrasts on the skin of his models. The result is a set of images that are classical, honest, and seductive in their beauty, yet buzzing with a distinctly modern and alternative edge.
Baltimore-based artist, Dan Everett, has a great body of work that really packs in a detailed glimpse into the artist’s comedically strange mind. With inspiration coming form Indian miniatures and Buddhist Mandalas, Everett’s pieces feature bizarre characters that are born from a stream-of-conscience making process. As a way to give back to the city he works in, Everett displays his work throughout the town by hanging them on abandoned buildings. We’ve got a great selection posted here, but be sure to take a peak at his portfolio site.
Roxy Radulescu lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. In addition to her many graphic design projects she is currently working on a series entitled Movies In Color in which she sheds light on the color composition found within single frames of famous films. Not only does deconstructing frames from a film like 2001: A Space Odyssey help to reveal a gorgeous color spectrum, it also highlights the masterful Cinematographer responsible for framing and shooting the picture. In her own words it is ” …a pursuit that showcases the relationship between color, cinematography, set design, and production design. Overall, it is a study of color in films, but has other uses and applications. One of the goals is to give artists color palettes they can use in paintings, films, videos, graphic design, and other pursuits. I search for stills that are compositionally interesting as well as rich in color. I use the help of a color generator to get a very basic range of swatches. Then I piece together the general palette from that and other colors I think are prominent or worth including from the still.”
Seoul native Eunjeong Yoo is an illustrator who now lives and works in New York City. In addition to Eunjeong’s strong conceptual approach, the quality I admire most in her work is her use of color; its placement has a haphazard feel and her palette choices both emphasize the narratives and instill a sense of in-the-moment movement.
The upcoming exhibition Thingamajigs, curated by Meenakshi Thirukode brings together individuals whose creative practice cannot be categorized under traditional tags. The show features a plethora of artists who push the boundaries of their practice, including prior B/D featured experimental group Lucky Dragons, B/D staff writer Colleen Asper, and B/D’s own Amir H. Fallah! A bevvy of Beautiful/Decay articles of history and memorabilia (including some of the first ever, hand-photocopied ‘zine versions) will be on display, alongside Amir’s painting. If you find yourself on a spiritual or artistic journey to India, be sure to check out this exhibition at Gallery Open Eye Dreams.