Joel Tretin calls himself a Photo Humorist and that description seems perfectly apt. His photo series Stranger in Paradox “looks at what’s true and totally screws with it.” At first glance, the pictures seem deceptively straightforward—portraits of the city shot in a somewhat generic ad-agency aesthetic. Hidden in plain sight are the visual jokes: a parking ticket on the windshield on a sports car in a building height ad; a carousel over a revolving door; an elephant walking though the green murkiness of a subway. The Photoshop manipulations are mostly seamless—it really looks like that woman is pushing an eight-seat stroller, and that sporty yellow cab looks real next to its stodgier brother. A stack of cars make the most of a lone parking space.
The subtlest images make you work for them. A lit Wall Street façade, American flags… oh, there. The don’t walk sign is flipping the bird. The traffic sign points to the “Road Most Taken” an apparent play on Robert Frost’s Road Less Taken.
Photo manipulation in art is often used to create surreal imagery. And these pictures are surreal in that they portray things that are unreal and often fantastic, but the photos lack the intention and technique that transform pictures into fine art. Which seems to be just fine with Trentin, who says:
I am a failed stand up comedian, who now tries to make people laugh through photography.
The last month or so we’ve been extremely busy, putting the finishing touches on our “Art Works Every Time” exhibition. We sifted through hundreds of submissions to pick 10 of the most exciting emerging artists around today. Since we teamed up with Colt 45 to present this one of a kind exhibition, we got to brainstorm all kinds of creative giveaways we thought you’d enjoy: free Colt 45, free T-shirts to the first 100 visitors (with Colin Strandberg’s award-winning graphic, above) and even never-before-made (or tasted) Colt 45 ice cream by local fave Scoops! Trust us, it’s delicious.
To top off the night, we’ve invited comedienne Charlyne Yi, who will perform with her band Flesh. Yi’s debut album was produced by none other than Tenacious D, and her live performance has to be seen to be believed!
Whew! Now we just have to hang the show! Can’t wait to see all of you at the opening!
Beautiful/Decay has partnered with premiere website building platform Made With Color to bring you exclusive artist features. Each week we join forces to bring you some of the most exciting artists and designers who use Made With Color to create their clean and sleek websites. Made With Color doesn’t just help artists create gorgeous websites but allows them to do so in a few minutes without having to touch a line of code. This week we’re happy to bring you the work and site of Los Angeles painter Asad Faulwell.
At first glance, Asad Faulwell’s heavily embellished and ornate works may call to mind middle eastern tapestries but upon deeper inspection you discover that in fact they are deeply rooted in both politics and art history. His current body of work depicts female combatants from the Algerian War of Independence. Inspired by Gillo Pontecorvo’s “The Battle of Algiers” these pieces attempt to show how these women were both aggressors and victims, victimized by both their French adversaries and their male Algerian comrades. All works in this series are titled “Les Femmes D’Alger” in reference to the series by Delacroix and Picasso. While the anonymous women in the Delacroix and Picasso works were depicted as sexual objects in an Orientalist scene, the women in Faulwell’s work defy simple classification and are depicted as saints, criminals, aggressors and victims.
The Glue Society‘s newest project for Sculpture by the Sea, Aarhus is an amusent park, or rather, was an amusement park. James Dive of the group gathered an entire demolished amusement park and compacted it into one 13 foot cube. Pieces of rides and remnants of prizes can easily be seen in the mass. The cube was clearly once a place people looked for fun and relaxation, but is now irretrievably gone. Dive says of the project, “The project is about the finality of a missed moment. Creating it was undoubtedly the most violent process I’ve ever embarked upon.”
On May 1st three american art students decided to jump the barriers surrounding Ai Weiwei’sSunflower Seedspiece at the Tate modern’s Turbine hall. This action was in protest against the barrier, against the original intentions of the work being inhibited by health and safety (originally museum visitors were to walk on the seeds), to support the release of Ai Weiwei by the Chinese government, and promote freedom of speech and art. The biggest surprise in the video comes when dozens of other museum members joined the three students in a spontaneous group protest. Now that’s power to the people! Watch the full video after the jump!
We’ve posted David Maisel’s work before. His aerial photographs of open mines depict the colorful transformation of polluted areas. His new project, Library of Dust, catalogues individual copper canisters containing the unclaimed remains of patients from the Oregon State Insane Asylum who died sometime between 1883 and the 1970s. Each canister’s chemical decay is uniquely colorful; the aesthetic resonates with transformation indicated in his aerial photography. “Among my concerns with Library of Dust are the crises of representation that derive from attempts to index or archive the evidence of trauma; the uncanny ability of objects to portray such trauma; and the revelatory possibilities inherent in images of such traumatic disturbances. While there are certainly physical and chemical explanations for the ways these canisters have transformed over time, the canisters also encourage us to consider what happens to our own bodies when we die, and to the souls that occupy them.”
R. Nicholas Kuszyk and his gang of robots have been part of the B/D family since the beginning. You’re probably used to his massive murals painted all over the world but from time to time Mr. Kusyzk puts down the spray paint and paint brushes to do a bit of publishing. His new book Jammer Slammer is part robot comic book part epic futuristic philosophical musings.
Our good buddies at Narrow Books have teamed up with PEN Center USA to bring you this ongoing literary journal featuring sophisticated short fiction, travel essays, and poetry alongside cutting edge illustrations by Albert Reyes and B/D’s very own Lyndsey Lesh. Get both of their current releases here.
Illustration guru couple Easther Pearl Watson & Mark Todd recently handed over a small mountain of their zines, books, and stickers over to me. They have too many titles to list here so just head over to their shop and stock up now!