“It’s Hardly Noticeable explores the world of a character who navigates living with an unspecified anxiety-based mental illness. He negotiates situations constructed to highlight the impacts and implications of his differences on his thoughts and behaviors, and by doing so raises question of normalcy. Through constructed tableaus and metaphorical still lifes, the series reveals the relationship between reality and perception, and highlights issues of pathology while questioning stereotypes of normalcy.
In 2009 economist Bill Gross used the term New Normal to define the American economic landscape of the very recent past. In ensuing years, the term resonated with culture at large and became an umbrella term for changes in cultural and societal practices, identifying a shift in held notions of what is commonly viewed as acceptable.
These images question the legitimacy of applying the term normal in a societal context by prompting a reconsideration of what, if anything, is normal, or at least what is perceived and labeled as such. Is it possible for a society to have a commonly held idea of what is normal, when few individuals in that society actually meet the criteria for normalcy?” – John William Keedy‘s artist statement for this series.
Detective Jason Harvey, a forensic sketch artist who has worked for the NYPD for over 10 years, draws fun and flamboyant portraits using the same techniques as he employs in his police work. His drawings might be recognizable to some New Yorkers, as it they are featured on “wanted” posters hung all around the city. However, Harvey has been given the opportunity for his work to be seen in a new light. Adam Shopkorn, owner of Fort Gansevoort Gallery, noticed Harvey’s work on the NYCAlerts Twitter and wanted to put it on display, allowing Harvey to jump from detective to artist. The NYPD wouldn’t consent to showing the actual sketches (as they are criminal evidence), so instead, Harvey has created a series he calls Fantasy Composites. Within this body of work, Harvey uses the same renderings and facial feature creation process as he would sketching up potential criminals, yet this time he is depicting imagined faces. Harvey explains the difference between this body of work compared to his detective sketches; he states, “when I’m interviewing an eyewitness and drawing from their memory, I have to strictly adhere to what they’re telling me about the person’s face.” He notes that the forensic work is “not creative at all.” Nonetheless, his imagined series is full of creativity and exuberance. Each work truly has it’s own character — there is a real sense that Harvey has seen it all. Nothing is too obscure or obscene, every portrait seems absolutely genuine, if not almost recognizable. The caricature quality adds a playful element to his work, allowing them to exist between the realms of cartoon and reality, between satire and actuality. (via booooooom)
Jose Lerma‘s work borders between 17th century noble portraiture and wild abstractionism. Unlike his college teachings at the University of Wisconsin-Madison he works outside of the box with heavy brush strokes and massive amounts of paint. Which adds another dimension to his work: texture. Lerma also dabbled in political science and law and an MFA in painting, he is an internationally exhibiting artist with shows in Berlin, Korea, New York, Belgium, and Italy, Puerto Rico, and Houston. If you happened to miss the big article we did on Jose in book 2 you can still get a copy and read the massive interview with him. Available here!
Beautiful/Decay has partnered with premiere website building platform Made With Color to bring you some of the most exciting contemporary artists working today. Made With Color allows you to create a website that is professional and easy to use with just a few clicks and no coding. This week we bring you the Deconstructed geometric abstractions of Benjamin Gardner!
Great things can be found in the mid-west such as the work of DeMoines, Iowa based painter and sculptor Benjamin Gardner. When we usually think about geometric abstraction we think of razor precision lines and carefully calculated angles. However Gardner bucks the norm by presenting a deconstructed geometry where it’s angles bend and sway in ways more aligned with abstract expressionism. Creating both sculpture and paintings (and often a combination of both) Gardner’s work calls upon the visual language of mystic texts, constellations, mandalas and hex signs combined with found objects and materials for surprising results that make us ponder the space between intuitive mark making and mathematical precision.
Albert Folch is a young artist based in Barcelona, Spain. Folch has established himself as a freelance designer with his own studio, his efforts are focused on editorial, book catalog and magazine design. Its difficult not to be amazed by the quality and quantity of his work. How many of us are that good that often?
Laurent Chéhère’s photo series of floating buildings and homes takes these once permanent structures and shoots them off into the sky like a light weight balloon fill with helium. Inspired by the French film The Red Balloon, these playful and whimsical photographs are at once powerful surreal images and a masterful blend of analog photography and digital wizardry. (via)