A woman sits alone beneath hundreds of dangling scissors; they teeter above her, metallic mouths open and sharp edges facing downwards. Calmly, she sews. As part of 2011’s The Mending Project, the performance artist Beili Liu put herself in this position, asking audience members to cut away portions of a large piece of fabric and patiently threading it back together.
In juxtaposing the feelings brutality and danger evoked by the scissors with the softness and careful mending of fabric, the performance symbolizes the cyclical process of violence and healing. The scissors are ominous, and yet Liu performs patiently. The work relies upon a symbiotic relationship between destruction and creation; without the audience’s cutting of the sheet-like fabric, the artistic process would not take place. The work is uncomfortable and dangerous, but at the same time, Liu’s re-threaded tapestry, which begins to cover the floor, is strangely comforting. Ultimately, the solace of the artist’s concentrated mending rivals the aggression of the scissors.
The Mending Project also centers around ideas of women in art. Upon until Judy Chicago and still to this very day, women’s craft work has been scoffed at and rejected by museums and galleries. Liu’s work helps to change all that; here, she embraces sewing as “a woman’s work […] a traditional woman’s craft,” and she lends the art form an unexpected hardness and edge. In this picture of femininity, the woman and her work aren’t weak but powerful; through her careful process, she works with the notion of danger and transforms it into something unexpected and, in many ways, not frightful. In her own words, she, the woman, “is the one who […] creates,” finding resilience and fertile power within an unsettling context. (via This is Colossal)
I met Tisch Abelow a couple months back, and whenever I’m around her I can’t help but feel inspired by her levelheaded, simple and straightforward attitude. I also continually seem to find myself in a state of deep transfixion, staring deeply into the center of her colorfully precise and exacting work. Tisch can draw and paint with the best, has collaborated with a ton of great artists, and has traveled all over this great country of ours. I recently caught up with this wonderfully talented lady and asked her about making art, living life and eating lunch in the big city and beyond.
Today is the last day to take advantage of this sale!
Beautiful/Decay is happy to announce new sizing for our artist prints. You can now buy each of our gorgeous prints, designed by a whose-who cast of international designers, at a new small size of 8″ x 10.6″. Each print is produced on a heavy, high quality, archival stock that’s ready for framing. To celebrate our new small size we are giving all of our prints an extra small price! All prints in all sizes are 20% off until Sunday September 4th at Midnight (PST). Just use discount code “coveryourwalls” during check out and start decorating your home, office, and walls today!
This unusual carnival certainly isn’t the kind you find at a kid’s party. For “Funland: Pleasures & Perils of the Erotic Fairground,” artistic duo Bompas & Parr show off a series of bold and whimsical installations at New York City’s Museum of Sex. Immersive artworks include “Jump for Joy,” a giant bouncy house composed of blow-up breasts and “Grope Mountain,” a rock wall featuring phalluses and vulvas. As visitors munch on tasty treats, they are invited into “The Tunnel of Love,” a maze that ultimately ends at the G-Spot, an erogenous zone in the vaginal canal discovered by Ernst Gräfenberg.
While this all may seem like fun and games, the exhibition also illustrates earnest cultural ideas. Here, the artists worked closely with Professor Vanessa Toulmin, the Director if the UK National Fairground Archive, to illustrate the historical associations between traveling fairgrounds and sexuality. Toulmin proposes that at the apex of the industrial revolution of the mid-19th century, carnivals began to emerge as sites for “immoral” behavior.
The St. Bartholomew fair, she notes, was singled out for its sensuous—and overtly erotic— atmosphere. In this uncanny universe of play and mischief, the puritan ideals of the upper classes were tossed to the wayside. The fast-paced amusement rides were quite the novelty at that time, and dark tunnels and cars allowed for discreet caresses to pass between lovers. Some fairgrounds even charged admittance for burlesque and strip-tease shows. Bompas & Parr’s “Funland” certainly captures both the thrilling and the farcical aspects of the carnival scene. Simultaneously amusing and disturbing, the exhibit engages both the mind and the body. The show is currently on view and will run through Spring 2015. (via Design Boom)
In America we treat our pets like royalty, showering them with constant treats, toys, and love. That’s why it’s no wonder that San Francisco based illustrator David Imlay created this hilarious body of dog portraits that reference Flemish and Dutch Golden Age painting. With their elaborate golden frames and distinguished poses you know that these cute pups are the ones running the show at their homes!
British composer Anna Meredith just released her debut, Black Prince Fury EP on limited edition vinyl from the Vinyl Factory/Moshi Moshi in the UK. It’s limited to only 300, so if you want one, you better act fast. You can stream the full version of Nautilus and check out the animated video via Noisey, directed by Tony Comely.
Japanese designer Dan Tomimatsu’s latest project is a short film film entitled O: -les amants d’eau-, based on a poem by fukudapero. It is a five minute surrealist film narrated in Japanese and subtitled in English which provides an oscillating view of different sceneries, places, and objects.
The magnificent simplicity of this film lies in the technical aspects of how it was made: Tomimatsu shot a drop of water through the hole of a 5 Yen coin, through the lens of an iPhone. The coin was stuck to the lens of the phone in such a way that filming through it would allow a close-up of the drop of water. The result is a truly dreamlike sequence of images, which are tinted, filtered, and displayed through the drop of water. The film plays a lot with the notion of movement and the fluid, unpredictable nature of water.
In this sense, the drop of water provided a sort of natural lens for the film to be shot through as well as a new angle concerning the iPhone as a legitimate filmmaking device. His project underlines the role of new media and technology within the realm of filmmaking and the process of creating something simple yet so intricately beautiful as a film shot through a drop of water.
Proving that snow globes aren’t just kitschy souvenirs, artist duo Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz create mini worlds covered by glass domes that are dark, gloomy, and slightly sinister. The scenarios they build are usually set in a stark wintery landscape and feature characters carrying out strange, ill-disposed acts on each other.
Working together since 1994, Martin and Muñoz source different figurines or model making elements, cut them up and re-assemble them as victims or criminals at a crime scene. They use plumber’s epoxy to build the base of the scenes, and cover it in a water resistant resin. Then, they fill up the globes with a water and alcohol solution, to create the authenticity of the object.
Taking inspiration from dreams, movies, and literature, the pair is happy to build on a bizarre or surreal narrative. Their scenes are very dark indeed: A man is caught in the act of dropping a boulder onto another man’s face, or we watch a woman suspiciously planting a dead tree in the snow, or two men vindictively dangling children over a deep dark well, all surrounded by the stillness of snow and winter. They see their snow globes as a celebration of that uneasy feeling you get when you are lost in a crowd, or left alone somewhere uncomfortable. Martin reflects on the environment that he grew up in and those feelings he experienced within them:
I always liked a good snowstorm, and so many of my best memories revolve around those occasions. The water is the thing in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Everything that comes out of it, everything that you can do on it, or in it, is special. (Source)
Their globes and a number of other artist’s impressions of winter were also featured previously in a post on B/D. Click here to check out the different ideas of just what that wintery spirit is all about.