Grooming is essential to the care of any dog. These images taken by pet photographer Ren Netherland are from a dog grooming competition that take the necessity to a strange place. The fur of these dogs are cut and colored so as to resemble pop-culture characters, scenes, and recognizable images. Given, the creativity that goes into grooming these canines is surprising (but perhaps better redirected). What do you think – is this extreme grooming just silly or inhumane?
Everyone has a different perception of the city, to some it might feel luxurious and culturally rich, to others it might appear to be dirty and smelly, and to many natives, including Chicago based artist Clarissa Bonet, the city is this somber, anonymous, and emotionally charged space.
Bonet’s acclaimed on-going series, City Space, captures her personal perception of the urban landscape and its relationship to the ones that inhabit it.
“The Urban space is striking. Its tall and mysterious building, crowds of anonymous people, and endless seas of concrete constantly intrigue me,” the artist says.
Her images are reconstructions of her perceptions/past experiences in the cityscape. Some may seem overly dramatic- as her play with lights and darks and muted colors, as she mentions in her artist statement on her website, are both visual strategies she is interested in working with.
On her artist statement, she also mentions that she reconstructs “the city as a stage to transform the physical space into a psychological one. The images […] do not represent a commonality of experience but instead prove a personal interpretation of the urban landscape.”
One of the most interesting elements in this body of work is her ability to transfer what would seem to be a mundane act on the streets to a scene that speaks of the human psyche, and emotion in general. Her subjects, most with their head down or covered, seem to purposely appear anonymous, giving the viewer a sense of them not being there, as they blend with the rest of the composition. Could this be cultural commentary/criticism on behalf of the artist? That is not out of the question, as these powerful and somber, yet beautiful images do make the viewer question contemporary living in the cityscape.
Beautiful/Decay recently “wrapped” up our Book 2: What a Mess! Release party at Synchronicity Gallery. The event was super fun, with the Beautiful/Decay team past & present in full force, including appearances by such former B/D intern superstars as Lyndsey Lesh, Greg Ruben and Alexis Kaneshiro! (Am I forgetting anyone?) The B/D team had a booth replete with gift wrap, the debut of Book 2 and more. Check out our Flickr page for images of the bash!
Artist Max Gärtner‘s solo exhibit Animal Watching is a bit of a play on words. Much of the exhibits is filled with intricate animal portraits. The portraits of these animal gallery goers are created using carefully cut paper in impressive detail, that are then mounted and framed. It offers gallery visitors a different sort of Animal Watching. Accompanying the wall mounted artwork, are what appear to three figures, each with a different animal head, carefully inspecting pieces. The sculptures are each an animal watching the gallery events. Check out the video to see the way the piece interact within the gallery and some of the art work being created.
In his latest project OMOTE, Japanese producer Nobumichi Asai combines explicit real-time face tracking and projection mapping to create unbelievable transformations of a human face. While projecting computer generated imagery (CGI) onto buildings, room walls or cars isn’t new, using a live model as a dynamic canvas demonstrates an advances use of technology.
To accomplish such realistic and mesmerizing effect, Asai gathered a team of digital designers, CGI experts, and make-up artists. Together they created a set of digital “masks”, or, as Slash Gear referred to it, “electronic equivalent of makeup”. As shown in the video, model’s face should be scanned and mapped so the graphics can be projected and manipulated in real-time, even when the face moves around.
Despite that lots of technical details about OMOTE are left unsaid, Internet users have already started speculating on the possible use of such technology. Most suggestions include testing of products such as make-up, clothing, or even tattoos. Some state that advanced versions could be employed for medical purposes, like projecting X-Rays or creating “instant previews” of plastic surgery. Not to mention the game industry. (via Gizmodo)
Brooklyn based Stacy Fisher utilizes Hydrocal, shellac, burlap, wire mesh, paint, and wood to create subtle yet unrefined forms. The platforms in which her structures reside are as integral to the work as the rough abstractions that take center stage. These monuments remain tethered at times by chains and bolts as if imprisoned. Fisher presents vibrant and simplistic structures that exhilarate their environment.
For Japanese designer Yuri Suzuki, dyslexia prevented him reading music in the traditional sense. But that didn’t stop him playing it. Instead, he adopted a playful approach and created an installation that invites viewers to produce their own music using color markers. Visitors draw along the curvy lines on the floor, and then the robots translate their marks into one-of-a-kind sound pieces.
The robots are called Color Chasers, and they associate each color that they find on their path with a sound. This small, unique orchestra features five different machines that each have their own sound and shape. The Basscar has a Dubstep-like sound, the Glitchcar reproduces computer-like sounds, and the Melodycar, Arpeggiocar, and the Drumcar to add rhythm.
This imaginative work was recently selected by the New York MoMA for their collection. (Via Spoon and Tamago)
C. Owen is a Chicago-based artist who creates eerie, black-and-white portraits of insects and animals — particularly those that have died or have been resurrected as taxidermied objects. The series featured here, titled Ordinary Overlooked, explores the alien beauty of dead insects that Owen finds outside or in the corners and windowsills of her house. With a strange alertness and intimacy, the images capture with startling detail the characteristics of each tiny body — such as the hairy legs, segmented antennae, and compound eyes — that otherwise go unnoticed. What was once creepy and “ordinary” becomes familiar and nuanced. In a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, Owen explains:
The insect world is something the average human rarely pays any close attention to — that is, unless they are invading your home. Something ordinary as a moth, housefly, or ant can easily be overlooked and considered a pest. For me, they have opened my eyes to a tiny new world. […] The more I photograph these insects, the stronger my curiosity grows.
What makes Owen’s images especially uncanny are the states of limbo they portray. Floating in surreal, nocturnal worlds, each insect carries the illusion of life while curled in the postures of death. As manifestations of uncertainty and ephemerality, they are transformed through the camera’s gaze into sentient ghosts, lost in purgatory; “taken in one hair at a time, the images are suspended somewhere between metamorphosis and reincarnation,” Owen writes. The result is a series of contemplative photographs that provide both the time and focus in which to foster respect while exploring the beauty of alternate, living worlds.
Visit Owen’s website to view more of her work, including Trophies, a haunting portraiture series of taxidermied animals who likewise trouble us with the indistinctness between life and death.