We’ve been posting alot of amazing illustrators from the UK, and Jon Owen is yet another within this category. You can difinitely detect a common stylistic thread from piece to piece, yet, Jon also has a strength for mixing things up and keeping his work fresh. I’m personally fond of his limited color splashes & muted palette, which only increases my curiosity to explore the details of these narratives.
I LOVE PAINTING! Maybe this is not so much of a secret if you’ve been following Beautiful/Decay for a while– but every time I see a Dana Schutz painting I just want to scream out…..”I LOVE PAINTING!” Dana’s a painter’s painter. A painter whose techincal chops rivals only her bizarre imagination and quirky themes. A painter who’s willing to take risks and use bold color with no fear. Unfortunately for me, Dana doesn’t currently show her work in LA. So, it was a great treat to get a copy of her fantastic new monograph today, released by art publishing hereos Rizzoli.
Rizzoli has to be one of my favorite art publishers to date. They always release monographs on the best artists of our generation. And Dana Schutz’s book is no exception: it’s filled with over 200 pages of work and essays documenting her artistic evolution. If you’re a fan of Dana, or of painting in general, you need to add this book to your collection. I guarantee it won’t disappoint!
Shannon Richardson‘s photographs have a “presented without comment” feel to them, documenting the signage and structures of American countryside with the intent to preserve. In addition to the observational and timeless sights of Texas, Richardson’s book, Route 66 American Icon, is a compilation of scenes from along the historic Route 66 highway.Richardson is an Amarillo, Texas-based photographer.
Chris Jones creates sculptures composed of fragmented images from magazines and used books that are beautiful, frightening, and exquisitely detailed: a macabre headless horse, a 19th century stagecoach, a disheveled TV.
For his recent solo show at Marc Straus, Jones worked in New York and was interested in the history of the Lower Eastside and this specific gallery space. Based on his impressions, he created a fantastical trading post replete with sundry items such as shovels, bear heads, and lamps echoing this area’s early 19th century and this building’s evolution from a tenement to a store for varied immigrant trades. It is also an homage to THE STORE that Claes Oldenburg opened nearby in 1961, selling his food-like handmade Paper Mache objects.
Jones’ work mimics the way in which we assimilate and process the world using our own personal histories and memories as a base to develop new connections. Jones has called on his own memories (through an art historic lens) and the viewers are in turn prompted to call upon their past to create their own personal stories as they relate to these wondrous pieces.
If I was a musician this is what my instruments would look (and taste like).
Video by Hardcuore
Numen, a European design collective, used 27 miles of scotch tape to create their most recent installation at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. We’ve posted about Numen’s jungle gym and flexible staircase before on Beautiful/Decay, and they’ve caught our eye once again! Viewers/participants are allowed to explore translucent tunnels that weave around columns and down staircases, mid air. The installation belongs to a group show called ‘Inside’ that “delves into the murky territory of both physical and psychological interiority, thematising immersion, introspection, and probing of the depths of self.”
Numen says their intention was to…
“transform the whole building into a convulsive mind/body organism whose slippery inner limits a motivated explorer has yet to trace and confront. The stretched biomorphic skin of Tape Paris is marking the entry point of the whole experience, being a literal incarnation of an inner-directed, regressive environment – the sense of descent into the primordial always lingering around its openings.”
…A lot to basically say that Numen has created an installation that seems like throughways for blood cells or passageways through time, and looks like it would be incredibly fun to crawl around in. It’s impressive in terms of engineering, imagination, and entertainment value, and it’s not hard to see how it relates to “interiority”, though I wouldn’t have put it in such convoluted terms. I might sound bitter about their project statement, but that’s probably because I can’t get myself to Paris to experience the real thing! (Via The Fox is Black)
Amy Douglas is an English artist who restores old Staffordshire figures into eccentric recreations. Staffordshire figures were found throughout British homes in the 19th century, often bought at county fairs and collected as “toys” for the mantelpiece. When they arrive to Douglas—broken and eroded away by time—she modernizes the pieces by adding touches of present-day quips and scenarios. Each one has been given a title that makes them humorously unique; for example, “I Lost My Head” depicts a beheaded man joyously swinging a wreath decorated with various craniums; “Chicks Rule” features a chicken-headed figure riding a horse with a human face.
The humor of Douglas’ work is often subtle, fostered in the cultural disparity between past and present. Part of the fun is also tricking the viewer into believing they are seeing a bizarre original work. Douglas works with the destroyed objects to seamlessly blend modern relevance with a traditional, domestic art object. “Many of the techniques, materials, and recipes I use have been in the hands of the craftsman for centuries,” she writes on her About page. “In our more increasing, intangible, fleeting, [and] modern existence, I think people do not look properly and do not acknowledge the craftsmanship of work. I like the idea of making people look twice” (Source).
Douglas’ works are currently on display in a solo show titled The Art of Salmagundi at the Jack Hanley Gallery in New York. The show runs until February 7th. You can learn more about Douglas’ work on her website. (Via The Creators Project)
Belgian photographer Helmut Stallaerts transforms the mundane by selecting just one lonely specimen of out of the masses, turning it into his subject.