Leon Golub is hands down one of the most important political artists from the last century. His brutally painted unstretched canvases bring to light the horrors of war, greed, and torture. Watch this short documentary about Leon that gives insight into the artists process, his studio practice, and hear him discuss his controversial subject matter. Full video after the jump.
Experimental typography, playful illustrations, and a nice mix of hand drawn and digital wizardry by Pomme Chan.
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.
Zachari Logan is a Saskatoon-based artist who creates stunningly detailed drawings, installations, and ceramic works that explore representations of masculinity and queer identities. Proliferating throughout his works are thick amalgams of nature; beards and hair sprout into lush habitats for various animals (see the “Wild-Man” series); ceramic petals cluster together like piles of delicate, bleached bones (“Fountain 1”); and elsewhere, a mythological body composed entirely of flora and fauna melds with the surrounding forest (“Leshy 2”). Interestingly, the plants depicted are of diverse origins, sourced from images collected by Logan in North America and Europe. These beautifully-woven hybrid landscapes represent the liminal spaces inhabited by queer identities — that is, those vital spaces between “here” and “there” that unsettle the restrictive binaries of heteronormative gender and sexuality.
Many of these works are interpretative self-portraits of Logan, created in the exploration of his own body, memories, and sense of place. However, in his more recent works, Logan has portrayed the body more as a “catalyst,” thereby allowing him to “re-wild his body as a queer embodiment of nature” (Source). One of his most spectacular and ongoing works, the Eunuch Tapestry Series, exemplifies this shift from self-portraiture to a more objective exploration of identity, both corporeal and incorporeal. Based on the fourteenth-century Flemish Unicorn Tapestries, the Eunuch Tapestries feature camouflaged bodies (self-representations of Logan) crouching and searching amidst walls of dense, dark foliage. The newest work, “Tapestry 5” (shown above), features a nude, shadowy figure moving quietly through the hybridized forest. Whereas the Unicorn Tapestries represent a search for a mythical creature, Logan’s works metaphorically explore the liminal terrain of queerness, discovering new bodily narratives infused with history, myth, and presence.
Always investigating and expanding the boundaries between the physical and metaphysical, Logan’s ceramic works draw these two realms together. “Fountain 1,” for example, is a time-based installation whose bone-like flowers accumulate every time it is shown, proliferating like a living thing despite its sterile, ceramic composition. The Root Series also represents a philosophical blending of physical body and metaphysical time, place, and memory; detached body parts surrealistically sprout flourishing weeds. In these works, the body is both the adornment and the catalyst, the tangible and intangible vessel through which we derive personal meaning and identity.
Logan is currently attending the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) in Brooklyn (ending this month). His “Eunuch Tapestry 5” is on display at the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art until Tuesday, June 23rd. He is currently exhibiting at Paul Petro Contemporary Art in Toronto until July 11th, and is also featured this month at Western Project in Los Angeles. Keep an eye out for Logan’s upcoming projects in in Atlanta, Seattle, Regina (Canada), and Verona, and visit his website and Facebook page to see more beautiful and exploratory works.
Artist Lia Melia grew up a few minutes walk away from the sea, and today it is still her main source of inspiration. And, you can definitely tell – her colorful, swirling paintings are reminiscent of the large body of water. Mythology has also been a life-long love of hers, and she depicts elemental forces that are represented by the gods.
Melia uses a variety of methods to create these highly-textured works, and she’s developed her practice over the course of many years. Powered pigments and solvents are baked into aluminium, or occasionally, onto glass. She uses fluid mixes which require high levels of control, so they are often thickened to make the medium easier to use. Different elements are layered to give them a rich, visual depth.
Looking closely at these paintings, we see that her skill in creating textures give the illusion of crashing waves, stormy skies, and ocean foam. Melia’s tightly-cropped compositions freeze a split second in time, and anyone who has stood in the water can imagine what happens beyond this scene. (Via Saatchi Art Tumblr)
The peculiar, the beautiful, and the unusual come together in the fashion photography of Salomé Vorfas.
Photographer Dylan DeRose’s Cat Fanciers Association series proves that not only do dog owners look like their pets but cat owners do as well.
Alberto Guedea Zamora is a multi-disciplinary artist from Toronto, Canada. Abstract in every sense of the definition, his presence lacks a concrete existence in his own work- often posing with his face covered by a tangle of hair or his body colored by some bright paper. He become a ghost, keeps distance and remains impersonal. You can see a longer in depth interview with him and the full text I’ve paraphrased at Things of Desire (“Canada’s Alternative Art Weekly”).