As part of our ongoing partnership with Feature Shoot, Beautiful/Decay is sharing Alison Zavos’ article on Photographer Hal.
When looking for couples to model for both this series, Couple Jam, and his ever popular work, Flesh Love, Tokyo-based Photographer Hal goes to underground bars in Shibuya and Kabukicho (Tokyo’s Red Light District), places he describes as “luscious nighttime bee hives”. Musicians, dancers, strippers, service workers and businessmen are all fair game as models as long as they are willing and able to contort their bodies to fit in the confined spaces Photographer Hal obviously has an affinity for.
These photographic “events” take place in the models bathrooms. Photographer Hal explains, “I think of the bathroom as being one of the most private and intimate place in anyone’s home, this provoked a shyness in the models, and created a unique excitement and inspiration in the scene.”
Street artist Levalet more than only uses the public space as a canvas. The artist’s wheat paste images interacts with the city itself. His life size subjects lean, sit, and lie down on the surfaces they are pasted on. He even incorporates everyday objects such as books and umbrellas to further bring his work to life. You can find his work on walls, on the street and in galleries, scattered throughout Paris, France. [via]
It’s refreshing to see fashion photography that doesn’t look like your run of the mill fashion editorial. Bela Borsodi’s massive portfolio is full of playful and experimental photographs that walk the fine line between design, fashion, and art.
New York based artist Mindo Cikanavicius photographs portraits of men with foam “facial hair.” Within this series, titled Bubbleissimo, (perhaps making a play on the word “machismo”), the artist distorts the notion of masculinity through a comedic display of the growing obsession with groomed facial hair. His work aims to speak about the fragility and absurdity of what “manliness” means, depicting it as being just as allusive and indefinite as the bubbles meant to represent it. These works portray the sitters in a sort of kitschy, glamor portrait style, engulfed in one side of sky blue and one side of bubble gum pink, the colors used to denote gendered objects. His series mocks the need to define and portray what it means to be masculine, and, through what seems at first glance to be an overtly serious series, successfully, upon further inspection, invites in a air of making fun of itself. Once it becomes clear that this facial hair is in fact made of bubbles, the work switches from being a strange cataloging of men, to a witty depiction of gender norms. His artist statement notes that “Mindo is focused creating story based unexpected moments with touch of cinematic drama, humor and mystery. His work is a blend of ideas, imagination, observations, experiences and emotions into making intriguing constructed reality photographs.”
For this 1998-2000 series of portraits, photographer Shizuka Yokomizo left anonymous letters on the doorsteps of random ground floor apartments with the message:
I am an artist working on a photographic project which involves people I do not know…. I would like to take a photograph of you standing in your front room from the street in the evening.”
These letters gave simple instructions for when the artist would come and take the photograph. The only contact she had with the subjects of these voyeur portraits was when Shizuka sent the subjects a print of the image and her contact info in case they didn’t want the photograph exhibited. (via sympathy for the art gallery)
When you think of fine art, one of the last places you’d probably consider finding it is in the laundromat. Photographer Yvette Meltzer, long fascinated with the transformation of soiled to clean clothes, first sought to explore her fascination by visiting many different laundromats in Chicago. During these visits, she documented various aspects of the laundromat experience, but it wasn’t until she saw the images of dryers tumbling clothes on her computer that she knew she had captured something beautiful – animal and human forms were revealed to her through the compositions of color and texture being tossed around in the machines. Thus, Meltzer’s “Revolution” series was born, a series that transforms an everyday, mundane image into an experience of abstract mystery. Meltzer says, “What I see is not what someone else does. But people do seem mesmerized by the images and attempt to discern what it is they are looking for. People seem to have such a need for definition and tend to be uncomfortable with the ambiguous.” (via slate)
The upcoming exhibition Thingamajigs, curated by Meenakshi Thirukode brings together individuals whose creative practice cannot be categorized under traditional tags. The show features a plethora of artists who push the boundaries of their practice, including prior B/D featured experimental group Lucky Dragons, B/D staff writer Colleen Asper, and B/D’s own Amir H. Fallah! A bevvy of Beautiful/Decay articles of history and memorabilia (including some of the first ever, hand-photocopied ‘zine versions) will be on display, alongside Amir’s painting. If you find yourself on a spiritual or artistic journey to India, be sure to check out this exhibition at Gallery Open Eye Dreams.
Mark Alsweiler has some new work out and it’s just as intriguing as his last. Each piece is eerie, full of color and texture, and references a different time. I love the pilgrim like characters who seem to have wandered into a different dimension. His work shows people doing normal tasks in this disappearing, melting atmosphere. I’m excited to see what’s up next for this talented gent.