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The Romantic Melancholia Of Katie Eleanor’s Elegant, Historically-Influenced Photography

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Katie Eleanor is a London-based photographic artist who creates visions of Victorianesque romance and melancholia. Complete with elaborate costumes and set designs, her works have a theatrical presence; serene-faced maidens wearing gowns—or in various states of undress—pose in dimly-lit rooms, often with esoteric props, such as a magpie, a fox, and a white crown. Mixing sensuality with darkness, the chill of death creeps in on the periphery, taking the form of dead branches, wilted leaves, and a shroud. There are signs of injury and endurance; one woman leans on crutches, while another stoically leaks blood from her eyes.

In a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, Eleanor talks about her work. “My style is fictional and narrative based, away from the confines of our shared earth,” she writes. “I am influenced most heavily by the past, [. . .] as I am intrigued by both its links and disconnect from the way we function in the present.” Her influences arise from several creative sources, such as books, performance, Victorian illustration, and costume collectors. As a visual storyteller, set design is integral to conveying her meaning and absorbing the viewer into her ethereal dreamscapes; narrative and emotions speak through the costumes and staging. In addition to this complex process, each image is hand-colored, which allows her to “push more of [herself] into [her] works” by incorporating more of her physical being.

Be sure to visit Eleanor’s website, Facebook page, and blog and follow her work. She also creates haunting videos, which can be viewed here.

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Pieter Hugo Documents South Africa’s Scars Of Colonialism

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Pieter Hugo’s “Kin” is the photographer’s closer look into his motherland and a personal approach to the incredible human diversity surrounding him. Hugo’s photo series from South Africa depicts the issues of race, social status, economical despair, sexuality and his own place in such “fractured, schizophrenic, wounded, and problematic place”.

Despite being complicated in content, Hugo’s photographs carry a distinctly serene, calming style and the sense of connection between the photographer, camera and the subject. Regardless of who’s in frame, an unknown homeless drifter, domestic servant, or his pregnant wife, Hugo captures their essence and tension in a simple static shot.

“[Kin] is an engagement with the failure of the South African colonial experiment and my sense of being ‘colonial driftwood. [South Africa] is a very violent society and the scars of colonialism and apartheid still run very deep. Issues of race and cultural custodianship permeate every aspect of society, and the legacy of forced racial segregation casts a long shadow.”

Based on his photographic approach, Pieter Hugo raises questions to himself and searches for answers through his work. How should one live in this diverse society? Should one accept the historical aftermath for granted or try to change it? How to raise a family in these circumstances?

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Yuken Teruya’s Intricate Cut-Out Trees

 

Yuken Teruya skillfully cuts intricate trees and other shapes out of banal, everyday objects like dollar bills, toilet paper rolls, and cereal boxes. The artist completely transforms what usually amounts to trash into delicate, beautiful art. Really makes you reconsider which material objects are “special”. Even the things we constantly overlook are full of creative (and even spiritual) potential. Teruya has a new piece in a recently opened group show at Denver’s David B. Smith Gallery. (via)

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Michelle Wasson

Love the brushwork in these semi-abstract still life paintings by Michelle Wasson. The mark making feels perfectly effortless but extremely precise.

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B/D’s Best of 2010- Michael Shapcott

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Michael Shapcott is an emerging artist from Connecticut. His paintings and illustrations take traditional portraiture and add elements of folklore and dream imagery, his main source of inspiration. His work is nothing less than powerful, inspiring, and emotional.

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Kris Scheifele’s Pains On Paint

kris scheifele’s recent work is rooted in process and began with an investigation of paint’s physicality. after thirty to fifty layers of acrylic paint are applied to a support, these slabs are pulled up, sliced, carved, and/or peeled. free of a support and hung directly on the wall, the paint then performs by bending, sagging, and stretching. this elasticity suggests the body and skin while the ‘aestheticised’ decay alludes to the moth-eaten, rot, or fire damage. meant to reflect on cycles in life as well as cycles in art, scheifele’s work rides the line between painting and sculpture. exerpt: kris scheifele among 30 artists to watch in 2012.- NY Arts Mag (via minimal exposition & BH/2)

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Sebastian Errazuriz’s Contagious Yawns Fill Billboards In Time Square

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If you’re local to, or find yourself in New York City during January, head to Times Square to witness artist Sebastian Errazuriz’s site-specific installation. Titled A Pause in the City that Never Sleeps, it’s a black-and-white video featuring the artist slowly yawning multiple times throughout its 11:57PM to midnight timeslot. There isn’t any fancy editing or motion graphics in Errazuriz’s video – it’s just him that dominates approximately 50 electronic billboards that are central to the city’s hustle and bustle.

If you’ve ever visited Times Square, or even just seen pictures of it, you know that it’s a crowded frenzy nearly all times of day. There are hoards of people, bright lights, colors, and jumbo-sized advertisements that are on a continuous loop. Errazuriz’s moment-of-zen video stands in stark contrast to what we’re normally used to seeing. It’s unhurried, hypnotic, and contagious. Visitors might feel the urge to yawn after watching it.

About the project, Errazuiz says, “I hope that the video can offer a brief moment of pause that can remind us of our urgent necessity for free space and time that can allow us to recover a stronger sense of awareness. (…) I am yawning at everything and all of us; we need to wake up.”

Find A Pause in the City that Never Sleeps from 42nd to 47th streets between Broadway and 7th Avenue until January 31. (Via designboom)

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Denis Darzacq, obv. fluent in French.

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Life becomes very difficult for me when I do not understand more than several words in French, and these awesome artists and photographers refuse to give me any information in anything other than French, but what the hell, I’ll try my best to feature them regardless, and their work speaks clearly (yay for VISUALS!). He has a series called “Hyper” that some of you may have seen, with the same content but in grocery stores. These photos here are from a series entitled “La Chute” (not too hard to translate) from Denis Darzacq. I’m suckered into their trickery because they remind me of my lucid dreaming capabilities when I could fly every night… “La Chute” is what a whole episode of Heroes should have looked like when the Petrellis discovered they could fly. Seriously, they didn’t need any practice? Ugh, television.

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