Ellen Nielsen is a “Jack of all Trades.” Her wide array of skills range from sewing to video performance with imagery that goes from Psychedelic, to the surreal and dabbles in a bit of the absurd.
There’s a pervasive sense of childlike fantasy that seems to underline many pop surrealist works. Make-believe animals that don checkered coats, tight rope walkers and re-imagined cats all vibrate within and beyond the confines chosen by each artist at hand.
The alluring world of pop surrealism frequently ushers in a sense of mythical innocence and humor, unifying the superficial world of popular culture with the recesses of the unconscious. With underlying themes of fragility and the macabre delicately hidden beneath a veil of cultural kitsch, saccharine sweet dreamscapes transform and redefine a caustically bright world enamored with packaged goods. The fantastical worlds created through the lens of the following artists explores the relationship between the seemingly pristine and the accompanying bittersweet decay that dwells beneath it. Featured artists include: Casey Weldon, Mac Sorro, Rafael Silveira, Leslie Ditto, and Britt Ehringer.
For the photographer Per Johansen’s new series, the artist shoots plastic bottles filled and overflowing with raw and bloody meat, exploring human consumption and calling into question the ethics of the meat industry. The project, titled Mæt (meaning Full) uses recycled plastic bottles to stand in for the human stomach and appetite; each is then stuffed with chicken, eel, sausage, liver, fish. When viewing this disturbing and probative project, viewers are forced too to consider the morality of using a once-living being in art; if the work makes a statement against cruel techniques in meat production, is it then exempt from the same ethical criticism?
Shot under expert lighting to reveal the textures of the dead flesh, each image reads like a scientific specimen, an objective and disturbing archive of meat production. The stomach-turning images are hard to look at; like organisms preserved in jars and formaldehyde, the meat products look less like food and more like grotesque captives. Their biological beauty is expressed through the ridges of a snail shell; a compressed cephalopod fleshes emerald hues, and the shiny metallic glint of scales presses against the cruel plastic. A pair of eel eyes appear deadened, and an eel mouth seems to open in a silent scream, a head thrust from the bottle neck.
Here, the human appetite for meat is shown as wasteful, the stomach equated with the plastic bottle, an object associated with careless consumption. The work’s website asks viewers, “Are you full now?” This idea brings us back to our initial question: is it humane to use meat for creative purposes, or is it degrading and wrong to use once-living organisms in such a way? Does the answer change when the work is meant to protest human gluttony and the grotesque nature of mass meat production? Let us know what you think in the comments! (via Feature Shoot)
Jiri Geller’s high polished resin sculptures are a perfect mix of pop culture and a dark sense of humor. My favorite piece pictured above is called Pay On Time Motherfucker.
Some of you long time B/D fans know that I originally started the magazine in 1996 while growing up in the suburbs of Northern Virginia. Although there is a lot of talented artists in the region I wouldn’t say that the local community is very supportive of underground magazines, the arts, or creativity in general. Most people are wrapped up in the politics of D.C. and could care less about art. So it was a a great surprise to get a call from Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) asking me to come to my hometown and give a talk about B/D. Needless to say I jumped at the chance.I’ve always wanted to go back to where it all started in hopes of inspiring the next wave of Viriginia artists to give the middle finger to mediocrity and make things happen. Not only are the fine folks at NOVA flying out yours truly but they have an entire week of events including a public mural program, workshops on stenciling and wheatpasting, and a batch of other talks to get your creative juices flowing. This event is completely free and open to the public. If you’re in the Washington D.C., Virginia, Maryland area come by and say hello. It should be a good time!
Whether it’d be through art or design, France is the top destination to go to for any interested in construction and ingenuity with an urge for color experimention. Ill-Studio (founded in 2007) truly belongs to this cognition. Ill represents a collective of talented individuals headed by Léonard Vernhet and Thomas Subreville under one pretty ‘sick’ name. The group experiments with shapes (a combination of both geometric and organic), thin and thick lines, and bold color saturation. Art-direction, photography, design, motion design, and typography are their greatest abilities; to describe the least.
Are you still scrounging for some amazing, last minute gifts for your friends and family? Send them some Beautiful/Decay art!
For example, the poignant, purple-and-gray two-tone piece above is one of my favorite poster prints commissioned for Beautiful/Decay.
Entitled Music in Your Head by Sylvain Bousseton, this piece is evocative of an Ishihara color blindness test in some places, and then Campbell’s Yellow Submarine animation in others. The crownlike headphones royally pump tunes into the skull. A runic star map floats in one teardrop orbit, and an arabic style glyph is suspended in the other–– all while Beautiful/Decay is written where the tongue once was.
You can find this incredible and intricate piece in the recently relaunched Beautiful/Decay shop today, in high quality full-color print.
But there’s more. Not only is the above print for sale but you can now find everything on our shop for 25% off for the rest of 2014! Get three B/D books for the price of two, then take an extra 25% off that. Grab 10 classic issues of the B/D magazines for $35, but then take an additional 25% off––two unspeakably good deals here. Don’t miss this offer, it expires December 31st at the stroke of Midnight–– just enter promo code beautifuldecadence, and you’re golden. Enjoy!
Chilean designer and illustrator Alvaro Arteaga Sabaini has a wide scope of work in genres from band illustrations to product marketing. I love the one above titled “Ziggy Stardog”! We have a Ziggy Stardog too in the office too, but he doesn’t look like that one.