Warren Thomas King describes his work as “Brococo,” a combination of his interest in Rococo styling and the modern day bromance. If for some reason that doesn’t make perfect sense to you, from what I can gather, Brococo translates into paintings of dudes with crazy facial hair. You know, like jack hammer beards and mustaches shaped like space shuttles. These guys may not be mild-mannered Watercolor’s usual house guests but that’s what makes them awesome.
Artist and desinger Fabrizio Lamoncha works with more than a little bit of humor. His Pooprinter project statement begins with the quote “A common idiosyncratic habit in all birds is their inevitable punk nature to shit over our most precious belongings.” The project is as innovative as it is gross. Lamoncha slowly prints an alphabet on large sheets of paper by using strategically placed perches and the birds own droppings. Check out the time-lapse video of the bird poop in action above and enjoy Lamoncha’s toungue-in-cheek explanation the project:
“A group of male zebra finches underwent this experiment with rigorous commitment. The author/captor, taking the role of some kind of 1984´s Big brother, is providing the implementation guidelines for the transformation of this countercultural attitude into a marketable artsy product. The observation of this group of non-breeding birds in captivity and the experimentation with induced behaviors has been rigorously documented for this task.” (via booooooom)
South Korean artist Jihyun Park creates incredibly complex images by burning minute holes in rice paper with incense sticks. He then mounts the finished ‘drawings’ onto varnished canvases. The final results are beautifully serene images of trees, mountains, clouds, forests and branches. As a kind of reverse pointillism, Park is interested in the contrasts between empty space and positive space, or by taking something away (parts of the paper, and the incense stick) to create something new (the image).
Inspired by the books Gulliver’s Travels, Utopia, and Erewhon and after seeing the Japanese animated movie Castle in the Sky, Park became interested in the ideas of utopia and harmony. He expands these connections in his work further:
My recent work, Incense Series, focuses on this relationship while searching for the promised harmonic balance that utopia brings. Ironically, the word “utopia” in Korean is “Yi Sang Hwang” and “Hwang” means “incense”. (Source)
Park also talks about the ideas of positive and negative further. He says the shadows created by the holes in the paper are playing off of the light reflected from behind them. To him this is a fine example of Yin and Yang and two opposites who complicate and strengthen each other. He also chooses to outline his subjects or to fill them in – working with reverses in an aesthetic sense as well.
The subjects addressed in my work range from the natural world to memories of the past, reflecting the constant physical and emotional changes in our environment. It is my hope that the “moments” I captures of my subjects are ones when they are at their most ideal– true utopias. While drawing them with the incense, I am “holding” a split moment of harmony in my hands. (Source)
Neil Krug produces images that make you wonder if you’re looking at photos that have been lost for years. Psychedelic imagery mixed with soft light tones make his work seem from a different era, but lovely imagery nonetheless. His work is very inspiring. Love his work? Krug has a book out named PULP Art and has directed a video for Ladytron.
Check out this interesting PSA from 1976 that explores graffiti during a time when the art form had just blown up in public consciousness. This video really allows you to appreciate the status which graffiti has achieved today, even if we’re not all the way there yet. Though it presents many views on its subject, the piece comes off as biased. Make sure to look out for gems like “kids who write on toilet walls have psychological problems – let’s help them straighten out their heads.” Watch the 13-minute video after the jump.
Dealing with the ups and downs of an independent business can at times be a drag, but getting packages like this in the mail makes all the work worthwhile. I first met Justin B. Nelson when he entered our contest with Colt45. Justin was one of the top ten finalists and his work was entered in our show at Synchronicity Gallery. I loved Justin’s work in the show but was blown away when I met him at the opening. At first I thought Justin had drove an hour or two, but he flew in all the way from Tampa, FL just to check out the show! If that’s not dedication I don’t know what is. Since then, Justin’s been part of the Cult of Decay. We’ve only met each other once but we probably email or send each other tweets at least once a week. It’s amazing to be able to connect with creative people without the restrictions of distance. (The internet kicks ass!)
Anyways back to the package… Yesterday our mailman brought us an envelope all the way from Tampa. it included not only a print of one of my favorite pieces in the Colt45 show but also a note from Justin. It might not seem like much but it’s a great feeling to get feedback like this. We get caught up in all the chaos of running the show and sometimes forget that YOU are out there reading our books, wearing our shirts, and spreading the good word of decay! I’m glad that you guys are out there. Without your there would be no Beautiful/Decay.
P.S. You can check out a larger image of Justin’s print after the jump along with his note. You can also get a copy of his sick print here.
Kitty Valentine’s work is inspired by the anonymity of the discarded photographs that she finds in flea markets in East London. Creating images that are darkly humorous yet poignant, Valentine’s images are memento mori paintings that raise questions about identity, sexuality, memory and mortality. The stiffly posed, nameless people in the Victorian Mischief series have animal and bird skulls delicately painted onto them and are given new life, and yet are protected by a mask. There are references to the Victorian obsessions with seances, carnival freaks and sideshow attractions and our slightly shamed morbid curiosity in such things.
When Gregory Ito is not attending to Ever Gold Gallery (which he co-founded and co-owns) or The San Francisco Arts Quarterly (of which he is the co-founder and editor) he produces fantastic mixed media installations. I especially like how he often presents the viewer with a painting and the physical realization of the object depicted in the painting simultaneously. In his own words celestial imagery “…references the humanly spiritual connection to time and the eternal…” Ito’s work evokes a physical representation of time and attempts to initiate dialogue about our search for meaning on earth.