Dan Bannino is an Italian photographer who translates ideas into visual stories, often through the creation of eclectic still lifes. Featured here is a new series titled Niche of Wonders, which explores the lives of musicians throughout history. From Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to Alice Cooper to Taylor Swift, Bannino has constructed “shrines” that explore their individual quirks and hobbies. We discover (among many other things) that Roger Daltrey is an avid fisherman; Nikki Sixx uses photography as a creative outlet; and Grandmaster Flash collects mugs as souvenirs.
Niche of Wonders makes us wonder how musicians live every day, outside of the talent and stage presence that has made them famous. In a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, Bannino encourages us to imagine what they are like “when the show is over,” so that we can consider them as unique individuals who channel their personas and ambitions into other projects. If we imagined niches for two recently-deceased artist, for example, we would perhaps see chess pieces for David Bowie, and a collection of Nazi memorabilia for Lemmy. In a playful call to curiosity, Bannino states, “Be prepared to change your thoughts about your favorite rockstar, and perhaps next time you could even consider to buy them the right Christmas present.”
Cinta Vidal Agulló‘s paintings depict a topsy turvy yet mundane world. There’s a dream-like quality to her work, like Alice falling down the rabbit hole and remarking on the various jars of marmalade. With a background in painting backdrops for the theater, Agullo excels and creating immersive worlds that, though they have an M.C. Escher-esque sense of physics, seem like they are a part of real life.
“With these un-gravity constructions, I want to show that we live in one world, but we live in it in very different ways – playing with everyday objects and spaces, placed in impossible ways to express that many times, the inner dimension of each one of us does not match the mental structures of those around us. The architectural spaces and day-to-day objects are part of a metaphor of how difficult it is to fit everything that shapes our daily space: our relationships, work, ambitions, and dreams.”
Agullo’s paintings are lushly illustrated like one of Graeme Base’s children’s books, almost playful in the way they explore the spatial and emotional connections between the tiny figures that inhabit them. Though they are definitely surreal, we’re invited to imagine how the different parts of each painting might fit together, like the puzzle pieces of our everyday lives.
What are the relationships between the people in her paintings? We can’t tell for certain, but it’s clear that the orbit around each other or, at the very least, they are neighbors in the same world — if not the same reality. (via Hi-Fructose)
Jim Callahan is a multi-talented creative who lends his bold pop-icon vibrant graphic style to a potty-mouthed vision of vulgar humor and the macabre. His humorously outlandish take on his subjects disarms their gritty gore visuals of exploding skull & brains, guts and the spray of blood. James Callahan also runs his own fledgling deck company: Nowhere Skateboards, and has illustrated comics, such as Strange Detective Tales and Rotting In Dirtville. He is also responsible for the DVD covers to the daybyday films, among art for piles of records, CD’s, shirts, toys, posters, and beyond.. James was interviewed in issue: D of Beautiful/Decay magazine and designed the three-dimensional stunner “Barf 3d” for Beautiful/Decay Apparel- which featured, of course, a three-dimensional skull puking a cacophony of vile beasts. Most recently he contributed the mind-blowing (no pun intended) graphic “Kersplat” that shows someone’s brain literally exploding from reading B/D!
Portraiture is what Annie Kevans does best, and she does it really, really well. Not simply a realistic representation, Annie’s paintings reflect her interest in power, manipulation, authority, innocence, and the duality of truth and falsehood. Pretty heavy stuff for such serene and temperate images. Annie graduated from London’s St Martin’s School of Art, and will have her work featured in the upcoming show “The Power of Paper” at the Saatchi Gallery.
Jacopo Rosati, with his adorable self-consciousness of his English, makes delicious Illustratored illustrations that will for sure make you smile. How could you not? All the little round characters are both cute and MarioBros.-like, with a splash of color. Some of designs have even made it to grace the chests of lucky T-shirt buyers across the globe!
Enchanting and provocative, the dreamy work of Los Angeles-based sculptor and photographer Amanda Charchian leads a life of duplicity. Simultaneously spiritual and political, her art finds a balance between a transcendent admiration of nature and an intrinsic fascination with the female body.
Ranging from hypnotic crystal installations that give window planes life to sensual and beautiful photographs of female nudes interacting with wild nature, Charchian’s work hosts a wide variety of inspiration: Louise Bourgeois’ feminist sculptures, ancient Greek and Egyptian mythology, spiritual meditation, and the mysterious occult all play a part in the artist’s oeuvre, comprised of tremendously unique and stunningly cohesive works.
While, with her cast of all-female photography subjects and her emulation of Ms. Bourgeois, feminist undertones are highly evident in her projects, it is her interest in alchemy and enchantment that most aptly summarizes her body of work. She explains:
“Employing 2D and 3D mediums to transmit mystical experience into matter, my art practice is a means of communicating the subconscious sphere into objects; creating possible portals to ascend beyond known reality.” (Facebook)
Whether photographic or sculptural, her captivating pieces evoke a sense of otherworldliness, uniting the natural with the supernatural and, ultimately, bringing the transcendent down to earth. (Via Ssense)