Jason Bard Yarmosky’sElder Kinder pays homage to the idea that age is not a deterrent to living fully, but rather a springboard for exploration. His paintings examine the relationship between the limitations of social norms and the freedom to explore, particularly the juxtaposition between the young and old. The carefree nature that is associated with youth often gives way to borders and boundaries placed on adult behavior. As we transition from adult to elderly, these raw freedoms often reemerge. As a child you learn to walk; later in life we learn to unwalk, literally and metaphorically. However, the dreams of the young, often sublimated by the years, never really disappear.
“I choose to explore this theme with two people very close to me, my eighty-four year old grandparents. The process of aging has always intrigued me. The lack of permanence in life and the inevitability of aging has always been on my mind growing up. I am also interested in how people, in both mind and body, respond to the passage of time. As Madeleine L’Engle said, “The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.”
The resulting paintings capture the intersection of the battered body and the vibrant soul. The images in this series can be seen as either humiliating or empowering. The pessimist sees the images through the lens of shame and vulnerability, weighed down by social convention. The optimist sees a sense of liberation, where an adolescent’s playfulness and the freedom to dream complement the wisdom of old age.”
Mildewed dressers are way past their peak. Desks are chopped in half. Paintings overflow.
Diggin’ on Valerie Hegerty’s works on canvas that drip and melt their way to the floor, and across the gallery spaces in which they’re installed. She perfectly captures an acidic energy. And some of the artist’s use of overgrowth is really brilliant. These make you wonder- does everyone decay and die like this eventually? Are we all just waiting to lose control of our faculties? Hegerty’s work celebrates the losses that are just as integral to life as gains. (via)
Degenerate Art Ensemble is a musically hyper-experimental performance group comprised of a dance company, punk/jazz band, a 45 piece orchestra. I found out about them first through their album Cuckoo Crow. Listening to it makes me feel really alive and dead and kind of confused and disgusted with myself as a fleshly vessel. It also made me want to turn off the lights in my room and just start writhing for no reason (which I have to admit that I did). Check out a sample of their song Checkersplitter on Youtube. They’re awesome!
Cath Riley is an artist who creates stunning, photorealistic drawings that explore the power of touch and the sensuality of flesh. In each image from this series, bodies are pinched, gripped, and squeezed, with Riley’s masterful shading depicting the smooth skin as it creases and dimples. And even though we are only given a small portion of the body — such as a hand clenching a waist, or pressing between the thighs — the drawings emanate warmth, intimacy, and humanity. In a synesthesia of visual perceptions and tactile sensations, Riley’s works celebrate the materiality and strengths of the body, exploring the pleasure and personal connections that derive from the loving, physical interplay of firmness and softness.
All of Riley works — which can be viewed on her website — portray an incredible attention to detail and awareness of the human form. In her Hands series, for example, she captures complex musculature and tiny creases with sublime accuracy and beauty. It is no wonder that her work has been recognized; her recent clients include Nike, GQ, and The New York Times, and she has won several awards, listed here. In regards to upcoming work, Riley writes that her “current on-going experimental ‘drawing’ includes very large scale drawing, based around the human figure, which are very different in character from the pencil portrait and ‘flesh’ figure drawings which are featured here. Some of the new work is abstract in nature.” She adds that “examples of this ‘new direction’ […] will appear on the site quite soon,” so be sure to follow her work (Source). More images from the Flesh series after the jump. (Via Juxtapoz)
Art turned fatal for John Jairo Villamil, a thought provoking 25-year-old Colombian university student, who asphyxiated himself amidst a performance. For his act, Villamil covered his head with a garbage bag and placed his feet inside a bucket of water. His actions served as a personal critique of his hometown of Bogotá, Colombia which has been considered one of the most violent cities in the world. Since he had previously executed this piece without incident, many thought the heavy breathing and convulsion were part of the act. Villamil died at an ICU five days after being pronounced brain dead immediately following the incident. His mother, who at one point is said to have provided tips on how to make the performance more shocking, is now blaming the university for neglect.– Huffington Post
Short video from Columbian TV about the incident after the jump.
Fred Eerdekens’ work combines shadows and and typography to create experimental artworks that lie somewhere between installation and sculpture. Each piece relies on the perfectly lit gallery space to create the visual tricks and the process of the work is revealed as viewers walk around and interact with the work. Not restricted by one material Eerdekens uses everything from artificial cloud formations (pictured above) that spell out “neo deo” to food boxes (after the jump) that are arranged to cast the shadow “Come Home”.
Bert Löeschner among the artists with the spirit of animators who anthropomorphically instill life in the objects they choose. His object of choice is the ever-present and thereby invisible lawn chair. Löschner uses them to make charming characters and sculptures of equally ubiquitous objects– lovers, vagabonds, pedestrians, swingsets, etc. Next time you’re bored or down, just anthropomorphize the objects and plants around you and the world will be a much friendlier place. (via)
SKWAK is a French illustrator who draws elaborate crowds of what he calls “maniacs”: colorful characters who skitter and dance together with a look of celebratory absurdity. SKWAK is no stranger to Beautiful/Decay; over the past few years he’s collaborated with us on various projects, using his signature style to design kooky merchandise for our shop.
SKWAK is our cover artist for Beautiful/Decay Issue J, a magazine that focuses on groundbreaking artists with offbeat styles that oppose the elitism often associated with mainstream art. Also featured in the issue is Michael Scoggins, who draws nostalgic and self-exploratory images on crumpled pieces of notepaper, as well as Misaki Kawai, who creates expressive craft art with a raw, intentionally “amateur” aesthetic. As one of our most popular magazines, Issue J is sure to delight you with its curated collection of artists that strive to do things their own way.
We interviewed SKWAK in 2011, giving us fascinating insight into his art. Featured here today are some of the pieces he’s produced in more recent years. Among the works are the eye-catching, jittering throngs of his maniacs; wide-eyed and grinning, they mesh together amongst vibrant patterns and cartoon images of eyeballs and snakes—as well as more subtly sinister depictions of skulls and dismemberment. Among these mad assemblages are a couple of individual character drawings, wherein he focuses on illustrating the bodies of his maniacs with the same colorful, psychedelic fever. In the past few months, SKWAK has also embellished classical busts with his undulating line work.
Immerse yourself in the eccentric world of SKWAK and similar artists by picking up a copy of Beautiful/Decay’s Issue J, available here.