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Christina Tivemark

Christina Tivemark

Christina Tivemark is a multi-media artist, and her body of work represents this clearly. Looking through her website you can see a great variety of mediums used. She is very direct about the materials she chooses and hold interest in constructions, perspectives and space. The above image is of an installation entitled “Childhood Games II”. The white picket fence is symbolic of privacy, childhood and growth. Tivemark says that this piece explores ” the boundaries and protection domestically and within society”. I think that this piece is a beautiful examination of security.

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Best of 2011: GREG BOGIN’S EMPTY PAINTINGS

It’s really hard to pull off a painting with a white center but somehow Greg Bogin has done it. With a minimal amount of paint and some carefully shaped canvases greg manages to create beautiful work that packs a powerful punch. It also doesn’t hurt that he jam packs his work with one of my favorite things in life…gradients!

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Georgia Theologou’s Morose And Glittery Portraits

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Georgia Theologou (or Georgia Th as she is also known) is a self-taught Greek artist who paints hauntingly beautiful portraiture. Created by combining traditional and digital media, Theologou’s intentionally limited palate and trademark visual rendering gives both a soft lushness and a harsh reality to her subjects, like mascara tear trails being transformed into softly dabbed paint glitter.  In a conversation with Beautiful/Decay (and with the help of Google Translate), Theologou explains what inspires her symbolic subjects,

“Creating something is a way to express the feelings that are inside me that I maybe didn’t even know about before. It’s a way to explore myself and what I have on my mind, so when I am making my work I feel like I find something new about me and about how I see things that I did not even realize was present.”

Theologou’s internalized subjects are taken from many sources of art research and random bits of internet ephemera, and blended with other imagery that gives each portrait an allegorical depth and visual tension. Noting themes of nature ranging from human and animal, the stars and the cosmos in many of her colorful works, Georgia explains these combinations, saying

“I don’t paint people but the existence of a person. The subject of my paintings is the feelings of this existence or the situation they experience that moment. All of the objects I use in my paintings are random, but this helps me to create the right place and mood, so I choose objects that are common on fairy-tales and dreams. Nature and space are also places with the same strong sense of vitality, so the person can feel closer  to his/her inner world. My paintings are not about a story or a specific idea or symbol, I think about painting “that” moment.”

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Ji Zhou’s Civlized Landscapes Create A 3D World Out Of Maps And Books

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Beijing based Ji Zhou’s latest photo series Civilized Landscape depicts models of urban and rural areas composed of books and maps he has modelled and rearranged into mountains, skyscrapers, and other landscapes. The models, placed on backgrounds made up of soothing, cool colors make for series of visually relaxing compositions full of original forms and reliefs. The textures of the various types of paper he uses in his models give the series a sort of irregular uniformity which brings the composition together in a perfect balance.

Civilized Landscape spans beyond aesthetics in the sense that the process Zhou goes through to create the models is also fascinating in its own respects. He creates the models by stacking sets of books and composing mountains from maps. He then photographs the models and creates a sort of in depth illusion that gives his work a sort of three dimensional aspect which in turn reinforces the nature of the optical illusion his project delivers. His work is centered on the idea of the “enhanced reality of illusion” , which he depicts through this series.

His project is also interesting from the perspective of the issues it addresses. Through his artificial depiction of familiar natural and urban landscapes, he raises questions of civilization and evolution as well as a debate on the place of human beings as both creators and destroyers of landscapes.

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Robert Rickhoff’s Photographic Jokes

For his series “out of place,” Robert Rickhoff digitally manipulated photographs to turn what at first glance seems like totally regular scenes in regular towns into the height of silliness. With such familiar objects, the images seem like photographs from a parallel universe where people play a combination of soccer and basketball and trains have to deal with humps in the tracks. These jokes would be easy to ruin with a lazy edit, but Robert’s perfectionism really gives them the uncanniness they need to work. I wish so many of these things existed, especially the half pipes in the road and bench slide. The world is so much more interesting when you put things together. ( via )

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Illumination Ink

Illumination Ink

Illumination Ink hails from Newcastle, Australia, adding another international post to our Around The World Day here at BD (not really). Heath Killen contrasts his beige-y website with his sometimes bold, sometimes colorful, sometimes remixed images. I really like the use of typography with his illustrations, and the vintage look to his collage-like works.

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Inner Revelation- Maskull Lasserre Carves Skeletons Into Wooden Sculptures

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Canadian artist Maskull Lasserre’s “recarved” sculptures are aptly named—Lasserre takes existing clichéd figural wood carvings and “exposes” the skeleton underneath. Of course, the new carving only seems like a reveal of what lies beneath. Part of the success of these works is how inevitable they feel.

Lasserre’s drawings and sculptures explore the unexpected potential of the everyday through allegories of value, expectation, and utility. Elements of nostalgia, accident, humor, and the macabre are incorporated into works that induce strangeness in the familiar, and provoke uncertainty in the expected.

In the style of an anatomy book, the bifurcated sculptures preserve the existing sculpture on one side while exposing the fantasy skeleton on the other. It’s a reverse of the classical artist’s process of learning about anatomy in order to draw more realistic figures. Lasserre is taking fully realized figures and imagining their bones. In an interview with Joseph Kendrick, Lasserre said,

“There is an intrinsic honesty and humility to the carving process. There is no magic, no hidden technology or trick, just the simple subtraction of what was already there. This humble quality makes the amazing alchemy that carving can achieve so much more interesting. … Like the physical materials I use, and the processes I apply, there is something categorical about death/mortality. The aspect of it that I try to coax out is that death is a potent sign of life — albeit an ended one. To carve skeletons into inanimate objects infers their past — and maybe even future — potential for life.” (Source)

Although these sculptures are whimsical, in concept if not execution, there’s an “Alas, poor Yorick!” undertone that’s sobering. Those who are fortunate enough to be healthy and whole rarely think of the inevitable end, the skull beneath the skin. Lasserre’s skilled carving work reveals what was never there, and in doing so makes us think of what eventually will be.

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Julio B Esq’s Bouduoir

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I found Julio B Esq’s Bouduoir series during my weekly stroll through the B/D Creative Pic Pool. Julio’s photos walk a fine line and could quickly be dismissed as shocking snapshots of drunk/high people taking part in bizarre acts.However I think there is something that sets his work apart from all the shock and awe Terry Richardson wannabes that deserves a closer look. When I first saw these photos I immediately thought about the infamous Calvin Klein ads that were scrutinized for their basement kiddie porn appeal. I can see Julio’s photos taking place in the same old basement as the CK shoots complete with cheap wood paneling and 30 year old shag carpet. Creepy or not Julio’s photos have an erie calmness to them that separates them from the pack. I liked the series even more once I read his text about the inspiration for the set:

“Historically, the boudoir formed part of the private suite of rooms of a lady, for bathing and dressing, adjacent to her bedchamber, being the female equivalent of the male cabinet. In later periods, the boudoir was used as a private drawing room, and was used for other activities, such as embroidery or entertaining intimate acquaintances.”

If you’d like your work featured on Beautiful/Decay make sure to join the B/D Creative Pic Pool!

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