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Sculptor Cha Jong Rye Transforms Wood Into Beautifully Simplistic Organic Forms

Cha Jong Rye - wood sculpture Cha Jong Rye - wood sculpture Cha Jong Rye - wood sculpture  Cha Jong Rye - wood sculpture

Korean sculptor Cha Jong Rye shapes, carves, sculpts and manipulates wood to not look like wood. Whether it’s building the material up into pyramids sprouting up from a 2D surface, or forming wood into a free standing spiky form, or making it resemble a scrunched up ball of paper, Jong Rye is one competent carver. She splices different layers of wood together and builds up new shapes, alluding to the actual growth patterns of the raw material. The spikes, recesses, folds, indents and bubbles she makes are her way of allowing the life and energy of the wood come to the surface. One curator talks about her work in a very holistic way:

Flowing with immaterial energy, her sculptures represent the external and inner rhythms of all beings in nature in the state of complete absence of ego. Those little sharp forms composing each work are wriggling upward as if to touch the sky. They, that is, the modules are getting smaller upward as if to indicate the layers of time piled up in nature and universe. They are twisting upwards in their own disparate directions, until they evaporate or disappear into the limitless, leaving only their points. (Source)

Whatever the wooden forms of Jong Rye represents, she does inject a beautiful serenity into them. Her sculptures have a calming effect about them; as if we were there with her in a meditative trance while she was making them. The physical act of her carving the repetitive forms are for sure some sort of way of Jong Rye closing herself off and letting the wood be wood, or in this case, letting it be whatever it wants to be. (Via Dayraven)

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Matthew Wade

Ghoulish stippled drawings by LA artist Matthew Wade.

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Shannon Finley’s Translucent Geometric Paintings

Through an intensive process, Shannon Finley applies numerous, translucent layers of acrylic paint and industrial polymers onto canvas with specially designed palette knives. The results offer prism-like surfaces whose subtle nuances chronicle the build up of the material itself. This process draws from the history of geometric abstraction in painting as much as the reductive language of early computer graphics. But Finely eschews any simple opposition between the hand and the pixel, exploring instead the optics of the picture plane while constantly emphasizing the limits of the edge, which provide an unexpected archive of his painterly layers. Ultimately, these compositions remain suspended between the immaterial and the concrete, and are best apprehended as passageways into indeterminate spaces. In this, Finley invokes traces of sacred geometries and religious architecture within a technocratic context, but only as an alternate mode for engaging the unseen. (via)

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A Day In Decay: Die Antwoord Run Wild In LA

This past Sunday I headed out to the Music Box to see Die Antwoord. By my previous posts you know that I’ve been into the group’s videos, but I wondered if they held up on a stage with a few thousand fans. It’s too soon to tell if the group is just the flavor of the month or a powerhouse that will hold the attention spans of youth for years to come, but I will say that I enjoyed every minute of the show from beginning to end. Not only did they sound great but these guys are simply bonkers. With only a simple backdrop and crazy costumes that look like homemade Halloween costumes they managed to tear up the stage.  Here’s a few photos and thoughts from the show….

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“Vaginal Knitting” As Activist Performance Art

casey Jenkins vaginal knitting

casey Jenkins vaginal knitting

Melbourne based artist Casey Jenkins is a self-described “craftivist” who founded Craft Cartel, an organization that seeks to combine crafting and political activism, in 2007. “Craft imbues you with power because you’re forced to contemplate the issue you’re addressing. It’s very reflective in a sense of when you put that message out into the world, people know you must really care because you’ve devoted that much time to it,” Jenkins says.

Jenkins’ most recent performance project, “Casting Off My Womb” (Aussie TV calls it “Vaginal Knitting”) involves the artist spending 28 days (the average length of a menstrual cycle) knitting from a new skein of wool that she has placed inside of her vagina each day. Jenkins explains that her performance would not be a performance if she didn’t include menstruation. While she is menstruating, Jenkins says it becomes more difficult to knit because the wool is wet, and she has to tug on the thread a bit harder. Overall, though, she claims the process is slightly uncomfortable, but can also be arousing at times. For Jenkins, she enjoys that her performance associates the vulva – something that can be found offensive or vulgar or invoke a level of fear – with the comfort and warmth that knitting provides and evokes.

“The fact that [cunt’s] considered the most offensive word in the English language is a real marker of the time that we’re living and of the society’s attitude towards woman. There’s nothing possibly negative about it. It’s just a deep, warm and delightful part of the female anatomy.”

As Gawker notes, this performance is reminiscent of other feminist performance pieces like Yoko Ono’s “Cut Piece,” Carolee Schneeman’s “Internal Scroll,” or even Mary Kelly’s pre- and post-partum documents, so Jenkins is not necessarily a trailblazer in the context of this aesthetic; however, that fact that pieces like this still shock and provoke viewers means that there is still much work to be done in the movement to empower women and destigmatize female anatomy. (via gawker and broadsheet)

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Yin Xiuzhen Builds Elaborate Cities With Clothes And Suitcases (Soundtrack Included)



For Portable Cities, Chinese artist Yin Xiuzhen constructs small-scale cities out of discarded clothing and other fabric inside suitcases that she also equips with speakers, giving each city its own soundtrack. Each suitcase also has a small hole you can peer into to see an actual map of the constructed city. For installations, Xiuzhen maps the cities with string on the gallery wall. Xiuzhen was inspired by her own travels, waiting for her luggage, and the sense that she was traveling with her home. Some of the cities she has constructed include Berlin, Vancouver, Seattle, New York, and her hometown of Beijing.

“People in our contemporary setting have moved from residing in a static environment to becoming souls in a constantly shifting transience. The suitcase becomes the life support container of modern living…” she told Walker Art. “The holder of the continuous construction of a human entity.” via

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Paola Pivi’s Feathered Polar Bears

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Paola Pivi - sculpture

Paola Pivi - sculpture

Last year Beautiful Decay featured Paola Pivi’s 360 Degree Rotating Airplane in New York City Plaza.  Pivi is making art headlines again with her fantastical feather-clad polar bears.  Influenced by the surrealists, Pivi’s plumed bears walk the line between dream and reality.  They are her version of the ready-made.  Prone to “visions,” Pivi says that she often sees animals located in a strange setting.  For her most recent show, entitled Ok, you are better than me, so what?, at Galerie Perrotin’s new space in New York, Pivi created a series of sculptures influenced by a vision she had of a polar bear dancing with a grizzly bear.  Rather than taxidermy actual animals, Pivi had an expert create bears from urethane foam, plastic, and feathers.  The results are fantastic in the truest sense of the word.  Meaning, they are imaginative, fanciful and slightly absurd.

In proper surrealist fashion the bears engage an element of surprise and unusual juxtapositions, which Pivi strives to create with all her work.  The bears, for instance, embody several contradictions.  All at once they are both real and whimsical, frightening and amusing, and serious and absurd.  Mostly though, they seem like a lot of fun.

Pivi has lived all over the world, but currently resides in New Delhi, India.  Her show that opened Sept 18th at Galerie Perrotin’s New York location will be up through October 26th.

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Manuel Vason Interview

Veenus Vortex + Manuel Vason Collaboration 2006

Veenus Vortex + Manuel Vason Collaboration 2006

Seems like we have a sexual theme going today on the blog so I thought i’d add another post to the mix by sharing this great interview with Italian photographer Manuel Vason on one of my favorite new art&design blogs Yatzer. The interview is a great read so make sure to give it a look.

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