French artist Frédéric Fontenoy is enamored with the human form. In his striking photography, he explores different representations of the body and eroticses, or ostracizes it’s different parts. In his new series Metamorphosis, he manipulates his photographic medium and produces images of bodies that are stretched, extended and disfigured. His snaps look like they are of weird aliens passing through earthly landscapes.
Being raised surrounded by artistic and political family members, Fontenoy quickly identified with a particular artist that he felt embodied his own ideals. Hans Bellmer’s The Anatomy of the Image, continues to be a major inspiration for the artist. Here he reflects on his own practice:
I always created erotic work, since I started taking pictures: first more intimate, then evolving into a more conceptual work, a photographic fiction, referring to our collective unconscious. The mindset of my photography is erotic, but a photo itself doesn’t have to arouse lust. (Source)
Throughout his 20-something year career of taking photos, Fontenoy not only works with different narratives that are connected to the body, he also includes himself in the situation and reflects on his own involvement as a fellow person. He sees the relevance of having himself somehow reflected in his images:
[The] crucial point of these “scenes of the darkroom”: the photographer is also in the frame, the main male character. Grand officer of these stagings, this double devilishly imaginative and wicked madness seems to make its most ambitious expression, which is Art. (Source)
I was pleasantly surprised last week to receive a poster tube in the mail, which, when the plastic-stopper was popped off, revealed a lovely hand-signed print by Mark Warren Jacques. He has some lovely mystical transfigurations on his website- see more of his mandalic works after the jump.
Sister’s Colette and Hannah Thurlow make up 2:54 who opened up for The xx at their recent LA dates and also played one powerful in-store set at Amoeba Music in Hollywood. I chatted with Colette after their Amoeba performance and she told me how much they love Los Angeles and want to move here… yes please! I for one have always been obsessed with female fronted bands of the 90’s like Cocteau Twins, Lush, and Curve (one of my all time favorites) so it didn’t surprise me that Alan Moulder produced their debut self-titled record (he’s married to Toni Halliday from Curve/Chatelaine). Check out their new video for their single Sugar after the jump and see them live when they head back to Europe later this month.
These images are probably not what you think. Derek Paul Boyle‘s latest project is called “Drag Paintings”, and are a result of the artist weaving through traffic, holding a stretched canvas under-foot and allowing the different textures and surfaces of the roads to create the image. What results is a very visceral, tangible account of a temporary action that has been frozen in time. Boyle says about them:
The drags are performance that result in a painting – the physical becomes an imprint of the gestural.
The drag paintings are events as objects – abstracts of the physical grittiness and intensity of Los Angeles’s traffic infrastructure.
These paintings have an ominous feel, a beauty that emerges despite first appearances. They are a violent action made light and somewhat graceful. Boyle’s work always contains a sense of playfulness and humor. He enjoys challenging the expected state of something. Either by juxtaposing the use of an object, or the context in which it is used. The Drag Series is definitely a challenge to the tradition of mark making and action painting. He surprises us by producing something elegant through the act of destruction. Boyle goes on to say:
I am interested in the power of contradiction, objects as events, and incompatible states of the self – what was once bound is made free, the known made unknown.
Mike Harvey was a taxi driver in Swansea who began ferrying passengers around on the night shift to fund his trips overseas. Since beginning the job in 2010 he shared his car with so many strangers, each one with a story as varied as the distance they were traveling, he decided he would document them with his DSL camera. Harvey would take a snapshot of his customers at their final destination in return for waiving their payment for their trip. He said out of around 130 journeys, only 9 people refused their photograph being taken.
During this type of job, Harvey would have many different types of adventures and experiences. He would find out a lot about his passengers in a very short time, and would discover things they wouldn’t divulge to their friends. He found himself in a very sticky situation one time:
I was driving out of Swansea at about 3AM, and this girl who was full-term pregnant – you know, ready to go – was sat at the side of the road, barefoot, flagging me down. So she got in and… it’s a bit of an impromptu counseling service sometimes, driving a taxi. I said that maybe getting hammered when you’re pregnant isn’t such a good idea, but, you know, we had a nice chat. Then, when I dropped her off, she legged it. I’d usually chase after someone, but she was fully pregnant, you know? She was the one that got away, but I let her get away. (Source)
Harvey has without a doubt managed to capture all walks of life in Swansea, and his images portray all types of people essentially existing in the same way – whether it is getting a ride to or back from a hard day’s work, or on their way to celebrate or commiserate something. Harvey’s photographs are on exhibit now at Monkey Cafe in Swansea. (Via Cultured Vultures)
I don’t know much about Jason Lahr’s work and I couldn’t find an artist statement online but anyone who makes artwork about death metal, Old Dirty Bastard and mixes in digital painting trickery is A-OK by me!
DXV by American Standard is a landmark product line that represents the company’s storied history spanning 150 years. The collection spans four broad movements: Classic (1880 – 1920), Golden Era (1920 – 1950), Modern (1950 – 1990), and Contemporary (1990 – today). Each piece in the carefully curated collection harkens back to the era it was inspired by and combines it with modern sensibilities, technology and performance. Although each fixture is inspired by a distinct era, the entire collection has a dialogue and the ability to cross over and create a remix of eras in one space.
DXV’s Modern Collection spans some of the most inspiring eras in American architecture and industrial design. Mid Century Modern architecture and design of the 1950’s and 60’s is as celebrated today, as it was the first time around. You can see the the echoes of Mid-Century design in the pieces from DXV’s modern collection like the sleek lines of the Roycroft collection’s faucets and shower fixture. The Rem collection features Dutch-inspired, artistic curves merged with thoughtful utility- a marriage of form and function. Each piece in the Modern Collection is a study in form, function, and beauty.
If you weren’t lucky enough to subscribe to Beautiful Decay in time to get Book One: Supernaturalism, there’s still time to sign up and get our upcoming Book Two! Here’s a sneak peek of what Book Two will feature! But hurry, there’s only two months left to subscribe, so don’t dilly-dally, you don’t want to forget two months from now.