As part of our ongoing partnership with Feature Shoot, Beautiful/Decay is sharing Alison Zavos’ article on F. & D. Cartier.
Husband-and-wife duo, F. & D. Cartier started working together in 1998. They are well known for their pink-hued photograms—cameraless photographs made by placing personal objects, in this case feminine fashion items, in contact with a black-and-white photosensitive paper surface. The result are these sexy and dreamy images which can be seen in their book Roses.
It’s been on the street and it’s been in shows all over – Luke Ramsey has taken his work from something rugged to something refined and maintained the exact same detailed aesthetic all through it. His illustrations really play on the versatility of the “line.” His limited use of color makes his drawings that much more intense to look at – like Meatwad, after the jump, which is primarily constructed of one kind of squiggly line. They’re funny, cynical, sometimes dark, but always captivating. – there’s something light and relatable about it.
Panni Malekzadeh’s paintings of young girls juxtaposed with sex store neon signage deal with human vulnerability, boredom, fragility and the imprisonment of oneself. Her work has always been about things in herself that she felt incredibly uncomfortable and embarrassed by. Suggesting ideas of beauty vs. despair, shame, embarrassment and vulnerability that woman many times experience in their lives, Malekzadeh exploits what’s dangerous and what scares her about herself.
Salão Coboi is not a singular artist like you’d assume from the sound of the name, but rather a collective of individuals based in Portugal. They hit major attention on the blogosphere in 2011 when they did a project named Generation H, in which they sculpted figures wearing clothes modeled after actual items by haute couture houses like Prada, Alexander Wang, and Junya Watanabe. And there’s just something charmingly unique and European about the characters Salão Coboi create, which really makes me feel the same positive energy I get whenever I look at the wonderful designs of The Yellow Submarine and Wallace & Gromit. However, Salão Coboi have taken that kind of work to the next level by making it not just for children, but also adults as well. Beautiful/Decay featured the work of Salão Coboi a lift bit ago HERE.
Darin Shuler just got one of the final Xeric Grants, and with it he is publishing Castle and Wood, his ongoing comic involving some grotesque, yet cute, anthropomorphic individuals. He has a lovely command over black and white. He’s got a great website, he tumbles, he flicks, and sells his comics.
I grew up in rural Indiana, but Justin B. Hansch’s exhibition GIRLS & GRILS gives me a sense of nostalgia for a beach-based coming of age story that I never lived. Hazy memories of lazy days and sexy babes drive the content of the show, and a similarly instinctual application of paint is the perfect pairing for this type of imagery. Tight edged graphic elements punctuate luscious gestural moments with a natural ease. It is clear that Hansch has a solid grasp of what a well-designed painting is capable of.
The exhibition is organized in a Pac-man-esque timeline of girl, grill, girl (and so on) – which allows the paintings to operate individually and collectively as one larger installation. As summer comes to a close GIRLS & GRILS functions as “the last word” from America’s most romanticized season, and a welcome reminder that days like those portrayed will be back again next year with the same casual expectations as years past. The show will be on view at Steve Turner Contemporary until October 6th, and I encourage you to make time for it during these busy opening weeks of the fall gallery season.
P.S. I’ve included a few examples of Hansch’s previous work to give you a more well rounded representation of his practice.
Commercial photographer Matthew Rolston had built a career on entertainment portraiture, advertising, and music videos until 2009, the year in which he started venturing off his usual gigs.
“My professional work is subject to tremendous agendas; everything I do is mediated by a group of people, even the creative work is usually mentioned in a contract.
His next project became something more fun, with a bit more creative freedom, and a lack of human subjects. Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits, a 224-page book, features more than 50 portraits of Ventriloquist dummies from then Vent Haven Museum. Rolston uses his commercial skills, a rather formal photographic approach, to create human-like portraits of these creepy yet endearing dolls. The photographer re-appropriates techniques from his past in order to create a “personal response to the emanations of humanity that come from these terribly evocative inanimate objects.”
“By employing the same techniques and emotional approach I would apply to a human subject, I believe I was able to portray these figures in much the same way. … For me these figures have a yearning quality. They speak through their eyes, since their voices—voices of their ventriloquists—are now long silent. I found them to be endearing, hilarious, tragic, even disturbing—sometimes all at once.”
Diana Chryzynska’s photoshop-ed female faces seem surprising natural upon first sight. With most of the pieces of a normal face present, the viewer’s brain mashes them together to make sense of them, when actually they’re quite reworked. It’s fascinating how well your brain is able to reconcile two noses and two mouths sandwiched between two hands with eyes on top. Somehow, it takes a few seconds to realize what you’re seeing is completely surreal. Of course you realize what you’re looking at isn’t quite right, but it takes a while for your brain to sort out exactly what that is.
Maybe what makes the images more consumable is the appealing features: big eyes, luscious lips, unblemished skin. I don’t think it’s that, though. It’s like when you read a word like baeufitul, and your brain is able to organize it into beautiful (with some coaxing). The see-through hands over the faces are the most interesting in terms of theme. They feel like veils, hiding the strange faces from view, though not entirely. It feels like the women are hiding their mixed up faces, but some are peaceful while others are confrontational. Most close their eyes, but the confrontational ones stare out from behind their hands, self-consciously aware of their strange arrangement.