Evan DeSpelder’s paintings are an exploration of the formal and conceptual possibilities of the digitally mediated painting.Using painting as a vehicle to fundamentally question the way our realities are constructed, Evan’s work is an expression of modern ambivalence, a representation of the world in which we live, where truth and the human mind are malleable, manipulated, and history is leveled by an unprecedented access to information.
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.
Melissa Brown makes art which deliberately engages the precarious mental territory where reality and fantasy are indistinguishable, not in the sense of a narrative which may or may not be true, but in the sense of the inconsistency and vagaries of perception when vision gets a hard slap of imagination. A little over a year ago Beautiful/Decay did a studio visit with Melissa where we discussed her large scale prints (made with a steam roller) and scratch tickets collages of dizzying geometric complexity.
French artist Antoine Corbineau does a little of everything–painting, graphic design, video. Regardless of the media, his pieces “feel like carnivals or boardwalks, bursting with energy and life.” Corbineau’s organized chaos is achieved through bold injections of text and a bright but controlled color pallet.
For over one hundred years the Faberge egg has been a symbol of wealth, status and beauty. Originally created by Carl Faberge for the Russian Tsars to gift their wives during easter time, its exquisite makeup consisted of the finest jewels, metals and motifs. Its structure depicted scenes of historical and domestic value which the Russian Royal family deemed significant. Over time, these precious objects d’art became unusual records of lavish beauty which consisted of coronation scenes and portraits of kings and queens.
Incorporating the same idea with a modern twist, artist Jonathan Monaghan creates Faberge eggs in a digital format which combine pop culture, human anatomy, luxury items and historical architecture. His vision produces an egg-shaped utopia which comments both conceptually and sociologically on world tradition. Through a kaleidoscopic view of the past, present and future, his narrative breaks down what we deem important and questions our desire for material wealth. In one piece, the egg is replaced with Starbucks logos instead of jewels. It metaphors the brand we hold near and dear to us today and creates an egg-shaped universe that speaks to the viewer with a utopian ideal that places worth on things opposed to ideas and individuals.
Only fifty of the original Faberge ‘Imperial’ eggs were made and only forty-seven survive. The first Faberge heirloom, known as the Hen Egg was a replica of an actual white egg that disclosed a solid gold yolk inside. This in turn stored a golden hen which further possessed a tiny diamond replica of the Imperial Crown from which a ruby egg pendant hung. Unfortunately, these last two surprises were lost.
Ben Venom aspires to become the “visual commentator” of the culture found in Southern United States. Having grown up in the South, Ben finds himself immensely inspired by not only the culture, but the politics, history, and identity of his roots.