I’ve always believed it is easiest to talk about artwork as if it almost doesn’t exist. The idea of a piece so fleeting, yet moving, is something romantic – and, in a sense, natural. The work of Almut Vogel taps the shoulder of this idea and smiles. In each line and scratch, the lightness and darkness sing songs about their lives, and history while trying to figure out their future.
The subjects of Ridley Howard’s paintings dwell within a dreamy, still world that seems frozen in time. His figures are executed in simple but believable form; rounded at the edges and in soft focus, they are flawless characters suggestive of stylized CGI on the precipice of the uncanny valley. The scale of his paintings range dramatically, but regardless of size, his work feels intimate and yet enveloping. Abstract nooks of color takes form in between background corners – a crevice painted powder blue behind a man’s neck, a patch of yellow between two lover’s embracing. These details might initially go unnoticed, but the mood they provoke resounds.
I’m pretty obsessed with Yasumasa Morimura’s surrealist, hallucinogenic photography. Half acid trip, half anime, pure eccentricity. Macabre hilarity, grand hallucinations. And witty titles that complement the imagery in strange and abstract ways.
Mark Andrew Boyer, a Graduate student at UC Berkeley’s Journalism school, met Bob Anderson (the man featured on Boyer’s photographs), a former professional boxer, while on a walk through The Albany Bulb, a landfill situated on a fist-shaped peninsula that juts into the San Francisco Bay.
The Albany Bulb, serves the community’s poorest, as many homeless men and women call it, home.
“I was walking on the shore and heard some hammering in the distance. I followed the sound, and there was this guy building this huge structure.” -Boyer
That guy, as Boyer recalls him, is Bob Anderson, a man who has lived in the landfield since 2011 when he was forced to move out of his Berkley home after his mother’s death-since then he has become homeless. Before that, Anderson had been a professional boxer living and fighting in Las Vegas.
Bob is certainly not your average homeless man.
Anderson’s current place stands strong and tall amongst the highest of trash mounds found at The Albany Bulb. Its astonishing look- one that contains unintended artistic merit- captured the eye of Boyer whom was later compelled to photograph the life of Anderson is his landfill mansion.
The journalist spent a week with Anderson photographing him and his three-story domain, which upon closer inspection was even more amazing than it looked from the outside.
“There could be a shipping pallet next to a mirror next to a piece of plywood next to a mandolin that he’s shoved in between the cracks. It’s a really interesting mix of objects, it’s ever changing. Every time I went back it looked completely different. I went out for a walk once and he had stuck a wind surfing sail on the top of it.”
The following series of photos are apart of an ad-campaign for Italian Based shoe firm, Luciano Carvari. Using these playfully surrealistic images, the photographer feeds off the wacky, bold, and daring styles of the shoes to create an intense visual. When viewing the photographs for the first time there is an obvious juxtaposition between child’s play and adult situations. The role reversal captures your attention and never lets it go.
If you ever dissected a rodent or amphibian in science class and found it nauseating, then Emily Stoneking’s knitted anatomy might agree with you. Art and science intersect through her Etsy shop called aKNITomy, and she hand-knits artwork featuring dissected frogs, rats, and pigs. The cute and cuddly are pinned (not glued) using T-pins and framed for display on your wall.
Stoneking knits the body of the animal/figure using a kid mohair and silk blend, and then she needle-felts the innards by hand. These adorable creations are the result of the artist’s larger interest, which is using cozy, crafty materials to create objects that usually make people squeamish.
Culinary artist Annabel de Vetten creates, bakes, and sculpts incredible, artistic edibles that tend to be on the dark side. She makes sinister sweets that look exactly like bird skulls, animal insides, and the exposed organs of a cadaver. All of her detailed work would be impressive as a sculpture, but to make it with chocolate, cake, and icing takes a very unique set of skills. Her morbid, graphic style of cake making grew from a background of fine art and, not surprisingly, taxidermy. During this practice, Vetten became very familiar with the site of guts and bones, which is why the inside of her human and animal corpses appear so real, even though they are actually desserts.
You may wonder who would want to eat something that looks so horrifying, but Vetten’s business is booming! Her business, clever named Conjurer’s Kitchen, is wildly successful and only continues to grow. This means that her cooking not only looks amazing, but it must taste great as well. In order to accurately construct each bone and blood vessel, Vetten must only use the finest ingredients. For her chocolate sculptures, she must use high quality Belgian chocolate, so that the features won’t melt away. For the coloring, she invents deliciously creative ways to integrate food that naturally has the hue she desires, making both her technique and her subject matter equally innovative and unique. Vetten’s sickening sweets may display a deathly subject matter, but more importantly display unbelievable artistic skill. (via Munchies.Vice.com)
Kissing is an act of intimacy that has been iconically portrayed throughout art history — take the sculptural power of Auguste Rodin’s The Kiss, for example, or Gustav Klimt’s own interpretation of the erotic gesture at the dawn of modernism. Fast forward over a century later, and photographer Maggie West has revisited this tradition with her own contemporary style. Described as “dreamy” and “hallucinatory,” West’s debut book KISS is a sensual photo diary of LA-based artists. Dripping in a haze of neon eroticism, the gentle lovers in West’s photos embrace and engage each other with intense intimacy. In a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, West explains the concept and creation of KISS:
By placing a common activity in such a dreamlike setting, I wanted the readers to reexamine the energy and intimacy taking place each time a couple embraces each other. Through the color choices and extreme close up angles, I hope that the viewer can appreciate specific aspects of a kiss that they may not have otherwise noticed.
[…] One of the objectives of the book was to examine the dynamic between a variety of relationships — not just established couples. Some couples had been dating for years, some were just friends, some barely knew each other, etc.
Initially everyone, no matter their relationship, was a little nervous. However, kissing is such a physical act that within a few minutes the models were so engrossed in each other that they seemed to forget they were being photographed.
Most of the models were chosen from among West’s friends who she knew in the LA community — “models, musicians, artists, porn stars, dancers” and more make up the group. Portraying the kiss as an act that knows no distinctions of identity or lifestyle preferences, KISS features a variety of ethnicities and sexualities, celebrating diversity and the fluid nature of attraction, desire, and love. “The kiss is a beautiful exchange regardless of the relationship,” West writes. And this is what KISS allows us to focus on: the gentleness of the moment, the tantalizing hesitation, and the oscillation of desiring energy and tenderness that makes kissing one of the most powerful ways to connect both flesh and heart.
KISS features a foreward by artist and journalist Hannah Stouffer. The launch party for the book is taking place on the rooftop of The Ace Hotel in Los Angeles on June 14th at 8pm. Visit West’s website, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to view more of her work. (Via Juxtapoz)