Man (possibly someone in character) traveling northwest at 60 mph on U.S. Route 101 in the vicinity of Hollywood on a late Sunday afternoon in March 1991
As you may recall from reading the blog over the past week, Saturday was the Funk Rumble block party in Downtown LA (Chinatown, to be precise) at which Beautiful/Decay was a vendor. Now this information is pretty much incidental, except to say that I live a fair distance from Chinatown, so the drive back from Funk Rumble was a lengthy one, especially due to the amount of traffic at the time we were traveling. Happily though, I wasn’t driving as I usually am (thank you, fellow intern Corinna), so I got to engage in my favorite freeway traffic activity – looking at all the other people sitting in traffic next to me.
The allure of this mode of observation isn’t lost on St. Louis-born photographer Andrew Bush. In his series 66 Drives, Bush captured candid portraits of drivers, mostly around LA. One thing I find particularly interesting about these photographs is that you can begin to see resemblances between cars and their drivers, not unlike the fabled idea of dogs resembling their owners. You can see how much the car is an extension of a driver’s personality.
Generic Art Solutions is a duo made up of artists Matt Vis and Tony Campbell. The two artists comment on present day anxiety by re-imagining classic paintings. Their photographs are carefully staged, often to resemble classic works of art. Their images are clearly populated with subjects, clothing, and settings that are all modern. However, the compositions immediately bring to mind the paintings of Caravaggio, Goya, and Marat. Perhaps a reason the images of the classic artwork and re-imagined in the duo’s photographs are still relevant is because people have never moved beyond the anxieties and problems that plagued us centuries ago. The gallery statement for their upcoming exhibit at Miami’s Mindy Solomon Gallery expounds on that point:
“The work of Generic Art Solutions (whether it be a photograph, performance, video, or print) begins with a thoughtful re-examination of the human condition, and the effect of recurring cycles of technological advancements and cultural awakenings. But, how much has mankind really evolved? Aren’t we essentially still making the same mistakes? According to the artists, it would certainly seem so. Compare Gericault’s famed painting ‘The Raft of the Medusa,’ 1819, to the G.A.S. representation of Deepwater Horizon’s oil spill in April 2010, as depicted in their photographic work ‘The Raft’ (2010): these two artworks portray shockingly similar tales of human suffering brought on by corporate greed. Or, take Delacroix’s ‘Liberty Leading the People’ commemorating the French Revolution in 1830, and the perpetual revolutionary uprisings of the Arab Spring as seen in G.A.S.’s ‘Liberty,’ 2011. The artists state: “However evolved we may think we are, the folly of human behavior is still the root of all societal (dis)functions. This is a sobering thought that demands attention. But there is a message of hope in these contemporary homages: through thoughtful reexamination and a commitment to change, we can break the cycle of repeating our mistakes.”
Akira Beard, a San Francisco based artist and teacher at the Academy of Art University, is well known for his engaging watercolor portraitures of pop culture icons. The messages that usually accompany these illustrations are often centered around the issues of cultural topics, such as, identity, society, and race.
Mandarin Duck (Aniko Koleshnikova) hand carves one-off book covers inspired by fantasy and supernatural stories. Using colorful polymer clays, the Latvian artist sculpts dragons, frogs, owls, leaves, beetles, skulls, roses, and vines. She adds crystals, Swarovskis, or resin details to her creations to accentuate the features, and engraves or indents different patterns into the surface of each cover. Each design is so intricately made and beautifully finished, you can see the amount of hours put into each piece.
Koleshnikova doesn’t only customize book covers – she also uses her carving skills making jewellery and decorative sculptures. She makes beads, pendants, earrings, and also cases for pocket mirrors and large vases. If you want to try it out for yourself, she has many tutorial videos on Youtube you can follow and learn from. Or you can visit her Etsy shop here. Furthermore, Mandarin Duck also takes custom orders if you would like your own personal journal covered. (Via Bored Panda)
Shannon Partridge’s Behavioural Enrichment series is a response to the curious worlds of the zoo exhibit and the set of the mid-century modern interior design photograph. She has merged imagery to draw comparisons between these staged sets, focusing on American mid-century interior design and Western zoos exhibits, to emphasize the theatrical artifice of both environments.
Recycling is a way of life in Cateura, Paraguay. Many people there earn money by scouring the huge landfill for items that can be recycled. A certain garbage picker, though, began recycling for much more than money: for the young people in his community. Nicolás Gómez began creating instruments – violins, cellos, drums, guitars – from the trash he sifted through and gave them to local children. The idea picked up steam and children’s orchestra known as “The Recycled Orchestra” came to life. Landfill Harmonic, a documentary on Gómez and the orchestra, is slated to capture the inspirational story. [via]