The Parisian tattoo artist Gaëtan Le Gargasson, also known as GueT Deep, recently released a seductive and hypnotic slow-motion video of himself tattooing the arm of a woman named Fabrice. Needless to say, the fascinating video immediately went viral, and it has since being posted, it has accrued over 600,000 views. Even today, tattoo art carries a stigma, associated mostly with toughness, roughness, and grit; GueT’s stunning video highlights the more delicate side of the work, documenting the intense precision needed to craft the perfect piece. As the needle pulsates, the artist’s hand effortlessly tames the mechanical beast, breaking it to his will and vision.
Part of what makes this video (and the subsequent gifs, created by Design Boom) so striking is the apparent harmony between the organic body and the mechanical tattoo gun; as the tool ticks and marks the passage of time with unending accuracy, the human flesh bubbles, rises and falls with the ink. Like a heartbeat, each plunge of the needle causes the skin to ripple rhythmically. The piece on which GueT is working figures into these theme effortlessly; it appears to be a design composed of both geometric and natural, organic shapes.
In this slow-motion experience, the tattoo itself matters little; the artwork here is the action of the ink, not the end result. The video is more akin to a dance piece than to a painting. Deeply theatrical and performative, it is simultaneously soothing— mesmerizing, even— and anxiety-inducing. We watch the drama unfold, hoping that the hand does not slip, that everything goes according to plan. Take a look. (via DesignBoom and HuffPost)
Michael Ward’s hyperrealistic paintings remind me of the type of photographs I take when I travel to new cities. I am always drawn to graphic elements and the juxtapositions of buildings, signs, and their locations. And, indeed, most of Ward’s paintings are based off of photographs he’s taken over the years, primarily of Southern California. Though his work was not intended to address the nostalgia of these places, most of the images’ places he’s recreated have been altered or have entirely disappeared, his work becoming an archive of transitional places. Ward’s influences include Edward Hopper, Charles Scheeler, RIchard Estes, and Vermeer. A self-taught painter, Ward began his artistic career drawing pen and ink renditions of historical architecture, before experimenting first in gouache, then in acrylics. Of his work, Ward says,”I am most interested in depicting what Alan Watts called the mystery of the ordinary; the workaday world we live in without seeing until we are forced to focus upon it, as in a painting.”
Phyliss Lutjeans, a museum educator and curator observes,“Although Michael Ward may be called a neo-realist painter his work can ultimately be described as abstract realism. The picture image is photographically realistic, but within the context of the painting his compositions are complex and almost abstract. Deciphering the work section by section one sees how a multitiude of individual complete compositions are put together to form the entire work. For me the viewer is confronted by a realistic image that puzzles us and clearly tells the story simultaneously.” (via the paris review)
Andy Ainger creates eerie paper creatures. Even with his fun color palate, some of his creations still give me the heebie jeebies. Aiger works with simple materials, saying his interests lie in “craft based art,” and plays with accessible household items like paper, breakfast cereal, and possibly sealing foam?
Alicia Martín (formerly featured here – as well as in our Best of 2012) has kept busy this year, expanding on her signature style of cascading book installations that we first saw in Biografías. Each installation begins as a wire and aluminum structure, to which hundreds and thousands of books are attached, creating the illusion of waterfalls of pages and spines wrapping around objects, wrapping around themselves, and pouring from windows and underneath walls.
In works such as Singularidad, the Madrid, Spain-based artist focuses her waves of books into a more circular shape, resembling a vortex rather than a waterfall. Playing with the idea of a black-hole, or naked singularity, the collective swathe of books consumes itself, rather than bursting forward. In Contemporaneos, Martín plays with the idea of the books being the background, the support, or what’s behind the object, pouring out of (or cracking through) a wall – engaging in a dialogue with more indoor, site-specific contemporary installation. However, Martín continues to re-imagine her waterfalls, with newer pieces expanding on previous work’s pouring from buildings, as well as running down streets, through windows and around trees, with pages blowing in the wind at each amazing installation. (via mymodernmet)
We all need a bit of inspiration every once in a while. Whether you’re having a bad day in the studio or looking to add some art into your life the Beautiful/Decay Book series is the ultimate collection of art & design curated by us for you to enjoy. So get creative, get inspired, and join us in our mission to document, promote, and share the best creative minds from around the world. In other words join the cult of decay and subscribe now!
Ryan Dooley recently finished a video that discusses immigration and it’s affect on life as it relates to experience. Incorporating many different elements into the animation, Mr. Dooley work playfully questions the value of material and line in almost every incredible frame.
Hikaru Cho‘s method of painting could best be described as a physical and unconventional type of doodling. Cho primarily uses acrylic paints on bodies or food to create believably 3D surrealistic effects, and even transfers this skill to stop-motion film and other video work. Her work alters our perspective of seemingly stable universal concepts, creating new forms that demand our engagement using only the special effects rendered through paint.
Los Angeles based artist Michelle Kingdom creates intimate embroidered keepsakes. Working on a small scale, Kingdom is able to achieve a compact level of detail, allowing the work to fully invite the viewer into their tiny, unique worlds. Through stitching each piece with a high volume of thread, she achieves a specific density which she calls “compressed compositions.” Every embroidered work is inspired by a specific moment in time. Whether they are her own memories, emotional portraits that are personal or exploratory, literary scenes, or historical references, Kingdom’s work is formulated through building intense moments that are of intellectual importance. She refers to her work as “psychological landscapes,” in which her aim is to “illuminat[e] thoughts left unspoken…creat[ing] tiny worlds in thread to capture elusive yet persistent inner voices.” She explains further that “symbolism and allegory law bare dynamics of aspiration and limitation, expectation and loss, belonging and alienation, truth and illusion.” While her work is doubly contemporary and fun, she does note that her work does pay homage to the tradition of needlework. The delicate nature of the material and the intensive and intimate process of creation allows each piece to fully possess an aura of both elegance and fragility, mimicking the sort of nature of frail and strenuous emotional conditions. She states; “beauty parallels melancholy, as conventional stitches acquiesce to the fragile and expressive.”