Artist Andres Serrano‘s series of photographs The Morgue investigates ideas of death and our relationship with it. Working with a forensic pathologist Serrano photographed the bodies with a near classical beauty rarely associated with the morgue. Serrano ensured the anonymity of each person through tight cropping or veiling the face. The way in which the light interacts with the bodies and their veils is reminiscent of Italian baroque painting. The chiaroscuro of each photograph seems to underscore some mystery behind death balancing the morgue’s comparatively cold analytic approach. Further, the careful attention to detail and composition dignifies each person. Each subject, some actually unknown persons, are considered individually as initial shock gives way to contemplation and reflection. However, these are not sentimental images. There still remains a certain emotional detachment, a terrible loneliness in death, and Serrano’s intention is ambiguous. Each photograph’s title is each subject’s respective cause of death, and have been inserted in each photographs’ caption. Also, please note: Some may consider these photographs to be graphic and/or disturbing. (via boum!bang!)
Brock Davis lives and works in Minneapolis. In addition to many art and design projects he has an ongoing series of delightful sculptures made from the food he interacts with on a daily basis. Pieces like Broccoli House, Gummy Bear Skin Rug and Rice Krispyhenge are sure to entice laughter. Davis is one in a long line of creatives who inspire us to see mundane objects as opportunities to playfully manipulate.
A jewelry collection by Icelandic designer Ágústa Sveinsdóttir explores the transience of all earthly pursuits by incorporating one unusual material, dust. Her metallic wearables allow their owners to experience the transformation and disintegration as the jewelry changes and decays over time.
“In this world everything existing is linked to the process of birth, decay and disappearance. That is the way of life, the way of nature. Inspired by the tradition of the symbolic Vanitas paintings, the Dust collection is a reminder of the transience of all earthly pursuits and how it can be a motive for design.”
Designer wanted to break the traditions of material use and employ materials that have been considered worthless. She chose dust as the ultimate result of disintegration: “It’s everywhere and ever-present <…> It is everything and yet metaphorically the embodiment of nothingness.” Sveinsdóttir questions the material worth by juxtaposing jewelry, a sign of beauty and wealth, and dust, an inconvenient mundane matter that people always try to get rid off.
The dust was collected from abandoned Icelandic farms. Designer pursued to find dust at its purest form, thus derelict places where time has stopped, man has left and nature has taken over were perfect. Using a biodegradable adhesive, dust particles were transformed into a jewel coating and used to cover the metallic bangles and rings. With time, the dust fades away unveiling the manmade skeleton of the object. (via designboom)
Despite its 130 year history Paris’ building known as Les Bains was declared unsafe in 2010. The building will undergo renovations and reopen in 2014. In the meantime, however, the building’s owner has opened it up to street artists. The residency program, known as One Day One Artist, allows artists to work in the sprawling building. The result is a kind of street art heaven. A small selection of the artists involved are pictured here: (respectively) The Atlas, Seth, Sambre, Jeanne Susplugas, SWIZ, Philippe Baudelocque, ZeeR, Thomas Canto, and STEN LEX. [via]
Fellow Angelino and UCLA Alumn, Liz Craft, really encapsulates what I believe to be the spirit of Los Angeles. Motorcycles, Middle Fingers, Cacti growing amongst discarded tires, and let’s not also forget about those swanky rollerskaters over on Venice boardwalk–all very LA. Her work has multiple reads that oscillate between serious and humor. Liz Craft also happens to be featured in our latest release, Beautiful/Decay Book:5 “Psychonauts”. And like finding parking in LA, Book: 5 is scarce (Less than 200 copies left). Be sure to pick up your copy today and discover 20 full color pages of Liz Craft plus other amazing Psychonauts.
Artist Dean Monogenis paints landscapes that fuse modern buildings with geometric shapes. The abstract compositions often feature the architecture suspended in midair, connected to giant rock formations, or structural patterns.
Monogenis’ colorful and minimalist paintings came to life after witnessing the fall of the World Trade Center in 2011. “ Subsequent to that day,” he writes, “I began to see buildings organically in terms of birth and death.” The artist continues:
Interestingly the post 9/11 period was the beginning of a world wide building boom. At the time I lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where the breadth and pace of this development felt like an invasion. Buildings grew nearly over night like mushrooms or mold before my very eyes. I found it simultaneously engaging and frightening.
This construction had little regard for continuity or urban planning:
After overcoming my initial shock, I began to distance myself and consider the situation aesthetically. I interpreted the randomness as more akin to the shantytowns in Jamaica or the Favelas in Rio. I took notice of the simplicity and planer forms of the skeletal structures as they ascended upward. Brightly colored building materials like netting and scaffolding, became interesting to me. I thought if there was a way to distill the temporary and all its ephemera, isolating key pieces into my work, then I would be able to elevate the visual indicators that speak to this period of transformation.
Monogenis usually paints on wood or plastic panels and uses customized stencils of graphic elements. He’ll paint the sky last, but isn’t afraid to sand and rework areas if something doesn’t look right. This allows him to create precise work without forfeiting the spontaneity that’s inherent in painting. (Via Supersonic)
Whoop Dee Doo, hosted by your awesome friends, Jaimie and Matt, is a kid-friendly faux public access television show featuring pre-planned performances accompanied by live audience participation (Kind of like a radical talent show!!). The show is based in Kansas City, Missouri, but has traveled and worked with many amazing arts organizations all over the country. Some of the awesome places we have worked with include the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, Nebraska, Deitch Projects in New York, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, the Smart Museum at the University of Chicago and more!
Telling the story of a young man – the author himself – and his attempts to fly with different kinds of self-made aeroplanes and wings, the photographic series “Sacred bird” by Finnish photographer Janne Lehtinen presents a fictional narrative based on autobiographical facts. Lehtinen – the son of a renowned glider pilot – tries to relive the experiences of his father while himself attempting to leave the ground behind. His numerous efforts to oppose the force of gravity never come to anything, however, and the giant leap into infinity never occurs. While the models he conceives are extravagant, surreal and impressive in their construction, they are nevertheless destined to fail, and remain purposeless, anachronistic reinventions of the human-powered prototypes which marked the pioneering days of aviation. –Dominique Somers