Israeli photographer Dori Caspi has spent 10 years capturing personal and intimate portraits of the Himba African tribe, a tribe that is facing extinction. For this particular series, Caspi traveled to Namibia 15 times and formed a close relationship with the people of the Himba village. This village has been encountering a progressive amount of challenges, including the intrusion of roads upon their land, and the increasingly severe threat of the AIDS epidemic which has the potential to eradicate the village entirely.
“My camera was never used as a tool of anthropological or research-like documentation of the tribes’ way of life, but always as an instrument with which I could express my love for its wonderful people, and my admiration of their inner and physical beauty. They had opened their hearts and huts to me and with time, as we shared deeper and intimate relations, they became my second family.”
Caspi’s most recent project is taking place in Southern Ethiopia, where he is capturing the tribes from the Lower Omo Valley. “In contrary to my intimate relations with the Himba people, here I have to build trust, to create an atmosphere which would allow me to photograph the tribes’ people in a relaxed situation, yet proud and reserved as they naturally are.”
The final interview in our 10-part “Art Works Every Time” series is with artist Ben Tegel. We’ve actually collaborated with Ben extensively, as he has also designed for Beautiful/Decay Apparel, contributing the shirt graphics for the “Manson”, “Greetings from LA.”, and “Greetings from N.Y.C.” shirts. Can’t believe the opening is already tomorrow- hope to see all of you out there, it’s gonna be a great night!
Dutch artist Ron van der Ende‘s artworks at once deceiving and straightforward. His wall mounted sculptures are much shallower than they may appear. Not more than six inches deep the carefully painted bas relief pieces suggest a depth that extends beyond the wall. This deception of perspective extends into the works’ content. For example, a humble grain of salt depicted monumentally as if it were some extraterrestrial object. However, van der Ende never forgets his material or attempts to hide the art’s point of origin. For all of the trompe l’oeil effects and meticulous carving, the salvaged wood always seems to seep through. In this way the material determines the piece as a whole, and anything secret isn’t hidden far off.
You can see Ron van der Ende’s exhibition Phasmid currently on view at Ambach & Rice gallery in Los Angeles through the 27th of July.
Shane Tolbert lives and works in Houston, Texas. He utilizes a piment dispersion technique on dyed fiber to create ethereal works that blur the line between abstract painting and sculpture. Some of the pieces appear cavernous, others are infinitely expansive. Frequently works resemble “light writing” as if performed in the cosmos on a galactic scale. The spontaneous manner in which the paintings are produced allow for surprising compositions that present a journey into the unknown.
David Shaw, one of the featured geniuses in issue Z, is opening his solo exhibition on april 30th in the Bowery. its the second of three exhibitions Feature inc. has curated on the theme “psycholoptical”.
Last year Beautiful Decay featured Paola Pivi’s 360 Degree Rotating Airplane in New York City Plaza. Pivi is making art headlines again with her fantastical feather-clad polar bears. Influenced by the surrealists, Pivi’s plumed bears walk the line between dream and reality. They are her version of the ready-made. Prone to “visions,” Pivi says that she often sees animals located in a strange setting. For her most recent show, entitled Ok, you are better than me, so what?, at Galerie Perrotin’s new space in New York, Pivi created a series of sculptures influenced by a vision she had of a polar bear dancing with a grizzly bear. Rather than taxidermy actual animals, Pivi had an expert create bears from urethane foam, plastic, and feathers. The results are fantastic in the truest sense of the word. Meaning, they are imaginative, fanciful and slightly absurd.
In proper surrealist fashion the bears engage an element of surprise and unusual juxtapositions, which Pivi strives to create with all her work. The bears, for instance, embody several contradictions. All at once they are both real and whimsical, frightening and amusing, and serious and absurd. Mostly though, they seem like a lot of fun.
Pivi has lived all over the world, but currently resides in New Delhi, India. Her show that opened Sept 18th at Galerie Perrotin’s New York location will be up through October 26th.
When you first witness Francesca Dimattio’s work you forget post-modernism and pummel head long into post-apocalyptic armageddon. Strongly resembling totems ingrained with furniture design, their melting quality give off surreal messages but ultimately speak to something totally present. There’s a mystical side to their nature akin to religious artifacts. A link to the distant past where certain angles become figurative channeling idols you might come across on a hike through an enchanted forest. Their formal aesthetic fuses pieces of ceramic together and creates organic patterns that zig zag through collage-like patches of cracked elegance. The tiny shards of porcelain build a narrative out of tea cups and plates a metaphor to the memories of one life lived.
The unusual technique Dimattio uses eventually manifests into porcelain-laden structures which ultimately resemble chairs and chandeliers. These account for the title “Domestic Sculpture” her latest exhibition at Salon 94 in NYC. Dimattio’s history in painting comes across when viewing these magnificent pieces in person. Up close the work has a thick impastoed paint quality which make them come alive in another sense. Whereas her paintings referenced architecture and collage, her sculptures embrace all of the above including ceramic traditions.
Brooklyn-based artist Leah Yerpe‘s charcoal drawings depict the true beauty and joy of movement. Her work somehow captures the both the constrains of human anatomy, and also the freedom we can experience in our own bodies. Her figures are twisted, but graceful; tightly bound, but free. Her figures’ faces are typically obscured, which leaves their expressions and emotions a mystery. Their poses could represent pain or ecstasy. They could be falling or flying. They overlap like elements in a collage, but the larger image is one of cohesion as bodies blend together to create beautiful new forms.