As a sneak peek to the knock-out exhibition “Fresh Perspectives” at Mark Moore Gallery surveying a selection of young, emerging artist opening September 12th, Beautiful/Decay conducted an exhibition preview extravaganza. Read an interview with Catlin Moore about her process of selecting artists, putting the exhibition together and more, as well as five mini interviews with each of the featured artists. In keeping with the theme “Fresh Perspectives,” we gave each artist the same three questions- with surprisingly different answers from each artist! Full article after the jump!
Manal Al Dowayan is a Saudi Arabian contemporary art photographer based in London, Dubai and her native land of Saudi. The basis of her work is black-and-white photography, however she recently introduced more layers to her work by working on sculpture and installations .
Suspended Together, first displayed on the 54th Venice Biennale’s The Future of Promise exhibition is comprised of 200 fiberglass doves that hang from the ceiling by transparent nylon thread. Each of these doves are imprinted with images of written postcards and stamps.
The piece is visually striking and it evokes an interesting set of complex emotions and ideas that challenge the spectator’s view on Saudi women and their initiatives and downfalls to find freedom. At first glance, Suspended Together gives the impression of movement and freedom, however, a closer look, leaves the spectator looking at doves that are static in movement, suspended in flight. Manal tells Nafas Magazine that the written text and images imprinted in the doves are real “permission documents issued by an appointed guardian when they [women, in this case successful professionals] have to travel [get surgery, or any type of important procedure]” ; women in Saudi are not able to conduct themselves freely, and although reforms to improve the visibility and freedom of women look promising, they don’t seem to pass through King Abdullah, Saudi Arabia’s leader. This struggle is visually present in Manal’s work, as she successfully implements imagery that illustrates the contradiction of many important women that found success in their profession [the dove], yet find themselves suspended in flight, as they try to find their way to do the small tasks of everyday life with volition and freedom from their ‘guardians’.
TOMAAS is a Paris-based fashion and beauty photographer whose stunning works explore the way man-made materials and objects accompany us in our daily lives. This particular series, titled Plastic Fantastic, incorporates plastic bags, forks, tubing, straws, bottles, and more into the creation of surreal and cinematic imagery. His white-washed models are both alien and beautiful; with plastic adorning their bodies and faces, what is most often seen as a functional and/or wasteful material becomes the luminescent fabric of space-age fashion.
Throughout his work, TOMAAS is interested in imagery that presents multiple themes. Plastic Fantastic is one such series, wherein he examines the prevalence, significance, and artistic versatility of plastic in our modern-day world. While conceptualizing this project, TOMAAS wanted to emphasize “the design and design choices behind such man-made products” (Source), and furthermore, explore what happens when such functional objects are removed from their normal contexts; take plastic forks and tubing into an arts and beauty studio, arrange them in unusual ways, and suddenly they become eerily beautiful and expressive crowns and dresses.
This approach to plastic as desirable or aesthetically-pleasing may be a bit difficult for us, given its noxious status in environmental discourse. But this is TOMAAS’ intention, to show beauty in unexpected places (and perhaps challenge some ethical perceptions in doing so). “There is no denying that [plastic] is one of the most commonly used materials in today’s society,” TOMAAS writes, describing what inspired him to create the series. By synthesizing plastic with fine art photography, he allows us to see — perhaps with a bit of resistance — beauty in a synthetic material that has become deeply integral to our human habitat.
Check out TOMAAS’ website for more of his works, including a series called Eco-Beauty, wherein he integrates other materials (such as straw and rope) into his photographic narratives. (Via Art Fucks Me)
Photographer Maja Daniels‘ series Monette & Mady captures Paris’ enigmatic twins. The series shifts between staged and candid scenes of the twins’ life in the city. The photos reflect the public and private personas of Monette and Mady. Paris provides the ideal setting for the dramatic nature of siblings. Really, the series centers around the twins’ relationship. Daniels says of Monette & Mady:
“This series is an intimate journal of their togetherness and as an alternative take on the complex issues that accompanies the notion of “aging” today, I aim to pursue this series over the years as Mady and Monette grow older.”
B/D was lucky enough to receive two new books in the mail today. Here’s me and Fei in the office with completely anonymous bookfaces hanging out with our boss, who happens to be a wizard and was so excited by them he conjured an ephemeral ball of light for the occasion. Anyways, the first is Keegan McHargue’s “Foibles,” from Seems Books, and the second is “Creative Space” by Francesca Gavin from Laurence King Publishing.
Daniel Arsham’s structural interventions cause walls to appear in a state of flux, as if they are melting or dripping, reverse the notion of architectural rigidity and of a partition’s standard presentation. His aestheticized sculpture and installations realize hypothetical architectural elements and counter intuitive designs, queuing possibilities and coercing material to behave atypically.
There’s something so simple, playful and childlike in Daniel Jensen’s work. I really like the above bust- I don’t know if it’s because the material calls to mind….well, poop frosted with Betty Crocker icing that makes me equally delighted and repulsed to eat it for some reason. It’s like a weird mini-wheat come to sad life.