Enrico Nagel‘s Secret Garden is a series of collage portraits. High fashion models are contrasted against a plain paperboard background. Each model’s face is replaced with a garish arrangement of flowers, jewels, and other ephemera. Nagel juxtaposes what he terms as the “artificial imagery” of the fashion world with the natural imagery of flowers. Each bloom seems like a nearly violent coup of the subject’s identity, the clothing being the only remnant of the former glossy fashion mag photo.
Influenced by 21st. century technology like video games, Google earth, Internet, and You-tube, Kenneth Burris drawings become an expression of isolation and sporadic: envisioning apocalyptic tableaux with a future of decadence and decay.
With the help of their local Cats Anonymous organization, photographer Jason Houge and his girlfriend have been feeding and caring for a colony of 30 (for now) feral cats that occupy the couple’s rural Wisconsin property. When they first moved into to their home, cats would come and go, but in 2012, one family of cats stuck around longer than a season. Thus began the start of Houge’s cat family, a family that he has recently been documenting via Instagram. “There’s not a lot of understanding of cats, even when they live in your home,” Houge says. “I was mostly interested in seeing how they lived and interacted within a colony.” Houge’s photographs capture the wildness of the feral cats, the use of black and white emphasizing outdoor light and shadows from which the cats emerge. There’s an intimacy to these photographs that could only be captured with the cats’ trust of the photographer.
Noting how quickly a cat population can increase, Houge explains, “It’s likely most people have heard stories of hoarders who live with hundreds of cats. It only takes two intact cats and two or three years to get to that point. A female can have an average of five kittens three times a year and can become pregnant at about six months of age.” (via feature shoot and lens)
Beautiful/Decay is excited to bring you our exclusive artist feature in partnership with Made With Color, the premiere platform for artist websites. Each week we join forces to bring you some of the most exciting creatives working today who use Made With Color to create their clean and sleek sites. All Made With Color sites not only work beautifully on your computer but also come optimized for mobile and tablet users making sure that your portfolio looks professional no matter how you view it. For this weeks artist spotlight we bring you the paintings of Julia Schwartz.
Julia Schwartz’s paintings are inspired by anything and everything around her. Flooded studios, homes in various cities, disappearing icebergs, california light and relationships all are put through her (mostly) abstract painting process to create work that is intuitive and contemplative all at once. Our favorite pieces in her “State Of Being” series has to be the brutally honest text based paintings that display messages of catharsis and artistic despair.
On her website Schwartz states the following about her painting process:
I have something like a virtual rolodex in my mind which contains not names and numbers, but years of study, reading, looking, shadows, dreams, art, and world events. Like a receptacle of experiences, my unconscious unfurls into a painting in the same way described by chaos theory, with one small seemingly unrelated movement having an impact on the piece as a whole.
Chinese street artist DALeast studied sculpture at the Institute of Fine Arts and began doing art on public space at 2004 under the alias DAL. He is inspired by the way the material world revolves, how the spiritual world unfolds, life’s emotions and the infinite space around us. His massive murals resemble thousands of strands of yarn or thread that are continuously unraveling and coming together to create incredible sweeping imagery. (via)
Toronto artist Matt Bahen creates thick oil paintings of desolate scenery and, often, dogs. Tweaked just right, the lighting in Bahen’s work almost renders itself the subject in each respective canvas, creating a sense that the elements most “alive” in his world are not, in fact, animate. Scavenging dogs and dying foliage or crops are often the only living organisms depicted in Bahen’s most recent work. And though a veritable source of action, these elements often serve more as secondary, blended, narrative connections than primary statements. In keeping with the aesthetics of B/D, this body of work presents a perfect opportunity to draw as much life from the dead as from the living. Bahen is currently showing at LE Gallery in Toronto in a solo exhibition entitled “After Wolves.” If you’re up that way, do not miss out.
Amanda Lear: previous male, current female, muse of Salvador Dali, multimillion selling Disco Queen three decades ago, subject of an incredibly long Wikipedia entry (yes, her official site is hosted on Tripod), feast for ironic art eyes, and just strange strange strange. Whenever I watch her videos I wonder “is this shit for real?”. But yeah. It is.
Powerful photographs by Natalie Krick of her mother.
“The colorful seductive nature of cosmetics act to mask, conceal and deceive while drawing attention to the surface and the superficial. By emphasizing both the facade of glamour and the physicality of the body I am interested in what can be revealed through these surfaces.
In this collection of photographs of my mother she performs certain tropes used to visualize female beauty and sexuality. This act is further complicated as her appearance and gestures fluctuate between my overt stylized ideals and her own physical body. These photographs expose an awkwardness and tension in being looked at and scrutinized while also implying a longing to be seen as desirable and beautiful. By creating images that can be perceived as both garish and seductive, I question the fantasy of idealized beauty and what culture designates as flattering and desirable.” (via)