Cuban-American artist Cesar Santos thoughtfully blends disparate styles and elements in a series he calls “Syncretism.” Santos’ amalgamations present representations from Renaissance, Modern, Classic, and Contemporary work, all blended together to create a pastiche of imagery. While combining genres, forms, and time periods is not a necessarily unique approach, it is Santos’ execution that is most impressive. Skilled technically in multiple painting styles, Santos is able to render images that appear uncannily similar to their references. Recontextualizing these images demonstrates the evolution of painting techniques while maintaining the universality and persistence of particular themes.
“I develop a painting by first working on an idea in a sketchbook, a simple drawing. Then I go to Photoshop and start composing the painting. In a way it’s [how] a classical artist would do it: constructing a color study. Once I have everything composed, tweaking the colors, it will almost look like the final piece. Using oils on linen, I go about painting that image. During the process things change. When I start applying the colors, I start with a raw umber underpainting, and block it in with local color. Even though I’m using modern tools, the process is very classical.” (via juxtapoz)
Though the medium of stereoscopic optics have been blowing minds (and crossing eyes) since the late 1800’s, artist and designer Ryan Colditz takes the media to surprising new ends. Colditz plays with this dazzling visual trope to breath new life (and dimension) to graphic design and photography, creating a startling new aesthetic that literally manages to pop off the page. Beautiful/Decay recently discussed Ryan’s home made 3-D camera, process, inspiration, and beyond- read more after the jump!
What are you going to do when you’re retired? Will you tinker in your garage, enjoy making crafts, or go on giant sight-seeing trips? Photographer Harry Griffin paints portraits of old age in his series titled Gold Coast. Dentures, wrinkled hands, and an easy chair, and more showcase a quiet-yet-luxurious existence in a sunny place like South Florida.
The vividly-colored images are cropped compositions that are bizarre in the framing. Although we know that we’re looking at retirement, it’s hard to glean a lot of information about what we’re seeing. So, a guy taking out his dentures wrapped in green plastic is equal parts amusing and confusing. It doesn’t seem that different than the act of getting old itself – moving towards a life of easy living while at the same time finding yourself doing ridiculous-looking things to keep up comfortable and entertained. (Via La Monda)
Commercial photographer Matthew Rolston had built a career on entertainment portraiture, advertising, and music videos until 2009, the year in which he started venturing off his usual gigs.
“My professional work is subject to tremendous agendas; everything I do is mediated by a group of people, even the creative work is usually mentioned in a contract.
His next project became something more fun, with a bit more creative freedom, and a lack of human subjects. Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits, a 224-page book, features more than 50 portraits of Ventriloquist dummies from then Vent Haven Museum. Rolston uses his commercial skills, a rather formal photographic approach, to create human-like portraits of these creepy yet endearing dolls. The photographer re-appropriates techniques from his past in order to create a “personal response to the emanations of humanity that come from these terribly evocative inanimate objects.”
“By employing the same techniques and emotional approach I would apply to a human subject, I believe I was able to portray these figures in much the same way. … For me these figures have a yearning quality. They speak through their eyes, since their voices—voices of their ventriloquists—are now long silent. I found them to be endearing, hilarious, tragic, even disturbing—sometimes all at once.”
Gary Taxali is a multi-talented designer, illustrator and artist. His playful style is reminiscent of the golden age of 1950’s advertising, where wholesome, larger than life characters such as the checkered suspendered, pompadoured smiling Bob’s Big Boy still reigned supreme (and were not ironic yet.) Taxali’s bold style has earned him dozens of clients, ranging from Rolling Stone, MTV, Lev’s and Converse just to name a few. Beautiful/Decay recently got the chance to interview Taxali.
Kotryna Zukauskaite‘s mixed media collages contain a variety of playful compositions, layers, colors and textures. A mixture of portraits, drawings and abstract landscapes, Kotryna uses the many variety of mediums to portray dynamic illustrations.
Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the Hot Docs International Documentary Festival, Without
The King tells an astonishing story of Africa’s last absolute monarchy, the Kingdom of Swaziland. King Mswati III, a distant figure out of touch with his home and country, rules by decree and lives a life of luxury together with his 12 wives, while his subjects suffer from crushing poverty and the world’s highest HIV infection rate. With unprecedented access, we
meet headstrong first wife Queen LaMbikiza, eldest child and teen rapper, Princess Sikhanyiso, King Mswati himself, as well as many Swazi citizens who are plotting his downfall. Filmmaker Michael Skolnik captures the birth of a nation’s revolution, and the dawning awareness of a
young Swazi princess as she realizes the contrast between her impoverished country and her lavish lifestyle.