Simultaneously showcasing the art of construction as well as deconstruction, photographer Brandon Edgar Allen captures the inner workings of some of our favorite video game controllers in his series entitled Deconstructed. The Sega Dreamcast, Nintendo 64, and Playstation consoles are all represented with their circuit boards, buttons, and plastic containers neatly organized on a rustic wood background. Allen’s photographs depict controllers that were played until they wouldn’t play any more. Buttons are worn down and mutilated. Plastic is dirty and torn. Sometimes, the parts were fried.
Despite its niche appeal, these objects are so ingrained into our culture that even you can probably recognize them even if you don’t play video games. The shape of the controller has become an symbol for its specific console and our not-so-new national pastime, especially as the next generation Playstations and XBoxes come with increasingly more “non game” features.
Fans and non fans can both appreciate this series. Those who love video games will enjoy the nostalgia that comes from seeing these well-loved controllers. Those who aren’t video game fanatics can enjoy Allen’s work as a study of objects, and a series full of small idiosyncrasies. (Via Junk Culture)
Polish photographer Pawel Fabjanski serves up a nice blend of commercial/fashion aesthetics and personal input within his work. He brings a mysterious, postmodern edge to everything he does, whether it be a portrait of a girl with red pyramids attached to her face, or a troop of nondescript people in weird, pink lab attire (above). Touching on themes of alienation and “man’s response to the environment”, each photo gives you just the right amount of chills. Fabjanski also spends time teaching at the National Film School in Lodz.
Caitie, throughout your stay here at Beautiful/Decay, we have shared so many heavy and introspective philosophical conversations revolving around alien life, true paranormal ghost photos, and calorie counting. Who will I share my innermost feelings of awe and wonderment at the universe and its production of such things as…..diet sodas? Is life really that strange and magical? From the bottom of all our hearts here at Beautiful/Decay (and in Ziggy’s case, his stomach) we’d like to wish you a big THANK YOU for all of your positive energy and hard work. We are really going to miss you (and in Ziggy’s case, your blue “lap top bag” aka his bed.) You’re officially in our intern superstar hall of fame.
Caitie is also an extremely talented illustrator- check out her bright & bold illustrations after the jump. They are all laced with Caitie’s characteristic sense of wit, style and irreverence. Check her portfolio, hire her, and keep an eye out for her because she is destined for great things!
With a background in craftsmanship and carpentry, Jan Reymond creates sculptures by recycling discarded objects. His most well-known installations are made of books. Even in his smaller scale work with furniture, his eye for architectural design is apparent. He’s also created large scale designs made out of discarded cell phones. In addition to this installation work, he crafts furniture and other domestic objects with an eye for practicality and aesthetic pleasure. His work asks us to consider the boundary between functional and non-functional artwork.
Dana Tanamachi brings the art of dynamic turn of the century typography to the medium of chalk drawing. Her elaborate drawings are not anything short of amazing with some coming complete with QR codes drawn in chalk! Now that’s what I call a mix of old and new! More typographic goodness after the jump!
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.
Jordan Sullivan’s series The Burial Cloud examines and reflects on the rape of his mother in 1973, Petacalco, Mexico. Each photograph is just a glimpse into a memory, a fleeting moment that we cannot hold onto or make sense of. Sullivan has created this series from found photos and letters from his mother, as well as his own staged photography. The tone in the photographs quickly changes from adventurous and carefree to somber and destructive, all the while embodying the same distant vagueness. This leaves us with curiosity and wonder of the events that took place. Sullivan explains:
“[My mother] had traveled with her friends to Petacalco in search of an epic wave that a pair of surfers had recently discovered.”
This series lays out the event just as it would appear as a memory; in fragmented images that shift throughout time. There is no implication of a time or place in much of the imagery, just a window inward reflecting on the human psyche. The emotion of the woman shown, the photographer’s mother, changes from bright and excited to isolated and alone. The Burial Cloud is a journey in which we must piece together a story we cannot fully understand. A story told through disjointed, stunning images that include roaring oceans, burning flora, and scenes of discontent. These ethereal photographs radiate feelings of discovery, doubt, youth, and fear. Sullivan shines light on a delicate subject while beautifully capturing his mother and a tragic past. The Burial Cloud will be released as an illustrated biography in 2016, and will include photographs, text, and collages.