Jamie Vasta’s masterfully accomplished paintings may look like traditional chiaroscuro but they are in fact covered in shiny, shimmering glitter. Vasta has taken the painterly arts to new altitudes with her paintings in glitter. Her insouciant medium is fine-tuned to accentuate narrative.
Here series After Caravaggio, a contemporary reframing of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio‘s historic paintings in homage to the great master on the 400th anniversary of his death, (1573 – 1610). Vasta gathers friends and colleagues as muse for her ambitious recasting of Caravaggio’s famous paintings. In rethinking such paintings as Giuditte e Oloferne, 1599, and Deposizione, 1602, Vasta composed her coterie with the props of today, turning gender, dress, and environment on end. The intention of the original comes forward, no heraldry of aristocracy, but an emancipation of the peasantry, under hot theater lights of course.
Premiere website builder Made With Color and Beautiful/Decay team up each week to bring you some of the best contemporary artists and designers using Made With Color to build their sleek websites. Made With Color helps artists create well-designed and mobile/tablet responsive websites in a few minutes without having to touch a line of code.This week we are excited to share the work of Zidekahedron who created his portfolio site on the Made With Color platform.
The intricate drawings and illustrations of North Carolina based Chris Zidek A.K.A Zidekahedron are ultra-detailed explorations into the unknown. Rather than looking at art history or pop culture for inspiration, the majority of Zidekahedron’s inspiration results from reading non-fiction. Quantum physics, sacred geometry, astrophysics, cosmology, ancient forbidden archaeology, and theories of an advanced human past all come together and collide in his stippled and patterned worlds that live within the pages of his sketchbook.
Expanding about his work he states:
I’ve been creating my own mythology based on these studies, specifically focused on how creation functions on a macro and micro level, how pyramids were constructed, and how life is truly created, usually with sacred geometry acting as the underlying blueprint. My demigod characters act as the answer to most of the oldest questions we have. They range from the size of a subatomic particle, to 150 foot tall pyramid construction workers, to 50,000 mile high planetary architects/demolishers.
There’s been a lot of talk of 2012 being the “Year of the Infographic”: visual representations of data as aesthetically pleasing as they are informational. Chad Hagen welcomes us to “the world of fictional information” with illustrations that explore what we’ve come to accept as infographic staples — a visual key, multi-dimensional shapes, a vibrant color selection — with none of the facts. Without the burden of telling a story culled from factual data, various dimensions, planes and colors are free to tell whatever story they choose. (via)
Attention Cult Of Decay! The latest issue of Beautiful/Decay is upon us! Sent to the printers in the last weeks, there will be only 2000 copies produced (all of which are ad-free) and only subscribers will receive their copy before anyone else does. You also save 33% by subscribing versus waiting to buy at a bookstore (plus you don’t have to go past your mailbox to get it!).Subscribe today and secure your newest addition to the Beautiful/Decay series. Details about our contest & a few peaks at a couple of pages from book: 7 after the jump!
Adam Voorhes, a photographer residing in Texas, has released an amazing book documenting 100 extremely rare, damaged, and malformed human brains. This book, called Malformed: Forgotten Brains of the Texas State Mental Hospital, was released this November through PowerHouse books. As Voorhes’ work shows, there is an aesthetic beauty to the contours and shape of a brain that only add to the intrinsic mystery surrounding them. Through a twist of fate, Voorhes gained access to a medical niche and has built a body of work that will prove to be historically priceless. His project created a detailed photographic archive of the brains that has led to a new, revitalized interest from the medical community. Scientific journals have voiced intrigue and the researchers at the University of Texas at Austin are now producing MRI’s of these brains, which will be displayed in their new medical school.
Voorhes explains how he came into this subject:
“I had been sent to the University of Texas’ Animal Resources Center to borrow a brain to photograph for a magazine article. I was shown through a laboratory into a storage closet filled with human brains stacked in jars from floor to ceiling, two rows deep. All told, there were more than 100 rare specimens extracted from former patients at Texas’ state mental hospital in Austin, and all displayed distinct abnormalities. Each jar had been labeled with a date, an observation in archaic Latin and a case number.
I took the brain I’d been assigned and returned to my studio to work, but I quickly became preoccupied with the vision of this decaying collection. I wanted to know more about the donors, their quality of life and experiences. The gravity of what I’d seen haunted me. The thought of cataloguing the collection and preserving it with my camera became an obsession.
Eventually, my photography team and I were granted access to the lab. Uninterrupted and unsupervised, we donned respirators and heavy gloves. Over the course of two days in the locked research facility, we documented the collection. The history of these brains remained unknown, however. Although the descriptive text on some of the jar labels had faded or worn away, most had corresponding case numbers. Those case numbers referenced medical records, and those records became my secondary obsession.
In over my head, I collaborated with journalist Alex Hannaford to track down the story behind the brains. As he pored through archaic documents and tracked every available lead, he uncovered not only the history of the collection, but also the unfortunate loss of nearly half the original specimens. Our hope for this project is to help preserve the remaining portion and foster greater interest in its beauty, historical importance and medical value.” (via Slate)
The Singapore-based fashion designer Grace Ciao first started using flower petals in her illustrations when a boy gave her a rose; sad to see the gift wither and die, she incorporated it into a sketch of of a cocktail dress. Soon, the 22-year-old designer began using flowers in all of her creations, from party dresses to bridal gowns. From a single rose stem, she can create up to six separate designs.
The multidimensionality of the petals lends Ciao’s designs a unique and vibrant range; shadow and curve work together to flatter and accentuate the human body. The artist prefers to use flowers that contain within them a multitude of shades and tones; from their natural coloration, she can divine innovative prints and patterns. The garment and the floral organism dictate one another’s movements and structure; a falling yellow petal forms a ruffled embellishment or a bold one-shoulder sleeve, and the white ends of a tulip are layered exquisitely.
Ciao has a unique talent for making all colors, textures, and shapes look appealing and extravagant; an inexpensive carnation and a pricey orchid create equally luxurious garments. One can only imagine that as the petals wilt and eventually die, the garments go through a magical metamorphosis, transforming from fire-engine red to blood red and ultimately to a deep burgundy. As we move into summer, Ciao’s work is a delightful tribute to the ever-changing seasons and to the cycle of life and death. We cannot wait to see what she has in store as new flowers come into bloom. (via Demilked and Buzzfeed)
The woodlands, backyards and mountain fields David Hornung paints can feel like elegies for lost friends. Conversely, much of the work is contagiously, imaginatively playful. These paintings can be read in contradictory ways; simultaneously flat and deep, both graphic and luminous. Hornung does this purposefully, because “picture making can be as paradoxical as life itself.” The invented settings evoke “memory, the flow of time, and, for lack of a better phrase, the sheer enigma of existence.” The light breaking on the horizon in “To S.P.” (above) is both beautiful and heartrendingly sad. What does it say about us when a sunset begs to be personified? You can see David’s work at Flowers Gallery in Chelsea from June 30 to July 31.
Hey kids, you don’t need to go to art school! Look what self-taught painter, Aaron Nagel accomplishes without formal training. This specific series of paintings feature beautiful women, who almost seem to be martyrs, against a dark abyss. In a strange way, the portraits feel religious and slightly sacrilegious at the same time. Aaron has upcoming shows in San Francisco and Florida.