These days you don’t see enough printmaking in galleries. You may see a silkscreen here or there but when was the last time you saw some wood block prints that are 3×4 feet? I’m glad to know that Katrina Andry is not only making interesting work using this old school art making tradition but is also raising the bar by going big.
Brazilian artist ALMA has been getting up a lot lately with these haunting, stark, sometimes figurative pieces that move in and out of decaying urban environments in an incredibly natural way. I like that he mixes it up between extensive, symmetrical work that kind of reminds me of Richard Colman, and flat black stuff that’s really hard to define but affective nonetheless. South America is always killin’ it.
Artist Wen Fang has a way turning an eye toward the often overlooked. In a way, some of her work memorializes the unfortunately common. This first installation – a room filled with hanging knives printed with images of garbage – is titled Rain and illustrates this well. She explains the personal story and Chinese idiom behind the installation:
“One day I was on a public bus, heading to a suburban enclave not far from my home on the outskirts of Beijing. The road was lined on both sides by filthy, stagnant drainage ditches. The disgusting smell of the water wafted into the bus, immediately wiping out the hunger I was feeling a moment before. The water was blue-grey, and looked quite thick. The surface was covered in floating instant noodle packages, popsicle sticks, rotting vegetables and other garbage that couldn’t be sold as scrap. Suddenly I saw a stray dog at the edge of the ditch, trying to drink the water. Several times he would approach the water with his snout, only to be repulsed by the powerful stench. In the end, I guess he was just too thirsty, and he hesitantly stuck his snout in the water, taking a few gulps. It sent pangs through my heart. Lots of migrants live by the drainage ditches. Their kids run around like wild dogs, and are just about as dirty. About half of their toys were picked up along the side of this road. None of the adults control their actions, as these migrant workers are too busy trying to eke out a living, and the old people just sit there by the side of the road. The Chinese refer to these situations as knives raining down from the heavens…that is to say; this is the worst it can get…I don’t know if this is the worst possible situation, but these knives often cut right into my heart. That’s why I make them, so that everyone can see these knives. Economic development is a sound idea, but how much money does it take to be truly wealthy? I spent my childhood playing in the wilderness around here, while these kids are spending their childhoods playing on the trash heaps. I really wish these kids could grow up in gardens, just as we promised. But what I really don’t know is, when we finally have enough money, whether or not the garden will be anything more than a bunch of sharp knives.…”
Using herself as a model, Spanish photographer Ángela Burón creates surreal and often optically perplexing photographs. With askew imagery and mysterious compositions, Burón seeks to disorient the viewer and prompts them to question the reality of what they are seeing.
While Burón boasts a diverse body of work, a common motif in her photographs is a focus on hybridity. Feet replaced by hands, breasts conjoined with thighs, and legs sporting two sets of knees are just a few examples of these peculiar pieces, which make up a large portion of her celebrated portfolio.
In addition to her surreal photographs, Burón also dabbles in more conventional portraiture. Spanning coy self-portraits, sensual nudes, shots of amorous couples, and even a close-up of a bright-eyed cat, these works—though seemingly realistic—still convey the artist’s unique and curious style. Characterized by unnatural poses and disconcerting expressions, this side of Burón’s oeuvre still captures her inherent tendency toward the surreal and, thus, portrays her unique and unusual style. (Via Inkult)
Seth Casteel has done it again. He has come up with a great sequel to his widely successfully photographic series of dogs underwater with crazy faces and curious poses (previously featured here on Beautiful/Decay). This time around we have an equally cute subject matter – babies. Full of lively little bodies twisting and turning in the bubbling water, Casteel captures the large personalities of the kids in his new book Underwater Babies. We see the full range of human emotion on their little faces – from surprise, to glee, to terror, to mischievousness, to serenity and everything in between. Beautifully lit and dramatically staged, the kids faces will capture your heart immediately.
As a huge fan of dogs, puppies, and all things canine, Casteel wanted to raise awareness of animal abuse with his first series. After his Underwater Dogs photographs went super viral all over the internet, and then went on to sell over half a million copies around the world, he realized the power of images and applied it to another worthy cause. He explains more:
Through advocating water safety for pets, I became aware that water safety for children was also a very serious issue. Drowning is the #1 cause of accidental death of children under the age of five in the United States. Infant swimming lessons can help to reduce the risk of drowning by up to 88%. By creating this book, I hope to encourage and inspire parent to consider swim lessons for their children, with the ultimate goal of preventing tragedies. (Source)
You can purchase his Underwater Babies book here through Amazon.
Do you stay awake at night dreaming of the day when you can interact with artists and designers from around the world? Do you get a warm & fuzzy feeling every time you walk by a bookstore or magazine stand? Have you always wanted to work side by side with the an elite group of creative minds who only use the finest office supplies such as golden staples? Do you enjoy nothing more than resizing and cropping a pile of photographs as tall as a 3 story building? If you answered yes to any of these (or none of these questions) then this just may be the internship for you!
Now that you feel excited about our internship opening read the fine detail after the jump!
Julien Previeux’s Patterns of Life uses dancing lightsabers to reveal the simplicity and power of gesture. This 15 minute video is a highly choreographed work whose opening section uses light to uncover the essence of human movement. Dancers wired with lights illuminate the darkness and reveal the simplicity of movement.
Part galactic warrior and part neon sign, the dancers fill the space with the linearity of their limbs punctuated by shining spheres that add curvature and depth to their geometry.
But this is just the beginning of Previeux’s exploration of the intimacy of gesture and its implication in a world shared with others. Through what looks like a strenuous eye exam, Previeux demonstrates that eye movements have the power to reveal our thought patterns and perhaps betray our inner world to those who observe us carefully enough.
Also compelling is Previeux’s fascination with walking patterns and our natural tendency to follow the same paths again and again. By mapping the route of a young Parisian woman, where she works, where she lives, and where she goes to school, one of Previeux’s dancers uses tape to create a three dimensional model. Once mapped, her movements, which were assumed to be open and carefree, seem controlled and confined.
Patterns of Life switches between time frames and points of view. In doing so it presents us with various choreographed vignettes. Narrator Crystal Shepherd Cross guides us tranquilly through the intellectual terrain with ease so we can enjoy the grace that is Previeux’s work.
Julien Previeux’s Patterns of Life can be seen at DiverseWorks, Houston, Texas, in “What Shall We Do Next” until 19 March, 2016.