A picture of a celebrity taped on a cracked wall. Otto Duecker not only depicts portraits, he also paints the surrounding that goes with it. Like all artists part of the hyperrealism movement (or photorealism) from far, the whole image can be misled for a photograph.
Otto Duecker depicts celebrities from the 20th century such as Mick Jagger, Basquiat,John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe and more surprisingly Yoda. The black and white photos are represented crumpled and torn. Hung by random pieces of tape on a contrasted colored wall, the faces appear naturally brightened and alive. The artist painstakingly reproduces the details of the faces’ features and the cracks which makes the nature of the piece even more confusing to determine.
Hyperrealism allows the artist to guide the viewer to a new intimate examination of the piece. How did the artist depict the whole thing? Did he tape a picture of the celebrity on the wall and reproduced exactly what he was seeing? Do this wall exist in reality? Through this process, the artist gets in the way and the dialogue is not between the painting and the viewer anymore, but between the artist and the viewer. We are seeing the subjects through the artist’s eye and that’s what make the experience unique. (via Faith is torment)
In the ‘Spin Series’ artist Paul Henry Ramirez addresses social and aesthetic issues with abstract paintings. Each painting is set on a turntable and the audience is invited to rotate the painting. Ramirez creates a collaborative relationship between viewer and artist by making his paintings interactive. This makes it possible for the viewer to find the ‘internal logics, tensions, and interactions that order the multiple parts of the constructed configurations’. I really enjoy the image of the painting as it is spinning, but also like the sexually implicit imagry that emerges from the paintings when they are static.
A black and white photograph of a couple expressing nothing but tenderness and love. Donna Pinckley captures interracial couple posing naturally in front of their homes. Nothing should be perceived as wrong in these pictures, yet some people are not only condemning these individuals’ relationships but they are throwing hateful words at them. These can be read below the photographs, “as a reminder of how part of society sees them”.
After taking photographs of young children growing up through life, becoming adults and posing with their spouses, Donna Pinckley encountered a recurrent situation where women got to reveal the loathing comments they were facing because of their partner’s race. Her reaction to these women’s confidence has been artistic. She began to photograph interracial couples and depict their resilience and refusal to let others define them.
The couple are of all ages, and they represent any individuals in any country at any given time. This cold harsh reality is however counterbalanced by the message of hope these couples are giving us, via the mean of photography and the presence of Donna Pinckley behind it. A singular and effective way to spread a notion of tolerance and acceptance. Despite the words, the looks and the attitude towards those relationships, the love and trust created by these couples is bursting and undeniable.
Matt Irie is an extremely promising and unfairly slept-on artist from Chicago. In the past five years, I’ve seen Irie produce thoughtful and rewarding works in every medium imaginable and the pace isn’t slowing one bit. After the jump you’ll find a glimpse into Irie’s body of work and some information provided by the man himself.
Alright folks we are down to the last 15 copies of this book! Based on the sales from yesterday I give it one to two days before we sell out of Beautiful/Decay Book:2 forever! That’s right, once we sell out we will never reprint this book. Hop over to the shop and get your copy or you’ll be stuck surfing Ebay to complete your Beautiful/Decay collection!
“In my artwork I always use printed matter – discarded books, magazines, and computer printouts; the cultural debris of our information society. The sculptures I create reference Eastern and Western icons and intellectual figures, thereby exploring cultural meanings and concepts. I always use text in my work and the content of the texts are relevant to my sculptures. My finished sculptures often seem to be wood or marble, though they consist of paper. They are constructed in such a way that the various parts fit together in a seamless manner.” – Chen Long-Bin, from Volta NY
Photographer Brittany M. Powell has an ambitious project worthy of your support. She has embarked on a project of taking portraits of people that have incurred debt. Having already taken at least 15 photographs of different individuals, she has a Kickstarter project to help realize her goal of 99 different portraits. After losing her own job in 2008 and facing severe financial hardship, Powell decided to find others in a similar situation, to tell their stories and to dispel the social stigma surrounding bankruptcy, debt and talking about money issues in general. She says this about her project:
This [project] spurred my interest in investigating the role debt can play in our identity and how we relate to the world. Debt is publicly enforced and highly stigmatized, but is almost always privately experienced. It is in many ways an abstract form without material weight or structure, yet with heavy physicality and burden in a person’s everyday life. (Source)
Her subjects include James Riggs Davidson III who is an electrical contractor with a total debt of $52,335.63, Grace Ragland a family support worker with $75,000 in debt after her ex-husband was incarcerated and she became the sole carer of her family. She ended up working 2-3 jobs 7 days a week for 7 years. The range of people Powell profiles is so varied she really shows how common this problem is today.
My goal is to bring people together to recontextualize an abstract, often shamed experience. It is my hope that by having a platform to discuss this issue, it will encourage the viewer and participants to question and reframe our perception of debt and how we contribute to it’s power and role in our social structure. (Source)
To support her project visit her Kickstarter page here.