The Infinity Burial Project founded by Jae Rhim Lee, proposes alternatives for the postmortem body that promote and facilitate an individual engagement with the process of decomposition. The Project features the development of a unique strain of mushroom that decomposes and remediates toxins in human tissue, the development of a decomposition ‘kit’, burial suits embedded with decomposition activators, and a membership society devoted to the promotion of death awareness and acceptance and the practice of decompiculture (the cultivation of decomposing organisms).
In Hair Pieces, the photographer Rebecca Drolen examines the relationship between human beings and our hair, highlighting the impulse to deem body hair beautiful or strange. Inspired by what she calls the “archival” power of hair to outlive the rest of the human body, Drolen engages with hair pieces in comical and yet starkly emotional narratives. In the striking series, human hair transforms from ornamentation to elixir to parasite, creating a poignant work that elevates the mundane to the transcendent.
With clever titles like Hair Tie and Ear Hair, Drolen’s images read in part as a modern take on 1960s feminist photography; her carefully staged self-portraits are shot in black and white, revealing the rich grays of her vintage garments, retro decor, and and outdated shears. The home serves as the backdrop to the artist’s exploration of a more domestic femininity. In turn, the luxurious tresses and the house engage in both harmonious and conflicting dialogues: expertly styled hair dresses the windows in one image, yet in another, it uncontrollably discharges from the bathtub drain.
In her apparent nod to both women’s and photographic history, Drolen addresses the association between hair and death, or the ability of hair to document and catalog human existence. Hair fills the medicine cabinet as if promising to cure disease; it covers a foggy, indefinitely seen window to a mysterious space beyond. Like relics of years gone by, hair hangs on a wall, labeled and numbered by tally marks. Without a hint of sentimentality, a pair of shears and a head of hair lay side by side on a cleared out bed, evocative of an individual’s absence and passing. Take a look. (via Lenscratch)
Carol Carter is a contemporary watercolor artist based out of St Louis, MO. She is such a prolific painter that it proved nearly impossible to select just seventeen images to feature out of the hundreds documented throughout her website. Her subject matter is incredibly varied, ranging from swimmers, nudes, flora and fauna, to interiors and landscapes of the Everglades and Italy. In spite of painting such a vast range of subject matter, her work remains consistent with her personal style; painting with an electric color palette, she saturates values of light and dark with a brilliant range of unpredictable color that often takes on the effect of solarization. Her technique shifts between wet-in-wet application and controlled execution, producing work that is peppered with an incredible amount of detail and spontaneity. Carol’s mastery of watercolor and divergent way of seeing the world is apparent in her remarkable paintings.
Beautiful/Decay has partnered with premiere website building platform Made With Color to bring you some of the most exciting contemporary artists working today. Made With Color allows you to create a sleek mobile/tablet optimized website that is easy to use with just a few clicks and no coding involved. This week we bring you the works of Arizona based artist Kristin Bauer.
Kristin Bauer wants you to not only read her artworks visually but literally as well. Working in a wide array of media from neon to assemblage to painting, Bauer combines and mixes high and low iconography, imagery, and texts that will make you play a mental game of connect the dots. Unlike most stories however, Bauer’s works aren’t supposed to have a beginning, middle, and end – leaving the viewer to fill in the blanks between her references to anything from Renaissance sculpture to Jayne Mansfield, Shakespeare to Spielberg films, The Great Gatsby to Cheap Trick.
About her work she states:
I am influenced and inspired by the nature of how humanity derives meaning when presented with the combination of word and image. Our culture is highly visual, and rises and falls with the crests and waves of marketing and propaganda. I draw from my background in Masters studies of Psychology and Therapy practices and my related interests in Social Influence Theory as well as my love of music, film, classical literature and pop culture.
While some of my art seems socio-politically subversive, I do not have a concrete message with the work. Rather, what I am after is the dialogue and internal response of viewers that arise from how they put together visual and written information.
Yes Yes!! I’m enamored with these drawings by Hope Gangloff. A touch of that downtown super-cool, but with a candid feeling of tenderness – Hope has a distinct way of making you feel like you know these people, and that you’re sharing a special moment in time with them… Or at least I’d like to…
Laura Crosta has a plethora of work in her portfolio but her balloon series is one of my favorites. Also make sure to check out the “I Date A Hooker” series which documents Jeff Fischer’s dating highlights with hookers.
At RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, lecturer Claudia Diaz has implemented an unconventional project in order to inspire her anatomy students. After teaching human anatomy for over 20 years, Diaz decided to try something new as she found the regular routine of anatomical memorization boring and uninspired. Over the past 3 years, Diaz has explored human anatomy with her students by having them paint the bodies of 10 students, revealing tendons and bones that would be visible if the person’s skin were stripped. Featured in these photographs is chiropractic student Zac O’Brien who patiently sat for around 18 hours while fellow students painted him. The finished result is what Diaz likes to call “anatomical man,” first brought to one of her classes in 2010.
”We walked him in and I still remember the looks on the kids’ faces. They were just in awe,” she said. ”I realised it shocked them, it inspired them and it motivated them.” Previously shy about taking off their clothes so classmates could study their bodies, the students began to shed their inhibitions through this painting exercise. ”I couldn’t get the kids to keep their clothes on. They were all throwing them off,” Dr Diaz said. (via)
Artist Chris Dorosz uses a unique painting technique. He drips paint droplets onto plastic rods. When arranged the rods form a three dimensional image, a pointillism like sculpture. Step back from the screen for a moment – the disparate dots congeal to from images of people. The fact that this is similar to the way a low resolution digital image works is not an accident. Dorosz revels in the idea of the drop as a basic unit of constructing a painting. He says:
“Out of material discovery I began to regard the primacy of the paint drop, a form that takes shape not from a brush or any human-made implement or gesture, but purely from its own viscosity and the air it falls through, as analogous to the building blocks that make up the human body (DNA) or even its mimetic representation (the pixel).”