Thinking about my 80s upbringing, I’m not too sure if life has really changed all that much between then and 2011. True, kids today don’t call each other on the landline, and have also seen more cat videos than I ever did at their age, but hey, small potatoes. China’s post-80s generation, on the other hand, born on the cusp of their country’s breakneck economic development, have experienced some truly seismic stuff, with much about life today being nearly unrecognizable from the distant past. Wang2mu is an illustrator living in Guangzhou who explores post-80s themes and nostalgia through a warped “schoolhouse” aesthetic. Crowded by urgent slogans, his grotesque children straddle rockets, robots, and other generational emblems.
Andrea Wan’s whimsical illustrations bring together surreal scenarios and magical figures that are sometimes as large as building but delicate as a flower.
Nice sketchy motion graphic by Waldemar Borth
Nick Krijno makes blown out contemporary still lives that are the best things to look at. Made out of hot dogs, slinkies, spiders, and clothes, his images update the classic tradition in a way that everyone can get relate to and get behind. It’s a great, inspirational reminder that if you’re ever feeling down about the your staid surroundings, just organize them into an interesting composition, make a backdrop out of your friends’ shirts or some colored paper, and voilá–you’ve got yourself a modern still life. Now just paint it or take a picture of it or take a note from yoko ono and burn it. (via)
We usually post only one video a day but I thought we’d throw caution to the wind today and do an entire day of videos. Lets start the morning right with a mega epic video by my new favorite band, Barbariön. Join me in headbanging the start of the day after the jump.
Michael Pietrocarlo is a photographer whose solemn photos of abandoned buildings capture the beauty of ruin and the renewing power of decay. Three series are featured here: Rust Belt, Forlorn Faith, and Unmanned Posts. Rust Belt explores the communities of Buffalo, Detroit, and Pittsburgh, which struggled during the economic turbulence of the 1980s; Forlorn Faith shows us vast spaces of spiritual worship left in decline; and Unmanned Posts guides us through the dust and stillness of the Bethlemhem Steel Admin Building, which closed in 1982. In his images, Pietrocarlo both shocks and stirs the imagination by revealing what happens when places once invested with love, energy, and hope are neglected; windows break, ceilings crack, paints peels. They become breathless ghost spaces, engraved with memory and mystery, breaking down and moldering in silence.
As these photos show us, however, there is beauty in deterioration; skeletons of industry and worship become tangible links to the past, signifiers of a passion and a hope that has preceded us. Decay becomes the passage to renewal, both personal and shared. As Pietrocarlo explains further:
I am drawn to the mystery of spaces where longevity has defied significance: forlorn constructs ravaged by nature, time, and the boundaries of ruin. I discover and appropriate these “found places” in my photographs to expose the brutal beauty of their (inevitable) decay, exploring contrasting themes of transience/permanence, deterioration/renewal, and abandonment/reclamation.
[…] Above all, these acts of discovery and documentation help me confront my own struggles with mortality in an attempt to illustrate artistry in dereliction, hope in obsolescence, intimacy in emptiness. (Source)
Reservations are now being accepted for limited edition flu shots; each shot comes with corresponding certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.
-That phrase is taken from the press release for Get the Flu, Mark Benson‘s current exhibition at Ever Gold Gallery in San Francisco. A registered nurse was on site during the opening to administer real flu shots as part of a symbolic gesture to accompany the show, which focuses on themes surrounding the human need for control. It’s too hot?- turn on the air conditioner. Don’t want to get sick?- here, have a flu shot. Benson’s ability to present his commentary in such a unique, but direct way is really impressive.
Find some images from Get the Flu (on view til the 27th), below. And if you’re hankering for a further dose from the artist, you can still pick up a copy of Beautiful/Decay Book 7 right here which features a spread by him.
Roshan Adhihetty regularly takes off his clothes and photographs other people without theirs on either. Despite what that sounds like, the series he has put together is a tasteful, candid look at a popular past time. Die Nacktwanderer, or The Nude Hikers captures groups of hikers reconnecting with nature and immersing their bodies into their surroundings. Growing up in Lausanne, an area which is quite accustomed to nudity, Adhihetty is no stranger to seeing the human body without clothes on. But after visiting his first nudist beach in Corsica, he decided to take a closer look at the culture of nudity, and in particular, the modern trend of naked hiking. He says:
Nudity and Nature have always been big subjects in art. Inspired by the romantic paintings I was hunting for photographs which feature this tension between romantic nature and disturbing contemporary elements – an opposition between nature and culture. (Source)
His photographs are a brazen look at a subject not often talked about, and sometimes even sneered at. But Adhihetty portrays his subjects with respect and grace, after he had to put himself in their shoes, so to speak. After tracking down a group of willing participants through Craigslist, the photographer had to join them in the buff to be allowed his camera on the hikes. Along with his other observations, Adhihetty realized that many of his subjects were male, and women only make up about a fifth of the hiking population. He notes that this is most likely linked to the social pressures and judgements our current society places on the female figure.
Hopefully with projects like this photographic series, we will stop seeing the naked body as only a sexual thing, but also as a very natural way to exist in the world around us. (Via Feature Shoot)