Continuing today’s incidental perversion theme: An Art Service is a graphic design and Art Direction Company located in New York City, working mostly with artists (hence the name) in publications, branding and identity, and web design. Their work for Daddy magazine (published by Peres Projects) includes a puzzle on the front cover as well SPECIAL TEEN STICKERS. I really like how it’s photographed on quintessential pedophile plaid. Mmm mm mm.
“The Sentinel” (2012). Graphite on paper, 65″ x 80″.
“I Will Still Be Here, Long After the Kingdom Cometh” (2012). 68″ x 96″.
“Desdemona Sleeping Beside Death” (2009). Graphite on paper, 66″ x 70″.
“Ophelia at Fourteen” (2008). Graphite on paper, 72″ x 80″.
Christina Pettersson is a Florida-based (Stockholm-born) artist who draws on mythology and classic literature in the creation of large-scale graphite works that depict scenes of tragedy, savagery, and beauty. With realistic shading and elaborate textures, the images have a narrative-rich and highly expressive style that is reminiscent of historical paintings. Fascinated by the role such ancient, emotional, and metaphorical stories have on contemporary culture, Pettersson writes:
“I want to restore that epic and mythological dimension, a sense of awe and reverence for the world. The fact is they are not much about my personality. I want to be a storyteller. I want to believe that life is still wild” (Source).
Central to Pettersson’s illustrations are references to classical female figures, including the huntress/protector Artemis and Shakespeare’s Ophelia. Most of the images are dark in their imagery and/or atmosphere: Artemis, holding her bow, confronts the viewer with a fatally impassive expression; Ophelia, still awake, sinks into an oceanic abyss; while other women, unnamed, lie slain and bloodied. What Pettersson seems to be exploring (and critiquing) is the female body-as-sacrifice in such mythological traditions. These women — whose deaths are often treated as incidental plot-devices or metaphors in otherwise male-centered narratives — are given representation that mourns the tragedy of their deaths, and in many cases, signifies a liberating rebirth. Desdemona, for example, murdered in her bed, lies beside her peacefully-sleeping resurrected self; Ophelia, submerged in water, remains conscious while a ship — a symbolic “lifeboat” — turns her way. In a beautiful poem accompanying the latter image, Pettersson explains how she seeks to reclaim Ophelia from Shakespeare’s lethal sentence:
We are accustomed to your cruel pen,
the way it marks a creature for death, death only,
but this is too much.
The work of Stéphane Vigny is often humorous in its subversiveness. Vigny often undermines the purpose of objects to create amusing but thought provoking new ‘purposes’ (like a BMW turned into playground equipment). Other times Vigny alters objects in a way that make them profoundly useless (such as a chair on wheels the size of the room it sits in). Commodities and inanimate objects are typically entirely defined by their purpose, what they do. Vigny’s installations, though, force viewers to set aside their expectations and approach the familiar in a new way.
Vally Nomidou’s series of life-size sculptures are all made of paper and depict young women and young girls. The female figures impress with the naturalness of their features and poses, the perfection of modelling and the beauty of volume.
Paper, Nomidou’s dominant material, now becomes a key component in her creative process, inextricably linked to painful and systematic research on the technical level, as well as on that of aesthetic integration. The artist respects her material and, although it is cheap and vulnerable, she does not “adulterate” it by using other materials. Moreover, she does not use it as a shell, an encasing to cover a necessary inner structure by providing a fake, idealised skin. Nomidou builds and shapes her works from the inside out solely using paper and paperboard. The internal cardboard frame is built with a vertical and horizontal grid in order to be able to support and render stillness in her sculptures, while also ensuring balance in contraction and expansion. The homogeneity of her material allows the equilibrium in the behaviour of the interior and the exterior, and thus ensures its duration.
Regarding her technique, the perfect rendition of facial features, of expression, of the naturalness of pose, of body proportions, is based on a process of combining partial plaster casts, the meticulous observation of an exhaustive photographic documentation of her sitters and a painful processing of the outer skin. The perfect prints are synthesised, cut, sewn, glued, rubbed, and through the mastery of her touch achieve the fully realistic rendering of her sitters.
Megan Van Groll paints women– mediating on the fine line between nakedness and nudity, or how these two concepts relate to freedom or identity. Likewise, from bathing in cocoa puffs to sensually brawling at a donut shop, her food motif is an interesting one, often working in tandem with the female form– provoking thoughts of fetish from the outside, but also, a much more personal and complicated binging ceremony.
Of her own craft, Groll states, “My narrative portraits of women are, at their core, a painted attempt to understand and portray how modern women create identity and meaning from the world around them. I am interested in exploring the way we perform our projected ideal personas, for ourselves and for others.”
Mike Perry is of the artist/illustrator/designer/art director/teacher/typographer/zine-maker breed who have put all their energy into making a living off of creativity. Taking inspiration from Steven Harrington (an LA contemporary), cartoons, and mid century ad copy, Perry’s work is all about enjoying life and encouraging others to live more creatively à la Sister Corita. He has a show up right now until November 20 in Brooklyn called Wandering Around Wondering. I use the term “show” loosely, Because keeping in the spirit of 100% outward-directed positivity, it’s equal parts original work, workshops, and open community events, all of which are free. His press release describes it pretty well:
“Wandering Around Wondering is a free three-month community exhibition and series of events that will coincide with the launch of my monograph, published by Rizzoli. The event space will host workshops, screenings, gatherings, open discussions, and much more — conducted by me and a select group of design and illustration professionals. The space will become a dynamic environment for continuous creation, where visitors will be able to explore freely and create their own unique experiences.”
Beautiful/Decay is excited to release the Spring ’09 line, hitting stores as we speak! The new season features iconic graphics from Beautiful/Decay Magazine Issue Y featured cover artist, Jesse Auersalo, and the hyper-colored psychedelic visions of previously featured artist Oliver Hibert. Designer James Callahan returns to the fold with some new, head-exploding graphics, along with a broad array of multitalented artists and designers.
I’m proud to say my witchy sisters & Texan friends, Sisters of the Black Moon, have recently “moonlighted” (in a black sense, of course) as the starry-eyed starring leading ladies in Black Mountain’s new music video, Old Fangs. Like a Nightshade-induced hallucination from a Belladonna dilated third eye, these sultry sirens seduce and induce cosmic visions and beyond.
And, if you love their sartorial sorcery, be sure to check out their website- they hawk their magick wares on an epic eBay store, The talented Miss Alecia Marcum of the coven, as if she isn’t fantastic enough already, also does styling work.
Check out more eye candy of these unbelievable beauties after the jump!