Ashley Oubré is a self-taught artist from Washington, DC, who paints large-scale images that could easily be mistaken for photographs. Using graphite powder, India ink, and carbon pencil, she masterfully creates dramatic contrasts and realistic textures. The human subject is explored widely throughout her work, often portrayed in soul-searching states of vulnerability and contemplation. She also has a fascinating jellyfish series, in which she perfectly captures the invertebrates’ translucent bodies and trailing, ghost-like movements. Each of her works is marked by an accuracy that subtly transcends the boundaries of reality, drawing the viewer’s attention to the beauty of form by accentuating the details.
In a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, Oubré described herself as an “artist who paints (my view of) the human condition.” A tangible presence surrounds her portraits. Drawn to subjects who have endured social hardships, Oubré’s grayscale style sensitively portrays the physical nuances of pain and rejection. Despite their defeated poses, the figures resonate with an honest and unwavering strength. By evoking powerful emotions in the viewer, Oubré’s work enacts a form of healing and empowerment through representation.
The work of art collective Ghost of a Dream uses lottery tickets and romance novel covers to mezmerizing effect. Often employing thousands of dollars worth of scratch-off tickets ($70,000 worth of tickets in the last installation alone), the work conjures a culture of hyper-materialism. The gaudy coloring of the tickets and cheap imagery of romance novels reflect the nature of the object they cover. Like the dream of striking it rich, the art of the collective is hypnotic and absorbing.
If you want to see more work from Ghost of a Dream be sure to check out their exclusive feature interview in Beautiful/Decay Book 9. The collective explores Greed in this Seven Deadly Sins themed edition.
Yes, that really is a literally rainb0w-gradated longhair headband wearing naked dude making some kind of Buddhist meditational gang sign. Francis Upritchard wraps up all that is right and wrong of the neo-crystal optimism of the 60’s psychedelic counterculture and fuses it with her own blend of futurism.
The term, “May the force be with you” is taking on new meaning by a team of MIT researchers who recently designed a chair that can build itself. Yes, you heard right, a chair, which can build itself. Using water, magnets and technology, MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab, headed by Skylar Tibbitts, in conjunction with Autodesk and molecular biologist Arthur Olson, have invented a technique which allows inanimate objects to construct themselves. The process, which combines raw, local and molecular materials, grabs hold of structural alchemy in the purest sense of the word. By deciphering the essence of structure, the team is able to figure out how it will react to raw and local environments. Once an assessment is made, a subject is then manipulated down a path of experiments, which will eventually enable it to react and change itself in the process. The study which has been ongoing for several years opens up endless possibilities, that will affect all sectors of life, including medical research, conflict resolution and urban planning. The chair evolved from Tibbitts’ original breakthrough known as 4D printing. That idea concentrated on the simple act of folding and became conscious of “the fourth dimension” otherwise known as time. Compelling not only in its simplicity, but also in exploring how the brain processes common occurrences in everyday life. So, the next time you witness bread popping out of the toaster, think of the infinite possibilities. (via thecreatorsproject)
Michael Ward’s hyperrealistic paintings remind me of the type of photographs I take when I travel to new cities. I am always drawn to graphic elements and the juxtapositions of buildings, signs, and their locations. And, indeed, most of Ward’s paintings are based off of photographs he’s taken over the years, primarily of Southern California. Though his work was not intended to address the nostalgia of these places, most of the images’ places he’s recreated have been altered or have entirely disappeared, his work becoming an archive of transitional places. Ward’s influences include Edward Hopper, Charles Scheeler, RIchard Estes, and Vermeer. A self-taught painter, Ward began his artistic career drawing pen and ink renditions of historical architecture, before experimenting first in gouache, then in acrylics. Of his work, Ward says,”I am most interested in depicting what Alan Watts called the mystery of the ordinary; the workaday world we live in without seeing until we are forced to focus upon it, as in a painting.”
Phyliss Lutjeans, a museum educator and curator observes,“Although Michael Ward may be called a neo-realist painter his work can ultimately be described as abstract realism. The picture image is photographically realistic, but within the context of the painting his compositions are complex and almost abstract. Deciphering the work section by section one sees how a multitiude of individual complete compositions are put together to form the entire work. For me the viewer is confronted by a realistic image that puzzles us and clearly tells the story simultaneously.” (via the paris review)
Francois Leroy is a freelance illustrator from Paris, France whose digital works incorporate everything necessary to push art forward into generation upgraded. With ease he navigates the difficult territories of 3D typography, design, context, motion graphics, and execution – all while retaining his own identifiable aesthetic. His website not only offers a glimpse into his portfolio, but also several cool free downloads, which deviate from the norm. One is of a 100-layer Photoshop file that you can make a visual remix of and another is a asset-pack of transparent .PNG files you can use to add texture to your work. The crazy thing is that he actually shot the textures himself, which is really cool since you usually don’t get a chance to see the people behind things like that. (via)
I was quite surprised when I found out the work of Canadian artist Ross Racine was completely hand-drawn. While some compositions are more realistic than others, all of them could pass fairly easily as documentary aerial photography of yesteryear, perhaps taken from government planes after the great post-war suburban explosion. Some of his drawings are minimal, some much more complexly textured; all present an interesting fictional view of suburban and rural America.