July’s shirt of the month is an ultra-limited edition shirt with a one-of-a-kind color way & printing process we are calling “B/D Yoga Vintage.” With only 25 units ever made, this shirt will definitely sell out quickly! The shirt image of a playfully levitating yogi has been printed without a white base to give it a lovingly-faded appearance. It looks like your favorite shirt, without having to wear & wash it 200 times to get the same effect. Once gone, this shirt will not be reprinted–so pick yours up ASAP at the Beautiful/Decay Online Shop!
Conner Contemporary Art is very pleased to present Patricia Piccinin’s first solo exhibition in Washington, DC: “The Welcome Guest.” The selection of works ranges in date from 1997 to the present, including video and small- to large-scale sculptures (made of silicone, fiberglass, human and animal hair, taxidermied peacocks, polyester, nylon, wool, plastic and bronze). Using natural and artificial media to create realistic and grotesque forms, the world renowned Australian artist visualizes humanity’s challenges in navigating between nature and biotechnology.
The exhibition title comes from its signature piece, “The Welcome Guest” (2011), Piccinini’s most recent creation, which recalls Goethe’s statement, ‘Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest.’ The artist explains that this work “reflects on the beauty and strangeness of nature.” In this compelling sculptural grouping, a fleshy mutant creature embraces a cute little girl as a graceful peacock looks on from atop an icy perch. Here Piccinini asks: Who will we become as technology refashions the relationship between people and the natural world? Other works in the exhibition elaborate on what kinds of emotional connections could emerge between us and the strange yet vulnerable life forms our science may yet create. See the show from November 5th – December 7th, 2011 at Conner Contemporary Art.
Stephen Mallon’sNext Stop Atlantic is a stunning series of photographs, which capture the retirement of hundreds of New York City Subway cars to the depths of the Atlantic Ocean.
In a bold move, the NYC Transit authority joined the artificial reef building program off the East Coast of the US in 2000 and sent stripped and decontaminated subway cars off on barges to be dropped into the Ocean in order to build refuge for many species of fish and crustaceans which would colonize the structures.
Mallon traces the progress of the train cars on their way towards their last voyage, majestic waves approach the viewer in these large scale photographs as they too are transported out to sea to behold the lifting and transfer of these massive machines. One photograph hauntingly depicts elements of nature creeping into their barren hulls, drifts of snow lines the walkways, a glimpse of sunshine streams through their removed doors as they wait in stacks to be carted off to sink to the dark depths of the ocean floor.
Mallon’s photographs elicit both the sadness and the beauty of cascading water overtaking these iconic figures of New York transit as they sink beneath the surface of the water; surges and sprays are caught in time. Stephen Mallon dedicated the last three years to following this endeavor, chronicling the last phase of NYC Transit’s involvement in this program. The photographs that are presented in this exhibition capture the grandiosity of this effort; the weight of these 18-ton train cars can be felt as they are ferried off and plunged into the water.
In an incredible series of photographs titled Surreal Stormchasing Portraits, photographer Benjamin Von Wong visually connects the ferocity of a storm with the growing threat of climate change. To capture these images, Von Wong spent two weeks traveling across seven states, bringing along models and a collection of household objects. He staged people doing ordinary things, such as ironing cloths, lounging in a chair, and playing video games. In each scene, the models act as if they are oblivious to the storm behind them, even as the wind rips at their hair and clothing.
“We live in a rapidly changing world, and whether we admit it or not, our lifestyle is pretty unsustainable for the environment around us,” Von Wong states in the above video. He wanted to use his photography skills to comment on “it’s-not-happening” attitudes towards environmental disaster, and storms became the perfect symbol. He quickly learned of the challenges and dangers of storm photography, however; working alongside Kelly DeLay, the two photographers had to remain alert to developing storms, and when they arrived (all the while navigating dangerous roads), they had no more than 10-15 minutes to set up and tear down the scenes.
For Von Wong, these epic photos are justified by the responses they inspire. “The intent of the series is really just to get people to think—think about the world, think about what’s happening around us, be aware of it,” he says. “And if I can ignite that conversation regardless of the reaction on the series, then I think project will have been a success” (Source). Blending together powerful backdrops and images of ordinary life, Von Wong’s call to attention is clear, unsettling, and ultimately motivating.
Minneapolis born John Lurie is a jack of all trades. He was originally a musician, playing sax in NYC no wave group Lounge Lizards. Later, in the 1980s, he moved on to acting, having a number of memorable roles in Jim Jarmusch movies like Down By Law. Mostly recently however, and especially since isolating himself due to what seems to be Lyme disease, Lurie has been a painter, creating dark, absurdist works with unusual titles. If you like his work, I recommend adding him on Facebook. His online updates are little gems of black humor, just like his paintings.
Polish photographer Pola Esther takes us behind the scenes of the concert film of the K-Pop world’s hottest band, Big Bang. Although the South Korean band’s five infamous members star in this film, Esther has turned an eye onto the bad girls that steal the show. The unforgettable women in the film include Gia Genevieve, Stephanie Shiu, TK, and Briana Michelle, and cameo appearance of James Goldstein. The photographer gives us a glimpse behind the scenes us of the powerhouse characters on set.
The creators of the film, Dikayl Rimmasch and Ed Burke, have had their hand in cinematic music videos before. They also collaborated on Jay-Z and Beyonce’s film “Bang Bang” featured during “On the Run” tour which has a similar film noir feel as the Big Bang’s film. The film’s unmistakable style pulls inspiration from American mythology. This incredibly dramatic film portrays the group in high-speed car chases, like that of the Fast and the Furious, and Tarantino-like scenes similar to Reservoir Dogs that are full of high tension. Esther, now based in New York City, has a photographic style that fits together perfectly with the seductive qualities of the film directors’ approach. Her work takes us one step deeper, showing us a little of whom these bad girls are in the film. Each photograph holds a sense of classic mystery, with the flair of old Hollywood. Make sure to check out more of Esther’s captivating and sensual photographs on her website.
Long time pal and semi-recent B/D blog contributor Ryan De La Hoz not only likes to support fellow artists by blogging about them but also makes lots of wonderful work as well. In gearing up for his solo show at RVCA | VASF Gallery in SF Ryan took a few sneak peak photos for us of the new work. The show opens Friday March 15th from 7 – 10pm and will feature an assortment of paintings, drawings, collage, and sculpture. Check out the video above for more insight into Ryan’s world and to learn about his analog art world.