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Kelly Björk’s Space Blanket And Lenae Day’s Astronaut Wives

Northwest artists Lenae Day and Kelly Björk are opening their new show tonight (Nov 1), at the Corridor Gallery in Seattle, with the ultra charming title Space Blanket / Space Cadet.  For the show, Day spent a month in Florida studying the lives of astronauts’ wives to create a body of work that combines short stories with re-created photographs, playing every model herself. Björk makes large, energetic pieces that combine her love for contour drawings with still life portraiture and the colorful patterns in the blankets we covet. The show sounds like a ton of fun. If you’re in the Seattle area, you should check it out! The reception will have live readings by Day, but if you can’t make it, the show will be up through the first of December. Here’s the PR:

“Inspired by the people around her and the devices they use to soothe themselves, Kelly Bjork’s drawings depict weightless humans, surrounded by blankets and floating in comfort. When creating these pieces, Bjork had her subjects lounge on her couch for hours, each with their blanket of choice. Color is used to highlight the geometric shapes in the blankets, creating a colorful, abstract cloud in which her subjects lay.

Lenae Day re-stages old images from magazines by playing all of the characters herself and making most of her costumes and props. The images and stories in this show deal with the Mercury Seven Astronaut’s Wives, the Mercury Thirteen (women pilots who went through astronaut testing, but were not allowed to participate in the space program) and herself somewhere in-between. These works are a part of the forthcoming edition of “DAY MAGAZINE,” her third magazine produced in this fashion that will be released with a subsequent West Coast tour in 2013.” ( via )

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Sako Kojima’s Cute And Cuddly Pain

Sako Kojima’s sculptures channel all the pain, suffering, and heartbreak of the human species into the bodies of cute and cuddly creatures. Here is a description of the artists work in his own words:

“I use a variety of medium including sculpture, performance, photography and drawing to explore the people of modern society. At present I’m interested in the psychology of diseased human psychology for the civilized world, because it’ s the same as my pain. Humans are animals, therefore we  get tired, sad, and go mad.  I want to become a small animal, because they don’ t meditate, they aren’t thinking deep. All of my works are rather optimistic than gloomy. At first sight, the works appear unique and cute but after time the works show a sense of irony, pain, and sadness of the individual human experience.”

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Sam Brewster

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Freelance illustrator Sam Brester pulls humor into social commentary, and sometimes criticism with his work, which is cut even more effectively  through his  odd perspectives and quirky characters. His illustrations can be found accompanying many a newspaper article both in the states and abroad. His personal project Hand of Man Publishing should not be missed… particularly if you’re in the market to purchase, publish, or peruse some zines.

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Eduardo Kobra’s Street Art Inserts Nostalgic Imagery Into Contemporary Environments

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Take a stroll along the High Line in NYC and you can’t help but notice Chelsea’s very own eye-popping mural by Eduardo Kobra on 25th and 10th. This towering piece of street art infuses a rainbow bolt of color into Manhattan’s skyline, emoting nostalgic imagery: re-imagining Alfred Eisenstaedt’s 1945 classic photograph “VJ Day in Times Square.” Likewise, if you live along the west coast in LA, you might have noticed Kobra’s psychedelic Mt. Rushmore redeux at 1255 La Brea Ave, exposing the art of democracy.

Interestingly, this artist is not from America, but São Paulo, where his passion for blending vintage or classic iconic imagery into contemporary settings first emerged in the late 1980s and has traveled internationally ever since. The intention was and is to pay homage to the parts of a country’s past or remind the city inhabitants of their historical precedents–  emphasizing a certain level of romanticism.

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Barry McGee

A nice short video of Barry McGee installing in São Paulo Brazil. Not often that you see a street artist filmed in such a delicate, dreamy, and romantic style.

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Guillaume Lachapelle’s Mirrored Dioramas Expand Miniature Rooms and Urban Landscapes Into Dark, Infinite Voids

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In a series of eerie, 3D printed dioramas, Canadian artist Guillaume Lachapelle expands miniature scenes into voids of seemingly infinite space. Entitled Visions, this series depicts ordinary spaces we see every day, such as a suburban neighborhood, parking lot, corridor, and library. However, when compressed, cast in shadows, and stretched into infinity, these rooms and urban landscapes take on a different emotional significance; the familiar becomes uncanny, instilling the imagination with both excitement and fear of the unknown. Where does the neighborhood end? And where does the hallway lead? As the exhibition description for Visions intriguingly states, “Lachapelle’s miniatures act as a threshold between what is seen and not seen” (Source).

During their exhibition, each of the tiny scenes were positioned atop solitary pillars. Seeing them from the outside almost lends the viewer a god-like perspective — we can perceive everything the mirrored spaces contain, including their hidden symbolism. The effect is somewhat alienating, as the illusory vastness intensifies an uncomfortable sense of loneliness; the parking lot, for example, becomes a dead zone of concrete and pale light that stretches on forever. However, on this existential plane, the universe is not entirely uncaring: there are signs of life and comfort, such as the lights from within the houses, and the books containing all the marks of human history. Looking past our dread of infinitude and emptiness, there is a greater, warmer, symbolic core in Lachapelle’s dioramas, and with the mirrors providing infinite space, the meaning we can pour into them is limitless.

Visit Lachapelle’s page on Art Mur to read more about Visions and his other works. (Via Colossal)

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Gold Mine Of Mysterious,Beautiful, And Bizarre Google Maps Images Curated By Jon Rafman

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Jon Rafman has been featured a few times on Beautiful/Decay, but this time it is for his 9-eyes blog curation project. It’s named 9-eyes for the camera Google Maps uses to create ‘Street View’, and he has managed to find some very captivating images. Each one holds mystery, as you wonder how such a moment might have been captured. Some are more easily explained than others, of course, such as the blue car run into a ditch. Others are not so much mysterious as seemingly improbable or exciting (how did it happen that the monkey looked straight at the camera just as the Google Van rolled by?) The most interesting, though, are the ones for which you cannot find an explanation. Here is where your imagination runs free, and the magic happens. This is because of the uniformity of the format, and our familiarity with Google ‘Street View’.

It is understood that Google ‘Street View’ photographs are taken by a camera atop a van as it journeys across the world. It is firmly stationed in reality. Still, we are provided with these surreal images, captured entirely by chance. It’s exciting, and creates wonder in the viewer to see something that is difficult to imagine could be real, yet seemingly must be, because it’s actually less believable that it isn’t. Having seen Donnie Darko, I can’t help but imagine that the watery trail left behind the vehicle in the second picture is that same kind of time path. Obviously it is not, but what makes these images so exceptional is that they did happen, whether by error or by some means outside our rational understanding, and so we are allowed to let ourselves imagine how they’ve come to be. It’s the closest we come to objective documentation of the world we live in, and it still manages to be surprising without our purposeful interference.

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