Etienne Bardelli, also known as Akroe, was a graffiti artist before he became a well respected graphic designer. Twenty years later, on his own time, he can still be found painting empty walls in the less populated parts of France. (Although he admits: “Actually, I don’t really know why I’m still doing it!”) Graffiti may be illegal, but surely this counts as beautification?
Bjorn Copeland mashes up neon colors, geometric patterns, and disparate collaged elements into one big distorted reality. This Brooklyn based artist also makes up one third of the experimental rock group Black Dice, and creates all the bands posters, artwork and t-shirts. Sound a little bit like to me like a similar path that this other guy Raymond Pettibon took all the way to the top. Keep up the good work Bjorn!
Hiding behind his trademark long brimmed hat, Finn Andrews’ pain is evident. Pouring sweat and singing his songs about love and loss, The Veils‘ tortured singer had a very excited and attentive crowd at their recent show at West Hollywood’s Troubadour. I’ve always had a soft spot for the band ever since I heard their debut, “The Runaway Found” back in 2004. With their recently released album, “Time Stays, We Go” the band continues to mature making this another must have gem by the London-based band.
The band played songs off of their new record including my personal favorite, “Birds”, “this is a song about birds, suspicious birds” Finn stated before playing the song. They also played fan favorites like, “Sit Down by the Fire”, “Lavinia” which Finn played solo, “Advice for Young Mothers to Be” and ending with a raucous version of, “Jesus for the Jugular” which had Finn throwing his guitar down at the end of the song.
The Veils recently recorded a session, Live from Abbey Road which you can view above and are set to perform next month on September 7th at the, Into the Great Wide Open Festival in Norway and in Denmark in October.
Joshua Renouf, a designer based in London, has sleekly blended the morning routines of waking up and making coffee by building an alarm clock that doubles as a barista. The Barisieur uses induction heating produced by stainless steel ball bearings to heat the water before transferring it over to a stainless steel funnel for filtering. There’s even a spot big enough to store just the right amount of milk on the machine. The stainless steel tools paired with nicely finished wood lends the design of the Barisieur an elegance and simplicity. Renouf is currently in the process of developing the Barisieur, which will be available for a retail price of £150-£250 (around $250-$420). Included in the product’s description: “It encourages a ritual before going to sleep, signaling to the body and mind that is time to unwind and relax. Living slow when times are fast.” (via visual news)
I absolutely love these intricate and meditative carvings by Pete Goldlust. Not only is the artists medium of choice everyones favorite childhood drawing tool but each piece was meticulously carved by hand creating totem-like objects that could be held in the palm of your hands. There’s obviously a large Brâncuși influence in each of these works but a “sense of play” is intrigal to all of Goldlust’s creative endeavors. (via)
The owner of anthillart.com has been turning ant extermination into a controversial art form by creating aluminum casts of expired colonies. After locating an anthill — mostly, those of the fire ant and carpenter ant species — he pours boiling, liquid metal into the entranceway, solidifying the tunnels and killing anything inside. The cast of the ant nest is then dug out, sprayed off, and mounted on a wooden base for display. Many of them are then sold on eBay to schools and collectors.
There is no doubt that Anthill Art’s pieces are deeply fascinating. By extracting the colonies from their molten graves, he allows us to appreciate the intricacy and alien-like beauty of the various tunnels and chambers. The species have markedly different construction strategies: the fire ants’ patterns are dense and labyrinth-like, resembling coral formations and Christmas trees. Some of them have long tunnels reaching out to isolated chambers. The carpenter ants’ structures, on the other hand, are very linear, resembling fungi growths as they extend into the earth with central chambers branching off.
Unsurprisingly, Anthill Art has provoked ethical questions surrounding the destruction of life in the names of art and education. On his YouTube channel, the owner has explained that fire ants and carpenter arts are nuisance species, the former being an imported pest that is “harmful to the environment,” destroying crops and preying on bees and other beneficial pollinators (Source). And ant extermination is a common, ongoing practice — so does it make a difference if we turn their annihilation into art or learning tools? Defending his work against an onslaught of criticism, the owner has claimed that with the less-invasive carpenter ants he tries his best to find abandoned colonies (Source). At the intersection of art, education, and ethics, Anthill Art’s ant-tombs are topics of debate.
Turning to our readers: what do you think? Is it okay to cast ant colonies for the purposes of education and art, so long as the ant species are deemed “pests”? We’re curious to hear your responses. Learn more at anthillart.com as well as the website’s Facebook page.
Beautiful/Decay recently had the opportunity to go behind-the-scenes at Mark Moore Gallery while artist Cordy Ryman was installing his latest exhibition, “Hail to the Grid.” As the show title implues, Ryman both riffs off the conceptual frameworks of minimalism and abstraction, and simultaneously playfully transgresses some of the movements’ core philosopies. While minimalism delights in the precision and rationality of its more reductivist tendencies, at the very core of Ryman’s sensibility is an opposing sense of spontaneity and free-form creation. Many of his works are self-referential, responding to their own materials or processes as sources of inspiration and thematic vocabulary. For instance, the cast off remnants of Velcro used to install a piece to the wall are later integrated into a grid-like abstracted collage, which, in turn, becomes the subject matter for a painting. Ryman delights in the elegance of distilled form, though instills a sense of sincerity in their physicality: hand-cutting, painting and fashioning his constituent parts with an affectionate hand. While a minimalist like Stella, for example, savored the steely finality of his imposing black paintings, Ryman in contrast frequently re-works his pieces, allowing chance and flexibility to enter into the work at any time. Even the installation of works are constantly in flux–shortly after Beautiful/Decay snapped up photographs of Ryman’s installation in process, Ryman called to inform us that one of the pieces was now on the wall and the entire exhibition looked different! Be sure to visit Ryman’s exhibition, opening this Saturday and running until Dec. 21 to see the final results! Full interview with Ryman, including his process for creating works, installation and outlook on art, below.