Italian illustrator & artist Gianluigi Rivasi.
Italian illustrator & artist Gianluigi Rivasi.
Using imagery taken from popular culture, photographer Alexander Khokhlov creates whimsical portraits of models with famous logos on their faces. By combining the brand with the figure chosen to sell it he examines the role personalities play in representing certain products and how they become associated with that brand sometimes for their whole careers. The placement of the logo incorporated onto the face from an aesthetic standpoint puts emphasis on the persona which sells it. Some of the logos which decorate the models faces then shot on black and white film include Mickey Mouse and Chanel . Besides commercial brands the artist has photographed paintings of corsets, lightning and eight balls on model’s faces which lend a strange dynamic rooted in painting. These take on more of a circus-like narrative, perhaps something akin to what the performers in Cirque du soleil would wear.
Throughout history facepaint has been practiced in wars, ceremonies, sports and entertainment. It’s mostly associated with the native Americans who used it to prepare for hunting, spiritual enlightenment and death. The different marks and colors appropriately symbolized what tribe they belonged to. (via artfucksme)
Erik Parker was preparing for two solo shows, one in LA, and one in Fort Worth, when I visited his studio in Brooklyn. Parker is known for making large scale paintings that are as comfortable with their roots as they are disorienting with their forms and spaces. First you get a hug, and then a slap. He said he wanted his paintings to still look good 40 years from now. By reorienting Modernist and Pop sensibilities, and then almost using contrapposto to create a balanced but expressive distortion, Parker was remixing some old school classics — like flower still-lives– into something fresh. His LA show is at Honor Fraser and opens on October 30th, and the Fort Worth show is at the Fort Worth Modern and opens on December 5th, and is curated by Andrea Karnes.
Boris Achour is an installation artist living and working in Paris. His most recent work “CONATUS” are a series of designed spaces serving as stages for performances which in turn are recorded and translated into films. This piece is broken up into “episodes” (highly influenced by Boris’ relationship to cinema). The images above are from “CONATUS : THE ONE IN THE CAVE” shown at Galerie Georges-Philippe et Nathalie Vallois in Paris. I love how the girl is urinating in so unabashedly in front of her audience. Be sure to check out the pictures after the jump as well as really awesome video
The Unknown Fields Division is a traveling design research studio (directed by Liam Young and Kate Davies) that has sculpted traditional Ming vases out of mud taken from a radioactive lake in Inner Mongolia. This “lake” is a noxious swamp made of debris created in the production of some of our most desired (and idealized) technology items. In an effort to explore the transnational origin of these items — and, indeed, explore the dark underbelly of their creation — Unknown Fields has made each vase proportionate to the amount of waste produced by the following objects: “a smartphone, a featherweight laptop, and the cell of a smart car battery” (Source). The result is a trio of apocalyptic-like earthenware vessels. Their grim, blackened surfaces are covered in a glistening “glaze” that was created when heavy metals contained in the mud melted in the pottery kiln. The vase materials were so toxic that the sculptors had to wear full-body protection at each stage of production, from on-site collection to creation in their London workshop.
These vases are part of Unknown Fields’ greater project to follow an international supply chain of “rare earth” elements (which are used in the creation of electronics) back to their place of origin: the toxic lake in Mongolia. Kate Davies explains the metaphorical purpose of the vases in this investigative journey:
“The vases are a way to talk about ideas around luxury and desire. How both are culturally constructed collective sets of values that are fleeting and particular to our time. These three ‘rare earthenware’ vessels are the physical embodiment of a contemporary global supply network that displaces earth and weaves matter across the planet.” (Source)
When we hold our cellphones and laptops in our hands, we rarely think about their origins. As Liam Young insightfully points out, “terms like ‘cloud’ of ‘Macbook Air’ imply that our gadgets are just ephemeral objects — and this is the story we all want to believe” (Source). We must not forget that such technologies, despite their polish and glamor, derive from earthly materials processed in factories and shipped across the world. Just as Ming vases were once subjected to an international demand based on their beauty and associations with wealth, Unknown Fields’ creations remind us of how such systems of consumer culture are continuing. “The three vases are presented as objects of desire, but their elevated radiation levels and toxicity make them objects we would not want to possess,” Davies explained. “They represent the undesirable consequences of our materials desires” (Source).
The vases will be on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum “What is Luxury?” exhibition, which runs April 25th to September 27th. Accompanying the exhibition is a film by Toby Smith, which documents Unknown Fields’ journey from container ships to factories to the radioactive lake (the trailer can be viewed above). Visit the Unknown Feilds’ website for more explorations of remote landscapes with surprising (and unsettling) intersections with our daily lives. (Via Fast Co.Create)
French photographer William Farges‘ series “White Line” features surreal reflections of body angles, parts, and positions. Farges creates new shapes and figures by placing the reflections of nude bodies side by side, representing a continuity of form that is both startling and elegant. The series is, of course, named for the white line that dissects his diptychs – an element that emphasizes the new forms’ symmetry as a product of an inversion. These forms reach and pull into each other, appearing as if each could disappear into the other. Farges’ images are Rorschach-like deconstructions that are smooth and round and contained. “White Line” is the result of another series of Farges that similarly deconstructs and reimagines the human form, “Chimera.” (via feature shoot)
It pains me to say that an extraordinary intern of ours, Alexis Kaneshiro, will be leaving the Beautiful/Decay offices today! Alexis is a budding creative talent studying Fine Art at USC (not to mention a pleasure to work with) and will be missed here! Anyways, her personal artwork is really lovely- marked by a characteristic sense of fancy, sincerity and whimsical charm (sort of like her!) I love the cake she made, above, that interprets the tactile “softness” and festive nature of a birthday cake through the crafty materials of felt, balloons, googly eyes, pearls and candles. Constructed from these materials, the fleeting nature of the cake is transformed into a permenent and bittersweet effigy to her father. More of her work below!