Stacy Kranitz focuses on the multidimensional character of Leni Riefenstahl, whose focused vision and murky set of morals greatly inspired Kranitz. These grey areas spoke to her desire to understand people beyond the constraints of good vs. evil.
During Pennsylvania’s yearly reenactments of the Battle of the Bulge, Kranitz portrays Leni Riefenstahl and behaves with soldiers as she would. Kranitz examines how the photograph documents and shapes history, since much of our conception of history is based on images. The 500 reenactors base the authenticity of their looks on images and, in particular, on Riefenstahl’s film Triumph of the Will. Kranitz focuses on how these historical images have been filtered through both the media and propaganda, becoming history as generations pass and memories fade. Photographs and film become the dominant forces that shape the public imagination.
Lauren Pelc McArthur is a multi-disiplinary artist from Toronto,Ontario currently attending the Ontario College of Art and Design. Through a back and forth process of collage, painting and digital art she explores the inter-connectivity of modern media and technology along with science fiction influenced concepts of the assimilation of technology, pop culture and the human form.
This Saturday Beautiful/Decay will be leading an exciting zine workshop at USC for Shelf-Life 2: A Big Day for Small Press, a one-of-a-kind event featuring an influential group of independent publishers, artists, writers, and designers whose voices and images have questioned and pushed the boundaries of popular culture. Celebrating the DIY spirit that Beautiful/Decay champions yours truly will be working with attendants to create a communal zine celebrating the art of the Exquisite Corpse. Attendants will create their own exquisite corpse along with short fictional texts that will be bound into a spectacular zine of awesome proportions!
If that’s not enough Gary Panter, Chip Kidd, and Byron Coley will also be giving various workshops along the way with lots of other talented DIY creatives from around the world.
Did I also mention that this awesome event is completely FREE? Yes good people it’s totally free so you have no excuses for not showing up, giving me a high-five, and having a great ol’ time. See you all at USC from 11am-5pm this saturday! Click Here for more info.
Matthew Woodward’s large scale drawings are truly examples of “beautiful decay” with violently drawn, torn, erased, and collaged decorative motifs that one would find on old industrial buildings of yesteryear. These floral and elaborate patterns and flourishes are taken through an intense process of aging where Woodward attacks the surface like an artistic jackhammer mining the paper for undiscovered imagery. The result is a brutal and rich surface that is continuously falling apart, being built up, and of course beautifully decaying.
John Parot, who was featured in our B/D Book 3, and Rachel Niffenegger currently have exhibitions up at Chicago gallery Western Exhibitions./(which, coincidentally enough, also stocks B/D Book 3!) John Parot, with his exhibition “Hobbies,” continues his poetic musings on gay urban living, and focuses in on internet dating to reflect how identity, meaning and love are constructed under the auspices of Web 2.0’s arrow. A multi-hued pie chart displays Facebook-esque likes and dislikes: “hot fudge sundae,” “enough with the man-scarves,” and “no beige!”
Rachel Niffenegger, in Gallery 2, creates sculptures and ephemeral-washed paintings dealing with the grotesque nature of the human body, executed with a hauntingly beautiful hand. Drawing its title from an ancient epitaph, “As you pass by and cast an eye as you are now so once was I,” the exhibition seems to conjure the ghostly spirits from beyond the gravestone she references.
Chilean artist Don Lucho creates installations from found cardboard that simulate extraordinary scenes from everyday life. During a street fair in Santiago, Chile, Don Lucho crafted a fruit and vegetable stand, titled “El Puesto de Don Lucho,” stocked fully with items made of paper. He stayed there the entirety of the fair, acting just like another ordinary fruit stand.
“I sold a lot of cardboard fruits. The…reactions were different, some were angry because the fruit was fake, others thought it was a hidden camera show, other people laughed. A lot of people asked many questions like what is this fruit for or if there was real fruit inside the cardboard fruit? The real fruit sellers got very angry and started shouting: Stop buying cardboard fruit! It’s not real fruit!” (source)
Another one of his installations, “Casa de Carton,” depicts an entire apartment, kitchen, toilet and all, completely made of cardboard. With a skateboard leaning against the wall, clothes thrown about, and an unmade bed, the apartment, despite its paper construct, perfectly mimics a truly lived in environment. He has also created various installations that reproduce accidents. On the streets of Santiago, Chile, Lucho, along with collaborator Quillo, created a cardboard car crash, as well as a small air craft that looks as if it has fallen from the sky.
Don Lucho’s work aims to question materiality both is an artistic sense as well as a monetary one. Through imitating the real, using materials found on the street, Don Lucho provokes the viewer to assess what value truly is — what does it mean for an object to be worth something? His work falls in line with the postmodern notion of simulating the real, which in turn, become “signs” of the real. If his work can provoke emotions and thoughts just as the genuine objects could, then, what is the true difference? Does Lucho’s work prove that the simulated can be just as powerful as the authentic? Or, does it prove that the authentic no longer has such a individualized meaning, as the simulated actually deflates meaning of the real? (think Andy Warhol’s Death and Disaster Series). Lucho states, “the confusion people feel when they first encounter the scene makes them doubt what is real and what impact it should have one them.” (source)
Illustrator and film lover Andrew DeGraff crafted a series of maps to help us navigate some of our favorite films. In long, epic journeys like Star Wars, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and even goofy comedies Wet Hot American Summer, it’s easy to forget where we’ve travelled over the course of the story. DeGraff highlights some key events, like Luke Skywalker’s trek in The Empire Strikes Back. If you are big fan of any of the movies that he’s illustrated, then the painstaking details will delight you.
Using gouache, the illustrator carefully draws spaceships, architecture, and foreign lands. While they are clearly maps without being the conventional road map, DeGraff’s limited color palette offers the most important information in vibrant colors, while the secondary (but still interesting) details remain less conspicuous. (Via Flavorwire)