Eric Helgas was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He currently attends the Maryland Institute College of Art and is majoring in Photography.
Gavin Potenza is a designer living in Portland, OR. “He enjoys thought-provoking design that is both unexpected and inspiring. He strives to do many things in his life. As well, he enjoys working on projects, and thinking about projects.”
C. Owen is a Chicago-based artist who creates eerie, black-and-white portraits of insects and animals — particularly those that have died or have been resurrected as taxidermied objects. The series featured here, titled Ordinary Overlooked, explores the alien beauty of dead insects that Owen finds outside or in the corners and windowsills of her house. With a strange alertness and intimacy, the images capture with startling detail the characteristics of each tiny body — such as the hairy legs, segmented antennae, and compound eyes — that otherwise go unnoticed. What was once creepy and “ordinary” becomes familiar and nuanced. In a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, Owen explains:
The insect world is something the average human rarely pays any close attention to — that is, unless they are invading your home. Something ordinary as a moth, housefly, or ant can easily be overlooked and considered a pest. For me, they have opened my eyes to a tiny new world. […] The more I photograph these insects, the stronger my curiosity grows.
What makes Owen’s images especially uncanny are the states of limbo they portray. Floating in surreal, nocturnal worlds, each insect carries the illusion of life while curled in the postures of death. As manifestations of uncertainty and ephemerality, they are transformed through the camera’s gaze into sentient ghosts, lost in purgatory; “taken in one hair at a time, the images are suspended somewhere between metamorphosis and reincarnation,” Owen writes. The result is a series of contemplative photographs that provide both the time and focus in which to foster respect while exploring the beauty of alternate, living worlds.
Visit Owen’s website to view more of her work, including Trophies, a haunting portraiture series of taxidermied animals who likewise trouble us with the indistinctness between life and death.
Macabre artist Jonathan Monaghan creates digital sculptures, prints, and animations that definitely puts us in a sense of discomfort. His clean, almost sterile use of style in detail, color, and light is both beautiful and extremely uncomfortable.
After unknowingly purchasing fake pre-Colombian artifacts, artist Nadín Ospina gave serious thought to Latin-American culture and its ancient roots. His sculptures depicts pop-culture cartoon characters such as Snoopy, Micky Mouse, and Bart Simpson in an often pre-Colombian style. His work is a powerful but simple comment on the globalization of entertainment and information. How much of our personal and collective identities is lost to an increasingly global community?
In his ongoing project “Mystery Meat”, Texas-born visual artist Peter Augustus explores the disconnect between mass-produced foods and their “natural”, unprocessed form. Augustus’ photo series depicts various fast food dainties with their ingredients stripped down to their primal state: chicken nuggets to chicken feet, BLT to pork legs, etc.
The idea for the project was born after Augustus moved to Hong Kong where he currently resides. Artist was fascinated by the local meat shops, exposing various animal parts to their customers. He claims that Westerners are rarely in touch with “anything that even closely represents what kind of animals we are eating”. Most often, we purchase processed, prepackaged and showcased meat products without even knowing the real source.
The deeper and more disturbing side to Augustus’ work is the very notion of “mystery meat”. What is often marketed as 100 percent meat product, in reality comprises of various contents. The gruesome trend of intransparency is especially present in fast food market.
“I hope to cause the viewer to take into account what the natural form of their food looks like. I think the work highlights a number of important debates, and it is not meant to be repulsive — just to raise awareness. It also touches on the longstanding debate of the quality of chicken and meat products and the use of unnatural fillers and hormones in the animal products we eat daily.”
London based design engineer Julian Melchiorri has been inventing amazing things in the laboratory for a while now. The outcomes he produces are a beautiful mix between art and science, and are meant to solve urban problems in an environmentally focused way. His latest project Cocoon is a light sculpture consisting of a 3D printed shell, and proteins from worm silk, crafted into nanoprisms, which form the body of the sculpture. Illuminated from within by a single 1 Watt LED light, Cocoon is a wonderful example of refraction and reflections, and the understated beauty of light.
Melchiorri explains the science behind how we normally view light and how the silk worm protein breaks up rays differently.
Light is an electromagnetic radiation having a wavelength in a range of 400 nanometers. Each section of this wavelength is perceived by us in colors from blue to green and red. When we look at a light emission we usually perceive a white source due to the smallness of its wavelength that unify all the colors. When a ray of light passing through the material gets diffracted by the nano-prisms, the light wavelength is sparse until its real composition is revealed. (Source)
Cocoon is a visual experiment combining different materials, technologies and shapes. It is an innovative way of challenging our perceptions and understanding of seemingly simple things around us, in this case, light. Melchiorri and his experiments are a perfect example of the parallels between art and science. The two different areas have the same curiosity, usually about the same phenomena, and are geared toward some type of improvement. You can see Melchiorri’s other visionary projects (Silk Leaf, and Exhale) here and a video of Cocoon after the jump. (Via My Amp Goes To 11)
The title of Joseph Gerhard‘s series Unmade Beds is self-explanatory. Gerhard says he thinks of these photographs as “portraits by proxy of the person who just slept there.” It is interesting to think of these as art — no two alike, ever-changing, telling a story about your form and movement — a daily unintentional installation that speaks on your behalf.