The above video was created by Adam D. Miller, and was screened at an event at the Hammer Museum Los Angeles.
He battled dinosaurs. He conquered hell. He raped aliens. He cannibalized social icons. He enslaved the human race, and we loved him for it. Yet, the Grim Reaper proved to be one foe that the mighty Oderus Urungus could not defeat. This was a week to remember as Dave Brockie, the lead singer of metal band Gwar, died unexpectedly.
His passing almost seems like the plot of a movie. Gwar had made a healthy comeback and gained a new following of teenage fans with their ever improving last five albums (in my opinion by far the best music they ever made). In 1999 I saw Gwar playing at a relatively small club in northern California after having nearly faded into obscurity, but in 2012 they were playing to a sold out crowd of screaming maniacs at the House of Blues in Hollywood. Only a few months ago they released what ended up being their final album, Battle Maximus (a tribute to another departed scumdog Flattus Maximus, also known as Cory Smoot who died in 2012). They finished a tour in support of the album and then Dave Brockie died. I never thought the singer for a band like Gwar would live to be ninety in a retirement community, but I didn’t expect him to die so suddenly in the midst of being so active.
Graphite artist Frank Magnotta creates absurdist Americana-inspired images that are heavily saturated with symbolic elements and a farcical outlook on the modern world. Magnotta’s work is strongly influenced by pop culture and the attributes of branding; he has referenced magazines such as Time and Self in his work, and phrases such as Take Off Your Mask and Century 21 come from brand identities that he was intrigued by. Magnotta recognizes the significance of pop culture on his drawings:
“I think you can tell by my drawings that it is a big influence. I’d have to say it is an inevitable influence on our daily lives whether we like it or not. I think pop culture is a double edged sword, it gives and it takes too. I’m not interested in pure pop, but dirty pop, pop that has been consumed and processed by the individual. I think that is more intriguing.”
Some of his drawings involve structures made of their elements: the rough shape of the United States comprised of detailed words and media logos. Yet he has a lot of crude portraits that, from afar, are recognizable, and up close gain another layer of meaning:
“I had been working on the mega-structures for a bit and wanted to invert the process. What if the logos and graphics made individuals that would inhabit the structures? For each portrait in the series I collected logos from a different societal institutions. So, the “Bank Dick” is constructed from financial logos, and “The Diagnosis” is comprised of morphed medical logos. “The Bank Dick” is also the great title of a W.C. Fields movie. On a personal note, for some reason I think that drawing is the closest thing to a self portrait I’ve done. Maybe it is the bugged out look in his eyes. I’m keeping that one for my personal collection.”
Magnotta was previously featured in Beautiful/Decay’s Book 1: Supernaturalism.
Natalie Arnoldi is a California-based artist whose work explores the fine line between abstract and figurative painting. Her works identify the psychological effects of ambiguous representation, allowing a viewer’s imagination to fill in the missing subject matter. Currently a coterminal Masters student at Stanford University, pursuing a M.S. in ocean science and a B.S. in marine biology, Arnoldi’s life has always centered around the ocean. Thus, it is unsurprising that she references the ocean as her inspiration for both her academic and artistic pursuits.
Though she doesn’t always use the ocean as her subject matter, there is a kind of depth to Arnoldi’s paintings (which are often tinted some shade of blue) that is reminiscent of looking into unfathomably deep waters. Highly reductive, Arnoldi’s paintings still manage to be moody, psychological and rich with meaning. A lone shark’s fin, a simple road median disappearing into the fog, or an airplane silhouette becomes a decidedly dramatic narrative delivered from the most uncomplicated version of an image.
Engagingly beautiful, Arnoldi’s paintings are haunting in their simplicity and straightforwardness. It is eerie how much can be deduced based on an image painted and composed in a certain way.
Image maker Suzy Poling seems to believe in the unreal. Her work breaks the formalities of typical photography, by utilizing many different methods for production. Some of her work has hints of Andreas Gursky, while other parts have the the surreal air of Tim Walker. Her work feels like a documented rapture, where nothing exists where everything once did.
It is time to up your game, shadow puppeteers. This morning presents you with some shadow art that will challenge your routine. The main artists featured here are Kumi Yamashita plus the art team Tim Noble and Sue Webster (who are responsible for the above image). Even if you’re afraid of your own shadow, don’t miss out on the goodies after the jump.
Love these book alterations and rearrangements by New York based artist Kent Rogowski. Make sure to also check out his puzzle manipulations and inverted stuffed animals also featured on his site. (via)
“Everything that I wish I could be is an exploration of language, emotions and the desire to change and improve one’s self. There is a self-help book for almost every moment and problem in life; from relationship advice to dealing with the inevitability of death. Each large format photograph, pictures an arrangement of title pages and spines, from up to 100 self-help books that are based around a central theme. Together, the titles create larger narratives, which become portraits of emotions, people and events in life.
Because of the ubiquity of the books, an entire lifetime of events can be outlined and made to unfold using the books that were written to sooth those transitions and moments. Since advice often differs, the narratives in the images can change depending on which direction the viewer’s eye moves through the image. Some images have linear narratives (e.g.: From Birth to Death or Side by Side) while others look at patterns in language and resemble the random connections inherent in the thought process (e.g.: You and Me and Am I the only one?).
I am interested in the larger questions of how we communicate and deal with moments of pain and change and the commonalities of those experiences, as well as, the patterns and contradictions that are often inherent in language, advice and differing philosophies.”
“instagram logo copyright free Virginia S” (CC BY 2.0) by vastateparksstaff
What is art? Well, if Edgar Degas was right and art “is not what you see” but “what you make others see”, then art can be anything. However, what if the vision someone else has isn’t quite what you expected? And what if this vision is bound by a ton of T&Cs? This kind of issue has become prominent since visual material has taken over social media.
When Instagram first launched in 2010 it was a social network where users could share their personal pictures. Since then, it has grown and evolved into a platform where businesses, social influencers and even artists can showcase their work.