As part of our ongoing partnership with Feature Shoot, Beautiful/Decay is sharing Amanda Gorence’s article on Christine Chin.
New York-based artist Christine Chin often explores contemporary issues of technology and the environment. She received an MA in Visual Art from Purdue University and an MFA in Photography from the University of New Mexico.
“Sentient Kitchen examines the convergence between technology and biology. As the machines that assist our lives become smarter and more architecturally complex, they borrow increasingly from the biological realm. Sentient Kitchen takes inspiration from some of nature’s most ingenious engineering. What better way to dispense salt than through an organ that is highly developed to taste, and why not take advantage of the mammary gland’s unique relationship to milk? While it is the nature of the human ego to cast suspicion on a challenge to human intellect,Sentient Kitchen products offer a non-threatening environment to explore the benefits of smarter, more sensitive solutions to our daily dining needs.”
On Tuesday, September 19th, 1989, UTA Flight 772, a French airline Union des Transports Aériens plane had a scheduled flight plan from Brazzaville in the People’s Republic of Congo, to N’Djamena in Chad, with a final destination of Paris CDG airport in France. The flight would end in tragedy, as a terrorist bomb went off near the front of the plane, causing a massive crash over the Sahara Desert near the town of Ténéré in Niger. All 155 passengers and 15 crew members on-board died.
The details of the memorial dedicated to terror victims of the crash has been filing around the internet recently, and was fantastically covered by a (uncredited?) writer at Viral Nova. “Eighteen years later, families of the victims gathered at the crash site to build a memorial. Due to the remoteness of the location, pieces of the wreckage could still be found at the site. The memorial was created by Les Familles de l’Attentat du DC-10 d’UTA, an association of the victims’ families along with the help of local inhabitants. The memorial was built mostly by hand and uses dark stones to create a 200-foot diameter circle. The Ténéré region is one of the most inaccessible places on the planet. The stones were trucked to the site from over 70 kilometers away. The memorial was built over the course of two months in May and June of 2007.”
“170 broken mirrors, representing each victim, were placed around the circumference of the memorial. The memorial is anchored by the starboard wing of the aircraft which was trucked to the site from 10 miles away. Workers had to dig up the wing and empty it of sand. The memorial was partly funded by the $170 million compensation package provided by the Libyan government [ed. the six terror suspects convicted were Libyan nationals, opposed to French involvement].” Although an absolutely tragic story, the tale of this monument not only represents the resilience of the human spirit, but perhaps more importantly (and less clichéd) is the powerful human tendency to honor our loved ones. These kind of stories show people setting aside cultural/religious/ideological differences, and creating monuments or art together which will remain as a symbol of healing. (via viralnova)
With the innocent and untainted imagination of a child, Japanese artist Misaki Kawai thrills us with her collection of blockheaded animals and misshapen figures. Her own unique point of view is currently at critical mass and Kawai has turned into a kind of poster child for slacker art. Kawai first got her start selling zines, drawings and paintings on the streets of New York City and in true Basquiat fashion eventually caught the attention of a few local galleries. After exhibiting her colorful and engaging pictures she quickly gained mainstream recognition and began showing on the international art world circuit.
Kawai’s lastest project consists of a blow up doll pool toy made in collaboration with The Grey Area. The piece debuted at Art Basel Miami Beach this past winter where she also created a teepee installation at the Mondrian Hotel. Her oeuvre encompasses all media and as her celebrity grows we see her floating down a rockstar path which also includes diy merchandise. Some of the products for sale in Kawai’s tent include a series of pink fluffy art dogs in three sizes, pin and keychain. This is a faithful replicate of the arty doll she has exhibited on a massive scale all over the world at such diverse locations as the Life is Beautiful Festival in Las Vegas , Museum of Contemporary Art Japan, Watermill Center in upstate NY, Malmo Konsthalle in Sweden, and many more.
Jeremy Laffon‘s series of installations are entirely constructed from chewing gum. He painstakingly builds each of his installations with this unusual material. The precision and care he gives to his work is contrasted by the material itself. Chewing gum isn’t particularly strong or sturdy – the lattice work structure buckling under its own weight, or tiled gum easily giving way underfoot. Chewing gum is also associated with casualness, rude to chew in formal settings, spit out when finished with: a pleasant surprise in an often stuffy art world.
Asuka Ohsawa masterfully uses gouache on paper to create a world rife with dichotomous flair. Long Japanese scroll paintings depict cute anthropomorphic animals frolicking the town in seeming innocence and naivete but upon closer inspection there is a child ready to detonate a bomb and a crowd ready to capture and devour. There is underlying tension in all her works, reflecting on ideals and grievences of family and home, social and cultural norms, sexual moires, and moral righteousness. Each character and its surrounding environment is tightly rendered and outlined in sharp and precise lines, executed in flattened perspectives and limited color palates.
If you have a huge sweet tooth like I do, then the chocolate art supplies by design firm Nendo are probably whetting your appetite. These tubes of paint and pencils are completely edible, and the paint tubes are full of different sweet fillings. You can sharpen the “pencils” and use the shavings to enhance other desserts.
We wanted our plates to show off the beauty of meals and desserts like a painting on a canvas. Based on this idea, our “chocolate pencils” come in a number of cocoa blends that vary in intensity, and chocophiles can use the special “pencil sharpener” that comes with our plate to grate chocolate onto their dessert. Pencil filings are usually the unwanted remains of sharpening a pencil, but in this case, they’re the star!
The paint tubes have an edible label that tell you what flavored syrup to expect. They range from green tea to honey to caramel. Nendo describes their new creation as “…design that combines the childhood excitement of opening a new box of paints and the thrill of opening a box of chocolates you’ve been given unexpectedly.” What a perfect gift for someone who is both a sweets and artist. Yum! (Via This Is Colossal and Yatzer)
In her series of paintings entitled After Caravaggio, artist Jamie Vasta gives Caravaggio a kitsch makeover. Endearingly reminiscent of cat themed embroideries one might find in a dank second hand shop, Vasta’s series is a perfect definition of modern. She has taken well known models and themes and completely reappropriated them in such a way that they have been given new meaning, without straying too far from the original “text” of Caravaggio’s work.
She uses “contemporary props and costumes to create new narratives” and, by doing creates not only a new artwork, but also pays homage to Caravaggio and his influence in the art world. The use of glitter in these paintings underlines the contemporary nature of Vasta’s creations and contributes vastly to the kitsch aspects of her work. The balance between the baroque and the kitsch fits perfectly together and the glitter gives something of a humoristic element to the compositions.
The dramatic themes addressed in these paintings are not undermined but somewhat lightened by the use of glitter. The color contrasts and playful expressions of the subjects give the paintings a touch of humor and a somewhat cheerful nature. The overall originality of Vasta’s work is both intriguing and has somewhat of an edge.