Pieter Hugo’s new series, Permanent Error, depicts Agbogbloshie, a massive dump site for technological waste on the outskirts of Ghana’s capital city, and the locals who burn down the components to extract bits of copper, brass, aluminum and zinc for resale. Tons of outdated and broken computers, computer games, mobile phones and other e-waste are shipped to the area as “donations” from the West, under the guise of providing technology to developing countries. Rather than helping to bridge the digital divide, the equipment is transformed into noxious trash threatening the health of the area’s inhabitants and contaminating the water and soil.
Gray plumes of smoke rise from smoldering piles of disassembled monitors, motherboards and wiring, providing an apocalyptic backdrop for Hugo’s portraits of the workers. The subjects, many of whom are young men sent by their families from impoverished outlying villages, are photographed full-figure and directly engaged with Hugo’s medium-format camera. With each portrait, Hugo draws the viewer into the conditions imposed on this slum community and their effects on individuals. Collectively, the photographs expose consequences of the West’s consumption of ever-new technology and its disposal of outmoded products in poor countries ill-equipped to recycle them. See Pieter Hugo’s Permanent exhibition at Yossi Milo Gallery in NYC from Sept. 8- Oct. 29th.
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BOOK 5 SNEAK PEAK CONTEST!
To get you ready for the release of Book 5 dust off your tablets and fire up your copy of Photoshop because today we continue the contest to give away a free copy of Beautiful/Decay Book: 5 to the fastest gun in the wild west. Each week we have been releasing a new piece of Beautiful/Decay cover to get you guys ready for the upcoming issue. The rules are simple: Be the first person to piece together the cover of the Book:5 and email the completed image to email@example.com, and your speed of hand will be rewarded with a free copy of the book you just solved. In case you are just tuning in, be sure to check out the B/D News Category of the Blog for the previous missing pieces. So wrangle up your magic lassos and get busy winning!
The work of artist Alessandro Boezio is somewhere between a cross of beautiful, anatomic sculptures and a science experiment gone wrong. Created from clay and fiberglass, Boezio’s sculptures take on a strange life form all of their own. The mutated anatomy included in his work display hands with misplaced digits, spidery entities with fingers used for legs, and limbs with mismatched body parts. The artist has an amazing talent in sculpture as his hands and feet, which he mainly focuses on, are incredibly life-like. At first glance, you may not see the odd mutation of the individual hand. However, the uncanny feeling soon forces you to reckon with its disturbing deformation.
The sight of unattached body parts formed into stand-alone creatures can be quite unnerving. As some of Boezio’s hands are missing many vital fingers, many have a plethora of digits that give them a new life. The fingers become spider-like legs that allow the sculptures to become creepy-crawly creatures that can spin a golden web. They become centipedes made up of our own body parts that inch across the floor. The larger the limb, the more peculiar and abnormal each piece becomes. Boezio’s most life-like sculpture includes a fleshy, peach color to resemble skin, and displays legs and feet in place of fingers. The hand’s tone is incredibly similar to life, which makes the mutation all the more bizarre. Unbelievably, you can even see the veins and hair on the hand. Boezio’s detailed artistic skill is just as incredible and shocking as the misplaced anatomy in his work.
Teodora Axente is associated with the Cluj School, a group of Romanian artists making work after the 1989 Revolution, which ended Nicolae Ceausescu’s communist regime.
There is a dark sense of carousing in her work which examines the question of boredom in a secular world. Left to his or her own devices, Axente’s adult figures conjure up spirits or flights of whimsy in seemingly childlike ways, often seeking solace in shiny and tactile objects such as tinfoil, plastic wrap, or furs. However, translated to a non-secular world, each stroke Axente makes seem satirical or political, consciously examining religion or capitalism.
According to the artist, this dichotomy is the exact intention: “One of my concepts is to transform a real fact into a game . . . It is all about play from my perspective, the playfulness is more than a world of novelty in which everything happens and is reconstituted because of the freedom to act, to think.”
David Mascha, an artist based in Vienna, Austria, has been working with different design studios since 2005. He has also done work for international clients, print magazines, fashion and design labels, and books. David has also had work displayed in exhibitions in Asia and Europe. I really like his diverse but defined style. Every piece he does is bold in its own way.
HUH. ONE is a black and white zine released by HUH Magazine of an edition of one hundred. I have to say the photography featured in this zine is really awesome. Photographers include Chad Moore, Dana Goldstein, Gavin Watson, Jerry Hsu, Jonnie Craig, Kathy Lo, Lele Saveri, Patrick Griffin, Pawel Jaszczuk, Peter Sutherland, Sean Vegezzi, Bea Fremderman, Paul Herbst, Seth Fluker, Patrick Tsai and Young Kyu Yoo. Head over to their website to get a limited copy.
Distortion, illusion, and psychedelic alterations can all be found in the hand cut collage work of Lola Dupré. My favorites are the well known images that she re-imagines in her trippy explosive cut paper interpretations like the above drawing by M.C. Escher.
Dilok Lak’s recent series “The rabbit ears” is the graphic designer’s respite from everyday tedium and a retreat into imaginative play. Drawing on children’s books and the trope of the talking animal, he imbues his illustrations with a minimalist innocence and charm. The title of the work harkens back to whimsical fables, but it also applies to the artist’s own persona, as he was born in the zodiac year of the rabbit. The work lightheartedly examines the existential questions of a young human mind: the caption for a few images reads, “Why is life so boring?”
Placed starkly against a white and pale pink backdrop like murals on a child’s bedroom wall, furry friends perform unlikely feats. Some of the illustrations are brilliantly nonsensical; in a sort of modern Dadaist exploration, Lak combines a vintage photograph of a young girl with a high-resolution duck and collaged orange. Collaged creatures appear to wander in and out of his frame of their own free will, teetering on its edges and leaving empty space in their wake.
“The rabbit ears” is a childlike ode to the imagination, bringing with it hints of critical self-parody. The brilliantly ironic series reads like a 21st century kind of pop art, using commercial graphic design techniques to satirize human behaviors and pretensions. An absurd cat sips on a cappuccino and sports classic hipster-style glasses; an erudite bunny proudly displays a portrait of himself in a suit. A bored kitty chews on bubble gum. In Lak’s delightful world, animals play as humans and humans play as rabbits, and ultimately, all our everyday worries seem a little less serious, and life feels a lot more fun. (via iGNANT)