Erika Sanada is a Tokyo-born, San Franscico-based sculptor whose supernatural animal creations traverse the boundary between dream and nightmare. In many ways, her creatures seem soft and gentle — the colors are pale, the textures soft. However, many are riddled with terrifying bodily anomalies: dogs with several rows of fangs, others writhing in agony and tearing at their own skin, and mutant birds bursting out of torsos and faces. The blank, dead eyes of the animals further add to their moral ambivalence; without the pupil — that center of consciousness — their eyes could be those of a gentle, all-seeing spirit, or of the soulless undead.
Whether it is their eyes, human-like skin, or abnormalities (some of the animals appear to be painfully conjoined to others), Sanada’s creations rattle with uneasiness; they are both endearing and unsettling in their suffering and strangeness. In her Artist Statement, Sanada identifies her own experiences with anxiety as the source of her inspiration. “I worry about everything, even tiny things,” she writes. “Anxiety drags my mind to the dark side, which is more powerful and intense than my bright side.” Instead of being paralyzed by such fears, Sanada decided to confront them by molding them into beautiful, hideous life; it is her way of gaining control over her anxiety — and indeed, in embracing her own darkness and transforming it into art.
Sanada recently exhibited at Antler Gallery in Portland, Oregon, and will be showing again at the Flower Pepper Gallery in Pasadena, California, this Februrary. Check out Sanada’s website for a stunning gallery of her beautiful and tortured dream-creatures. (Via Design Faves)
In a surreal and slightly disturbing series titled Running Gag by the Hamburg-based studio POP. Postproduction, they imagine what it would be like if shoes teeth to accompany their tongues. POP specializes in photo-retouching, and manipulated the images has the loafers, boat shoes, and Converse sneakers laughing and grinning. Some have a gap tooth, others a gold grill, while some have hardly any teeth at all.
There is some correspondence with the teeth and the shoe. For instance, the pink canvas shoe with decorative laces has a mouth full of braces, so we’d imagine they are a teenage girl. The gold-studded loafer is an “alternative style” to the preppy shoe, so its gold lip ring feels appropriate.
Despite being slickly-produced and brightly-colored series, the Running Gag is subtle, and it’s only after more than a seconds glance that you realize there are teeth in these shoes. It’s POP’s Photoshopping skills that add to the believability of these characters, and they look liked they’d be right in place in a horror film. (Via Design Taxi)
Ever wonder what it actually looks like when you’re making out – really going at it – tongue and all? One photographer took it upon himself to shoot couples doing just that. Often tongue on tongue action can be kind of grotesque, and rarely are we given the chance to examine it closely. Participating is always a good time, but witnessing from a relatively objective perspective – as someone not really invested – is kind of odd, and definitely uncomfortable if you linger too long watching. In film, if you’re lucky, you see a big juicy tongue slide its way in between hungry lips, but just for a second then it’s gone. Whether in public or in document, it’s hard to get up close and personal with a kiss when you’re not one of the ones doing it.
Rankin, a publisher, director, and commercial photographer living in London, set out for closer inspection of the French kiss in his series Snog. The most compelling of the images is one where you barely see the faces of the couple, just a hint of nose, some stubble around the mouth, and some foundation overtop the occasional blemish. You can feel the intensity of the kiss, as one lip lifts the other to reveal a bit of tooth, and the tong in front veers right as the other presses against it.
What Rankin achieves that others don’t is a balance between staging and reality. He maintains an appealing aesthetic while still staying true to the sentiment of french kissing. The funniest is the older couple both staring back at the camera. It looks on the one hand totally unnatural, but then it also seems to be something so appropriate for the character of the couple. It looks like their tongues are holding hands. (via Feature Shoot)
You’ve probably seen the work of Berlin/Vancouver based collective eBoy (or that of someone biting their aesthetic) at some point. Svend Smital, Steffen Sauerteig, and Kai Vermehr make up the core of the group, and they’ve created their very own world full of pixelated characters and environments through years of illustration, design, and animation work. The eBoy vision is pretty much fully realized, now everyone gets to enjoy taking part in it. The pattern design above is particularly amazing.
Want to see more by eBoy? Check out our exclusive feature on them as well as the cover art they created specially for us in Beautiful/Decay Issue:G
Some time ago, The Postnational Monitor, a personal blog focused on “a wide variety of topics to include, but not limited to history, population genetics, and sociology” posted dozens of composite photos of varying geological and ethnic populations, creating an average face for each category. While most categories are a simple comparison, some are surprising social findings, such as the average Indian Female and Indian Male, compared to the average Bollywood Stars, pictured above.
While obviously interesting from a ‘population genetics’ (no sarcasm meant – simply clarifying the author’s, and not this writer’s, term) and anthropology standpoints, the pictures are certainly more novelty than profound statement. However, the composites do resemble more serious artworks by other artists, which begs the question: At what point does machine or computer-created photographic manipulation become art?
My room as a teenager was a sanctuary-my only safe place. My room was me, more specifically though, it was what I wanted to be at the moment. I wanted to be as bold, tough and flawless as my favorite musicians on the magazine cutouts on my wall. Truth is, I wasn’t any of those things. In fact, I was timid and self-conscious, an anxious girl who found it hard to make it through some days as I struggled with an anxiety disorder.
Every girl battles with herself and the burden of the transitions that come along with the teenage years; whether good or bad, her room is just an imprint of what she is going through.
Photographer Rania Matar’s recent collection of photographs, A Girl in her Room, explores the teenage girl in her habitat (her room), to further understand the origin of a teenager’s way of being. Matar wanted to capture the universality of teenage behavior by photographing girls in the U.S and the Middle East- both cultures she is very familiar with.
I became fascinated with the similar issues girls at that age face, regardless of culture, religion and background, as they learn to deal with all the pressures that arise as they become conscious and aware of the surrounding world wherever this may be.
Beautiful/Decay is excited to bring you our exclusive artist feature in partnership with Made With Color, the premiere platform for artist websites. Each week we join forces to bring you some of the most exciting creatives working today who use Made With Color to create their clean and sleek sites. All Made With Color sites not only work beautifully on your computer but also come optimized for mobile and tablet users making sure that your portfolio looks professional no matter how you view it. For this weeks artist spotlight we bring you the illustrations of Kelley Hagemes.
Savannah, Georgia based artist and illustrator Kelley Hagemes creates mixed media works that reference various religious and mythical iconography. Imagery of the sublime is mixed with rich symbolism of life, regret, death, and the unknown.I
When I was a kid I had to go to Catholic school for a period of time, and my parents made were quite the Catholics. I feel like I was always surrounded by these images of the Sublime, dripping with symbolism and encased in ornament. Images of things that were supposed to be beautiful but also strike some sort of fear or uneasiness in you.
More broadly Kelley’s work is about dealing with lifes demons, finding happiness after sadness, transformation and strength while having to find beauty in some pretty ugly places throughout the process.