LCD Soundsystem reminds us that robots will one day take over the world. But don’t worry all the robots will want to do is party, dance, and make out. Phew! Crisis averted!
Have you ever longed to confirm that we are, in fact, not alone in the universe? Well then you should probably subscribe to Beautiful/Decay today. As artist C.W. Moss has illustrated in vibrant watercolor, aliens are literally waiting on the other end of the telephone line to speak with you about 2012, the crystal skulls, the pyramids, and how the moon is really just a metal death star. Seriously. Pick up the phone, and subscribe to Beautiful/Decay today. Aliens….and contemporary art are waiting right now.
Krzysztof Domaradzki or Studio KXX for short has a eye popping portfolio full of illustrations and designs. Visit his site yourself for a visual feast.
The late Dr. Jack Kevorkian, known for his life’s work of advocating assisted suicide and for helping to end over 130 lives with his ominous-sounding Thanatron, or “machine of death,” was also an oil painter. The doctor, who spend 8 years in prison, created a little-known body of work tinged with the horror of pain; illustrating his controversial ideas on compassion, the paintings take aim at his religious critics and appeal to a nuanced moral ideal where death is seen simultaneously as a terror and an escape.
Kevorkian’s Thanatron takes its name from the ancient Greek personification of death; in his paintings, he also uses mythological themes. In “Fever,” he illustrates a hell composed of the ill and suffering; like Dante’s Virgil, he leads his painted patient through the depths of agony and fear with wide, sweeping brushstrokes. The Christian Brotherhood is reimagined as a monster characterized by multiple grotesque, sharp-toothed heads vaguely reminiscent of Inferno’s Satan.
Seemingly drawing inspiration from symbolist painters like Paul Gauguin and Edvard Munch, the artist, often referred to as “Dr. Death,” distorts the form of his subjects so that they might express psychological despair and heightened anxiety. In one image, titled “Coma,” a man, draped in a bed sheet, is inhaled by ghostly skull, his body absurdly foreshortened and his lined feet disproportionately swelled to express profound weariness. As the monstrous spirit of “coma” sucks him in, his tiny, darkened eyes beg for release. In “Paralysis,” the body becomes a prison, the brain removed and bound in chains.
When exhibited alongside the doctor’s paintings illustrating his love of music (Johann Sebastian Bach, a treble and bass clef), as they are at Gallerie Sparta, the more frightful images take on a strange operatic quality, evoking eery tonal climaxes with expressionistic bursts of color. 11 of the doctor’s paintings will be on view through April 30. (via Huff Post)
Montreal based artist Marwan Sahmarani’s work has a loose brush work aesthetic that I find charismatic. He paints epic scenes of warriors in the midst of battle. His work is a reflection of his Middle Eastern origins. Sahmarani states that his oil paintings, drawings and performative works are linked to the mediums themselves, and their support in the face of sociopolitical problems.
It’s Halloween season, and campy macabre aesthetic surrounds us, making the general public a little more open to the darker parts of our existence. Reflecting back on the origin of this holiday, All Hallow’s Eve and Samhain, the pagan celebration, it’s clear that death and the unseen world is the foundation. Our ancestors believed that the veil to the other side became thin or disappeared completely on this night, allowing the spirit world to comingle with the physical and living world. There are many people and cultures that still hold this belief and practice today.
In light of the season I began searching through aesthetically significant contemporary art that finds its foundations in death and dying. This is Part 1 of 2 of the scope of art about death, ranging widely in medium and other interwoven themes. Damien Hirst, Angelo Filomeno, Joel Peter Witkin, Konrad Smolenski and Doris Salcedo all embrace the subject of death and dying in a widely varied manner. As well, all are highly revered in their own right for their individual continuums of art produced over the years.
Damien Hirst is no stranger to controversy as an artist. He always delivers shock value well and does not shy away from creating work that makes viewers squirm. Materials he used to create the pieces featured here range from dead flies, to animal carcasses, formaldehyde and maggots. Hirst’s works don’t just discuss the business of birth, death and dying- they display it in action right before your eyes, in a way that some of the work nearly becomes about life itself.
I love Kenji Fujita’s wonky little plaster-cast combinations. They’re kind of weird, but also free spirited, organic and a bit humorous- with titles like “Debris of Life and Mind.” Heavy…..but funny. That’s a lot of debris. Kenji Fujita will be showing his works from the last 9 years at Samson Gallery, entitled “Systematic Gaiety” from February 6- March 21st. A pretty great title to describe Fujita’s controlled whimsical chaos.
Well folks another year of Miami Basel is behind us and as usual there was an explosive mix of parties, artworks, and art stars running circles in the fine city of Miami. The international week long event attracted art lovers from around the world and left many having to make the important decisions of which fair to go to during the day and what party to make an appearance at in the evening.
With all the attractions and distractions during the week the standout party of the week had to be the launch of flannel drenched photographer Terry Richardson’s new book Terrywood. Hosted by Disaronno and GQ at The Standard, this party was the go to party of the week. We’ve compiled some of our favorite artworks from Basel after the jump and a few choice photos from Richardson’s book release. See you next year Miami!