Robert Jackson is a contemporary still life painter. But don’t let the genre often associated with morbid colors, candles, skulls and wine bottles leave the wrong impression. This painter’s canvases are littered with bright colors, clean compositions and a healthy amount of humor. Jackson’s comical paintings feature assemblies of cakes, water balloons, candies, apple boxes, toy dinosaurs, cactus plants, and balloon dogs.
Jackson actually assembles his scenes in his studio, and is then able to accurately capture the playfulness of the mood – creating something that looks like it came from the Toy Story movies. He paints moments where we sneak a look in on the action figures setting up traps for each other, or skateboarding around the room, crashing into the other toys.
Eager to create moments full of narrative, Jackson develops a simple idea that will either pique your interest, or at the very least being a smile to your face. His balloon dogs go fishing for lobsters; the panda bear toys set up daring tight rope adventures for each other; the dinosaurs all fight over a slice of chocolate cake; and apples mischievously balance water balloons on their head, waiting for the impending disaster.
Jackson uses his whimsical, absurd and post-pop paintings as a tool for people to expand their imagination. He says by using mundane objects as stand ins for people, he can talk about deeper subjects without being too confrontational.
It’s like Star Trek addresses racism, but the audience doesn’t realize that until after the show is over. I have a couple of apples fighting and it’s not until a couple minutes after looking, that the viewer realizes that ‘Oh! This is talking about war!’ (Source)
Italian artist Mimmo Rubino, also known as Rub Kandy, plays with the city. His art’s relationship with the city and its citizens is interactive, even fun. His newest project is simple but imaginative. Rubino uses an urban mainstay as a canvas for his spray paint work: a cement truck. While the mixer spins, Rubino keeps a spraying can of paint steady. Repeating the process with various colors eventually covers the mixer in near perfect stripes. Appropriately, the piece is titled Revolver.
Caio Fernandes mainly paints portraits of faces that hold an incredible amount of intensity behind them. Intensity that could be interpreted as pain, doubt, or realization. Though the intensity we feel from Caio’s paintings compel us with curiosities as to what it all implies, Caio firmly states that the paintings stand for themselves.
As you know we have never put our subscriptions on sale before. We count on every dollar that we make from subscription sales to keep Beautiful/Decay going as ALL our revenue comes from book sales. Our profits slim down when we discount an already discounted product (regular subscription price is already 33% off the cover price) so we need as many of you as possible to subscribe to make up for the loss in volume. The response so far has been great, with many of you putting your money where your mouth is and securing Beautiful/Decay’s future. So please spread the word about our biannual subscription sale and buy a subscription for a friend or two. You won’t get these prices for a minimum of another 6 months and you’ll help us share the work of millions of talented artists with the world.
Use discount code Discountdecaysub and get a one year subscription for only $34.00! This deal will only be good for one week and will expire on February 23rd.
Somewhere In The Fold is an exhibition that recently closed at the San Francisco Gallery The Popular Workshop. The show was curated by Luca Nino Antonucci who is an artist and co-founder of Colpa Press as well as the San Francisco Newsstand turned zine shop Edicola. The exhibition examines the intersection of fine art, design, book making and publishing. From the press release: “There is a broad dialogue between publication and art object, far more complex than the straightforward union of the two into the ‘art book.’ Somewhere in the Fold is a survey of the relationship between the current state of publishing and the art practices of contemporary artists. These disciplines have converged into processes of editing and editioning, making once disparate fields singular. The participating artists and publishers of Somewhere in the Fold approach this conversation by showing work that deliberately confuses the terms ‘publication’ and ‘art object’, while attempting to discover a place where they can exist together both in form and concept.”
Photographer Nat Wilkins spent two weeks documenting the ceremonies and death rituals of the Troajan tribe in the highlands of South Sulawesi in Indonesia. In his series Dealing With The Dead, The Troajan Of Tana Toraja, he takes a close up look at this fascinating world and wishes to examine his own understanding of death and decay. The funerals carry on for a number of days and are one of the most important part of the culture in the highlands of Tana Toraja. When a family member dies, they are embalmed and lay waiting inside the family home until the ceremony can take place. Wilkins explains a bit more about the process:
When the time of the funeral comes illegal cock fighting, illegal gambling, buffalo fighting and the slaughter of buffaloes and pigs mark the occasion. The wealthier the family the grander the funeral, with this grandness being marked by the number of buffalo slaughtered, a minimum of one buffalo is required to pass to the land of souls but wealthier families will slaughter 10 to 20 sometimes 30 buffalo and the richest Torajan’s will kill hundreds.
To some these rituals may seem over-elaborate, and excessive, but to the Troajans, it is essential to ensure their loved ones cross over safely to the ‘land of souls’. Devoutly Christian, the tribe places great emphasis on life after death, or the treatment of the body and soul once dead. The living who are left behind, make great sacrifices to provide what is needed for those who have passed. But with the weight of this responsibility comes much hardship. Wilkins explains again:
From an outside perspective it can seem that to the living these funerals are used as a reflection on the importance of the deceased’s family, a status symbol for the rich. On the flip side though, death can be a serious burden on the poor. Every spare penny earned by the living goes to honoring the dead and the importance of a good funeral puts serous weight on the poorer Torajan’s with the poorest getting serious debt problems just to slaughter a buffalo.
Victoria Wagner is an artist who is fascinated by unlikely pairings. Her set of gem-like sculptures called Woodrocks are comprised of wood and decorated with color, as she explains, “My eye generally and naturally tends toward tessellation and pattern, seeking a rhythm that mimics regular pulse. On the one hand, visual order provides a place for the senses to rest, while color relationships create problems for the brain to solve. I like this simultaneity.” The natural material and the unnatural oil pigments combine to create a precious object that’s small enough to be held comfortably.
Woodrocks serve as an iconic reference to the downed tree. They’re salvaged from local materials and painted to follow organic growth patterns and feature gradient spectrums.These sculptures were influenced by two books that Wagner read: The Golden Bough by Sir James Frazer and The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird. “Both pseudoscientific works that examine sentience among carbon-based life forms and human revelation, practical and metaphysical,” she explains. “Both books forced a recognition in my life-of my own personal reverence for the trees being downed in the forest surrounding my studio.” The result? Woodrocks.
Adidas is once again pushing exploring the edge where street culture meets commerce and produces something original.
In this video The multi-talented DJ A-Trak takes these “found sounds” and transforms them into something multi-layered, new and exciting. So Me’s visuals capture the spirit of urban youth and takes you back to the days where you had nothing better to do than to hang out on the block.
A-Trak harvests the sounds French filmmaker So Me’s urban scenes- girls laughing, tires screeching, dogs barking and re-imagines them as a house party anthem and when married back to the remix of So Me’s visuals creates something wholly original.