Photographer Darren Pearson has been making unbelievable light paintings since 2008. He paints cutely comical images of spaceships attacking cities, skeletons skateboarding down city steps, and animals being in places they normally wouldn’t be. Despite what you may think, Pearson’s images aren’t made with the help of Photoshop. He sets his camera up on a tripod and takes a photograph – usually opening the shutter from between two and seven minutes. While the shutter is open he jumps in front of the camera and “paints” with various tools that resemble flashlights.
Pearson also pioneered the light painting technique of spinning a glass prism in front of the camera while shining light into the lens to create rainbow prismatic circles. While that process may sound quite convoluted, Pearson says the hardest part is actually finding a cool spot without ambient light or sketchy night people. And as a resident of Los Angeles, that appears to be quite a difficult thing. He talks about how he first discovered light painting:
I saw an old article from LIFE magazine on the collaboration between Pablo Picasso and Gjon Mili and the image ‘picasso draws a centaur’. I was fascinated by the image and asked my friend how it worked; he explained long exposures to me. (Source)
Pearson has many great stories of creating his light-hearted long exposures – one which involves taking his grandmother into the hills north of Tuscon, getting lost, and eventualy collaborating on photographs. He’s been kicked out of an abandoned zoo while taking photographs, and asked by the cops to explain just what he was doing. If anything, he is dedicated to his craft. You can see more of his extensive efforts here through his videos.
Japanese artist Mr. built an installation in the Lehmann MaupinGallery that is a gorgeous messy heap of cultural garbage/treasure. Using old anime posters, tarps, wood veneer cabinets, bouncy balls and the like, Mr’s installation overwhelms us with the incredible amounts of Stuff we as a society create; a physical version of contemporary internet culture’s constant sensory overload. His show is up for another three days, so if you’re in the NY area, catch it while you can! Press release:
“Mr. has envisioned a complex, chaotic installation that serves as immersive sculpture by forcing viewers to interact with the work and places them in a scenario that is psychologically unsettling. His new body of work aspires to blur the distinction between the interior and exterior through the construction of structures and atmospheres inhabited by familiar objects that are conversely used to communicate the unfamiliar: in this instance, an experience most people have not lived. Viewers are given insight to the psychological state of Japan all the while remaining alien to the experience. Composed of garbage and everyday objects from Japanese life, this installation stands as a reminder of the debris that blanketed Tohoku in the aftermath of March 11.”
Guy Laramee delicately cuts caverns through the centers of books. He carves the pages away to reveal caves that seem to be ready to be explored. His work explores the insides of books in a very literal way. Indeed, Laramee’s sculptures in way recall the plot of a classic: Journey to the Center of the Earth. And, in fact, Laramee mentions this book in his statement on the series. He says:
“Like in Jules Verne’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth”, we seem to be chained to this quest. We “have to” know what lies inside things. But in doing so, we bury ourselves in the “about-ness” of our productions – language, function, etc- all things “about” other things.”
In her series, Impressions, Scout Paré-Phillips’ uses flesh as her medium by photographing the imprints left from inviting undergarments. Through an almost monochrome, yet warm and familiar palette, her photographs are simultaneously quiet, yet demanding. At first glance, the images seem to display an act of seduction; they document marks of ghost articles of clothing worn for, most likely, the purpose of creating allure. However, with further reflection, the work runs deeper, having a softer, more reflective meaning. These impressions, are, perhaps, the physical representation of emotional indentations, or the struggle of vulnerability versus dominance during the act of sex. The fragility of one’s skin cannot help but to mimic the fragility of one’s state of being. She displays slight imperfections on otherwise flawless, blank-canvas-reminiscent flesh. Impressions, the marks made on us over time, whether they be permanent or fleeting, are what make us the intricate beings that we are. The artist speaks of the work in terms of the skin of a lover. She states:
“Their skin is sacred; it is the most honest container for these people that we love, sharing with us the timelines of their lives through birthmarks, scars, blemishes, tattoos, wrinkles, bruises, and even the marks left behind daily from their clothing. It is what we covet in our lovers, and what we abuse for our pleasure.”
The photographer, musician and model, Scout Paré-Phillips, is quite prolific in her making. Her multidisciplinary body of work culminates in the foggy, slight margin that exists between innocence and cognizance. She has somehow found a niche outside the realm of binary and has created a theme that functions in paradox. Being quite young herself, the artist’s work can be explored through the lens of coming into an awakened adulthood. The work seems to be bound by the true intricacies of emotional falsities and the strange balance between darkness and light that is the essence of being human.
Carved carefully into the delicate surfaces of shells, Gregory Halili’s magnificent human skulls look like forgotten human fossils, discovered long after the extinction of our species. The New Jersey-based artist draws inspiration from the wild plant and animal life the Philippines, where he lived into his teenage years; his medium, black-lip and gold-lip mother of pearl, are gathered from the shores of the island country. The artist’s shimmering skulls are complex bas-reliefs, and his technique, which includes detailed oil painting, is evocative of ancient coins; in the place of hard metal lies a soft partially organic material, and portraits of kings are replaced with ominous skulls.
Halili’s skulls are poignantly fragile, far less durable than human bone. A single slip of a tool, and the tender piece is ruined. The shape of the shell lends itself to the humanoid form; encased within its circular bounds, the skull appears like a child in the womb. The shell material that once protected a gastropod with maternal determination, softly frames Halili’s expert carving. In this way, the artist forces a collision between birth, the “mother” of pearl, and death, represented here with the skull. Like relics washed ashore, these masterful pieces serve as a memento mori, reminding us of our own mortality, our creation and our inevitable demise. Take a look.
In honor of all things big and tall, Beautiful/Decay is offering up ALL of our XXL t-shirts for the bargain basement rate of $5 only on our online shop. This means nearly 85% off our normal pricing! Why, you ask? Well, with Thanksgiving around the corner, we know you’ll be needing some extra room in your tees, and they make great holiday gifts for the lovable large guy in your life!
To kick off the sale, we hired a top XXL model to promote the Beautiful/Decay shirts on the streets of Los Angeles, though his sales technique was….not exactly what the B/D team signed up for. Watch the video above to see what happens!
I’ve been a fan of Dinosaur Jr. since I was 12 years old so it’s awesome to see that the bands frontman J Mascis has released a solo album on Sub Pop of folky acoustic songs that will satisfy the biggest Dinosaur Jr. fan while giving J enough room to musically branch out. If that’s not enough the trippy stop-motion video for the single Not Enough will keep your eyeballs popping while your head is nodding. Watch the full video directed and drawn by fellow musician Chad VanGaalen after the jump.
Jesse Wiedel, who studied in San Francisco at the Art Institute, has an interesting outlook on life. His paintings focus on what he calls “fictionalized tableaus that are sad, coarse and degenerate.” These “streetscapes” depict street culture for what it is: weird, sad, fascinating and for some of us, alien.