Drew Beckmeyer creates quirky paintings that fuse visuals from different times and spaces, often pairing unexpected scenes with seemingly personal and historical references. They are both charming and mysterious works that teeter between whimsical and ominous. Beautiul/Decay recently interviewed Drew regarding his process, and even took a sneak peak at his studio behind the scenes.
With simple masking tape, photographer Robert Chase Heishman transforms everyday spaces into flat, geometric scenes. This effect creates an illusive new space, redefined by new boundaries. Whether the tapes’ colors are bright or more subdued, the effect is stark. He creates new shapes within the photograph, or uses the tape to create a framed effect for the photograph. If the photographs were stripped of tape, the photographs would be a bit dull. By adding the tape to some of his scenes, Heishman creates the effect of a lost dimension. Because his designs are so thoughtfully shaped, it takes more than a glance at these photographs to recognize that the tape has been placed onto the scene and not the photograph. When he’s not masking his surroundings with tape, Heishman also works with video and sculpture to explore similar themes like peripheral vision, flatness, and digital affect. He lives and works in Chicago. (via from89)
The Centro Financiero Confinanzas Skyscraper in Caracas, Venezuela, has been home to 3000 squatting residents since October 2007. Alejandro Cegarra took five months to create The Other Side of the Tower, a photo-series that documents the lives of the abandoned building’s inhabitants. Although it is in no way an ideal life – Cegarra reports that there are places without railings where drunk people or children have fallen, and that the water and electrical systems are not adequate – the Tower of David, as it has been nicknamed, is a place where people have created their homes to live mostly peacefully.
Cegarra’s photographs provide a candid look at the community, and how they have developed the unfinished building into something livable. There are shops, and even an unlicensed dentist working in the building. Although the elevators do not work, people ride motorcycles up to the 10th floor in place of them. Residents live up to the 28th floor, meaning some walk 18 flights of stairs even with the use of a motorcycle.
The photo-series brings up an interesting issue of living standards and help versus enforcement. After difficult negotiation, government officials agreed in July to move hundreds of families to new social housing in Cua, south of Caracas. There has apparently been interest expressed in developing the rest of the building for its original purpose, but the government states it is open to a dialogue concerning the use of the building. Still, considering some residents would have been living there for 7 years, is dislocation the best option? Could the government have invested money in developing the building as a better home to those who already live there, or is it a-moral to nurture inherently unstable conditions.
Cegarra’s photographs help to illustrate the perspective of those most affected. Although his own lens may equally distort in favour of the tower’s inhabitants, romanticizing their condition, it may be closer to the truth than anything else offered. Ultimately, it should be the inhabitant’s needs that are considered the most heavily.
Cegarra has been awarded the Ian Parry Scholarship for The Other Side of the Tower. (Via TIME Lightbox)
Dan Colen has been dubbed in the past one of Warhol’s Children, a famous or notorious – depending on which critic you’re asking – New York post-pop prince. His earlier work was made of gum and simulation bird droppings, and although his artwork received heavy criticism for imitating or ridiculing artists and the high-art community, he continued to be successful and his career flourished. It seems there’s always a place for the unaffected artist-rock-star character type.
Recently, Colen has taken a more subdued approach to his practice. In light of the death of his good friend and artist contemporary Dash Snow, who died of an overdose in 2009, Colen has tried to curb his own lifestyle choices. This slow down is reflected in his artwork, namely his current exhibition at Gagosian: Miracle Paintings. Perhaps in the context of another artist, paintings of star streams and neon explosions would be a bold subject, but in comparison to his whoopee cushion installation Blowin in the wind, the medium is much more conventional and less provoking.
The feeling in the paintings is of excitement and solemnity. They’re easier to digest but still pack a visual punch. There’s life, death, and tranquility. It’s probably a pivotal moment in Colen’s career. Will he be able to remain successful without the contrarian stunts he is known for? It should also be considered that these paintings are much more pleasant to consume: Is he riding the comfort of his position in the New York art community, or pushing new personal boundaries? Personally I enjoy this series, but could also see how some of his fans might be disappointed in the relatively understated nature of the works.
Miracle Paintings is on at Gagosian until October 18th.
As part of our ongoing partnership with Feature Shoot, Beautiful/Decay is sharing Alison Zavos’ article on Photographer Hal.
When looking for couples to model for both this series, Couple Jam, and his ever popular work, Flesh Love, Tokyo-based Photographer Hal goes to underground bars in Shibuya and Kabukicho (Tokyo’s Red Light District), places he describes as “luscious nighttime bee hives”. Musicians, dancers, strippers, service workers and businessmen are all fair game as models as long as they are willing and able to contort their bodies to fit in the confined spaces Photographer Hal obviously has an affinity for.
These photographic “events” take place in the models bathrooms. Photographer Hal explains, “I think of the bathroom as being one of the most private and intimate place in anyone’s home, this provoked a shyness in the models, and created a unique excitement and inspiration in the scene.”
Artist Mehmet Gozetlik has designed a series of popular trademarks into neon signs. The series called Chinatown takes popular logos and adds a description of the represented product in chinese neon letters. The sign’s unusual characters reminisce experiences tourists have wandering aimlessly throughout the world’s Chinatowns letting themselves get seduced by these exotic bright letters. The irony is that nine out of ten times the logo itself is recognizable on its own and the words are unnecessary. Is there anyone on the planet who cannot identify Starbucks or Pepsi brands on sight?
Mehmet’s signs are made from handblown painted glass. Each letter and product logo is stenciled out and designed from a printed drawing. The process of blowing glass is long and tedious. The flame has to be exactly the right temperature in order for it to mold into the desired shape. After it hardens the glass is painted. Upon studying the signs and seeing them together you realize people cannot digest more than a few colors at once when making a decision. Each logo Mehmet chose has three colors or less which is not a coincidence. It’s been documented that the brain can only handle six choices at once. If it goes over that number it shuts down. Corporate culture wouldn’t dream of this happening and explains why these logos are kept simple.
A few years ago, Gozetlik designed another interesting series which minimized logo packaging. The study “Minimalist effect in the maximalist market” showed how a product becomes more desirable as the packaging is stripped away. He used brands such as Nutella and Pringles to achieve this goal. (via designboom)
Peter Trevelyan’s incredible geometric sculptures are a thing of wonder being created out of fragile pencil lead. Fused together carefully with glue these delicate sculptures come in a range of sizes that will boggle the mind.
Patient careful craftsmanship, the slow meticulous creation of form through the assemblage of repeated elements and an interest in the architecture of space are characteristics of Peter Trevelyan’s elegant, refined works, which speak to the world’s structures but also to fragility and ethereality – both practically and metaphorically.
Forged from in his interest in the history of mathematics Trevelyan’s pieces, large and tiny, transit possibilities from antiquity through utopian architecture to future focused nanotechnology.
Drawing and sculpture are entwined in Peter Trevelyan’s practice with both two and three-dimensional works ‘drawn’ in fine pencil lead or created with paper. An investigation of the role of drawing is at the heart of his work. As he has said:
“A drawing is a plan, a preliminary visualisation of something to be undertaken in the physical world. Drawing is an ancient technology, a system for postulating, organising and mapping information about the physical world and manipulating it in order to change or affect that world.” (via)
Kirra Jamison has a new site and a new series. This Australian artist creates works in series that are visually striking and unexpected. Her series of gouache drawings on paper are reminiscent of intricate Chinese paper cuts to a monumental scale. She is an artist to watch, continually moving forward and diversifying her body of work through new mediums and new series, each even more intriguing than the last. Her past works explore themes of mystical narrative, isolated places, and decorative patterns.