Brooklyn based Stacy Fisher utilizes Hydrocal, shellac, burlap, wire mesh, paint, and wood to create subtle yet unrefined forms. The platforms in which her structures reside are as integral to the work as the rough abstractions that take center stage. These monuments remain tethered at times by chains and bolts as if imprisoned. Fisher presents vibrant and simplistic structures that exhilarate their environment.
Nicholas Hlobo is a South African artist based in Johannesburg whose work often revolves around the idea of duality, especially as seen in the South African Xhosa culture. The contrast between feminine and masculine sexuality is of special interest to Hlobo, as well as “comfort, shelter, protection, beauty, cleanliness, sacred space, pleasure and fantasy.” An intense collection of work that gracefully explores some of humanity’s founding instincts.
At the end of life: a camera lens, desperately recording and archiving the fears of the dying. For the series Life Before Death, the photographer Walter Schels captures the terminally ill in anticipation of the unknown and again in the moment after death. These intimate portraits are the last of a lifetime, documenting the body after some ineffable human essence has vanished. Informed by the words gathered in interview with the subjects by Schels’s partner Beate Lakotta, the haunting shots imagine the invisible, giving form to the most unconquerable human fear.
Schels’s portraits, in their silvery black and white tones, are reminiscent of Victorian post-mortem photography, presenting the dead as if sleeping, their eyes closed and brows gone slack in seeming comfort. These images are poignantly juxtaposed with the interviews, conversations in which even the most mundane, peripheral things of daily life are assigned significance; beside wizened and terrified eyes and coupled with existential wonderings are thoughts on fridge-freezers and local football teams. The banal works against and in service of the tragic; when confronted with death, a burial site and a cup of coffee are equally potent reminders of our mortality.
At the turn of the 20th century, it was believed that the eye recorded the last sight seen by the dead, that with careful study of the ocular nerves, we might reconstruct the moment of death. Schels’s subjects, pictured with gleaming eyes and contained within unrelentingly tight frames, seem to stare into the viewer as they confront inevitable passing, as if to implicate us or to say, “You are the last thing I saw.” (via The Guardian)
Australian artist Ben Frost’s Lost in the Supermarket (now showing at Bout, a reference to The Clash song, remarks on the over stimulation, confusion and daily hypnosis we are trapped by, as we struggle to stand still on a buzzing psychedelic landscape of brands, identities and social demands.
Artist Andres Serrano‘s series of photographs The Morgue investigates ideas of death and our relationship with it. Working with a forensic pathologist Serrano photographed the bodies with a near classical beauty rarely associated with the morgue. Serrano ensured the anonymity of each person through tight cropping or veiling the face. The way in which the light interacts with the bodies and their veils is reminiscent of Italian baroque painting. The chiaroscuro of each photograph seems to underscore some mystery behind death balancing the morgue’s comparatively cold analytic approach. Further, the careful attention to detail and composition dignifies each person. Each subject, some actually unknown persons, are considered individually as initial shock gives way to contemplation and reflection. However, these are not sentimental images. There still remains a certain emotional detachment, a terrible loneliness in death, and Serrano’s intention is ambiguous. Each photograph’s title is each subject’s respective cause of death, and have been inserted in each photographs’ caption. Also, please note: Some may consider these photographs to be graphic and/or disturbing. (via boum!bang!)
We continue our month long series of free outdoor screenings at Space 15 Twenty this Wednesday, May 13th, with “Basquiat.” The screenings are projected on the large outdoor screen located next to the Snack Bar. The movie examines the meteoric rise to art stardom of Basquiat, a young artist renowned for his loose and expressive style- and dating Madonna at the ripe old age of 24! If you’ve never seen this film, Basquiat is the classically Shakespearian figure of the romantic and mysterious tragic-fated artist. The film also continues to explore themes of trends and commodity.
Seating is limited so arrive early to secure a chair, but if you get there late, no worries you can always sit on the floor or bring your own chair! Last week we even had a couple of troopers stand and watch the film!
Drinks, Snacks and Popcorn are available at Snack Bar!
Basquiat- Wed, May 13
Space 15twenty 1520
N. Cahuenga Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90028
See more Beautiful/Decay Movie Times for the month of May after the jump!
Beautiful/Decay recently had the opportunity to go behind-the-scenes at Mark Moore Gallery while artist Cordy Ryman was installing his latest exhibition, “Hail to the Grid.” As the show title implues, Ryman both riffs off the conceptual frameworks of minimalism and abstraction, and simultaneously playfully transgresses some of the movements’ core philosopies. While minimalism delights in the precision and rationality of its more reductivist tendencies, at the very core of Ryman’s sensibility is an opposing sense of spontaneity and free-form creation. Many of his works are self-referential, responding to their own materials or processes as sources of inspiration and thematic vocabulary. For instance, the cast off remnants of Velcro used to install a piece to the wall are later integrated into a grid-like abstracted collage, which, in turn, becomes the subject matter for a painting. Ryman delights in the elegance of distilled form, though instills a sense of sincerity in their physicality: hand-cutting, painting and fashioning his constituent parts with an affectionate hand. While a minimalist like Stella, for example, savored the steely finality of his imposing black paintings, Ryman in contrast frequently re-works his pieces, allowing chance and flexibility to enter into the work at any time. Even the installation of works are constantly in flux–shortly after Beautiful/Decay snapped up photographs of Ryman’s installation in process, Ryman called to inform us that one of the pieces was now on the wall and the entire exhibition looked different! Be sure to visit Ryman’s exhibition, opening this Saturday and running until Dec. 21 to see the final results! Full interview with Ryman, including his process for creating works, installation and outlook on art, below.