Mastodon Mesa, an on-going project at the Pacific Design Center curated by Graham Kolbeins and Mya Stark, invites you to lose yourself in the twists and turns of Albert Reyes’ vast handbuilt maze. Comprised of re-purposed wood discarded on the streets of L.A., this stunning installation has been under construction for more than four years, hidden away from the world in Reyes’ back yard—until now. Albert Reyes is a Los Angeles-based artist whose hyper-realistic yet dreamlike drawings address themes both personal and cultural. His canvas has ranged from recycled hardcover book covers to public sidewalks, where his beer spit drawings drew national media attention along with original illustrations and prints by Reyes are also on display. Check out more images from his maze as well as a video shot by Graham when the maze was still in its original habitat.
Thursday, May 20th from 5-8pm
Mastodon Mesa, Suite B210
Pacific Design Center
8687 Melrose Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Sean Norvet is an LA-based artist who paints grotesquely amusing mash-ups that represent the mania and excess of contemporary culture. Food and flesh are his two main ingredients; shattered jawbones, melting eyes, raw meat, and fast food collide in unholy, humanoid altars. Norvet punctuates his pieces with eroticized body parts, mixing desire and beauty ideals with mass consumption. Despite the gruesome subject matter, his work is surprisingly humorous—and there’s a lot to digest.
In an Artist Perspective video with the Stay Gallery, Norvet describes today’s technology-saturated world as an all-you-can eat buffet. From dawn until dusk, we are inundated with arbitrary connections and information—whether we consent to them or not. With intense talent and keen social observations, his paintings reveal this cultural chaos in shameless and visceral ways, provoking self-reflection through imagery that is fun, insightful, and revolting.
In the last year, we’ve featured a variety of artists who are using embroidery in unique ways, such as Leah Emery’s erotic stitches and Juana Gomez’s anatomy portraits. Featured today is the work of Lisa Smirnova, who embroiders images that ripple with impressionistic life. Her subjects range from animals, to pensive tattooed men, to creative portraits of icons such as Frida Kahlo. Body parts are also recurring throughout work—such as a heart in a bouquet, and a pelvis on a white shirt—lending the otherwise “unassuming” medium of embroidery a flavor of surrealism and the macabre.
Smirnova’s artworks require time and patience, some taking months to complete. This is not surprising, considering the way she masterfully stitches threads into the likeness of skin, fur, and bone. The colors blend together seamlessly, capturing the reflection of light on skin and the red-blue tones of the heart. Texture and emotion arrive together as the threads interlock, each character appearing to vibrate with an inner life.
We all need a bit of inspiration every once in a while. Whether you’re having a bad day in the studio or looking to add some art into your life the Beautiful/Decay Book series is the ultimate collection of art & design curated by us for you to enjoy. So get creative, get inspired, and join us in our mission to document, promote, and share the best creative minds from around the world. In other words join the cult of decay and subscribe now!
We have featured the work of Brooklyn based Benjamin Edmiston in the past (here). His recent pieces project a heightened confidence in collage making. His work looks as if he utilizes absolutely everything he can find. Scraps and swatches of paper litter his wacky folk art worlds. The viewer is presented with a scene of meticulously constructed chaos. In dissecting the layers one finds zany circumstances presented with precision.
“Your staff are the nicest pooch lovers in the world. Penny, my precious little wiener…is looking forward to her next stay.”
“Quality of toilet paper could be better…3-ply minimum…otherwise it was a great room and enjoyable stay.”
“I had just given an unflattering review to a volatile pop star’s latest album and heard through the grapevine he was staying at the hotel. I was certain he was going to exact some kind of revenge…after many anxious phone calls…one of your staff kindly offered to stay up with me until I calmed down.”
For the holidays, the Standard Hotels produced a 2014 calendar that details a look back at 2013. In a collaboration with advertising agency and publisher KesselsKramer, the hotel chain reviewed and recreated moments from 2013’s favorite guest letters, comments, and special requests. From all of the bizarre things they had received throughout the year, they narrowed it down to 12 that were reenacted by the hotels’ staff.
If you’ve ever worked in the retail or service industry, you know how weird or picky some people can be. The comments and requests that the Standard Hotels receive is no different. One customer claimed their TV was possessed. Another believed that the hot tub had melted their prescription lenses. One guest was a music journalist (directly above) so anxious about recent scathing review he published that hotel staff stayed to keep him company until he calmed down. He was very appreciative.
Tokyo-based startup H2L is currently in the process of developing the Unlimited Hand, a virtual reality armband. This armband is designed to merge man with machine in such a way that the user feels like they touching onscreen objects. The armband itself is a slick, discreet white band that can be worn on the users arm. It would allow users to “simulate bodily encounters” with elements in the virtual world. This is possible due to the inner workings of the armband which is composed of a haptic sensor, which monitors and reacts to movement as well as a series of electronic muscle stimulators (EMS) which simulate the feelings associated to touch.
An interesting component of this armband is that it is also meant to simulate the feeling of pain, which would bring up a series of ethical questions concerning the limits and potential of such a piece of technology. The immersive nature of the process ties in well with questions of interactivity and art, and with a device of the sort, the possibility of creating interactive artworks would be expanded on many levels.
The impact of such a device on different art forms is interesting to think about, in the way that it would allow a full immersion of the senses. A full immersion of the senses in the virtual world would be a fascinating combination of science and art and would allow us to push the boundaries of both disciplines.
Kelsey Brookes‘ figurative paintings are a surreal manifesto of Hindu and Buddhist dieties, eroticism, animals and American quilt patterns. His work embodies an explosion of energetic colors, culture and anxiety represented with the ghostly characters in his paintings.