The monumental works of Danish artist Rasmus Danø orbit the dark side of modernity: The atom bomb, the polluted landscape, the decay of pop culture back yards like Disneyland and Graceland. Using a condensed and dramatic form mixing elements of comic book art, Californian underground, and murals with the great European tradition, the large scale religious implementations of the Baroque in particular, Danø works range from the traditional painting to reliefs and singular objects.
Rachel Whiteread’s architectural installations are recognizable objects made with unexpected materials. A door made of resin that appears translucent pink, or a black mattress that looks like the leftover coals of a fire help to reconsider the objects possibilities and meanings. The mattresses say two very different things in white and black, made obvious also by the way the two are installed and documented. One lying flat in the middle of a decaying room appears totally dejected and quite violent. The white mattress is propped up against a wall, giving it a lighter look, as well as the actual condition of the room being more clean and the lighting more forgiving.
More epic in proportion is her “Water Tower” (1998) that is atop the Museum of Modern Art in New York, or her installation at Trafalgar square, “Monument” (2001) where she recreated, and placed the plinth upside down on itself. Presumably the water-tower is not able to function as such, and the plinth on top of a plinth is funny as well. Both are made of completely clear material, so they’re there but not. It’s a creative way to toy with materials and the viewers expectation and reaction to them, especially in object used in a practical sense, or ones with which we are well acquainted.
You might remember Kumi Yamashita from one of our October posts featuring her extraordinary collection of works with light and shadow. If you recall, Yamashita subtly manipulated materials such as paper, fabric and wood to strategically use lighting on them in order to create shadow art installations. Her imagination and impressive craft skills lead her to create this new ongoing series entitled Constellation (a title that references the Greek tradition of tracing mythical figures in the sky).
This body of work consists of three materials: a wooden panel painted a solid white, thousands of small galvanized nails, and a single, unbroken, common sewing thread. She creates these stunning portraits by using the single,unbroken thread wrapped around thousands of nails. The task at hand is laborious, but the result is well worth the work.
Beautiful/Decay is proud to present B/D Cover Artist Alumni and talented artist Aaron Nobel’s newest mural and exhibit in Los Angeles. Known for his comic book reconstructions, Aaron’s newest mural in the hip Melrose and Heliotrope intersection of Los Angeles measures at the over 30 x 50 feet!
To celebrate the unveiling of the mural Synchronicity Space (directly across the street from the mural) will be holding a three day exhibition of drawings and paintings by Aaron. The show and mural unveiling kicks off on May 24th from 6-10pm with a set by DJ BlackRainbow and refreshments. Read more about the mural and see an assortment of Aaron’s work after the jump.
Bae Sehwa’s steamed bentwood furniture ripples in airy and sinewy ways to curve around the human body. The precision in each piece is not accidental. It’s acutely planned. Sehwa digitally renders and manipulates geometric forms then returns to the actual physical form, steaming and bending the wood into a mold under a tight watch. The result is functional, organically smooth, and flawless.
According to R Gallery, “Bae Sehwa’s work is derived from the Korean concept of baesanimsu, meaning the back of the mountain and front of the water and he draws heavily from the profound connection to nature in traditional Korean theories of divination. The steam bent wooden frame of this lounge offers a narrative that includes both the tranquil, meditative qualities of flowing water and the strong, comforting silhouette of a mountain.”
“Bela Lugos’s dead, undead undead undead…” sang Peter Murphy to the first of two sold out shows at Los Angeles’ Fonda Theatre a couple of weeks ago celebrating thirty five years of Bauhaus with the Mr. Moonlight Tour. While I would have liked to have seen Bauhaus perform, I wasn’t going to pass up the chance to see Peter Murphy and his band perform an all Bauhaus set.
Opening the show with King Volcano and playing songs like Stigmata Martyr, The Passion of Lovers and of course Bela Lugosi’s Dead, it was definitely a sing-a-long with Peter Murphy kind of night. Peter Murphy looked as cool as ever dancing around stage with his trademark moves. Of course the show wouldn’t have been complete without them ending with the Bauhaus versions of T. Rex‘s Telegram Sam and David Bowie‘s Ziggy Stardust.
The US tour has ended, but he’ll be in Mexico at the Teatro Metropólitan tonight Thursday, August 8th and will follow with shows in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and ending in Sao Paolo, Brazil on Wednesday, August 14th at the Carioca Club
Last night, Jonathan Levine Gallery in Chelsea, NYC opened a group show entitled Détournement : Signs of the Times. The show includes works from some big names including Ron English, Shepard Fairey, Jamie Reid, Steve Powers, and Aiko Nakagawa. “Détournement” refers to the practice of altering the face of public signage to change their respective meanings. From curator Carlo McCormick (editor of PAPER magazine):
Employed brilliantly by the Situationists, whose great philosopher Guy Debord laid out the socio-aesthetic framework for this practice, détournements twist the terms of mimicry in ironic parody using the a semblance of the easily recognizable to dissemble and redirect the literal meaning of signs so as to construe a more honest picture of their deceptive intentions.
A natural response to the lies and coercions we are fed on a daily basis, the détournement has been the reactive impulse of all those who question reality, from the Punks who adopted it in the 1970s through Culture Jammers, Adbusters, contemporary street artists and the winding legacy of protest movements from WTO to Occupy.
Chicago-based Andy Burkholder has been posting a consistant supply of mind-clearing one-pagers on his wonderful tumblr. He’s got something special going, and he’s just riding the wave real hard. His work outside of the one-page bits is just as impressive, but more focused on experimentation, as opposed to a formally consistent body of work. Check out his web, his flick, and visit him at CAKE. A buttery smooth man.