At first glance, it looks like these embroideries by artist Sula Fay pair thread with your average stitching techniques to depict body parts, words, and ancient sculptures on circular vintage Victorian-era doilies. That fact alone makes them unconventional in the traditional sense of the craft. But, the artist adds one more special touch to make these works all her own – strands of her hair. Fay threads a needle with her locks and passes it through the aged fabric. She describes her reasons and process:
As an adolescent, I struggled with my hair. Being of half African and Puerto Rican descent I inherited very naturally curly hair. Alongside my white skinned, long straight haired friends, I felt different and unattractive. I went through many gruelling hours brushing, combing, and straightening. That process was very difficult and tedious, just like the process of my embroideries. To embroider with my hair I have to straighten each piece separately. (Via Booooooom)
The work of artist Ted Lawson reveals a persistent interest in the human body. Though his work is attractive to look at, or at least hard to pull away from, there is clearly a deeper fear being expressed. His art investigates processes related to the physical body such as growth, its needs, its decay and death. Really, these sculptures are physical representations of modern psychological concerns. The tenuous relationship between the body and the mind has been a highly scrutinized theme throughout much of contemporary art. Lawson’s work, though, has a way of striking an especially carnal chord.
Gary Taxali is a multi-talented designer, illustrator and artist. His playful style is reminiscent of the golden age of 1950’s advertising, where wholesome, larger than life characters such as the checkered suspendered, pompadoured smiling Bob’s Big Boy still reigned supreme (and were not ironic yet.) Taxali’s bold style has earned him dozens of clients, ranging from Rolling Stone, MTV, Lev’s and Converse just to name a few. Beautiful/Decay recently got the chance to interview Taxali.
These are much more than simple balloon animals. Jason Hackenwerth‘s creations float like giant swimming organisms. His newest creature, Pisces, which recently debuted at the Edinburgh International Science festival is particularly massive. Pisces is built of thousands of balloons blown up and tied together. It took three of members of the festival six days to blow up all of the balloons for the 40 foot structure. The piece now hangs in the Grand Gallery of the National Museum of Scotland through April 14, 2013.
What’s behind the door of a therapist’s office? Psychiatrist and photographer Sebastian Zimmermann provides a look into these spaces with his new book titled Fifty Shrinks. It features 50 portraits of New York City therapists in offices that are normally only seen by their patients.
“In contrast to other medical specialists’ offices with their practical equipment of examining tables and rolling tools, the therapist’s work space has few obvious demands beyond seating for clinician and patient,” Zimmermann writes in the introduction. It’s fascinating to see how these offices vary, each with their own idiosyncrasies that meant to support those they’re trying to treat. An essay for the book, by architect Elizabeth Danze, explains that the spaces are “floating vessels, places of sanctuary and protection, healing, and reconciliation,” and goes on to say, “a patient reflects on the trajectory of his or her therapy, an indelible part of that recollection involves the space in which it took place.”
Depending on your personal preference, some offices are more appealing than others. The colors, textures, and choice of seating are all different and no doubt unique to their own philosophies. Zimmermann had the idea for this project about 13 years ago, when he was starting his own practice, and became “aware of the paradox that I spent most of my time interacting with many people yet feeling that I worked in isolation.” (via Hyperallergic)
Chau Har Lee. “Blade Heel,” 2010. Perspex, stainless steel, leather. Courtesy of Chau Har Lee. Photo: Jay Zukerkorn
Noritaka Tatehana. “Atom,” 2012–13. Faux leather. Courtesy of Noritaka Tatehana. Photo: Jay Zukerkorn
Winde Rienstra. “Bamboo Heel,” 2012. Bamboo, glue, plastic cable ties. Courtesy of Winde Rienstra. Photo: Jay Zukerkorn
Iris van Herpen X United Nude. “Beyond Wilderness,” 2013. Courtesy of United Nude. Photo: Jay Zukerkorn
“Killer Heels,” a new exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, traverses the decades from the 17th century up to now, displaying iconic shoes such as Marilyn Monroe’s stilettos alongside modern 3D-printed heels by designer Iris van Herpen. Needless to say, these heels put the “haute” in “haute couture,” one of them featuring 8-inch stilettos that forces the wearer on her toes. Another, a pair of Manchu platform shoes, look almost like jeweled music boxes set on pedestals.
Over the years, high heels have become a complex and controversial symbol, by turns fetishized and reviled. To explore this complexity, the 160 pairs in the exhibit are diverse. On the classical end of the spectrum, French shoes from the late 17th century are modest, with muted colors and crafted from silk and leather. Some heels are more whimsical, like the bright red “Eamz” by Rem D. Koolhaas, which brings to mind the plush vinyl of stools at a soda fountain. The Block Heel from Balenciaga strikes a more classic pose, looking infinitely wearable next to the elegant but tortured lines of Walter Steiger’s “Unicorn Tayss.”
According to Lisa Small, who organized and curated the exhibit, the heels are “difficult aesthetically or meant to be making different kinds of statements rather than the prototypical sexy stiletto.”
Killer Heels elevates the high heel to something more than an accessory. Museum-goers will contemplate its cultural identity, form, and function. They will marvel at the various incarnations from pump to peeptoe. And, upon leaving the exhibit, they will breathe a sigh of relief and thank the powers that be for the invention of the humble sneaker.
The exhibit will be on display until February 15, 2015. Visit the Brooklyn Museum online for directions and details regarding admission and museum hours.
Othelo Gervacio’s Horror/Skate/Metal ink wash work is where it’s at. Gervacio’s technique renders skeletons, reapers, and ghosts just softly enough to mix up the whole graphics game. With a nice mix of controlled bleeding and tight line work, this is a prime example of how this stuff should be done. Where Neckface might parody, Gervacio comes in and celebrates, proving that imitation is not always a form of surrendered creativity.