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Gilles Soudry Photographs Curls Of Smoke That Resemble Dark Otherworldly Beings

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In a series titled Volutes (Curls in English), French photographer Gilles Soudry captures the haunting images of smoke frozen in time. Set against a black backdrop, the jets and coils unfold hypnotically, creating eerie, translucent shapes that take the likeness of strange creatures: aliens, ghosts, deep-sea invertebrates, and parasites come to mind. The indistinct shapes allow the viewer to make his or her own interpretation of what the smoke has manifested. At once ephemeral and static, it’s like an otherworldly dance that transcends the logic of space and time, or as Soudry describes it, “an aerial choreography [. . .], outlining an imaginary figure which is freezing into crystalline transparency before it scatters” (Source).

Trained as a photoengraver, Soudry’s work is aimed towards the “photography of matter, surface effects, [and] transparency” (Source). He is interested in shifting outlines and fluid dynamics, combining the fixed nature of the image with figures of immateriality and transience. Volutes captures beauty, mysticism (and indeed, a dark sentience) where otherwise there would just be a thin haze. In this way, Soudry fosters an awareness and appreciation for the beauty and forms that occur on the periphery of materiality and awareness.

You can view more of Soudry’s work on his website. (Via Hi-Fructose)

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Blue Rooster Art Supplies Photo Contest!

If you live in the Los Angeles area then you know about our pals over at Blue Rooster Art Supplies. Not only do they carry a vast selection of all your favorite Beautiful/Decay books but they also carry a great assortment of materials for you to create artwork in every medium imaginable!

To kick off the month of June Blue Rooster will be holding an epic photo contest. They want to see and share what is on the edge of your art making experience. Is it a paint stained corner of a warehouse studio? Is it your walk to school? Is it the party after the opening? Whatever is at the periphery of your art, they would like to see it.

All you gotta do is email up to five images of what you consider the edge of your art. Each image will be judged on concept as well as composition. All submissions must be in by midnight June 20th. Send images to blue@blueroosterartsupplies.com with the subject “Photo contest”.

Winners will be announced on June 23rd.

Winners Receive:
1st Prize $100 cash + $100 worth of supplies
2nd Prize $50 cash +$50 worth of supplies
3rd Prize $50 worth of supplies
Four Honorable Mentions get $25 worth of supplies each.

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Studio Visit: Noah Becker

Noah Becker graciously allowed Beautiful/Decay into his Canadian studio to view his new body of work.   Becker is about to open a second studio in New York this September for the fall 2012-13 art season.  This is a correspondence studio visit, Beautiful/Decay requested the photos and they were provided by another photographer.  Although the paintings are clearly portraits, Noah describes his newest work as figurative instead of portraiture.   I recognize a few of the faces but generally the paintings aren’t obviously people we should know, and because they aren’t it follows that they can’t be portraits in the traditional meaning of a portrait of a specific person.  Noah presents us with a romantic vision of elegant people, people who are good at living!  Wish I was one of those, ha.  Some of the folks feel like 70s’ rock stars or maybe authors from the 30s’, and I think I recognize some of Velasquez’s Spanish Renaissance princes.  When asked Becker mentions “stillness and time frozen in a moment,” which is a way to talk about the strange nowness of consciousness, or possibly he’s saying the point of modern life is to be elegant in the absence of direction.  If you don’t know what you’re doing, you might as well do nothing with style.

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Leonard Greco

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Leonard Greco has a way of portraying people in his portraits, defiantly capturing each person’s personality in a mindful way. He has already built quite a portfolio, working with the Arctic Monkeys and Yeasayer to name a few. He currently works in New York.

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Salão Coboi’s High Fashion Monsters

The 9 Worthies is a series of sculptures produced by art project Salão Coboi.  Each sculpture highlights pieces from the autumn/winter 2012 fashion collections…as worn by polymer resin monsters.  The creatures model clothing from brands and designers such as Maison Martin Margiela, Jil Sander, Raf Simons, ACNE and Paul Smith.  Sculpted, hand painted and signed by Salão Coboi, each piece is part of an edition of twenty.

Salão Coboi (Portuguese for Cowboy Salon) is the personal project of artist Apolinário Pereira.  Originally, the project began as a “collective that was born in 2009 two days after Michael Jackson’s death in the European Wild West (Portugal)”.  Pereira now operates Salão Coboi as a solo project.

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Richard Wilson turns the place over

The most daring piece of public art ever commissioned in the UK, Turning the Place Over is artist Richard Wilson’s most radical intervention into architecture to date, turning a building in Liverpool’s city centre literally inside out. It runs in daylight hours, triggered by a light sensor. The piece consists of an 8 metres diameter ovoid cut from the façade of a building in Liverpool city centre and made to oscillate in three dimensions, resting on a giant rotator usually used in the shipping and nuclear industries, it cts as a huge opening and closing ‘window’, offering recurrent glimpses of the interior during its constant cycle during daylight hours. Amazing!

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Mitch Griffiths’ Paintings Mix Old Master Technique With Contemporary Culture

British artist Mitch Griffiths‘ work is inspired by the light and the composition of the Old Masters, but his context and content depict issues that concern modern culture. In his work, Griffiths addresses the disposable nature of contemporary culture by immortalizing this transience with the perceived permanence of the painting medium. His figurative portraits are dark and foreboding and often turbulent. The drama depicted in his paintings, though contemporary, feels universal, historical, and personal. Though many of his images resonate with religious iconography, the “symbolism reflects a modern quest for redemption from the overriding self-obsession and consumerism of contemporary society, with its vanity and greed, addictions and needless suffering.”

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Paul McCarthy Attacked While Installing Christmas Tree (Butt Plug) Sculpture

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Famed Los Angeles artist Paul McCarthy was attacked in Paris on Thursday while finishing the installation of his nearly 80-foot tall sculpture, called Tree, outside the Place Vendôme. Paul McCarthy, who contributed this piece to the FIAC’s “Hors Les Murs” program, was punched in the face multiple times by an unknown assailant who was enraged by the nature of the sculpture. Tree, although ambiguously shaped and rather indistinct, happens to distinctly look like either a Brancusi sculpture or, less poetically, like a butt plug. 

The angry assailant, or shall we say “pain in the ass,” was also enraged that McCarthy is indeed NOT French, and yet is showing work at this prestigious venue. Luckily, McCarthy was not seriously injured, despite being shaken and disturbed by the incident. McCarthy explained that the sculpture “started as a joke.” He primarily noted that butt plugs and Brancusi sculptures shared a similar silhouette, which eventually led to the realization that a green object of this shape also resembles a Christmas tree. Thus, Tree was erected.

“But it is an abstract work. People may be offended if they want to refer to [it as a] plug, but, for me, it is more of an abstraction.”

FIAC director Jennifer Flay noted that despite the understood controversial aspect of the sculpture, the inherent ambiguity in it precludes it from being offensive or unsuitable for public view. It was fully approved before installation by all local bodies. (Excerpt from Source)

To see more naughty work by Paul McCarthy go here.

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