Dude. Just. Whoa. Heavy metal/wizards in winter/hesh lights.
Sometimes the lines between work and play blur at Beautiful/Decay. Such was the case last week when I joined premiere art supply manufacturers Royal Talens and Canson for a ten day excursion through Paris and Amsterdam to explore the sites, see the museums, and get a vip tour of the various factories that make the paints, pastels, and watercolors that the Royal Talens brand is known for. If you were keeping tabs of our Instagram (beautifuldecayofficial) and Facebook page last week you may have seen a picture or two from our trip but we thought it would be nice to give you an expanded glimpse into our travels through a three part blog post. Follow us as we start in Paris and make our way over to Amsterdam through out this week!
We’ve all probably spent too much time watching creamer dissipate into coffee (or at least i did when i bussed tables). The interesting part to me wasn’t how beautiful and otherworldly the plumes looked, but how watching them never seemed to get old. Italian photographer Albert Seveso obviously shares this fascination and expands on it with varicolored inks which he captures with high-speed photography as they unfold underwater. Captured like this, the ink looks incredibly physical, like glass sculptures. Witnessing the transformation of substances feels like watching the cosmos themselves, which we are in a sense, and is why this is a series third graders and thirty year olds alike can get behind.
Tom Feiler’s photographs look like stills from your next favorite movie. Who doesn’t like a romantic comedy starring a giant food as the male lead?
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.
More images of works in the show after the jump.
Valerio Loi is a photographer who currently works between London and his birthplace of Cagliari, Italy. In a series of images called Web Popularity Products, Loi envisions a future where online popularity has been turned into physical commodities, just like food at the supermarket. With bright colors and labels stamped with the familiar icons of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Badoo, and LinkedIn, Loi’s “products” sit inconspicuously on store shelves amongst mayonnaise and cans of corned beef. While things like Instagram followers can already be purchased online (although it is often a ridiculed practice), the increasing value of one’s online presence could one day mean we consume simulated “popularity” alongside our processed and over-packaged foods.
“The more social networks are born, the more purchasable services to increase users’ popularity are created,” Loi observes on his project description. “Alongside our physical life based on face to face interaction, nowadays many of us consider . . . online image and networking [to be really important]” (Source). In some ways, Loi’s work displays an anxiety over the current trend of social media that seems to undermine genuine human connections; his other personal project, titled Human Feelings as Drugs, similarly explores this fear of the commodification and loss of our deepest experiences and emotions. However, Loi photographs his Web Popularity Products in a relatively innocent light, allowing the viewers to decide for themselves whether social media will lead to practical transformations of human identities, or the spiritual bankruptcy thereof.
Based out of Sydney Australia, Mitch Beige Brown is a young designer with a stunning portfolio of unusual and playful works under his belt. Ranging from ironic/iconic art direction and collaborations for record sleeves, Mitch’s perspective is a breath of fresh air.
Luo Yang is a photographer from Shenyang, China, now living in Beijing. Working strictly with film and rarely doctoring her photos, Luo Yang’s work is an exploration of youth: longing, uncertainty, spindly-limbed awkwardness, and, of course, an endlessly enviable sense of cool. In her shows, highly staged portraits, casual poses, and spontaneous shots all appear alongside on another, blurring the inherent truth of the medium of photography.