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Behind-the-Scenes with “Art Works Every Time” Artist: Harrison Roberts

Harrison Roberts' Studio

Harrison Roberts' Studio

Harrison Roberts’ work combines vertiginous, mandalic quality linework, texture and patterns with a pop color sensibility. Harrison is near and dear to our hearts as he actually was a fearless B/D intern earlier this year! We’re really excited he’ll be part of our upcoming “Art Works Every Time” exhibition! Just 4 days away now…

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Mike Leavitt’s Combines World Leaders and Star Wars

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Mike Leavitt is  already known for his playfully subversive figures that feature and poke fun at other artists, celebrities, and world leaders. In his newest series, Empire Peaks, Leavitt combines famous leaders and innovators with characters from Star Wars. Comprised of 18 figures sculpted out of wood, and each corresponds to one character from the movie franchise.  Albert Einstein’s infamous expression is sculpted into R2-D2, while Steve Jobs is his counterpart C-3PO. Michael Jackson plays the part of the adorable Ewoks. US President Barack Obama is Lando Calrissian.

Inspiration for Empire Peaks came from Leavitt’s experience growing up as a Gen-X’r raised by Baby Boomers. With both his parents working, he had to entertain himself, relying on the cheap thrills of television and plastic toys. Describing the series, he writes:

For better or worse, each ‘Empire Peaks’ non-fictional character is complicit in the world order today. We’re all shackled to our past because of endlessly echoing paradigms. David Sirota argues in ‘Back to Our Future’ for a cyclical 30-year regurgitation of politics and culture. I think it’s an inescapable human nature causing regimes to repeat themselves. ‘Empire Peaks’ are meant to reduce modern dynasties to a sci-fi soap opera of objects.

It’s all about gluttony. Serving desires lubricates civilization. Capitalism fills desire and demand. Development expands. Culture thrives. From religious redemption to material objects, mass coveting is the driving force. (Via ARTNAU)

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Masaya Kushino Designs Chimerical High Heels With Animal Parts

Masaya Kushino - Design

Masaya Kushino - Design

Masaya Kushino - Design

Masaya Kushino - Design

Masaya Kushino‘s high heel  designs are chimerical, fusing organic textures and materials with the manmade. He utilizes luxurious fur and lush jungle moss alongside meticulously stitched leather, creating works of art that are quirky and beautifully imaginative.

It’s fitting that the form he chooses to play with is the high heel: the height of artifice; impractical; undeniably evocative. It’s a choice that is brimming with meaning and possible interpretations. They’re an everyday item but commonly elevated by haute couture into something fantastical. To some people, they represent an unobtainable ideal, one that is rife with sociopolitical meaning and controversy. Whether you approve of the existence of stilettos or not, they’re admittedly architectural, intriguing in their contours and elegant curves.

Kushino emphasizes a number of these qualities, borrowing the jeweled swoop of a peacock’s tail feather and a bouquet of flowers to highlight the theatricality. In his latest work, called “Bird-Witched,” he incorporates an element of the grotesque: Three shoes that seem each an embryonic stage in the development of a chicken. The heel of the shoe is a gnarled claw, sharp-toed and grisly.

“Bird-Witched” can be seen at the Kyoto National Museum of Modern Art but will soon be making an appearance at the Brooklyn Museum, which is currently exhibiting “Killer Heels,” a retrospective of the last 4 centuries of iconic shoes. (h/t Spoon & Tamago)

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Stewart Gough’s High Tech Machines

London based Stewart Gough’s high-tech sculptures look like a mixture between NASA space explorers, mad scientist chemistry labs, and futuristic war machines. However they are all built out of everyday materials such as plastic plates, pipe fittings, tape, nylon strings and other everyday materials you could get at your neighborhood hardware store. (via theeyestheysee)

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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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Culinary (Visual) Art From Hong Yi

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Artist and architect Hong Yi emphasizes ‘art’ in culinary art.  Her simple white dishes are plated with food.  However, this is more than a simple meal.  Only using these white dishes and food ingredients, Hong Yi recreates famous works of art, light hearted scenes, and pop culture icons.  The project began as 31 days of creativity in March – an exercise she began to encourage more creativity every day.  Each day Hong Yi would create a new piece and post it on instagram.    [via]

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Daisuke Tajima’s Images Of The Ultra-Detailed Cities That Live Within His Mind

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Daisuke Tajima’s paintings are vertiginous in all aspects. They depict ultra-detailed never-ending tall buildings. The artist is placing the perspective from above, as if we were flying amongst the city. But the beauty of these paintings lies in the fact that they are all imaginary.

To get lost into his art. This seems to be the aim of the young artist. The paintings are massive and the features of the city landscapes so small. The rooftops are particularly intricately detailed. From the pipes and machineries to the hoists. The repetition of these elements form a pattern which appears regularly throughout the painting and which makes the whole picture look claustrophobic. Daisuke Tajima says he feels comfortable in this world. He seems to dominate what is around him. An escape which he purposely created in order to be able to feel safe and in control.

“I wanted to hide away in my own world to ease the loneliness and insecurity I felt from not belonging. This piece is a world I can believe in.”

Daisuke Tajima just recently graduated in Japan. His talent was rewarded by a prize of 10 million yen (about $83K) for the cityscape series “gokinchotaikoku II”. Although this sounds like a rich outcome, it doesn’t look like success will stop the prodigy from creating sensitive and meaningful art pieces. Loosing himself into the depth of an imaginary city is Daisuke Tajima’s symbolic hideaway. (via Juxtapoz)

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Painting With Thread: Stephanie Kelly’s Finely Detailed Embroidery Dwellings

Stephanie Kelly 21

Stephanie Kelly art

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Salt Lake City based artist Stephanie Kelly creates beautifully detailed illustrations out of thread. The series featured here is entitled “Dwellings” and speaks to the theme of domesticity that informs Kelly’s use of embroidery and her attempt to reclaim craft as fine art. Painting with thread instead of oils gives her work depth and tactility, creating rich and voluminous textures and blends. Kelly embroiders thread and fabric wallpaper pieces onto stretched canvases, which gives her work this remarkably detailed multi-textured design. Kelly began as a painter and illustrator, and was eventually given the opportunity to work with whatever medium she desired and decided to combine her skills with her love of craft. Kelly says her grandmother taught her to embroider and that this has largely inspired the domestic theme that permeates her work. Kelly’s painter’s eye applied to embroidery reminds me of the last embroidery work I posted, featuring Ana Tereza Barboza. You can watch a video profile of Kelly after the jump. (via from89)

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