Chilean artist Serena Garcia Dalla Venezia creates large, colorful fabric installations fashioned from small handmade balls of fabric filled with cotton and sewn together. Inspired by ideas of growth and accumulation, order and chaos, Dalla Venezia’s work is intricate and her process is organic. During this process, she is mindful of the color gradations and contrasts, creating a populated color palette that almost appears pixelated.
Shaun Berke is one of the most skilled artists I’ve ever met. And when I saw a Rembrandt master-copy he created for a group show, I instinctively knew that he must have had some really insane pieces hiding out in his studio. So, I took the trip out to his place, where he pulled out one amazing print after another. He had woodcuts that were as masterful as anything by Albert Dürer as well as an entire book he made for his thesis project at Art Center that was full of pop culture references you wouldn’t realize he was initially inspired by. The fact that he can execute everything from a classical painting to graphic design work is kind of unheard of. There are those who can do one or the other, but very rarely anyone who can do it all, and do it all remarkably well. In particular though, I really wish Shaun continues to make some more woodcuts, since I haven’t seen an artist do anything close to what he’s doing with the medium due to his level of detail and depth of narrative. I mean, some of his pieces have entire books that go along with them featuring mythologies he’s created based upon heavy research.
Brad Kahlhamer uses his Native American heritage and post punk urban culture to paint large abstract symbols across canvas’ and create his own spiritual dolls. He is interested in culture and identity and through his art is building a world where he fits in. His artwork has an undertone of darkness meets the real world. A “third place” as Brad Kahlhamer calls it, where two opposing personal histories meet.
His paintings are filled with totems, poles, teepees, hawks and weaves combined with images from different cultures. It unveils an obsession for his ancestors and the modern life he is living. He is influenced by rock music and multiculturalism which is reflected in his paintings by the tone of colors and the display of the elements throughout the canvas. The dolls are a logical continuation of the artist’s train of thoughts.
Brad Kahlhamer has decorated the dolls with recycled and organic elements; feathers, bicycle-tire inner tubes, his own hair, discarded clothing, rope, and leather. Originally, the dolls are Katsina dolls, cottonwood carvings of Katsinam, spiritual beings in the Hopi religion. Respectful of the amalgam his pieces might have caused in terms of culture appropriation, the artist, always gave credit to the origin of his influences. The tribe he has created is carefully constructed. Blending geometric shapes, nails and wired legs to the essence of the Katsina dolls, the artist is empowering the individuals and blurring the lines between multiculturalism and abstract modernism.
Filmmaker Dave Altizer’s short mini-documentary Porcelainia features Bobby Jaber, an educator, scientist, and artist. After Jaber retired from teaching chemistry, he was able to focus his energies on porcelain work, specifically geometric designs based on molecular shapes. Jaber’s approach to his work is inspired by his scientist/artist predecessors, most notably Buckminster Fuller, inventor of the geodesic dome. Though he’s had a little financial success with some of his work, Jaber is clearly motivated by love and dedication to his craft. Be sure to stick around after the credits to catch Jaber’s priceless reaction to current technology.
Today we say goodbye to yet another great B/D Book. Our second book in the B/D series is officially sold out! You will now have to search for it in stores and on the almighty eBay to find yourself a copy. To reserve future copies of Beautiful/Decay head over to our subscription page and subscribe today! Each subscription ensures that you get a copy of our book series before it hits stores and comes jam packed with hundreds of artists that will forever change your world view and put you at the edge of creativity.
Roger Weiss is a Swiss-born photographer educated at the Accademia di Brera, in Milan. His fashion and fine art photography displays an obsession with the human form. Weiss teases sensuality and subversive themes from his subjects, flaunting them in evocative ways to touch on issues of the objectification of women.
Human Dilations is a study in the feminine form and foray into the subject of beauty and it’s stereotypes. A woman is often boiled down info a series of visual queues that objectify and define her. This project studies whether each form—in it’s distortion and elation—is a physical whole, or simply an object.
“Human Dilatations does not fear the marks of frailness of the body and its imperfections,” said Weiss. “But rather, encourages the female image to appear as a whole: a shape by itself, in a game of distortions that allows one to differently relate to the image, entirely detached from the stereotypical and hypocritical notion of beauty.” (via savage)