I’m sure everyone is familiar with what’s going on with the political turmoil in Iran right now, and if you aren’t, there’s plenty to read about in the news. Here’s a video (it’s really quite beautiful) from Iranian Artists in Exile Youtube page. “… As you read these words, the people in Iran have taken to the streets in nationwide protests. Despite brutal government suppression tactics the Iranian people are courageously fighting for their rights. As antiriot police batons crush the bones of demonstrators whose only protest is election fraud, Iranians are screaming for the world to hear them: WE DENOUNCE MAHMOOD AHMADINEJAD!”
Thick and gooey paintings by Bjorn Calleja.
Canadian artist Erin Loree crafts luscious abstract paintings that have an incredible sense of light. The vibrant pictures feature incredible blues, magentas, yellows, and many more spread over a canvas. Loree varies her approach to texture, with some areas of smoothly-applied paint and others with short, thick brush strokes. They work together and form alluring artworks that resemble portraits and at times, landscapes.
Considering the scale of Loree’s strokes, the subjects that she’s painted seem to be captured at a close range. Large, sweeping lines form vague outlines of heads and shoulders, and with names like Energy body, it’s hard not to associate them with that. But, instead of giving us the an idea of what this physical body looks like, Loree uses gesture and intense hues to communicate an inner spirit or feeling. Some of her works appear as if they’re glowing from within – the essence of an intrinsic light that exists inside living beings.
Cari Vander Yacht animates old photographs she found in thrift stores located near her hometown in Portland, Oregon. For the Amsterdam-based art director’s side project, TGIMGIF (Thank God It’s Monday Graphic Interchange Format), she breathes humor and new life into photographs that have been abandoned. Vander Yacht says she stares at the photos until she finds herself giggling over her animation ideas; she then scans and digitally manipulates the images until they become the animation she envisions. Her only rule is that she has to use the elements already in the photograph. Of her acquisition of these old photos, Vander Yacht tells Fast Company, “At a certain point, one must justify their creepy acquisition of other people’s pasts. Either you make up stories about how you’re related to the people in the pictures or you animate them.” Vander Yacht’s website is currently down for maintenance, but you can view more of her work on Tumblr. (via fast company)
Toshio Saeki (b. 1945) is a Japanese erotic illustrator who creates controversial images of violence and morbid sexual acts. Perusing his collection is like stepping through the various moonlit rooms of a grotesque dream; as silent voyeurs, we witness placid-faced men, women, and demons engaging in strange, lust-filled scenarios that often involve necrophilia, murder, cannibalism, and genital mutilation. Images of sex and death uncomfortably collide as a woman kisses a skull and gropes herself with the corpse’s bony hand, while elsewhere poisonous snakes writhe out of a man’s tattoo during sex. Whether it’s aroused bodies swarming with cockroaches, or glaring eyeballs in the place of genitals, Saeki has an uncanny way of exposing the unconscious and disturbing the imagination in new and surprising ways. As he writes in an interview with Dazed:
“Leave other people to draw seemingly beautiful flowers that bloom within a nice, pleasant-looking scenery. I try instead to capture the vivid flowers that sometimes hide and sometimes grow within a shameless, immoral, and horrifying dream.” (Source)
Saeki’s hallucinatory and alarming style draws on a long tradition of Ukiyo-e woodblock prints and paintings from Edo-period Japan. In a variation called Shunga, these pieces depicted erotic scenes; take, for instance, Hokusai’s “The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife,” a 1814 woodcut design showing a woman in the erotic embrace of an octopus. Many of Saeki’s works reference this image, incorporating “tentacle erotica” alongside unsettling situations that arrived from a combination of comic books, childhood nightmares, and lewd pictures he drew in high school. Depicting eroticism, power, and lust in startling and depraved ways, Saeki evokes conflicting, visceral sensations that both fascinate and repulse the viewer, making it hard to look away.
Saeki is now 70 years old and currently lives in rural Japan. Known as the “godfather of Japanese erotica,” his works have gained him fame and notoriety alike at home and abroad (Source). (Via Cvlt Nation)
Eric Timothy Carlson is a renaissance man interested in all forms of art and design. His “Figures from Life” illustrations are some of the most beautiful I have seen today. Carlson reinvents already existing images by integrating simple, but bold forms that obscure or transform the subject. Also lovely are his print and typographic projects that he does in collaboration with Michael Cina. Make sure you check out his work in our upcoming book Supernaturalism!
As long as there have been artists, there have been people who recognized that the innovation and creativity of truly unique individuals should be nurtured. Beautiful/Decay Magazine is very pleased to announce its collaboration with the Canson & Royal Talens family of art supply brands on the Wet Paint Grants project.
Canson, Royal Talens and Arches have been manufacturing the highest quality art materials that inspire artists for centuries. Likewise, artists have been playing a key role in development of products that they make at their own mills.
Most recently, Canson and Beautiful/Decay teamed up to choose eight artists in the United States, who exemplify a passion and commitment to their craft. Over each of the next eight weeks, Beautiful/Decay will announce a new recipient of the Wet Paint Grant. Each artist chosen will receive a year’s worth of art supplies from any of the Canson family of brands. We hope the generosity of these grants will help each artist to leave limitations behind and produce the work that compels them. While the outside support of artists is an integral part of Art history, above all we congratulate and thank the artists, who are the impetus to brands like Canson, Royal Talens and Arches to continue encouraging the arts. Read about our first Wet Paint Grant recipient Wendell Gladstone after the jump.