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Ryan Schude’s Playful Photographs Are Each Like A Complex Universe Filled With Perfectly Staged Detail

Ryan Schude- Photograph

Ryan Schude and Lauren Randolph

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LA based photographer Ryan Schude knows how to tell a full story with just his lens. His elaborately structured photographs form a world all their own. Sometimes crass, sometimes out of control, his work hearkens to that complex visual zone inhabited by artists like fellow photographer Gregory Crewdson, director Wes Anderson, and we should probably mention David Lynch as well, just to cover the bases. Dense with intricate details, diverse characters, and everything somehow happening all at once, Schude’s photographs never look the same twice.

There is a story being told, and the image comes off as that of a film still; yet we are seeing a flash of an in between, we are neither here nor there but just in the middle enough to not be able to articulate what is going or why.  Schude exhibits a playfulness within his settings that keep the scenes fun and adventurous, but many have that same alienated, nearly possessed, quality that Crewdson was so good at nailing. And that defiant divorce of logic within narrative that Lynch also adores employing in his films. Although everything looks the same as it would in the real world, the laws of the universe are clearly different within the realm of the photographed subjects, and that is what makes them so intriguing.

See Ryan’s work next month at bG Gallery in Los Angeles, CA.

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Lisa Swerllng’s Tiny People With Pubic Hair Make Bold Emotional Statements

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Trapped behind glass cases, the miniature human subjects of Lisa Swerllng’s Glass Cathedrals unabashedly perform daily rituals normally veiled from the outside world. The stunning pieces afford viewers with a whimsical type of voyeuristic indulgence. Like children before a set of dolls, we are invited to examine the many mundane moments that compose adult life, breathing life and meaning into each dollhouse-like setup with our own imaginations.

With its feet firmly planted in childlike curiosity, the series is unafraid to veer into tragic emotional spaces; caught staring into endless amounts of white space, many of the figures appear lonesome and fully aware of their smallness. A woman scrubs at a dizzyingly vast array of tired floors and walls, incapable of completing her work for her own tininess and permanently fixed position. Similarly, a man stares at his cow, a sole companion who does not return his gaze.

Though humorously seen, Swerling’s models are at times bitterly unaware. A group of people stand before a glass case containing the figure of a generic ghost labeled “god” with a sign stating, “In case of emergency break glass,” not noticing that they themselves are encased in glass, searching for meaning in the touchingly absurd. The viewer, in turn, is forced to face his or her burning existential yearnings within this magically adult dollhouse.

The idea of domesticity as it relates to femininity shines through in Swerling’s work in unexpected ways. A piece titled “A woman’s work is never done” features a woman sweeping pink glitter, erasing the suggestion of the usual portrayal of the home as unfulfilling; here and in a piece that features a woman serving dinner at the head of the table, glitter serves as a surprising and ecstatic symbol of female self-actualization. From the woman who examines herself before a mirror to an unwaxed redhead standing nude before circle of nuns, Swarling’s women embrace their activities unabashedly.

Hitting poignant notes that remind us of the power that lies beneath human smallness, isolation, connection, and actively defined identities, Glass Cathedrals serves as an alter at which we may worship our own condition. (via Foodie Bugle, Catto Gallery, and Lost At E Minor)

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2veinte Design Studio

2veinte Design Studio, Digital Arts

2veinte is a small design and motion arts studio based on Buenos Aires, Argentina that works with clients from Europe and the United States. I have to say I love the work they are doing. It’s colorful, exciting and has so much depth and movement. They have a very impressive portfolio that ranges from digital media works to print.

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Noa Kaplan’s Giant Dust Bunny

Noa P. Kaplan is a visual artist living in Los Angeles, California. Last year I had the pleasure of walking through Kaplan’s giant dust bunny, installed at UCLA. It was a weird feeling, feeling both small and large at the same time… Her larger body of artwork examines the impact of technology on production processes, material structure, and scale. This piece in particular, however, is specifically interested in providing a new scale to something small, a dust bunny, in order to design new associations and emotional connections with the clump of dust that we would otherwise sweep under the rug in disgust. The artist explains the context of this piece so beautifully: “Though mundane, a dust bunny bears unexpected symmetry to the most complex and baffling systems, such as the accretion of cosmic matter or the organization of memories in the brain.”

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4th of July Apparel Sale!

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In celebration of the upcoming 4th of July festivities, Beautiful/Decay has decided to launch an explosive 2 week sale! All of our latest Spring ’09 inventory is on sale from $30 down to $25.95, and all other Beautiful/Decay apparel has been discounted from 10-50%! All of these shirts are close to sold out, and once gone, will not be re-printed. So be sure to take advantage of this opportunity- the sale ends July 15th! Click HERE to visit the shop!

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Jennifer Krantz Paints Chaos

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We haven’t posted any abstract paintings in a while so I thought post some work by Rockford Illinois painter Jennifer Krantz. These paintings have everything in them from fire crackers to spray paint to sequins. Although some of the work reminds of Fiona Rae I think Jennifer gets a pass for creating such fun chaos.

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lee jeffries’ Haunting Homeless Faces

Lee Jeffries lives in Manchester in the United Kingdom. Close to the professional football circle, Lee began his career  photographing sporting events. But a chance meeting with a young homeless girl in the streets of London changed his artistic approach forever. Lee Jeffries recalls that, initially, he had stolen a photo from this young homeless girl huddled in a sleeping bag. The photographer knew that the young girl had noticed him but his first reaction was to leave. He says that something made him stay and go and talk with the homeless girl. His perception about the homeless completely changed. They become the subject of his art. The models in his photographs are homeless people that he has met in Europe and in the United States: «Situations arose, and I made an effort to learn to get to know each of the subjects before asking their permission to do their portrait.» From then onwards, his photographs portray his convictions and his compassion to the world.

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Merry Mustache and a Happy New Beard!

652_1229726713For the facial furniture lover, Peskimo created these festive Xmas cards that’s sure to bring hairy cheer to that special Mustaccio in your life. Available at Moo.

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