Like a lot of us, artist Yue Wu uses Instagram. He “likes” things on Instagram, as we’re supposed to, but takes it one step further. Everyday, he turns those “likes” into drawings. Coming full circle, he then Instagrams the drawing and tags it the source photos. This way, you can click through to the originals. He tags this work as #whatilikedtoday.
These quick, black and white ink drawings are a mash up of a day. They vary in subject matter. Some include what you’d expect, like architecture and animals. Others are more bizarre, including one that has a greco-romanesque statue wearing protective eyewear, and a dancing skeleton wearing a top hat and holding a cane.
The concept behind Wu’s drawings is relatively simple, but amusing. It also has me thinking about my own Instagram feed. We spend so much time looking (and sometimes mindlessly liking) photos. Wu’s drawings illustrate what stands out in the deluge of images. What would your #whatilikedtoday look like? (Via Booooooom)
I’m absolutely loving this series of of dictator sculptures by Stephen Ives’ based on everyones favorite toy Mr. Potato Head! Saddam Hussain, Stalin, Kim Jong II, Lenin, and even Hitler call all be made with the removal and addition of a few pieces. Now you can have playtime and pretend to be an evil dictator all at once! More dictators and other amazing sculptures based on toys after the jump!
At first glance the work of Vincent Tomczyk appears to be normal ready-made objects. However, each piece is carefully constructed almost entirely from different types of paper. Yeah, paper. You can’t sit on these chairs or slip into those shorts without ripping it. In a way, this seems to be Tomczyk’s intention. Tomczyk and his viewers investigate these objects by painstakingly rebuilding them without their utilitarian properties. He says:
“Although my work can be categorized as realism, my intention is to distill the emotion of an object, then through expression, reconstruct it into my view of its essential self – free of function.” [via]
Jesse McManus is pure speed. His skills are frightening. His beautiful line work captures demented children, gremlins, goblins, cats, and very often knives, or just pointy tools in general, with an incredibly demented precision. Listen to his interview on Inkstuds, read some comics, tumble alongside him, and/or tweet at him.
I always see those “Keep Austin Weird” stickers everywhere and now that I’ve seen the work of Jaime Zuverza it all makes sense. This Texan illustrator/designer’s lo-fi sensibility mixed with ironic retro imagery is the stuff that’s dreamed of for rock posters. Each mixed media poster is magnificently stranger than the last proving that Jaime is doing his part to keep thing pretty damn weird in Austin!
Love these book alterations and rearrangements by New York based artist Kent Rogowski. Make sure to also check out his puzzle manipulations and inverted stuffed animals also featured on his site. (via)
“Everything that I wish I could be is an exploration of language, emotions and the desire to change and improve one’s self. There is a self-help book for almost every moment and problem in life; from relationship advice to dealing with the inevitability of death. Each large format photograph, pictures an arrangement of title pages and spines, from up to 100 self-help books that are based around a central theme. Together, the titles create larger narratives, which become portraits of emotions, people and events in life.
Because of the ubiquity of the books, an entire lifetime of events can be outlined and made to unfold using the books that were written to sooth those transitions and moments. Since advice often differs, the narratives in the images can change depending on which direction the viewer’s eye moves through the image. Some images have linear narratives (e.g.: From Birth to Death or Side by Side) while others look at patterns in language and resemble the random connections inherent in the thought process (e.g.: You and Me and Am I the only one?).
I am interested in the larger questions of how we communicate and deal with moments of pain and change and the commonalities of those experiences, as well as, the patterns and contradictions that are often inherent in language, advice and differing philosophies.”
Laughter is universal; it transcends culture, trends, and time. The art world, however, is not considered to be droll. Galleries and museums are stoic, intellectual spaces and works of art are discussed in academic terms. Yet in this scholarly world there are artists that buck conventions and use humor to engage us and make us laugh and think. Art is a medium of communication and the artists in this issue have found that humor is the most powerful way to engage their audience and convey their message.
This class clowns issue of Beautiful/Decay is dedicated to those artists who pack their work not only with meaning but with a powerful punch line that keeps us coming back for more. Join us as we delve into the world of Winnie Truong’s surreal and funny portraits, and find the humor in Devin Troy Strother’s discomfort with his own race. Witness how Maurizio Cattelan has become the art world’s premier prankster and gain insight into artistic duo littlewhitehead’s mixture of dark humor and lo-tech fabrication.
View our cover artist Stefan Glerum’s arresting illustrations, and Ben Aqua’s subversive photography. See how William Powhida’s cynical, self-deprecating, and universally criticizing works take the role of the court jester to a new level. As if that weren’t enough to keep you busy, we’ve also invited an international cast of artists, illustrators, and designers to create original works for our Project Pages based on our theme. So get out your X-ray specs as we explore the worlds of Beautiful/Decay’s Class Clowns.
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