The Bad Lab was brought to our attention by Eric Zelinski, who submitted them as a consideration to our “Submit your Artist” contest. Although we already chose a winner two weeks ago, we at Beautiful/Decay would like acknowledge Bad Lab’s fantastically fresh t-shirt line, prints, canvases, and posters.
I’m especially fond of the canvas work (see Set Speed and Sexagon) and how their hypnotic, rhythmic qualities entrance the viewer, pulling us into the loop.
Everyone needs a break from the hectic workloads and congested traffic that comes with living in LA. So we decided to get some R&R time and head down to Puerto Aventuras. Any plane trip for me and my fellow dark complexioned friends involves a long line of song and dance with the airport security. As I scanned my passport I was treated with this friendly yet vague note. After 15 minutes of waiting around a mysterious lady came by and asked a few questions. I gave her my best wink and smile and she decided that I wasn’t a terrorist threat and let me go.
Cyril Costilhes has a very unique relationship to Diego Suarez, the location where he shot his deeply dark photoseries, ‘Grand Circle Diego’. A little over 10 years ago, his father moved there to run a casino, but was returned to France after a tragic motorcycle accident that caused him front lobe dementia, placing him in a coma. Costilhes saw his father’s move as an attempt to start fresh, lured by the beauty of the young women and environment. To Costilhes, his father’s aspirations were an illusion, and one shared by many white men in a similar position, a type of modern colonialism. The underbelly of Diego Suarez is one of desperation, where people of privilege go to seek asylum in a false paradise, and the inhabitants seek salvation through the refugees of reality.
When I google Diego Suarez, the images that surface are of an idyllic seaside town, a stark contrast to the images produced by Costilhes. His experience of the town is mired by that of his father, and he travelled there to resolve the ghosts that still hang over him as his father remains in a coma to this day. The photoseries is compiled as a book, and Costilhes writes about his time spent in Diego Suarez. He imagines the moments leading up to his father’s crash:
What was his last clear, clean thought right before the crash?! Was he daydreaming about the girl he was going to fuck next, daydreaming about his new house on the beach of Ramena, or about the money he was going to make by reselling that ambitious hotel in construction, about what he was going to do next, living in a paradise until the grandiose ending.
Purchase copies of Cyril Costilhes’ book Grand Circle Diegohere.
Tucked away in the middle of California’s Mojave Desert is a tiny pool whose location is unknown to the public, identifiable only by guarded GPS coordinates. It was imagined by Austrian artist Alfredo Barsuglia, and is technically open to the public. If you want to swim in it, all you need to do is ask the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in West Hollywood about the longitude and latitude points and obtain the special key to open the pool’s cover.
The four-foot by 12-foot body of water is available for 24 hours to any one person or small party, and you must bring a gallon of water per person to replenish the pool. Its minimalist stylings are painted white and stands out against the sandy and arid terrain. Alone in the desert, it’s an oasis for a weary traveler or nomad. Barsuglia calls it Social Pool, and meant for the swimmer to consider the societal ramifications of this outdoor installation. A description of the project reads:
The work embodies the massive socio-economic changes that have taken place in the last forty years. It thus understands itself as the product of an economy in which privacy and immateriality have been fully commodified… For many a consumer, art is expected to operate according to the principles of the service economy rather than following humanist ideals of intellectual or moral stimulus and education.
Whether or not this pool encourages this deep thought or is simply a well-thought gimmick remains to be seen. (Via Huffington Post)
Artist Peter Combe transforms household paint swatches to create stunning 3D portraits. Using the full color spectrum of 1,100 colors, the artist prepares his palette material by manipulating the swatches either into tiny discs by punching or miniature strips by shredding. He often works in series of repetitions, allowing him to recreate the same image with the aim of experimentation. The potential of each renderings is endless as he uses color based on tonality and not on hue and can transform each work quite drastically depending on his choices. Combe is interested in “how the implementation of a single colour, when applied to a small incremental tonal range, can transform a work either subtly or substantially.” His work, formulated through an intense and meticulous layering process, can be compared to a pointillistic method of translating color, tone, and space. His work is also reminiscent of early printers, xerox and copy machines, in which images are built through a separation of color, resolving the picture one hue at a time. Another aspect of the work, Combe explains, “is the constant change and flux that is mostly produced by the viewers changing vantage points, an effect that is difficult to imagine whilst not being present before the work. These artworks do not photographer well. It is Impossible to capture the kinetic element – an element whereby the viewer’s motion or movement dictates the artworks transformative component.” There is a notion of fleeting reality when experiencing the work— just as each portrait is in of itself physically fragile — each image, as it becomes manipulated through movement, light, and space, becomes precious, as the viewers’ experience of the work is consistently shifting, making every interaction with the work unique.
I love Hunter Payne. His work takes me back to a simple time without being simple. Out of all the shakey hand intimate portraits that are currently sieging the art world, these creations that float through the crazy artist’s brain are by far the most enjoyable because of their lack of pretense. Hunter’s humble nature and childlike wonder bring questions forth about the necessity for seriousness in art. More after the jump.