The detailed paintings of Shawn Huckins portray common, day-to-day imagery while flawlessly integrating it into what seems to be miniature paint swatches. Although you may think that the artist paints directly on tiny paint cards used as color samples at hardware stores, but they aren’t actually small at all. In fact, these are not real paint cards, they are fairly large paintings that, thanks to Huckins’ finely crafted skill, are made to replicate exactly the different hues and segments of a paint card. If this was not impressive enough, the realistic imagery included in this series titled The Paint Chip Series, seem to fit perfectly into their settings. He creates a breathtaking mountain range on top of ”Cool Jazz” blue, and a “Pacific Sea Teal” has a pool splash erupting from its color patch. However, not all of Huckins’ imagery perfectly matches their chosen color. Many of the swatches have an unexpected twist, as his “Spring Moss” yellow has a car melting and sinking into the rich tone.
Huckins’ work is inspired by the beauty in the everyday, along with influential artists like Ed Ruscha and Andy Warhol. His work explores common imagery, like people sitting in chairs and an employee pushing a shopping cart, and their role in our lives. Even the paint cards are familiar objects that one might find in any home improvement store. Huckins explains these universal commonalities as a way to connect to our everyday surroundings and explore their meanings.
Mimicking the exact proportions, font, layout, and hues of miniature paint cards found at a nation-wide home improvement store, bands of color we may choose for our most intimate spaces—bedrooms, kitchens, family rooms—are an ideal stage to examine the everyday people and objects that occupy our world.
I recently found Los Angeles based designer/illustrator Ashkahn’s portfolio. I fell in love with quite a few of these bizarre and quirkly little ideas–they’re deceptively simple, goofy and fun. Somehow “Good Vibes” made out of green shag grass just sums it up.
Fantich & Young is the creative partnership of artists Mariana Fantich and Dominic Young, who have been working together since 2008. In their series Apex Predator (meaning a predator with no predator of their own),they imagine the world’s toughest animal, and attempt to dress it. They created a suit and two pairs of shoes using natural materials that the Apex Predator could have gathered from his prey; a grotesque but awesome display of power. The suit is covered with human hair, with glass eyes and small bones for buttons. The collar is lined with dentures. The artists created two pairs of shoes to match the suit: oxfords and high heels, both lined with dentures (the thought of standing on teeth gives me goosebumps!!). This is a true power suit, designed for the cold-blooded animal who has fought their way to the very top of the food chain. The fact that this suit is designed to fit the human form is a clear indication of who the artists think that animal is…
Ever wonder what would happen if the ground you’re used to walking on had the consistency of a waterbed? Well French artist collective Raum has and decided to create a pavement that wiggles, waves and reacts to movement much liked the beloved 80’s bedroom staple, the waterbed. Collaborating with the National Art School of Bourges and the FRAC Centre, a slice of pavement-like material was filled with water on a regular street transforming the mundane patch of land into a fluid wonderland where every step meets not so stable reaction. The project, called “La Ville Molle” (The Soft City) questions the stability of the city and it’s ability to change and accommodate motion and evolution. We’re not sure if the world is ready for endless sidewalks filled with water just yet but this sure does look like a fun project that makes you rethink your environment and the permanent nature of the stable ground that we all take for granted.
Watch a video of the fluid “La Ville Molle” in action above and watch a short “making of” video after the jump to see how you can make your very own waterbed sidewalk! (via)
In honor of Spring, Beautiful/Decay is offering back issues at over 55% off the cover price! We have slashed ‘em down to the lucky price of just $3. Who wants to scrub floors or clear out a dusty garage for “Spring Cleaning” anyways? We suggest you buy some of your favorite B/D back issues, curl up on a porch swing, and savor the feeling of getting a great deal instead. Buy B/D Back Issues here!
This sale ends April 1st and 3 back issues have already sold out so get your copies now!
Hvass&Hannibal are an art and design studio based in Copenhagen. They tend to employ an exquisite mixture of modern execution and a childlike naivete. They employ many different techniques for image production, which makes each project feel different from the next and makes their portfolio a very enjoyable scroll.
The pen, ink and gouache works of Minneapolis-based artist Nick Howard are a visually startling exercise in repetition, form and mass-psychology. By carefully rendering similar figures gathered together in masses, each drawing creates formations and shapes that echo the power of a collected focus, or the terror of mob mentality. Using a style that is precise yet simple, individual figures blend into one another despite their unique features, masks, several mouths and monochrome capes. Enhancing the eerie and silent quality of the works is the monuments that occasionally appear, built by the nameless and faceless, or simply serving as a symbolic, yet arbitrary, gathering point.
Says Howard in a statement of his work, “I am fascinated with people, relationships and mass psychology. In particular, I am interested in how the mind works and how the feelings, thoughts, ideas, and perceptions we have create our world both personally and collectively. I find inspiration for my work by both looking outwards and inwards.”
This simultaneous outward and inward focus is particularly fascinating, as it illuminates the allure of the collective – whereas one figure alone might not illicit an emotional or aesthetic response, hundreds or thousands of them, carefully drawn and carefully placed, create a sum that is greater than its parts. Similarly, the drawings tap into the simultaneous feeling of empowerment within a large group, as well as the loss of individual and personal control.
Beth Scher‘s “Female Soldiers” series depicts women in the military adorned with embroidery and other decorative elements. Scher’s mixed media paintings explore ideas concerning femininity and strength. Her images feature women in a variety of military contexts – Scher’s embellishments of her female figures recalls the idea of a “decorated” soldier while also referring to the art of craft and embroidery, concepts normally found within in a domestic setting. In images that include a bulls eye or target image, Scher conceals the women’s faces with black thread, evoking a sense of expendability that must inhabit a conflict-heavy environment. Scher explains, “In my paintings, I portray them as young women who intentionally seek to display their sexuality and vulnerability, yet are trained killers, in a position of power and placed in serious conflicts. I wonder what the consequences are in a society that must deal with this dichotomy.” (via lustik)