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The Hyper-Real Drawings Of Alexandra Bastien Illustrate Life, Death, And Transformation

Alexandra Bastien - Color PencilAlexandra Bastien - Color PencilAlexandra Bastien - Color Pencil

At first glance, the artwork of Alexandra Bastien appears to be photographs of a nude woman with a variety of skulls. However, the artist unbelievably renders her hyper-realistic drawings from layer upon layers of color pencil. Bastien’s astonishing ability to create such incredibly detailed drawings allows her to beautifully show the human body in a state of transition. The heavy symbolism that has long been attached to the skull in art history represents death. Bastien illustrates this concept in contrast to the soft, warm body of the nude woman. The women in her work are holding the skulls, embracing whatever darkness they may bring. In one drawing, both skull and human have even merged together in perfect balance. This balance of life and death is shown in a state of transition and transformation, exploring themes of rebirth and the afterlife. Seeing the many different skulls amongst a human in its natural state may be reminiscent to human origins and ancestry.

Bastien’s incredible, artistic skill and talent can be seen in this photorealistic series titled Taming the Beast. She finds inspiration in her natural fascination with the human body and form. The accomplishments of this Canadian artist are just as impressive as her skill. Her work has been included in several publications and magazines as well as been exhibited all over the world.

(via Hi-Fructose)

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4 Hours Solid: Art Center GradMediaDesign Thesis Exhibition

This coming Wednesday and Saturday night, the thesis work from the GradMediaDesign department at Art Center will be on display at the South Campus Wind Tunnel, a former supersonic jet testing facility at 4 HOURS SOLID. On a personal note… I’m in this! Other graduate departments on campus (broadcast, fine art, environmental design, transportation design) will also be on display. The show will feature a very diverse group of work. The early versions of some of the thesis work has even been featured on BD in the past!

4 HOURS SOLID: Work and Ideas from the Graduate School at Art Center College of Design.

First Showing: Wednesday, April 18, 6-10 PM.
Second Shoring: Saturday, April 21, 8-10PM

Wind Tunnel Gallery, South Campus.
Art Center College of Design
950 South Raymond Ave., Pasadena, CA 91105

GradMediaDesign thesis project descriptions after the jump!

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40 Galleries You Should Know If You Love Paint: Redux


Elijah Burgher. Courtesy of Western Exhibitions (aka Scott Speh Gallery), Chicago


Nicholas Nyland. Courtesy of Prole Drift, Seattle


Dana Schutz. Courtesy of Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York City

I put together my first selection of Forty Galleries You Should Know if You Love Paint in 2012. As with everything in life, a lot has changed in the art world over the past two years. Some of my favorite galleries have closed, including Harris Lieberman in New York City and the legendary Daniel Weinberg Gallery in Los Angeles, while some younger galleries have either suddenly appeared or have developed their programming in truly noteworthy ways.

Of all the changes since 2012, the most difficult has been the recent loss of the visionary and beloved New York art dealer who simply went by the name Hudson. His gallery, Feature, Inc., has been a critical part of the city’s frenetic art scene since the mid-1980s. Hudson brought early exposure to dozens of important artists, including Alexander Ross and Tom Friedman. In the past few years, his championing of mid-career artists such as Andrew Masullo and David Deutsch helped bring their work much-deserved attention. While Hudson will long be remembered for his impact on the art world, it is his quiet intelligence and gentle spirit that I will miss the most. There is no word yet as to what will become of Feature, Inc. – Steven Zevitas, Publisher New American Paintings 

Steven Zevitas founded New American Paintings magazine in 1994 as a vehicle for providing promising emerging artists with international exposure. Working closely with museum curators, New American Paintings reviews the work of thousands of artists each year. Forty artists are selected to appear in each bi-monthly edition, many of whom go on to receive substantial critical and commercial success. Additional magazine content focuses on the medium of painting, those who influence its direction, and the role painting plays within the wider contemporary art world. Visit New American Paintings for more information or to subscribe.

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Eric Helgas

Eric Helgas was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He currently attends the Maryland Institute College of Art and is majoring in Photography.

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Dennis Hollingsworth

Thick abstractions and text based paintings by Dennis Hollingsworth.

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Picture 1Recognize the above image?  Maybe the name Jesse Auersalo rings a bell?  Give up?  We featured Jesse in Issue Y, back when B/D was still a magazine… before we upgraded to our fancy limited edition book format.  Well Jesse is giving a talk at AIGA/NY on Wednesday March 3rd, 6:30-8pm.  This is Jesse’s first ever U.S. presentation!  Be sure to check it out if you’re in the area.  Also, you can go to our online shop and pick up a copy of Issue Y or grab the t-shirt Jesse designed.  Just for fun, you can see more of Jesse’s illustrations after the jump.

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Alexandra Becker-Black’s Watercolor Portraits Seem To Emerge From The Ether

Alexandra Becker-Black- WatercolorAlexandra Becker-Black- Watercolor Alexandra Becker-Black- Watercolor Alexandra Becker-Black- Watercolor

Portland painter Alexandra Becker-Black is talented beyond her years. Her paintings, soft-spoken and carrying the nearly absent weight of a shadow, illuminate the body in its pure and natural state. Becker-Black has a sophisticated approach in utilizing negative space to its full potential, creating an atmosphere that the body seems to emerge out of, in an ethereal, ghostly way; as if called forth. Perhaps due to her strong yoga practice, Becker-Black incorporates many yoga poses into her work, featuring women twisting their bodies elegantly in pose. A revolving theme of flight and birds is woven into most of her imagery; birds soaring overhead or perched on top of the figures. An allusion to freedom and flight; or pushing ones self to points of self actualization. Taken from Becker-Black’s website, this analysis by Shu-Ju Wang is an excellent summary of her work:

Once recorded, she works with the still images but continues to purge from the already naked form, choosing only what she needs and adding only what is absolutely necessary. You see muscles tense and strain against gravity; you see figures in serene repose; you see energy suddenly released when a small flock of birds fly out of a woman’s opened hands. All of this is conjured up in front of your eyes even as a torso fades to gray or a leg disappears, creating work that is ethereal and luminously beautiful, haunting, evocative and complex.”

The way the tones and color melts away brings peace to the otherwise strained poses and moods that the figures themselves are experiencing. The implied motion is a driving force for the notion of change and evolution. Always moving forward, the beauty on the canvas in direct correlation to the act of living, breathing, being.

(Excerpt from Source)

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Simen Johan

Simon Johan‘s wilderness photographs and sculptures are like portraits of animals you’d want to meet.

Born in Norway and having studied in New York and Sweden, Johan’s work has been exhibited and showcased in many venues including LACMA, Brooklyn Museum of Art, and none other than Beautiful/Decay Issue J!

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