German based artist Brent Wadden has shown his psychedelic drawings and paintings all over the world, and with good reason. He also makes intense wall drawings and installation pieces that remind me a little of Andrew Shoultz’s work in all its expansive grandeur. Perfectly executed and beautiful in its simplicity, it’s the kind of art I love to stumble upon late at night when I should be sleeping.
Artist David Jien showed up to the B/D office last week to show off some of his new work, and to have a chat about his new book.
I am really digging Chinese artist Ju Duoqi’s personified vegetables! She takes old masterpieces like the Mona Lisa or Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe and recreates them with tofu, cabbage, ginger, potatoes, the list goes on. Can you guess which paintings these are?
I’ll start this post by saying that I’m not a fan of Lady Gaga’s music but you can’t deny that this video is one of the most bizarre, creative, disturbing music videos that has been made in the last couple of years.
Directed by Jonas Åkerlund (Madonna, Prodigy), the epic 8 minute video starts slow but right around the 3 minute mark all hell brakes loose as she is tossed off a balcony and left a bloody mess, riding around in a tricked out wheelchair with a bedazzled neck brace, dancing in crutches and bustier and matching helmet. The costumes alone deserve an award.
A ton of work must have gone into this awesome graffiti animation. BLU painstakingly shared his point of view about evolution by painting and shooting frame by frame on buildings, walls, and pipes in an urban setting. Whole apartments become sites of cosmological development, water pipes carry creatures from sea to land, and water towers launch nuclear WMDs.
Amidst the violence and chaos ravaging parts of her native Lebanon, the photographer Rania Matar does not aim to make sweeping political statements about the Middle East; with her complimentary bodies of work titled Ordinary Lives and What Remains (now on display at Houston’s Bank of America Center), she hopes to capture the resilience of the human spirit. Fighting the photographic and documentary urge to re-victimize survivors of war, she offers a more nuanced picture of the lives of Lebanese women and children.
Much of Matar’s work explores global representations of femininity—in a recent monograph, she published images of adolescent girls inhabiting a space between freedom and familial responsibility, the childhood bedroom— and in Ordinary Lives, the artist’s powerful sensitivities color the otherwise bleak black and white war-torn landscape. In “Broken Mirror,” a young woman meticulously adjusts her veil before a shattered mirror, her perception of self seen as fractured by her environment but preserved within her emotional core. Similarly, “Dead Mother” captures the veiling process as a ritual connecting female youth to a monolithic photograph of the matriarch, an undercurrent of modern political and social debate serving as a relentless backdrop.
What Remains operates as an arguably less subjective series of architectural photographs, documenting the aftermath of 2006’s war between Israel and Hezbollah. The series separates itself from Ordinary Lives in its deliberate use of color; the bright blues and yellows read like surrogates for the displaced families that once inhabited the violated spaces, offering a powerful tonal continuation of the striking and complexly seen human spirit captured in Ordinary Lives. Where we once viewed children, embracing the walls in rich gray tones, we are offered a Winnie the Pooh wall hanging, daydreaming beside an empty closet. Take a look.
Eric Wareheim of Tim & Eric is officially my favorite new music video director. His videos are jaw dropping weird, funny, low tech, high tech, offensive, and hallucinogenic all at the same time. He’s known for his comedy skits but I really think he has a future in being a full time music video director having made videos for MGMT, Maroon 5, Ben Folds, Phantom Planet, and many others. Be warned some of these are vulgar and should not be watched at work. I’m speechless… Amazing!
Since I started Beautiful/Decay while attending the Maryland Institute College Of Art I have a soft spot for artists working in Baltimore. There’s something about living Baltimore (see “The Wire” for more on that) that changes you and your artwork forever. Baltimore is a giant pot of crazy that just seeps into your work and wont let go. Keep up the good work Suzanna and make us Alums proud!