Multi-disciplinary artist Christopher Taggart‘s work elegantly investigates ordering systems, photographic dissection and dissemination. Most compelling are his large, meticulously woven collages of carefully selected imagery—a combination of playing cards, personal photos and government archives. Taggart presents these works in such a way that the viewer’s attention is simultaneously swallowed by the physical scale of each piece and lost in the smallness of the individual cuts.
The overwhelming nature of the work does not seem to be accidental, as he plays with the viewer’s sense of curiosity in each bite-sized fragment of imagery. While trying to look for themes or recurrences within the work, at times the subject matter reveals itself and sets a different tone. For example, Taggart’s digital photographic collage Colony combines and restructures aerial photographs of 21 California state prisons—something that casts a darkness over the colorful shards of imagery almost immediately.His latest solo effort, Cuts And Splits, is on view at Eli Ridgway Gallery through May 4.
Meet writer turned knife maker Joel Bukiewicz of Cut Brooklyn. He talks about the human element of craft, and the potential for a skill to mature into an art. And in sharing his story, he alights on the real meaning of handmade—a movement whose riches are measured in people, not cash. Watch the full documentary by Made By Hand after the jump.
I’m dying to see Waste Land, a new documentary featuring photographer Vik Muniz. Shot over three years, Muniz goes to his native brazil to visit the worlds largest garbage dump to collaborate with the local trash pickers on a massive photo project. A few friends have seen this at film festivals and strongly recommended it. Who knows, maybe i’ll get lucky and get a press copy in the mail (hint, hint, hint). Keep tabs on the movies website for release dates. Looks like a good one.
Kaeleen Wescoat-O’Neill has recently been working on series based on mugshots from her hometown in Florida. She recently flew out of Art Center with a Bachelor of Fine Art. Her work has a beautiful air, like Elizabeth Peyton or Alex Katz, but offers something uniquely her own.
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.
All US orders placed by 3pm PST will get packages in 2-3 days!
In 2010, photographer and conservationist Robin Moore set out on a global quest in search of frogs and salamanders that were last seen between 15 and 160 years ago. The undertaking was accompanied by over 120 scientists in 21 countries and took four years to complete.
It was worth the time and effort, however, and Moore’s journey produced some incredible rediscoveries, such as: the Ventriloquial Frog from Haiti, capable of throwing its voice, and the Borneo Rainbow Toad, which was unseen in 87 years. And, amusingly, a new species from Colombia was introduced called the “Monty Burns Toad,” which is reminiscent of the cartoon villain from The Simpsons.
From this quest came a book titled In Search of Lost Frogs, which includes information about the project and shows over 400 gorgeous photos of Moore’s findings. The sizes of each creature, their variations in color, and image quality are crystal clear. When you compare all the different frogs and salamanders, it’s remarkable just how many variations there are. It is that sentiment- one of hope and wonder – that Moore wants you to feel; to motivate you to care about the amphibians and the potential loss of their species. He explains:
As conservationists we often get so caught up in communicating what it is that we are losing that we forget to instill a sense of hope,” Moore says. “We need to revel in the weird and the wonderful, the maligned and the forgotten, for our world is a richer more wondrous place for them. Stories and images of discovery and rediscovery can help us to reconnect with our inner explorer – they can make us feel part of a bigger, wilder world. Rekindling a connection with the world beyond our concrete boxes is the key to caring about the way we are treating our natural world.
Los Angeles based artist Bovey Lee uses one single sheet of Chinese rice paper to cut and construct her unbelievably intricate urban scenes. The winding compositions she creates with simple positive and negative space forms a topsy-turvy world of concrete jungles, mountains, and wild flora. Even the clouds present in her work are fantastical as they swirl around the buildings like smoke. Bovey Lee’s process begins with rendering the composition digitally on a computer. She then prints these images and hand cuts each little detail into creation. These whimsical, impossible worlds are so complex you can search through the cut paper for hours, noticing small details like a person balancing across a tightrope, or a city floating on a cloud in the distance. Even the trucks passing by have unique patterns on each one.
Bovey Lee explains that her work is full of tension between mankind and our environment; a power struggle between two forces. Her work explores the intensions and actions of humans and the affect it has on our surroundings. Lee’s process can be tedious and time consuming, but at the same time meditative. The artist further explains her relationship with working with cut paper. (via Faith is Torment)
“My work is like drawing with a knife and is rooted in my study of Chinese calligraphy and pencil drawing. Cutting paper is a visceral reaction and natural response to my affection for immediacy, detail, and subtlety. The physical and mental demand from cutting is extreme and thrilling, slows me down and allows me to think clearly and decisively.”
You may remember when we first featured French artist Miguel Chevalier’s work back in September for his Paris construction tunnel light installation and musical collaboration with Michel Redolfi. Revisiting traditions of Islamic art, namely mosaics and carpets, Chevalier and Redolfi have joined forces again to create a similarly interactive digital/sound project earlier this month at the Sacré Coeur church in Casablanca, Morocco. From April 3-6, “Magic Carpets” transformed the church’s floor into an interactive user interface featuring graphics evolving along with the movements of visitors. The digital light display features generative graphics that multiply, divide, grow, and transform, reminiscent of cellular and organic systems. Visitors’ shadows become a part of the light and graphics display, allowing users to become a part of the installation. The effect of combining organic and digital technologies renders the installation almost psychedelic, enhanced by the accompanying ambient music by Redolfi. To view the installation in action, be sure to check out Claude Mossessian’s video. (via design boom and inhale mag)