When you first look at the paintings by the Miaz brothers, it doesn’t seem like there is much to see. A blurry collection of colors forming an incoherent image. Everything seems far away and out of focus. But something draws you to look closer, perhaps the fact that you can’t immediately comprehend the paintings when you see them. Their lack of detail demands additional attention, and you find yourself scanning them again and again as you put together the larger picture. Colors and patterns begin to stand out, and details slowly emerge. That demand for closer inspection draws you in, and makes you closely examine a painting, that at first glance, seems almost empty.
The beautifully rendered photo realist paintings of Turin based Vesna Bursich depict paper dolls and cut out figures that are crumpled, bent, collaged, and crumpled almost to the point of abstraction. Arranged as props in the artists fictional narrative, these paintings depict a psychological storyline that has no beginning nor end.
1. Warrior’s Woman: In a universe at war, theirs was a love that burned hotter than a thousand suns.
2. Savage Thunder: Theirs was a passion that would never be tamed.
3. Enchant the Heavens: Their love would set the world on fire.
4. Gentle Rogue: She was meant to marry a king, but fate had other plans.
We’ve all seen them – those romance novels with the dramatic covers featuring love-struck ladies collapsing into the arms of a hyper-masculine heart-slayer, while some dramatic scene — such as a leaping horse, or surging ocean — occurs behind them. As fetishized and erotic as these images intend to be, most of them are quite silly in their portrayals of unrealistic desire and impossible bodily standards. As a response to this, Cosmopolitan magazine recently created a series where they playfully reenacted romance novel covers by inserting real people into the excessive, escapist scenarios; throughout the images, lovers pretend to collapse into beds of roses, and others are doused in water (simulating the seems-better-than-reality waterfall kiss).
What is best about these remakes is that the participants are clearly indulging in the absurdity of the exotic scenes. Many of them appear to be suppressing laughter with their awkward, exaggerated embraces and pseudo-seduced expressions. While it may be fun sometimes to indulge in fantasies of being “swept away” by a phantasmal lover of cosmic erotic proportions, Cosmo’s series reminds us that such images are just that: fantasies. Real-life romance and desire (and the pleasures thereof) quite often derive from playfulness and openness — no vested swashbucklers, billowing hair, or voyeuristic unicorns needed.
Click here to see the original article. I’ve included the captions from the Cosmopolitan feature to add to the humorous effect. (Via Art Fucks Me).
We featured the illustrations of Australian artist Tom Littleson (aka, Dilly) in 2011, and he is also one of the artists featured in Beautiful/Decay’s Book 9, which examines the seven deadly sins through the lens of contemporary art. Dilly’s illustrations fall into the “Wrath” category, but there are many more incredible artists to explore in Book 9, including Jeremy Kost’s sexually-charged and explorative Polaroids (Lust), and Libby Black’s colorful paper sculptures of coveted, material possessions (Envy). For centuries, the seven sins have influenced the Western imagination in discerning “good” behavior from “bad” impulses, and Book 9 gives you the exclusive opportunity to see how groundbreaking artists are navigating these distinctions in the present-day world.
Dilly’s illustrations are a drastic combination of immaculate detail and excessive rage. In a series titled The Mind’s Apocalypse, Dilly has drawn the hyper-realistic portraits of various men, capturing everything from their individual hairs to wrinkles and beard scruff. The contemplative beauty of these pieces, however, is shattered by the grotesque, self-mutilating acts the men are engaged in; with expressions of passion and madness, they tear open their own skin, self-cannibalize, and anoint themselves in blood. Some of them are screaming in what could be pain or rage. The greyscale faces with bright red gore are brutally beautiful, and despite their stomach-turning intensity, it is hard to look away.
Limited copies of Book 9 are still available on the B/D shop. Click here to grab yours before they are gone for good.
Brooklyn-based printmaker Pete Watts puts graphite to paper to create highly detailed, model-style cutaways of complex man-made/earth conjunctions. You can get a closer look at Pete’s drawings through his zine titled Everything is Forever.
Lady Lamb The Beekeeper performing at the Bootleg Bar in Los Angeles, June 15, 2013.
Lady Lamb The Beekeeper aka Aly Spaltro recently released her debut studio album, Ripley Pine on Ba Da Bing Records. I was able to catch her solo performance the other night at the Bootleg Bar in Los Angeles and was blown away by her songs and incredible voice. At only 23, she has the stage presence of a seasoned pro starting her set singing acapella with an un-released song called, “Up in the Rafters”. Other stand out songs from the set included, “Between Two Trees” from her digital album, Mammoth Swoon, as well as the fantastic, “Aubergine” and “The Nothing Part II” from her new record. “I refuse to come back out here without a band” said Aly before performing her final song, “Crane Your Neck”.
Lady Lamb is currently on a co-headlining tour with Torres and will soon be supporting Thao & The Get Down Stay Down through August. You can check her out this coming Sunday, June 23rd at the Hi-Dive in Denver as well as in Chicago at the Empty Bottle on June 27th. You can listen to her many digital albums here as well as purchase her new record here. Check out her new video for, “The Nothing Part II, and be sure to keep an eye on this talented young singer/songwriter.
If you attended one of the previous annual Animation Shows, you may have seen Run Wrake’s short animation “Rabbit” (and me!) From the show, Run Wrake’s film was one of my favorites. He used elements from the classic Dick and Jane books to weave an equally classic tale of greed and it’s horrible consequences. I love how, just like in the Dick and Jane books, everything in every scene is accurately labeled.