Nicolas Kennedy Sitton‘s Twisted series uses photographic manipulation to distort the architecture of San Francisco. The photographer adds concentric circles to the images to form new shapes, with the buildings seemingly folding and toppling into themselves.
What I like about the work of Steve Seeley, besides the awesome Ultraman, Superman and many other super heroes in his paintings, it’s the subtle way of combing elements that you wouldn’t really see as a backdrop for these characters. From wild bears and monkeys to forests, rainbows, cowboys and astronauts, he is able to combine all these characters and elements to make a pretty hilarious combination in each painting.
Photographer Gabriele Galinberti‘s series Toy Stories is a simple concept revealing a complex story. Over the course of 18 months the artist photographed children throughout the world with their most prized possessions. He would often play with the toys along with the children prior to arranging them for the photographs. It is surprising how much the toys can reveal about each child. Often children would prize toys that reflected the occupations of their parents – a large collection of cars for the son of a taxi driver or rakes and shovels for the daughter of a farmer. Also, Galinberti relates that poorer children’s play focused more on friends and activities rather than possessions. He says:
“The richest children were more possessive. At the beginning, they wouldn’t want me to touch their toys, and I would need more time before they would let me play with them. In poor countries, it was much easier. Even if they only had two or three toys, they didn’t really care. In Africa, the kids would mostly play with their friends outside.”
Network Osaka is a graphic designer. That’s pretty much all I know about him or her. I don’t think they’re from Japan. They’re either from California or Mexico. Past that, Network Osaka has done some really nice print work, often employing a straightforward modernist aesthetic without seeming too derivative of the old masters.
Korean artist Sung-Myung Chun creates eerie sculptures of young boys wearing his face who are usually in a situation that revolves around drama. He works with his life experiences through these sculptures of himself, and presents it to us cinematically by freezing them in moments of great reflection, violence, fatigue, etc – much like in T.V. shows or movies.
As part of our ongoing partnership with In The Make, Beautiful/Decay is sharing a studio visit with artist Claude Collins-Stracensky. See the full studio visit and interview with Claude and other West Coast artists at www.inthemake.com.
Claude’s studio is in a commercial building in Downtown, Los Angeles right where two fairly busy streets intersect. It’s a few floors up, and as soon as Klea and I stepped out from the elevator doors Claude’s Vizsla dogs greeted us with wild tail-wagging enthusiasm and then lead the way into the studio. It’s a huge corner space with tons of natural light streaming in through the wide windows that lends an almost limitless feel to the room. I took a few minutes to wander around and take it all in— the dogs tumbling about together in play, the dust particles fluttering in and out of the hazy afternoon light, and the many projects underway, all of them in various states of completeness. At any given time Claude is often at work on multiple endeavors, taking time with each to experiment, re-think, tinker and tweak. His studio is a like a research lab where he plays around with concepts and materials, creating mock-ups and models, and then tries to bring these ideas to life with his hands. There is a bit of a “mad scientist” in Claude— he approaches his work with unfettered imagination and whimsy, totally unafraid to scheme and dream big, and he seems almost possessed by a rampant curiosity about the natural world and how it works. At the core of Claude’s practice is a preoccupation with physical systems and processes and the innate dynamics of different materials, and the ways in which these forces and elements can interact to bring about a new consciousness of one’s surroundings. Embracing a range of mediums, his practice often plays with perception and aims to expand his viewers’ visual experience and spatial awareness to create impressions that go beyond an everyday understanding of the world. I got the impression that the wheels in Claude’s brain must always be spinning at top speed, never at rest, always at work on questions, always in a state of assessing and hypothesizing. Which is kind of funny, because he comes across as super mellow… but I didn’t let that easy-going vibe fool me!
You’ve seen his beautiful videos for Lana Del Rey (Blue Jeans and Born to Die) and now director Yoann Lemoine aka Woodkid brings his own musical experience to life with a few live shows in the US next month including a stop at New York’s Irving Plaza on Nov. 1, Bimbo’s in San Francisco on Nov. 2, and LA’s Luckman Fine Arts Complex on Nov. 3. I recently watched his performance from Le Grand Rex in Paris via our friends at The Creators Project and it blew me away. Woodkid recently spoke with Filter Magazine and said, “We will be eight on stage, two symmetrical drummers, one keyboard, one ‘machine’ guy who plays percussions on a computer and three brass. There will also be massive projections, yes, the same one I developed on the Grand Rex Show I just did in Paris. The whole show is about symmetry and black and white, it recalls visuals from the videos but in a more abstract way.” Are you excited yet? Watch the performance below and definitely get your tickets via Ticketmaster to what’s sure to be an amazing night.