Drew Beckmeyer creates quirky paintings that fuse visuals from different times and spaces, often pairing unexpected scenes with seemingly personal and historical references. They are both charming and mysterious works that teeter between whimsical and ominous. Beautiul/Decay recently interviewed Drew regarding his process, and even took a sneak peak at his studio behind the scenes.
Jeff Luker, a graduate of the very cool Emerson College in Boston, has quite a knack for capturing moments on film. Every image feels very familiar and hazy, as if it were seeping back through your memories.
Dually based in both Los Angeles and New York, photographer Dan Eckstein is no stranger to the inescapable traffic of a bustling metropolis. While travelling across Rajasthan’s highways and byways during a trip in 2011, however, he noticed a striking addition to the thoroughfare: highly adorned, technicolor trucks. Inspired by these shimmering “goods carriers,” Eckstein opted to create his series and book, Horn Please: The Decorated Trucks of India.
In addition to vivid paint and ornately-inscribed text—including the phrase “Horn Please,” found ubiquitously on India’s trucks and designated “the mantra of the Indian highway” by Eckstein—the trucks’ exteriors are encrusted with gleaming lights, images of deities, intricate patterns, and even portraits of pop culture staples. While the trucks boast impressive façades, their interiors are just as embellished; given the exhaustive hours and long journeys innate to this line of work, the drivers seek to be comfortable and, thus, decorate their cabins according to their unique tastes.
While highly individual, the trucks also speak to a specific culture and its highly distinctive aesthetic:
What Eckstein produced is a singular portrait of the subcontinent–distinctly Indian, and a vividly colored reflection of this country in flux between tradition and modernity. Horn Please serves as a psychedelic guide to design in India, from the hand-painted lettering covering the trucks, to the mindboggling use of color, to the specifically Indian patterns and motifs, and a showcase of the visual vernacular of the subcontinent.
Beautiful and jubilant, the decorated trucks of India are truly a feast for the eyes. (Via Slate)
Ralph Pugay‘ is a Portland artist who makes awesome, lighthearted paintings. His colors and content is all comic, but his style reminds me of a combination of Waldo and Pieter Bruegel–a million things going on with lots of different characters all in one big flattened space. One of the thing i love about this, Waldo, and Pieter, is that you can spend a whole afternoon staring at and finding new, funny things in them. Confused hunters, dancing office workers, spiritual gymnasts; I can’t get enough. Check out the rest after the jump, then go look at the other 42 on his website!
Artist David Kinsey‘s upcoming solo exhibit, Everything at Once, opens at the Joshua Liner Gallery December 13, 2012. Kinsey’s newest work reflects the intense nature of the show’s title. Severe angles and color hint at a depiction of mounting chaos. Several pieces, seem to be filled with a violent struggle for survival, domination, even attention. These mixed media pieces document a world spinning out of control and a the desperate scramble to document it. On this, Kinsey relates:
“Collectively, the developed world is swimming in modern media; we’re learning to navigate this landscape every day while becoming unwittingly addicted, for better or worse. And that’s simultaneously exhilarating and a little scary. Throw in climate change and you’ve got a scenario worthy of our attention.”
Dave Kinsey was the subject of the first interview in Beautiful/Decay’s now sold-out first issue. Everything at Once will be on exhibit at Manhattan’s Joshua Liner Gallery December 13th through January 12th
Zach Lewis lives and works in New York. He has just released his book There Are No Sins Here which is a 6″ x 9″ 110 page survey of work from 2010-2012. Lewis describes it briefly saying it is a “A narrative driven documentary photography book reflecting the sentiment of contemporary American life.” It serves as an honest portrait of a twenty-something taking in the city of NY during a time of political unrest. We see the push and pull of organized religion and ideologies of faith. Current events like the death of Osama bin Laden and Steve Jobs are presented as a reminder of the speed and influx of information in our current culture. Joy, paranoia, frustration, and hope are presented in equal measure. You can pick up a copy here.
In collaboration with the Vatican, a coalition of artists and humanitarians from the documentary Racing Extinction projected a stunning light show on the edifice of St. Peter’s Basilica. The videos display endangered animals and ecological crises from around the word, including whales, pandas, imperilled rainforests, and melting icebergs. As pointed out on My Modern Met, this demonstration follows a letter released from Pope Francis that makes clear the role humans play in the destruction of natural environments and non-human species. The goal of the light show was to foster awareness from the public, and on a political level, to encourage other influential figures and world leaders to acknowledge the loss and devastation.
Helmed by Oscar-winner Louie Psihoyos (director of The Cove), Racing Extinction features never-before-seen images that explore endangered species and the threat of mass extinction. Much like the light show—which is part of an ongoing (and vital) campaign to provoke action—Racing Extinction seeks to change the way we view the planet and the global beauty and vitality we will lose in the pursuit of our unsustainable practices. Such projects remind us that no matter where we are situated, even in our urban, human-centered habitats, we are always responsible and capable of changing the world’s grim outlook. (Via My Modern Met)