I stopped by Leon Reid IV‘s studio in Greenpoint to see what he’s been up to lately. He’s been pretty busy. Last month, he installed “100 Story House” a public art piece created in collaboration with Julia Marchesi. And he released a new sculpture series less than two weeks ago. On top of all of that, he’s in the midst of raising funds for “A Spider Lurks in Brooklyn”, his proposed project to put a giant spider between the cables of the Brooklyn Bridge during October of 2014 (you can get involved with the project here). So I was pretty psyched that he was able to make time to show me around. Leon’s been creating public art in some form or another for eighteen years now, and his studio was full of past projects and concept sketches.
Artist Mark Farid is attempting to undertake a strenuous social experiment and is asking for your assistance. He has a Kickstarter project called Seeing-I which is aimed at raising enough money to develop a headset that he will wear for 24 hours a day, for 28 days in a row. With the piece of technology he will live his daily life completely and utterly through the experience of another person. He will see everything through the eyes of the second person, including when they go to the cinema, to the toilet and having sex. The only prerequisites for this other human – naturally called “The Other” is to be over 21 years, a heterosexual male, currently living with his partner, and they must agree it to. If you personally suit those guidelines, you can apply here to become a part of the experiment.
Farid will throughout the process be living completely on display in a small box containing only a bed, a toilet and a shower. All of his actions will be open for all to witness and completely transparent. Because of the intensity of this project and what could be mentally damaging to most people, Farid will have the support of one psychologist for one hour a day, and will be the only time he is able to talk to someone.
The Seeing-I project will result in a documentary wanting to explore just how virtual reality affects us emotionally, the role of the individual in the larger society, how we define ourselves through what we see, and we know of ourselves. Farid says about the integrity of the project:
I don’t think any of the realities in which we live are genuine. We take this physical reality as ‘real’, but, you know, every building, road, park and garden has been designed… Everything within our existence is unnatural. We live in an entirely man-made world, where none of it is ‘real’. (Source) (Via Dazed Digital)
Henrijs Preiss was born in Latvia, and has lived in Riga, Berlin and London. His Russian Icon and Italian Renaissance influenced paintings are pretty sweet. Preiss translates archetypal symbols from Islam, Judaism and Christianity into textured paintings composed of gold, silver and red. His abstract paintings are constructed in a process that recalls the practice of alchemy. Keep the medieval paintings coming!
Artist Jennie C. Jones practices a great deal of control & constraint in her work currently exhibited under the contrasting title Electric. Through abstraction and minimalism, Jones presents a multi-media, multi-layered installation series that is specifically tailored to the space in which its exhibited. Her show opened on July 8th at Sikkema Jenkins & Co. in New York and runs until August 13; if you can’t get there in person, I’d suggest you delve into the complete press release to get a thorough idea of what her show is all about- well worth it!
Jay Quercia is like a design Swiss Army knife that’s ready for any situation whether it’s bold illustrations, website design, dynamic motion pieces or typographic installations.
Fiona Curran lives and works in London. From her artist statement: “Fiona Curran’s paintings, installations and assemblages explore the impact of new digital technologies on our experience of landscape space. The works reveal a recurring utopian impulse, formal idealism and sense of escapism that registers in a palette borrowed from the computer screen and advertising. There’s a sense of spatial precariousness at work as objects and forms are broken down and reassembled. Paintings break away from their frames becoming sculptures and existing works are re-placed and dis-located through new configurations and assemblages of value. Splinters of the natural world appear in the use of hardwoods and veneers alongside plastics, fabric, hand-stitched fragments and found images. Formal compositions explore how angles contend with and counterbalance one another in shifting spatial planes. The titles of the works often give a further clue to their origin in this push-pull between fragmentation and ambiguity, loss and longing where all is not quite as it should be in the bright and beautiful image-world we inhabit.”
Legendary Swiss surrealist H.R. Giger, has died this past Monday, May 12th,2014 after sustaining injuries from a fall. He was 74. Born on February 5, 1940 in the rural town of Chur, Switzerland, the artist showed an interest in dark art forms from an early age but trained to be an industrial designer at the School of Applied Arts in Zurich.
Geiger was best known for designing the iconic “xenomorph” creature in the Alien movie franchise, and for his work in Alejandro Jodorowsky’s ambitious film, “Dune”.
Giger’s nightmarish imagery-a blend of mechanical and biological androids-was in fact fueled by his own bad dreams and by an early interest in artists like Salvador Dali and Ernst Fuchs. The artist kept a journal by his bed so he could record the imagery. Wired reported that Giger had “an idyllic childhood in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. But it harbored forbidding structures and estranged elements that left an impression on a child subjected to night terrors and panic attacks.”
An early series of controversial art, most likely influenced by his perturbed childhood nightmares and anxieties, landed Giger a gig to create the album cover of the 1973 Emerson, Lake & Palmer album, “Brain Salad Surgery.” After his success with the English progressive rock trio, Giger became highly solicited in the movie business.
After winning an Academy Award for visual effects on “Alien,” the artist continued to experiment in show business by designing sets for “Poltergeist II” (1986) and “Alien III” (1992).
Giger, however, found himself disliking Hollywood. Later after the last Alien movie, he retreated back to Zurich in hopes that he could get back to being a visual artist for his own sake.
In 1998, the artist founded the H.R. Giger Museum in Gruyeres, Switzerland. Since then, Giger was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame and worked on several other projects- including a guitar line with Ibanez. (via NPR and Daily News)
Stefan G. Bucher is a graphic designer, illustrator, author, creator of monsters, and pursuer of obsessions. The (sole) creative force behind 344, his clients have included art galleries, film directors, magazines, record companies, Saks Fifth Avenue and the Blue Man Group. If you’ve seen the Yeti themed Saks Christmas windows, you’ve seen Stefan’s work. The Daily Monster is his, too. The cover of The Matrix soundtrack; typography for Mirror, Mirror; Blue Man Theater. All Stefan G. Bucher.
Aside from his amazing and prodigious creative skills, Stefan is an astute observer of culture and a consistently funny writer. He agreed to be interviewed for Beautiful/Decay.
B/D: Thanks for talking with me, Stefan—I’m just going to jump right in. What’s the most interesting thing you’re working on right now?
Stefan Bucher: It’s my pleasure. The most interesting project I’m working on right now is the pitch for an animated show surrounding the Daily Monsters. It’s a long process of uncertain outcome, but it involves a lot of things I love—illustration, working with a brilliant writer and a genius animation producer, thinking about music and character design. It’s great! I’m also working on a solo gallery show for the spring. That’s just a big beast breathing down my neck. I don’t know how much of it will be retrospective and how much will be new work. I just want it to be a fun trip for the audience.