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Heather Benning’s Life-Size Dollhouse

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In 2005, Heather Benning acquired then began restoring a 60s-era abandoned and decaying farmhouse near Sinclair Manitoba, Canada. After finishing her restoration and furnishing the home with 60s-era furniture, she then removed the north-facing wall and replaced it with plexi-glass. In June 2007, the house was opened to the public where it remained “tomb-like” as a life-size dollhouse until this March 2013. Eventually, the house began to deteriorate and the safety of the structure was compromised, leading Benning to  end the project with fire. The Dollhouse images are currently represented by “Telephone Booth Gallery” in Toronto.

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Interview: Kim Dorland

Kim Dorland is a Toronto based painter who examines the psychic, nostalgic spaces of his upbringing in Canada through sumptuous impasto layers. At once playfully calling attention to their own physicality, as well as the nostalgia of Dorland’s personal narratives, the paintings are at once visceral and expansive. Beautiful/Decay recently interviewed Kim about his artistic inspirations, painting technique and more. Full interview and images after the jump!

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Biannual Subscription Sale Ends Tonight!

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Beautiful/Decay Book 5 is officially in the building and we’re stuffing subscriptions as we speak. You have until midnight tonight to take advantage of our Biannual subscription sale and save some cash on your favorite Art & Design Book Series.

For those of you who want to start your subscription with Book 4 we can send you both books. Just put a note in the comment box when you check out saying whether you want your subscription to start with book 4 or book 5. After midnight all subscriptions will begin automatically with book 5.

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Barry X Ball

Barry X Ball
Barry X Ball’s personally selected subjects all start their floating-head lives as plaster casts that eventually becoming impaled on some sort of suspended device. They’re scanned by 3D laser scanners then meticulously carved into portraitures that bear high resemblance to their subjects. One of such was Matthew Barney, whose head was installed on a 69 inch spike of plated gold. Hey guys…what do you say? Barneys instead of Jacks?

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Mariell Amélie’s Surreal Self-Portraits Are A Bit Like Playing With An Imaginary Friend

Mariell Amélie - Photography

Mariell Amélie - Photography

Mariell Amélie - Photography

Mariell Amélie - Photography

Photographer Mariell Amélie‘s self-portraits are a bit like playing with an imaginary friend on the borderlands of fantasy and reality. They transport her to a dreamy limbo state, each looking like a snapshot from some noir-ish modern fairy tale. Some are haunting, others playful, but all have a sheen of melancholy, an icy veneer. This sensibility is perhaps explained partially by Amélie’s biography, which places her childhood on “a small island above the arctic circle.” A wind-blown isolation permeates her photography, no matter if the backdrop is breath-taking iceberg mountains or bright dollhouse interiors.

Her self-portraits are enigmatic. They are, to borrow a phrase from science, a bit of “spooky action at a distance” — in one, she contemplates her skates on a puddle-sized ice rink; in another, she pays no heed to the warnings of Narcissus, leaning down to kiss the marsh waters. The latter photograph is called “Part Time Lover.” All of Amélie’s photographs have similarly suggestive names: “She Had Just Left for Heaven, They Said,” is the name of one; “Alone and Unaware” is the name of another. As she tumbles from the driver’s seat of a car, vacant-eyed, the photograph’s name comments, “Someone Will Be Waiting at the Station.” These names, paired with the in media res nature of her photographs, give the unshakable feeling that there’s more to the story than meets the eye. If only it were possible to look beyond the veil.

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Luka Fineisen’s Gallery Bubbles

The work of artist Luka Fineisen seems like it may exist for only a moment.  Giant bubbles are scattered throughout the gallery floor.  The size of the bubbles are contrasted by their seeming fragility.  Fineisen in this way freezes a tense moment, stretching a delicate life long enough for close inspection.  The gallery’s reflection on each bubble reminds the viewer of the delicate and temporal nature of aspects of the world around us.  At any moment, something we’ve taken for granted can pop.

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Jedediah Johnson Catalogues His Subject’s Faces After Making Out With Them

Men and women, young and old, you name it…everyone is included in Jedediah Johnson‘s unorthodox photography series: The Make-Out Project.

It all started in 2012, when Indiana native Jedediah moved to Chicago in order to complete an MFA at the Art Institute. During his graduate school years he developed The Make-Out project, a photographic series featuring the moment after making out.

For each image, Johnson puts his hands around the subject’s neck and then proceeds to the kiss (notice the trail of red lipstick), after the kiss he instantly snaps the subject’s reaction and condition.

The kisses vary in length and intimacy. My subjects are all aware of what I’m going to do ahead of time, but in the moment of the kiss anything can happen. The lipstick mark I leave on my subjects invites viewers to imagine the circumstances surrounding the kiss.”

The project revolves around the idea of collecting memories. Johnson is interested in cataloging and collecting people, specifically, keeping record of experiences. Johnson’s project is not just about kissing random people, rather, it is an interesting series of images that let is on very intimate situations. Can you tell what each of these subjects were feeling like after the kiss happened?

I guess we’ll never truly know, but it is this kind of cataloguing that gives us a chance to figure it out. (via Huff Post)

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Tristan Pigott’s Paintings Capture Social Awkwardness And The Male Gaze

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The painter Tristan Pigott heightens the drama of everyday awkward interactions by imagining the mundane in dreamlike ways; altering proportion and shape to express his subjects’ self-conscious anxiety, he constructs an uncomfortable world dominated by the uncertainty of twenty-something men and women. As they form their adult identities, Pigott’s subjects fret over their appearance and public behavior.

Alcohol, hip clothing, makeup, and grooming products cease to be superficial or incidental and are transformed into poignant markers of inner dialogues. Two female subjects abandon words, opting instead to communicate through their own physical presentation; one applies mascara in her skivvies, while the other furrows her brow at a magazine advertisement. An attractive persona is of the utmost importance; a seductive lip tattoo becomes the subject of another painting, and similarly, a lady is shown carefully eating a hamburger that perfectly coordinates to her outfit, sure not to spill on her blouse.

Further heightening the psychological importance of public surroundings and everyday objects, the artist plays with perception, placing an out-of-context wine glass here, a gravity-defying newspaper there. Similarly, a see-through table alters the hue of the legs below as harsh brushstrokes break the illusion of realism, and a man peers at his watch, his anxiety seemingly circumventing the laws of physics and allowing his body to float above ground.

In this world where identities are malleable and uncertain, the male gaze is uncomfortably prominent. Where a man is shown to watch himself in the mirror, the women are seen with a subtle degree of voyeurism. In mixed company, women peer thoughtfully, even fretfully, at the viewer, where men seem to please only themselves, remaining blissfully unaware of onlookers. When the male subject is nude, his back and face are turned away, but breasts and glances of the unclothed female are directed outwards. Dominated by familiar social anxieties and uncomfortable sexual politics, Pigott’s imaginative public space is perhaps not as surreal as it might seem. (via iGNANT)

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