KwangHo Shin is an artist based in Yeongdeok, South Korea, who paints abstract portraits of human emotion. On massive canvases, Shin outlines the contours of a face before filling them in with thick, messy layers of oil and acrylic. As his process videos on YouTube demonstrate, he works from dark to light, allowing the paint to stream down and across the canvas before blending it out. The result is a series of “faceless” portraits, faces transformed into technicolored and monochromatic landscapes that exude a raw range of seemingly conflicting sensations: rage and sensitivity, fear and confidence, sadness and hope.
Shin’s intuitive, creative process—from blank canvas to storms of emotion—allows him to express the deep nuances of his subjects. As curator Myung-Jin You describes, “[The] complexity of human emotions, which is hard to be defined in one word, is left as momentary traces on the empty space, after the long agony of the artist’s inner side.” Following this, “the fear of blank space is collapsed, and [Shin’s] inner side’s fear and the ecstasy . . . coincide” (Source). The finished piece is a culmination of Shin’s energy that dissolves the facades of muscle and skin to reveal the textures of internal experience.
Toronto-based artist TALWST creates works in a miniaturized scale. The tiny sculptures are constructed in reclaimed ring boxes and feature landscapes that are inspired by current events, dreams, and icons in pop culture. TALWST’s details are incredible, and it’s only after careful inspection that you see every fleck of paint, particle of moss, and patterns drawn on clothing. The artist also paints the top inside of the boxes and creates a small yet all-encompassing world.
While the attention to detail is one reason to intensify your gaze, the other is the subject matter. TALWST is timely, and although some scenes might conjure the past (their backdrops, especially, look like old paintings) the artist portrays contemporary issues such as Michael Brown and Eric Garner’s deaths. These miniatures his prototypes for creating responsive, diversified and inclusive history, unlike we have now. “The work’s small scale allows me the opportunity for a very particular kind of meditation,” TALWST explains. (Via Skumar’s and Junk Culture)
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Beautiful/Decay has partnered with premiere website builder Made With Color to bring you some of the most exciting contemporary artists working today. Made With Color allows you to create a website that is professional and accessible with just a few clicks and no coding. This week we bring you the thick and gooey paintings of Annelie McKenzie.
Los Angeles painter Annelie McKenzie doesn’t delicately paint the figures in her works with thin transparent layers of paint. Instead she wields her brush and palette knife with abandon covering every square inch of her painting (and decorative frames) with brilliantly awkward paint handling. Dealing with themes of art history, gender, craft, and kitsch, McKenzie mixes high and low with thick globs of paint all the while referencing, acknowledging, and sampling compositions and techniques of the painters that came before her as well as her contemporaries.
After graduating from Tama Art University in 1964, Issey Miyake worked in Paris and New York City before returning to Tokyo to establish the Miyake Design Studio.
In the late 80s, he began experimenting with new methods of pleating that would allow for a combination of technology, functionality and beauty. This ultimately jumpstarted a then-new technique called garment pleating, a technique with which we former pleated skirt-wearin’ school girls are totally familiar.
His vintage work reminds me of graceful moths from outer space (or from Star Wars)–and I mean that in the best way possible!
Michael Kontopoulos, a grad student at UCLA Design|Media Arts has created a system of sculptures that are constantly on the brink of collapse. His intention was to capture and sustain the exact moment of impending catastrophe and endlessly repeat it. This documentation gives me the chills, makes me sweat, and I almost scream when each machine comes close to collapse. Good job Michael.