San Francisco basked photographer Kelly Nicolaisen’s boldly colored images splash electric colors into everyday scenes and mundane situations. Creating quirky narratives that range from the playful to the absurd, Nicholaisen’s fresh takes on life create a sense of irony and humor by reversing the usual gestalt expectation that the figure is always at the foreground.
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 Burnett, renowned skate photographer extraordinare, has taken many of the iconic photographs that come to mind when thinking of greats such as Tom Penny and John Cardiel. However, taking a great skateboarding photograph is a much different task than photographing the people above the skateboard. His portraits of suburban kids sprawling for free t-shirts and familiar faces removed from their territory tell a different story- often the much more interesting one.
In 2011, Google launched Art Project in order to provide comprehensive, virtual tours of the spaces and artifacts of the world’s art museums and galleries. This requires Google’s robotic camera trolleys to roam museums taking 360 degree panoramic shots of every room they’re documenting. Since May, Barcelona-based artist Mario Santamaría has been collecting striking images of these cameras’ mirror selfies via a Tumblr page. In some of the images, the cameras don silvery-white blankets – this effect, combined with our culture’s immersion in selfies, renders these cameras almost familiar and comfortable, but startling in its reflection of itself and selfie culture. These museums and galleries are, for the most part, emptied of people, the camera eerily alone in its self-documentation. (via booooooom)
This isn’t the first time anyone’s ever used long exposure photography to make compositions with light, but Jasper Geenhuizen (Netherlands) is doing some of the best I’ve seen. Strong colors, and perfect set up and location. This is how you do it right. There’s no gimmick to these either- I would dig these pictures with or without the light work. They emit a damp, nocturnal atmosphere that’s not easy to reproduce. In Geenhuizen’s words, “Everybody can make light graffiti, but it is truly art to be able to combine the light with the place.” Hope to see much more from this guy going forward.
SKWAK is a French illustrator who draws elaborate crowds of what he calls “maniacs”: colorful characters who skitter and dance together with a look of celebratory absurdity. SKWAK is no stranger to Beautiful/Decay; over the past few years he’s collaborated with us on various projects, using his signature style to design kooky merchandise for our shop.
SKWAK is our cover artist for Beautiful/Decay Issue J, a magazine that focuses on groundbreaking artists with offbeat styles that oppose the elitism often associated with mainstream art. Also featured in the issue is Michael Scoggins, who draws nostalgic and self-exploratory images on crumpled pieces of notepaper, as well as Misaki Kawai, who creates expressive craft art with a raw, intentionally “amateur” aesthetic. As one of our most popular magazines, Issue J is sure to delight you with its curated collection of artists that strive to do things their own way.
We interviewed SKWAK in 2011, giving us fascinating insight into his art. Featured here today are some of the pieces he’s produced in more recent years. Among the works are the eye-catching, jittering throngs of his maniacs; wide-eyed and grinning, they mesh together amongst vibrant patterns and cartoon images of eyeballs and snakes—as well as more subtly sinister depictions of skulls and dismemberment. Among these mad assemblages are a couple of individual character drawings, wherein he focuses on illustrating the bodies of his maniacs with the same colorful, psychedelic fever. In the past few months, SKWAK has also embellished classical busts with his undulating line work.
Immerse yourself in the eccentric world of SKWAK and similar artists by picking up a copy of Beautiful/Decay’s Issue J, available here.