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Petros Chrisostomou’s Photographs Trick Your Sense Of Scale

Chrisostomou, Photography

Chrisostomou, Photography

Chrisostomou, Photography

Petros Chrisostomou, a New York based photographer, plays with scale, mass-produced and ephemeral objects, and hand-crafted mini architectural models in order to challenge the viewer’s visual certainties, and visual signifiers of contemporary mass culture.

The multi-faceted works resemble lively assemblages of what seem to be large-scaled mundane objects in exaggerated interiors – some resembling wreckage, and others referencing the extravagance of a Rococo palace.

Christosomou’s photographs become the field for mixing the high- and the low-brow, mass culture and genre painting, the luxurious and the expendable, as indications of social class distinctions. At the same time, the relations between the real and the imaginary in his oeuvre are a commentary on the mediated images of contemporary mass media that distort the natural and immediate dimension of our relation to reality, determining, among other things, the conditions for viewing and receiving art. 

The relevance of this body of work does not completely rely on its technical complexities, and cultural commentary, but also in its visual power. We know that the artist is not fabricating monumental sculptures resembling stiletto shoes, instead he is fabricating small-scaled architectural spaces- that play out with the objects, making them look bigger than they seem. It is important to notice, as curator Tina Pandi points out that “the alteration of scale and reversal of the relation between object and environment, between imaginary and real space.”

(Photos via Ignat Quotes via Artist’s Website)

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Gregor Gaida’s Powerful Sculptures Depict Humans And Animals In States Of Violence And Vulnerability

Der Dornenauszieher (2013). Acrylic resin, acrylic glass, wood.

Der Dornenauszieher (2013). Acrylic resin, acrylic glass, wood.

Attaboys (Edition of 3 + 1 AP) (2012). Aluminium.

Attaboys (Edition of 3 + 1 AP) (2012). Aluminium.

Attaboys (Edition of 3 + 1 AP) (2012). Aluminium.

Attaboys (Edition of 3 + 1 AP) (2012). Aluminium.

Polygonal Horse (2011). Wood.

Polygonal Horse (2011). Wood.

Gregor Gaida is an artist based in Bremen, Germany, who is known for his sculptures of earth-shattering and bone-breaking power. Aggression, pain, and vulnerability permeate throughout his works as humans and animals engage in mysterious battles, writhe in torment, and stagger alone into defeat. “Attaboys” (2012), for example, features two hooded boys carving a deep line into the surrounding brick, as if marking territory; “Swog” (2013) displays two alien-like, fanged mouths locked together in a violent dual of equal power; “Canis Major III-I” (2014) shows a wounded dog lying on its side, its hind legs dismembered and sides cracked open. In these scenes of violence and passion, Gaida provides a complete story: each sculpture figuratively embodies a driving force, a moment of passion, the falling action, and the pain left behind.

As discussed in this article by Colossal, Gaida derives his figures from book and magazine imagery:

“The found footage is often no more than an impulse that is no longer discernible in the further development of the shape. Analogous to photography, my objects are three-dimensional snapshots. The characters are frozen in movement and often cropped along imaginary image borders. I transport the fragmented character of photos into the third dimension. Simultaneously, when dealing with color and options of shaping, painterly characteristics appear. Thus, the life-sized special interventions are formally attributed to sculpture but are equally part of painterly and photographic categories.” (Source)

These “fragmented” characters that Gaida adapts from print media have a strangely mythological-yet-contemporary appearance. Shattered, tortured torsos are reminiscent of the stone busts of Greek and Roman antiquity (see “Rest von Schwarz”); in “Polygonal Dog,” a Cerberus-type creature has been reimagined as a horrific laboratory mutant, five heads gnashing together instead of three. The multiplicity and fragmentation, however, is what lends Gaida’s sculptural “collages” a sense of power and beauty; they are grotesque and frightening, but look beyond the rage and wounds and there lies vulnerability, strength, and survival.

Visit Gaida’s website to view more of his spectacular work.

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The Big Picture: An interview with Edward Burtynsky

As part of our ongoing partnership with Dailyserving, Beautiful/Decay is sharing Seth Curcio’s interview with Photographer Edward Burtynsky.

It’s often impossible to fully understand the big picture of industrialized development from the limited perspective of the consumer. Each day most of us in the western world go about our business, driving to and from work, using plastics made from petroleum, enjoying foods shipped in from thousands of miles away, without a thought of the very resource that makes this all possible — oil. The impact of oil has consistently reappeared in the work of Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky for well over a decade. Burtynsky’s photographs often soar into the air, freeing us from our limited perspective, offering us the ability to better understand the scale and impact that this material has on contemporary life. It is only through this expansive perspective that we begin to understand the magnitude and consequence of our complicit actions. Recently, DailyServing founder Seth Curcio was able to speak to Burtynsky by phone about his current exhibition at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, titled Oil. During this conversation, we learn how Burtynsky’s research has altered his own relationship to oil, how he uses scale and perspective to shape our understanding of the industrialized world, and what lies ahead of us with the future of oil.

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Franz Szony- Photographic Painter

Described as a “photographic painter” or “character portraitist”, Franz Szony transcends traditional photography in order to open windows into a lush, seductive, and intricately detailed world of fantasy and dreams where his seductive imagery fuses the classical with the modern, and depicts baroque aesthetics with a bizarre twist.

Szony’s work explores the intention and meaning behind beauty, evoking a mythical, archetypical atmosphere that has the potential to summon a meditative, imaginative, and even transcendental state of mind. Many of the photographs find their direct inspiration from Szony’s dreams, which he keeps meticulously logged in a dream diary. “The worlds and characters I’ve dreamt have inspired both minute details, as well as entire works of art, both aesthetically and emotionally. ”

Franz explains that, while most people consider themselves unconscious while sleeping, many philosophies teach that we are, in fact, more conscious while asleep than while awake… “If so, I can’t help but think our dreams to be more real and truthful than the physical world.”

See Szony’s solo show at Project One in San Francisco from July 11th-August 4th, 2012.

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Rikka Hyvönen Celebrates The Hyper Colored Bruises On The Bodies Of Roller Derby Girls

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Riikka Hyvönen celebrates bruises on women’s body. Women that are rollerskating in a high level competition called ‘roller derby’. It’s an aggressive game which ends up marking the contestants for quite a long time; or at least until they heal. The artist uses hyperrealism to depict the bruises, which she calls ‘kisses’, as a trophy, a victory over the pain they are going through during a competition.

Hyperrealism is a method which consists of painting on a large scale canvas a reproduction of a photograph.Rikka Hyvönen collects photographs of the roller derby girls and chooses the bruises she considers being the most interesting. Not necessarily the biggest ones though.
The bruise on the cheek is the focus of the painting. The whole image is kitsch, pop and above all real. The different colors of a bruise are painstakingly detailed, from yellowish to grayish.

The violence we associate to bruises are the symbol of the strength defining women. They symbolize the capacity of a woman in life in general to fall and get back up again. Rikka Hyvönen is saying, through her paintings that any mark due to a battle needs to be claimed and worn with pride.  “I believe these images are charged with mental strength. They show that the player’s bodies can take the hits yet overcome the pain and still continue to play… Obviously, I am objectifying these women totally. But I am doing it exactly the way they objectify themselves: their big and strong bums are assets and to be carried with pride.” (via Hi Fructose)

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Futuristic Sleep Mask “Napz” Enhances Sleep by Electronically Stimulating Lucid Dreams

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Last week’s London Design Festival featured a prototype for a futuristic sleep-aid. During the Digital Design Weekend at the V&A museum, one of the highlights was Digital Futures UKMX. The event is a two day cultural exchange between designers, artists, makers, and engineers from the UK and Mexico. The event centered around themes of innovation, collaboration and civil awareness. The aim is to enhance each community by learning from the other.

One of the projects presented was by Octavio A. Martinez Garcia, a Mexican robotic engineer who works for COCOLAB. He showcased a prototype for a product called Napz, a sleep mask created to help gain access to more efficient sleep. The mask is made from infrared sensors, Neo Pixels, and the Arduino Lilypad. The invention does not just simply help to attain better sleep, but does so by allowing the user to actively lucid dream, a state of dreaming in which one has control over his or her actions. He states:

“The prototype is an eye mask designed to measure REM, using LED lights to gently stimulate you and bring you to the border of consciousness and unconsciousness so you can begin to play with your dreams. Today people get a lot less sleep, and of a much worse quality. Napz is a wearable device intended to schedule lucid dreams and thus produce actual rest and better patterns of REM sleep. Its interface allows the programming, design, and analysis of dreams. As everybody is different the device needs to be calibrated to each individual. The inspiration came from my own experience of lucid dreaming.”

(via The Creators Project)

 

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Miika Saksi

Illustration for Aamulehti

Finnish illustrator/photographer/director Miika Saksi’s work is everything I love about fantastical and mythic Lisa Frank evoking creatures galloping the fine line between awesome and cheesy as hell. It’s almost as if (for me) the relationship between work I like, and what I can Google image search is basically one and the same… 

 

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Alexandra Mackenzie

 

I could spend months staring at Alexandra Mackenzie’s ultra detailed drawings. Featuring tribal shamans, flesh eating wolfs, and tiny unicorns running around in balls of hair, Alexandra’s drawings have something for everyone. The only thing missing is that there aren’t more drawing on Alexandra’s site. While the drawings are in short supply she does have a great series of collage work that relate to the drawings in a very interesting way.

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