Born into a long bloodline of creatives, illustrator Treasure Frey’s work of collage/ drawings is certainly something to watch for. Her work reminds me a lot of the awesome animations from Monty Python, except with the intricate combination of beautiful mark-making with varying line weights, loops, and brightly colored shapes, she has made a killer style of her own.
Susan Jamisons cryptic depictions of femininity incorporate references from medical and botany journals, domestic objects and, of course, Snow White.
Designer Becca McCharen is the creative brain behind Chromat, a NYC fashion label that artfully merges fashion, design, architecture and — more recently — technology. Chromat’s designs are more conceptual than practical, but still beautiful and wearable: steel dresses, caged masks, and coiled skirts are but a few examples from the label’s fascinating repertoire. Driving Chromat’s unique look is McCharen’s background in architectural theory and urban design. During her studies in architecture at the University of Virginia, she became very interested in scaffolding and building exteriors, especially those whose structure or wiring was visible on the outside (Paris’ Centre Pompidou is one such example). Wanting to experiment with art, fashion, and human “architecture,” McCharen moved to NYC in 2010 and began her “structural experiments” for the body. (Source)
Caging, straps, and corset boning have always been integral to Chromat’s work, but for Autumn/Winter 2014, the design company introduced another element into the art/fashion/architecture triad: robotics. Their new line was called Bionic Bodies, inspired by a love story McCharen envisioned between a human and a robot. The result? Bodies scaffolded like bionic arms and exoskeletons, chromed ribcages studded at the seams, and, most strikingly, faces and bras illuminated with blue LEDs. When the lights are off, the cyborg effect of the LEDs is eerily sexy; have a look at Chromat’s runway video above and see for yourself.
What McCharen and the Chromat crew are creating is more than just experiments in fashion and architecture — their work is fascinating from a theoretical perspective, as well. Absorbed in our daily experiences and emotional lives, we forget that we are, in fact, bones wrapped in muscle and flesh, propelling ourselves through space by the miracle of physics. By engineering such structures on the outside of the body, Chromat celebrates such functionality and mechanical perfection. The parallel between structural facades and fashion is interesting, as well, if we understand fashion as a way to construct our identities and shift the way people interact with us. Like the exterior of powerful structures, Chromat’s revolutionary works exude strength, self-assurance, and impermeability — hence the eerie power and unsusceptible beauty of McCharen’s cyborgs.
Check out Chromat’s online store here. VICE conducted a fascinating interview with McCharen about her Bionic Bodies line. For a discussion of Chromat’s upcoming Spring/Summer 2015 line, read The Glass Magazine’s article.
Credits: A big thank-you to photographer Koury Angelo, who let me share his incredible pictures from the MADE runway show.
I love Hao Ni’s stacked sculptures and drawings of dilapidated houses.
Roof Runners (2015) is a series by photographer and filmmaker Michael Snyder. As an avid traveler and international artist, his work typically explores the intersections of social justice and environmental sustainability as they occur around the world. This series—which depicts people leaping daringly across rooftops—takes a more personal turn, drawing on Snyder’s childhood imagination. In the following project statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, he explains:
“Car sickness plagued me when I was a child (it still does). While my siblings were able to read or play video games on long road trips, I always had to look out of the window to keep from being sick. To fight the boredom I would project myself out of the car and into the landscape as it passed by. Often, I would imagine myself as a runner, crossing rooftops and hurdling from building to building at high speeds.”
Snyder turns the urban architecture of Columbia Heights (Washington, DC) into a kind of real-world platform game, where the protagonist is a powerful projection of oneself, navigating the world with a sense of adventure and invulnerability. For Snyder, this reinvestment in a youthful fantasy operates as testament to the importance of personally-derived creativity. In a fast-paced world dominated by electronic entertainment, Roof Runners encourages us to return our gaze to the corporeal world for imaginative outlets and self-exploration.
Zeroing by Andrey Nepomnyasochev makes me think: What if the entire world was a crumpled sheet of paper sitting tightly in someones hand waiting to be torn apart.
Southern California, thanks to its diverse landscape, has always enjoyed a wide variety of musical genres. Los Angeles in the 1980’s saw a kaleidoscope of tunes, and different beach communities, the Valley, South Central, the Inland Empire and East LA each had its own form of local music. Plus, since the late 60’s, a growing number of major record labels had/were setting up their headquarters there. Coupled with an abundance of clubs, Los Angeles become the epicenter of the music industry.
So, not surprisingly, major rock groups did very well in Los Angeles – devoted fans packed their venues. While the alternative scene got less coverage, the free press such as L.A. Weekly, the L.A. Reader, BAM, Rock City News, and Music Connection provided the recaps and nightly gigs around the town.
The Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) culled from their Herald Examiner photo archive and worked with the Gary Leonard Collection, LAPL and Photo Friends to present From Pop to the Pit: LAPL Photo Collection Celebrates the Los Angeles Music Scene, 1978-1989. The images show the diversity of the decade as well as the different groups who had hit singles, infamous moments, and thrilled countless fans.
If you’re local to Los Angeles, stop by and see the exhibition at the LAPL History & Genealogy Department from January 8 to June 28, 2015. In addition, there’s a companion catalog available for purchase on Amazon.