This guy’s sweatshirt says it all. The dark, capacious surroundings try to steal the show but his face has such a “just you try” intensity that, despite his size, you know he could for sure kill you with his bare hands. See, Moscow based artist, Olya Ivanova, knows that good portraiture should give the viewer an understanding of what it feels like to be the subject of the image. And it feels pretty serious.
We probably all have an image of Paris in our heads; a romantic, cliched view of a city most English speakers idealize and fantasize about. As a recent first-time visitor to the city of lights (affectionately nicknamed la Ville Lumière), I am also guilty of having this idea. I dreamed it would be full of tiny quaint shoebox-sized apartments covered with ivy, or snow (depending on the season); the cityscape full of scooter sounds zipping through the alleys, or cats screeching as they scampered over falling garbage cans. I’m not sure if I can say whether that vision was realized while I was there, or entirely imagined, but I can relive a certain nostalgia when I see the photography of Alain Cornu.
Cornu captures a theatrical side to the romantic city, illuminated in the moonlight. Focusing on the endlessly interesting rooftops of Paris, his images are a treat to look at. Full of so many angles, hidden corners, inviting skylights and alcoves that we would normally overlook, the images are like a sweet homage to the power of potential in the city.
Having previously worked in the genres of landscape, Cornu is well versed at turning his subjects into fascinating objects. His past series include trees, rocks, misty fields, piles of twigs, windows, walls, doorways, streets, beach fronts, and walkways. And while all of these things could potentially be boring and un-inspirational, they turn into something absorbing and engaging in the hands of this observant photographer.
Seaborg, a Japanese designer and artist, chooses latex as her medium of choice. A blend of installation and performance art, her latest work is an “inflatable animal farm,” complete with blow-up cows and pigs as well as performers in inflatable suits. Saturated with bright children’s book colors, the installation also features somewhat disturbing images, exposing what seems to be a literal underbelly. In a slaughterhouse, a pig with prominent human breasts dangles from the ceiling, gutted and bled. Another photo from the installation shows a pig, partly eviscerated, posing coquettishly with a come-hither expression.
In the past, Saeborg’s work has been included in group shows that portray a female perspective on modern Japan, particularly colored by sexuality, pop culture, and humor. According to beautiful.bizarre,
“As a new driving force of the economy, these women now work for the modernization of traditional Japanese culture, a culture that was unknown to the Western World. This new feminine expression is based on ‘impermanence’ (a Buddhist concept) and is mixed with the attraction to darkness and the internalization of feelings.”
Saeborg’s inflatable farm certainly hits all these notes, putting the ideas of impermanence and objectification front and center. These pig-women are fetishized, yet at the end of the day, they’re nothing more than a commodity: so many pounds of meat. (via Hi-Fructose)
We featured the illustrations of Australian artist Tom Littleson (aka, Dilly) in 2011, and he is also one of the artists featured in Beautiful/Decay’s Book 9, which examines the seven deadly sins through the lens of contemporary art. Dilly’s illustrations fall into the “Wrath” category, but there are many more incredible artists to explore in Book 9, including Jeremy Kost’s sexually-charged and explorative Polaroids (Lust), and Libby Black’s colorful paper sculptures of coveted, material possessions (Envy). For centuries, the seven sins have influenced the Western imagination in discerning “good” behavior from “bad” impulses, and Book 9 gives you the exclusive opportunity to see how groundbreaking artists are navigating these distinctions in the present-day world.
Dilly’s illustrations are a drastic combination of immaculate detail and excessive rage. In a series titled The Mind’s Apocalypse, Dilly has drawn the hyper-realistic portraits of various men, capturing everything from their individual hairs to wrinkles and beard scruff. The contemplative beauty of these pieces, however, is shattered by the grotesque, self-mutilating acts the men are engaged in; with expressions of passion and madness, they tear open their own skin, self-cannibalize, and anoint themselves in blood. Some of them are screaming in what could be pain or rage. The greyscale faces with bright red gore are brutally beautiful, and despite their stomach-turning intensity, it is hard to look away.
Limited copies of Book 9 are still available on the B/D shop. Click here to grab yours before they are gone for good.
Michael Murphy is a Brooklyn-based artist known for his perception-challenging sculptural installations. Featured here is a new work titled “Branded,” commissioned by the Manhattan creative consultancy Lippincott. In an exploration of the term “brand identity,” Murphy used 100 laser-cut images of graphic logos to create a human face—more specifically, the face of his daughter, Iris Isadora. Portions of her photo where printed across each logo. From a distance, the image appears complete; move closer, however, and the portions break apart into distinct logos—Starbucks, Instagram, and KFC among them. Watch the video above and see how the installation changes form depending on one’s vantage point.
Lippincott believes that a company’s brand represents not only an identity, but a possibility; “it is who you are and who you aspire to be” (Source). By constructing a human face out of logos, Murphy’s work intends to represent how brands themselves can function similar to living entities, changing and growing along with the cultural trends. The fact that perspective changes the form and cohesion of the installation suggests that one’s own experience of a brand can function within a subjective framework.
In addition to Lippincott, Murphy’s other clientele have included TIME Magazine, Washington Life, and Art for Obama. For the past two years he has been collaborating with Michael Jordan and Nike in the creation of retail centerpieces for the Jordan Brand. View Murphy’s website to learn more. Isadora is a musician whose work can be heard here.
The other day I ran around to get some food and look at some art. But before I got the art viewing festivities started, I decided to go down to the nonofficial “Bicycle District” to get some food and more importantly some delicious dessert. If you live in LA, you know how quickly this neighborhood has transformed in just a couple of years. Everyone loves this area as evident by the above graffiti.
A stunning collision of tactile, CMYK color, the work of London’s Evelin Kasikov lies squarely between object and image—a seamless combination of craft and design. After spending a decade working in advertising, Kasikov decided to expand her scope as a graphic designer by incorporating embroidery techniques into her work. Her approach to the craft is analytical, using her well-developed typographic skill set, grid systems, design techniques to challenge the preconceptions of embroidery as a system of making. Kasikov’s basic process is to map out the composition for each project, then she hand-stitches each image with a cyan-magenta-yellow-kohl breakdown, similar to offset printing processes. The resulting work is graphically rich, and brings an element of handwork back into the graphic design process—something that adds a layer of complexity and humanity to work that would otherwise be purely computer-generated.