Within his series Cowboys, Italian born artist Stefano Galli captures the essence of the rodeo. When encountering Galli’s blurred displays of fast paced moments, at first glance, the images almost take on a painterly aesthetic. The blended earth tones enriched by small marks of what could be cadmium red mimic the sort of guttural intensity found in Abstract Expressionism. Yet, with further inspection, it becomes clear that these moments are, in fact, not abstract at all. Galli’s series displays a hyper specific sensibility of the rodeo — they go beyond what is physically there and take on the challenge to document both the visual and psychological affect the rodeo has on these cowboys. With a crowds of faceless faces, bucking broncos whose warped bodies begin to take the formation of something out of a Francis Bacon painting, and long, lingering lights that possess a cinematic feel, Galli is able to represent the true element of movement. His photographs are a clever answer to create a discourse on a challenging topic for a motionless medium: speed. But, more importantly, his images provoke not only a discourse on gesture, but also on control. What does it feel like to have control when all sense of homeostasis is disrupted? How does one remain in control? And further, through the distortion of the image, is Galli provoking the viewer to lose his or her control? Are we asked to let go of our need to make sense of what we’re seeing? Perhaps, for a moment, we should act on instinct. Delicate yet powerful, Stefano Galli truly exposes a contemporary visual thought process on an age-old tradition.
This installation by artist Soo Sunny Park is appropriately titled Unwoven Light. Several sections of chain link fence have been connected and draped throughout the gallery. The wave-like sections of fence are filled with small pieces of Plexiglas. Light from the galleries many lamps and the sun at various angles fall through the glass projecting a multicolored pattern more impressive than the installation itself. Park uses the light as a medium, unfurling from the fence and fully splayed on every gallery surface. [via]
Maiko Takeda is a student of jewelry design and fashion, a fact that is apparent in these stunning photographs. Takeda’s portraits feature figures adorned or ornamented, creating interesting juxtapositions of light and shadow, geometry, space, and logic. Out of a simple and seemingly ordered concept emerges something intricate, chaotic, and mysterious. Takeda’s work is both elegant and bizarre, a world where beauty is revealed through obfuscation and composition. Takeda is currently pursuing a Masters in Millinery at the Royal College of Art.
Japanese artist Yoshihiko Satoh’s takes mass produced musical instruments and stretches, enlarges, manipulates, and contorts them into objects that unleash the energey residing in their function and shape.
Artist Filippo Minelli uses the ethereal smoke bomb to paint atmosphere in vibrant colors in his striking series Silence/Shapes. This title refers to Minelli’s intention of giving the concept of silence a physical form. His clouds of color give off the impression of a demanding presence, taking over the incredibly picturesque surroundings that it inhabits. The photographer’s smoke bombs always take place in breathtaking environments, like deep in the mountains are on the surface of a serene lake. The boldness of the colored smoke is a harsh contrast to the calmness of its environment. However, the smoke can be as unpredictable and wild as the wilderness it is in, as it swirls and explodes with color into the misty air of forests and meadows. Even further, some of the most incredible views of Filippo Minelli’s compositions are of his smoke bombs wafting through the air of abandoned buildings. The organic shapes that the clouds take on create an amazing juxtaposition against the manmade structures that enclose around it.
When exploring this aesthetically genius series of Minelli’s, you realize that there is a complete absence of human form. No people are ever present. It is almost as if the colored clouds are a life of their own, standing in for human life. In one of Filippo MInelli’s photographs, it even appears that a bright, orange cloud is resting on a bench outside. The smoke begins to take on personality and substance, traveling to different natural environments and absorbing their majesty. Filippo Minelli explains the inspiration behind the series.
“The idea came to his mind when looking at political demonstrations footage, when he noticed that when the smoke was coming into the scene people stopped screaming and the scene was visually silenced too, so he thought of the smoke as the shape of silence taking over.”
Silence/Shapes is now currently on view at Beetles + Huxley Gallery in London until September 5th.
The upcoming exhibition Thingamajigs, curated by Meenakshi Thirukode brings together individuals whose creative practice cannot be categorized under traditional tags. The show features a plethora of artists who push the boundaries of their practice, including prior B/D featured experimental group Lucky Dragons, B/D staff writer Colleen Asper, and B/D’s own Amir H. Fallah! A bevvy of Beautiful/Decay articles of history and memorabilia (including some of the first ever, hand-photocopied ‘zine versions) will be on display, alongside Amir’s painting. If you find yourself on a spiritual or artistic journey to India, be sure to check out this exhibition at Gallery Open Eye Dreams.
Dreamy, intense pictures by photographer Jeff Bark.
Photographer Josh Cheuse got his break back when people still used payphones and punk was still alive. At age 16, he used some spare change and a lot of guts to call up The Clash. He wanted to photograph them, they agreed, and the rest — as they say — is history.
“I just loved music, and with no musical talent it was my way in – my contribution to the party,” Cheuse said in an interview with It’s Nice That. “I loved documentary photography and war photographs and the music scene had the same excitement level with less immediate danger.”
It started with The Clash and never stopped. Cheuse’s 30 years of photography can be seen at his latest exhibition, “Grooving Years,” at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in New York City. It features exclusive photographs from all over the musical world, from Run DMC to the Beastie Boys to Lady Gaga. One of Cheuse’s most frequent subjects was Joe Strummer, Cheuse’s dear friend as well as, of course, the frontman of revolutionary punk band The Clash.
Asked about his relationship with Strummer, Cheuse answers, “Great friend, guru, mentor, teacher, partner in crime. I miss him something awful.” That’s the secret to Cheuse’s photographs: They capture his subjects close-up in a way that, instead of being exploitative, is simply honest and human.
“Grooving Years” opened a week ago on September 18th and runs until October 11th, 2014. For more information, visit the gallery website.