Flavia Carvalho is a Brazilian tattoo artist who provides voluntary service for women left with scars from domestic violence and mastectomies. The project’s name is A Pele da Flor (The Skin of the Flower), deriving from the Portuguese expression “A flor da pele” (deeper than skin). In support of the healing and empowerment of women, Carvalho’s scar tattoos are entirely free—all the client needs to do is to choose a design. Her goal is to help women feel better about their bodies and selves by reclaiming their scars as marks of transformation and strength.
Everything began two years ago, when Carvalho worked with a client who had been stabbed in a nightclub by a man she turned down. Over her abdominal scars, Carvalho tattooed blooming flowers and a bird—symbols of beauty, sensitivity, and growth. After seeing how deeply touched the client was with her tattoo, Carvalho decided to bring her services to more women. Since then, her project has received deservedly positive reception on social media, raising important issues related to domestic violence, the battle with cancer, and body image.
In an interview with Huffington Post, Carvalho speaks about the emotional impact of her project—turning feelings of shame into self-love—and the deeply rewarding connections she creates with her clients:
“The feedback I have gotten from women who were helped by this project has been extremely surprising. The sense of affection, sisterhood and camaraderie is deeper than I ever imagined. They contact me from all over the country, as well as from abroad. They come to the studio, share their stories of pain and resilience, and they show me their scars. Embarrassed, they cry, and hug me. Then we design the tattoo and we schedule the session. They become excited, optimistic. It is wonderful to see how their relationship with their bodies changes after they get the tattoos.” (Source)
When you think of graffiti you don’t usually think of cute imagery but you got to admit that these super cute characters by Bue The Warrior are pretty engaging. Bue has circled the globe painting his joyous figures in all sorts of places adding a bit of joyous fun to the tough guy world of graffiti art. So we ask you do you think there is room in the world for cute graffiti? (via iheartmyart)
Between train cars and mopeds, and over the course of thousands of miles, Pat Perry slowly realizes his dream of busting outside the confines of the mundane. All too often that monotony can squelch creative impulses, but this intrepid illustrator is pretty determined to avoid that at all cost. After getting in touch with Pat over email, we exchanged a few wayward text messages and in the end, missed each other in Chicago. It was between stops on this summer expedition of his, that he was able to answer some questions about the nature of his incredibly detailed work.
In a modern art era where so much is done digitally, Pat’s calculated and surreal illustrations bend back the paradigm by once again elevating the work elaborated by a traveler’s hands. His illustrations feels perfectly proportioned, almost as if in motion. Less reliance on symmetry and more focus on flow. There’s an energy about the continuity and vibrance of his images, whether the color scheme is brilliant or tempered, and his ability to satisfy a breadth of clients while still solidifying his fine art itch is admirable. Pat is dedicated to staying on his creative toes, which only means good news for those of us who know he’s on to something.
“NYC is a very fast paced city.” said artist HOTTEA in an exclusive talk with Beautiful/Decay. “When I walked across the bridge people are either jogging, running for exercise, walking with friends or alone to get from Brooklyn to Manhattan or vice versa. When observing people walking or running across the bridge, there really wasn’t any reason to look up or slow down. I like creating pieces that dramatically change the space and encourage people to re-look at a certain area.”
One of the most famous of the now-burgeoning international street arts scene that uses yarn and other non-damaging/permanent materials, the Minneapolis-based artist tried to create a similar project on a visit to New York several years ago, but was stopped by authorities. With careful planning and the help of several friends, HOTTEA was able to complete the public installation, creating a canopy of changing colors over a Williamsburg Bridge. Titled ‘Ritual‘, the artist explained that the very act of taking the bridge instead of the train became a ritual, slowing down his journey to the City and being able to process his day, the skyline and enjoy his surroundings. Realizing this, he wanted to create a signature work that would give others the same chance.
Referring to the installation, HOTTEA explained, “After about 5 hours, people continued to slow down but now more and more people were stopping. Either to take photos or to interact with us directly. When the piece was near completion after about 11 hours, everyone that came into contact with the piece either slowed down or stopped completely. I was in awe to see such a fast paced city slow down, stop and look up.” (via Colossal)
Raised a Catholic, and using obvious religious iconography, Liz Maw like to paint other-worldly and sublime beings. By combining the faces of celebrities or people she knows and admires with pseudo-mystical relics she glorifies them. Maw draws on many different periods and styles, mixing contemporary symbols with techniques from the Old Dutch masters, her subjects in poses akin to many Renaissance works. It is this mix of old and new; mundane and divine; hyper-realism and fantasy; sacred and profane that makes her work at once beautiful and comical. As one critic said:
“Her sleek paintwork resembles air brushing in its precision, offering a surrealism somewhere between Salvador Dali and the kind of hot-rod paintings which stretch across panel vans. Liz’s paintings are drenched with a sense of desire, beauty and power.” (source)
Her “Colleen” painting features a beautiful naked woman perched on a cloud surrounded by floating seashells and in a glowing sky illuminated by lightning. Intentionally referring to The Immaculate Conception painting, Maw manages to rework something old and accepted with a kitschy, slightly erotic spin. Talking about what is “distasteful” and what isn’t, Maw likes to challenge people’s standards. She says she doesn’t understand why some people will accept a painting of a figure with one breast covered, and others would think it to be inappropriate.
“I think that female sexuality is a very mystical thing… I don’t think that romance goes seamlessly into sex for women really. Maybe it can, maybe it can’t. A lot of women disconnect romance from sex. I don’t know why that is. “
She wants to paint to encourage more warmth and softness, and less judgement. And I think one painting at a time she will.
“I want to show that, despite stereotypes, that gay men can be masculine too.
“When I wear men’s clothes I feel comfortable and confident in how I look on the outside which now matches the inside.”
“I have been called a SNAG (sensitive new age guy), a renaissance man, a male in touch with his feminine side, etc….I think that I am masculine in the sense of self reliance.”
“I am strong emotionally, have always stood up for myself and fear nothing. I happen to be physically strong but that isn’t where I derive my masculinity.”
Philadelphia-based photographer Chad States creates ”Masculinities’, a series of photographs and text devoted to create real, tangible accounts of men and their thoughts on masculinity in order to expose the complexities and difficulties in trying to define the masculine. States, interested in creating a large sample of men and their accounts, exposes his project on Craigslist and only takes subjects who are interested in participating in this project.
“Growing up as a gay man in the U.S. I have always been aware of how men were supposed to act and I judged myself against these ideas. Masculinity was always something that was attractive to me but when I tried to unpack what made someone masculine I found it hard to define. Masculinity seemed based on relativity and shifted in different circumstances and cultures.”
The series, inspired by State’s own struggles with understanding conceptions of gender at an early age, set out to investigate the matter by photographing these men in their home. States explains that “the structure of the project created a special circumstance in which those who were still willing to participate had a strong need to have their own masculinity confirmed by the photograph.” The men got to choose the ways in which they were portrayed, they picked what they wanted to wear and they choose to stand by or sit in any position they felt truly comfortable in.
I used a 4×5 camera only taking about 8-10 shots per sitting, so the poses and choices are very intentional on part of the sitter.” (via Feature Shoot)
It’s Tuesday and time once again for our exclusive artist feature in partnership with premiere website building platform Made With Color. Each week we join forces to bring you some of the most compelling artists and designers working today who use Made With Color to create their clean and elegant websites. MWC is helping artists everywhere build beautiful looking websites without any coding, helping every artist get the maximum exposure for their work. This week we are happy to share the film noir influenced paintings of Frank Ryan.
Most of us walk past billboards, drive through city tunnels on our way to work, and don’t think twice about our messy bed that we just can’t seem to make in the morning. However Los Angeles based painter Frank Ryan see’s these mundane scenes as incredible moments to freeze in time through the magic of painting.
Focusing on the everyday, Ryan wields his brush and elevates the mundane to new heights in his psychologically charged and sometimes somber images. Using a direct style of painting Ryan’s process is economical, maximizing the effect of each brush stroke to create dreamlike states for us to get lost in and contemplate.