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Howie Tsui

howie tsuiOttawa-based artist Howie Tsui uses a mix of traditional Asian themes with Western aesthetics. His paintings depict scenes of terror that are very nightmare-like. “Tsui’s work is informed by a variety of dark subjects, including Asian ghost stories, Buddhist hell scrolls, Hong Kong vampire films, neo-conservative propaganda, and twentieth-century genocides such as the Nanking massacre.” We dig it.

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Björk was as elusive to me as the Northern Lights, but both made brief appearances at Iceland Airwaves 2012

Sigur Rós performing on the final night of Iceland Airwaves 2012

I’ve been back for a few days now from Reykjavik and still find it difficult to put into words how Iceland Airwaves 2012 was… amazing, cold, epic, windy, sleepless, beautiful? All of the above! It’s still a bit hazy to me what actually went down. Did Sigur Rós perform a new song? Did Útidúr actually play six shows? Did I fall in love with Sóley? Did the Blue Lagoon turn into the Ice Lagoon thanks to Hurricane Sandy? All of these things happened, but it still feels like a dream. So many musical highlights that it’s hard to name just a few, but when Sigur Rós took the stage at Laugardalshöllin Arena on the final night of the festival, I knew that there was no other place in the world I’d rather be. While I missed seeing Björk around town and a rather brief appearance by the Aurora Borealis, I did manage to make some new friends, eat a ton of Pylsur (Icelandic hot dogs), and discover EXITMUSIC who took my breath away at Harpa. Early bird tickets to next year’s festival go on sale December 1st  and like every year, it’s gonna be sold out before you know it. 

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Jason Hackenwerth’s Massive Balloon Sculpture

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These are much more than simple balloon animals.  Jason Hackenwerth‘s creations float like giant swimming organisms.  His newest creature, Pisces, which recently debuted at the Edinburgh International Science festival is particularly massive.  Pisces is built of thousands of balloons blown up and tied together.  It took three of members of the festival six days to blow up all of the balloons for the 40 foot structure.  The piece now hangs in the Grand Gallery of the National Museum of Scotland through April 14, 2013.

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Lynn Palewicz’s Skin Drawings

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Lynn Palewicz has taken doodling on her hands to a whole new level. Her drawings, that fuse black pen body drawings with up-close photography, teeter on the edge between illusion and reality, abstraction and figuration. These dizzying images will definitely make you do a double-take.

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Celia Marais

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As a huge fan of Electronic Musician Amon Tobin, I’m excited to post about Photographer and Director Celia Marais.  Why, you ask? Well that would be because Celia created a series called “Field Excursion”.  She constructed a group of odd creatures, built from scraps of meat and fish that were named after existing or imaginary bacteria.  A few chosen ones were then animated and included as part of an interactive minisite released alongside Amon’s album, Foley Room.  You can also view the animated creatures as a video.

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Lorenzo Vitturi’s Hand-Made visions of the world

Italian photogprapher Lorenzo Vitturi describes his work as “hand-made visions” where each body of work consists of a completely constructed new world where each visual element is hand crafted  with the utmost attention to detail. For his latest project Anthropocene Vitturi created a strange industrial world filled with debris, strange colored horses, and surreal body builders. Vitturi say’s about this project:

“This project is the result of a reflection about the relationship between man and nature, as it proposes – in line with 16th Century naturalistic painting – a symbolic system able to visualize the intersection between this two dimensions.
Up to the early 20th Century nature had been represented as an unspoiled, pure space animated by uncontrollable forces;
today, after just one Century, nature has proved to be a fragile system whose survival is highly dependent on an increasingly pervasive and destructive anthropization.
In such a context, where all equilibria and “rules of the game” are being overthrown, how can we still depict nature and men? Nature is loosing its natural features, while men are increasingly taking control over the whole cycle of life.
Starting from this paradox, my project consists in a series of images where site-specific installations built within a derelict location play a central role. In this visions the “mis en scene” becomes a tool for representing a nature which appears less authentic and indeed more and more a cultural product.
Each image is the result of a meticulous process of scene design and construction. The materials used were scattered construction and industrial remains, natural pigments and fake plants.”

See more images from Anthropocene and some very nice behind the scenes photos of the construction of the shoot after the jump!

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William Emmert’s Trompe L’oeil Sculptures

We have been following William Emmert on the Beautiful/Decay blog for quite a while (see posts here and here). We enjoy the exploration into his past and the pop culture nostalgia he recounts. Emmert has recently expanded his practice by employing trompe l’oeil techniques using nothing but paper. His familiar use of 80’s Professional Wrestling imagery and quotes still remain but have taken a backseat to sculpture and installation. The viewer is confronted with what looks to be an exhibition space in transition before banal studio materials are revealed to be paper objects.

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Ted Mcgrath’s Scribbly Illustrations

Ted Mcgrath is an artist and musician currently living in Brooklyn, NY.  His scribbly illustrations have appeared in a myriad of publications including The New York Times, New York Magazine, Bloomberg Business Week, NYLON, The Village Voice, and Bust.

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