Sally Hewett is a UK-based embroider who gives new meaning to a sculptural approach to the craft. Instead of stitching subject matter like flowers, puppies, and generally happy scenes, she fills embroidery hoops with butts, breasts, and genatalia. The circular compositions rise from the surface and Hewett uses well-placed stitches to give form to these bulbous shapes. In addition, she’ll use dangling threads to simulate public hair, both trimmed and natural.
In her artist statement, Hewett states that she’s interested in ideas of beauty and the things that people do because of it. She writes:
Men and women almost ritualistically shave and remove hair from their bodies – beards, underarm hair, pubic hair, leg hair etc, whereas other hair – hair on the head, eyebrows, eyelashes – are valued and encouraged to flourish. But there is other hair which not everyone has. Sometimes this special hair seems to be reason to feel ashamed. A large number of women and men submit their bodies to extraordinary procedures in the name of convention or beauty – liposuction, implants, scarification, surgery, laser treatment, electrolysis etc.
Embroidery is often see as an innocuous craft, and part of the reason that Hewett works this way is to see how the medium affects how the content is seen. Is it more shocking, amusing, or beautiful simply because it’s portrayed with a needle and thread?
Check out the artwork of Japanese artist Takahiro Iwasaki. “Not only are his small buildings and electrical towers excruciatingly small and delicate, but they also rest on absurdly mundane objects: rolls of tape, a haphazardly wrinkled towel, or from the bristles of a discarded toothbrush. Only on close inspection do the small details come into focus, faint hints of urbanization sprouting from disorder.” (via).
Love these bizarre sculptures by Chinese artist Hu Ke.I couldn’t find much about what they are about or how they are made online but maybe one of you smart Cult Of Decay members will put on your investigator cap on and report back to cult headquarters with your findings.
The work of photographer Nadia Lee Cohen is a stimulating, modern take on vintage American and British style. Her diorama-esque compositions — with their nude, cigarette-smoking femme fatales and garish 1950s/60s/70s iconography — explode with color, attitude, and fetishized, retro-suburban life. Scattered throughout are bold insertions of cultural, consumer artifacts, from packs of Marlboro cigarettes, to Coca-Cola bottles, to lip-shaped telephones, which further emphasize the images’ glossy and style-saturated appeal. David Lynch and Alfred Hitchcock fans will certainly be able to identify a few crafty allusions; whether it is red curtains, or birds hovering menacingly in the background, Cohen has seamlessly meshed her own cinematic style with that of influential film directors, thereby creating a clever and campy pastiche of Western arts and culture.
When I asked Cohen what drives her work, she expressed that she primarily hopes that people enjoy the aesthetics of her photography, which is a “humorous, tongue-in-cheek” response to the way she views the world. And, aside from creating fascinating portraits of what she identifies as “strong, quirky, dark characters,” Cohen’s exploration of retro aesthetics through a modern lens provides a visible commentary on the way styles and cultural tastes have shifted over the decades — all from an alternative and progressive point of view; her work represents a range of personal styles, as well as a variety of body shapes and sizes. “I hope to convey a wider message of changing our perception of taste in terms of modern beauty ideals in fashion,” she explains, “which is why I tend to look to the interesting people around me rather than casting from agencies.”
Cohen has recently finished her MA in Fashion Photography at the London College of Fashion, and judging by her success and the in-depth nature of her style, she will be creating a lot of exciting work in 2015. Be sure to check out her website and Instagram. More adventurous (and amusingly retrospective) images after the jump. (Via Huffington Post)
Brooklyn artist Monica Cook is a woman of many talents, with multiple personalities and identities. She loves to explore the revolting, disgusting side of being human that we often try to hide. The range of her art practice is broad, and includes grotesque hairy sculptures, to highly detailed bizarre animations, meticulous drawings of naked women in surreal settings and beautifully rich oil paintings of slippery and slimy intimate scenes. Cook says all that she produces is in some way a representation of her, a kind of self portrait, or an attempt to digest the things about her that she doesn’t understand.
“When I’m painting, it’s more about my relationship with the object than it is about me. It’s hard for me to separate myself from the experience. It could be a fish or an octopus. I handle it until it becomes unfamiliar to me so I can see it in a new way. People might want to read into those paintings but for me, it’s just about finding magic in the mundane and exploring further.” (Source)
Her drawings are combinations of miniature versions of herself acting out strange activities on large body/landscapes. Her work usually explores the range of human emotions, including anything from girls on laughing gas in the middle of a doctor’s examination or celebrating some personal triumph while riding a balloon. Cook is able to exaggerate the awkwardness of being human, and how gross and disgusting it can be to live with flesh and bones.
“I can be extremely awkward, yes. I can be really shy, too. I put myself in a position where I am really uncomfortable interacting with something, and work with it until I become comfortable with it, and capture that private moment of surrender or acceptance. It’s all about private performance, and amplifying the absurdity of a situation – and making myself laugh.” (Source) (Via Juxtapoz)
The work of artist Caroline Attan examines how objects form a part of our memory and personal history and identity. By combining hand-written text with delicately folded, colored paper installations, Attan plays with separate ideas of poetry, text and form, each “that function as loaded repositories of the past.”
Installed with text written directly onto the wall and the origami-like paper notes arranged in circular patterns, the results are visually reminiscent of mandalas (which represent wholeness, inter-connectivity and an organized cosmic diagram) or the sacred geometry found in Islamic art, Attan illustrates poetic language, and at the same time, brings attention back to the beauty of the words.
Says the artist, “Tantalizing snatches of memories and desire revolve endlessly over collaged backgrounds, encouraging the viewer along multiple strands of thought. The technique allows for ingenuity and flexibility. Some compositions disrupt or loudly announce their text or subtexts, while others absorb them into a calm coherent whole.” (via myampgoesto11)
Did you just awake from a twenty year coma? Then youre probably wondering where you can pick up a current issue of .info, a magazine dedicated to Mac computers way back when they were called “Amigas“. Sorry dude. The nerds are dead, we killed all of them. But hey, cheer up! You can still see some knee slappin’ episodes of .info magazinesBryce: one of the first comic strips created digitally.
Designer Noa Raviv‘s “Hard Copy” collection has been bending space-time as well as turning heads all over the fashion world. Raviv revs fashion up into high tech: She uses 3D printing technology to create the vectors, grids, and curved polygons that act as the centerpieces of her futuristic dresses.
At first glance, her collection looks like something Escher would come up with if he had gone into outer space — and learned to put the pedal to the metal on a sewing machine. Raviv’s 3D-printed dresses utilize negative space and evocative bold lines that abruptly end, a trajectory to nowhere. Some mark outlines around the stoic models, almost reminiscent of cut-out paper dolls.
If you were to describe Raviv’s designs as purely brainy, though, that wouldn’t be entirely correct either. Her pieces are mash-ups of the classical and the plugged-in modern, organic yet precisely calculated. The recurring hollow grid pattern seems to inevitably draw a comparison to wire frame mannequins, perhaps implying that the work is incomplete with the wearer, who — in this case — gazes archly from amidst blossoming toruses and geometric anemones.
According to Raviv, she wanted to explore “the tension between the real and the virtual, between 2D and 3D.” After having won the 2014 Finy Leitersdorf Prize for her creative efforts, it would seem that her experiment was certainly a triumph.