Alright I’m doing it…We at Beautiful/Decay are sorry to see you go, Michael Jackson. And you will never know of the times I, personally, used to watch your music videos in VHS form on repeat while making PB&J sandwich towers while talking to myself, but you will live on forever in our hearts! And also in the form of a gold sculpture by Jeff Koons. This further proves my agreeing with the apocalypse taking place in 2012: Michael Jackson would definitely not stick around for that. The King of Pop also exists forever around in the form of wax figures that our lovely intern Greg posted about earlier (foreshadowing today’s events??). But you will no longer be able to purchase his memorabilia that was set to be auctioned off in April.
Despite my joking tone, I am truly sad- a certain part of me has died along with him : (.
Montreal based mural artist Jason Botkin loves to paint large, strikingly colorful abstractions of faces doing weird things. And bodies doing weird things. He likes to paint hands out of scale, eye brows quivering, bird faces animated, alien shapes in bright bold shades and cartoon characters who are larger than life. Recently returning from the Festival Internacional de Arte Público in Mexico where he collaborated with Jeremy Shantz on a series of weird masks and faces, he is no stranger to combining his distinctive pop style with other artists’, to create unforgettable imagery.
Botkin is not only a master of street painting and graffiti-style work, but also of installations and drawings – all which have a surrealistic twist. His work in Cancun is a natural progression on from his more figurative work which is aptly described here after the success of his second solo show in 2008:
Figures turn inside out, dressed in their emperor’s finest; bodies unwrapped to explore inner worlds, emotions, and ideas; vapors and clouds permeate architectural structures of unknown purpose; buildings chart impossible perspectives, cities in chaos; geometric forms emerge from and are swallowed by the imagined inner workings of internal landscapes. These various elements form a tapestry of self divined utopias and personal myths. These offerings are made with the belief that change is possible, when we reinterpret social identities and then test deeply entrenched, and often flawed social realities. (Source)
Leading on from that, Botkin leaned toward painting more cartoon-like heads complete with their own personalities. He adds a healthy sense of humor to his work and enlarges it, places in it a public sphere and allows people to enjoy it at their own leisure. See more of his paintings after the jump. (Via Hi Fructose)
Ngai Chuen Ching a.k.a Victo Ngai’s work entices you. Her illustrations are detailed narratives, that inspire you make up a story of your own to go along with each one. Victo uses illustration as a way to find her true identity and explore her different cultural backgrounds. She recently graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and has already been featured in Communication Arts as well as Society of Illustrators NY. Who knows what she will amaze us with in the future!
Looking through Brooklyn-based artist Steven Ketchum’s illustrations is like watching half of a television show interrupted by an unfocused screen. The figures in his drawings seem confused….either by themselves or each other.
Brooklyn-based graphic designer Victoria Siemer, also known as Witchoria, has an ongoing photography series updated weekly called ‘Human Error” in which the artist digitally overlays an existential or lovelorn computerized error message over a scanned Polaroid. The error message prompts the viewer for an action or to wait, illustrating the futility of this technological exercise when perceived in the context of heartbreak or ennui. Siemer’s series elegantly pairs new technology, represented by the computerized message, with older technology, represented by the vintage mode of a Polaroid photograph, combining the nostalgia evoked by a Polaroid with the technological angst that fuels many of our modern relationships.
Australian artist Ben Frost’s Lost in the Supermarket (now showing at Bout, a reference to The Clash song, remarks on the over stimulation, confusion and daily hypnosis we are trapped by, as we struggle to stand still on a buzzing psychedelic landscape of brands, identities and social demands.
Australian artist Elspeth McLean takes ordinary ocean rocks and turns them into colorful, geometric Mandalas. Through intense detail and repetitive patterns, the artist finds meditation in painting these found stones with endless acrylic dots. The acrylic paint used on her pocket-sized creations allows her to add an element of dimension in her already layered colors. These intense colors create a palette so crisp and brilliant, it is as if the stones are encrusted with jewels. Painting dots has become so embedded in McLean’s art process, that she even coined the term “Dotillism” to describe her unique style. Each dot that is painted to create her intricate, endless patterns takes an incredible amount of patience and focus. Although completing these Mandala patterns may seem like a difficult task, McLean describes this process as a grounding experience where she can find enjoyment and experience reflection.
The Mandala is a spiritual symbol in Eastern religions that holds meditative properties. It is no wonder McLean has chosen such a strong, healing symbol in her work, as she believes in the healing nature of color and art. She pulls influence from seasons, cosmos, mythology, and ancient art to create her hand-held Mandalas. Her interest in the cosmos can be seen in her stones that are painted not as a geometric pattern, but instead as incredible constellations, still painted in her dotted signature style. An avid traveler, the Australian artist is now living in Canada, gathering inspiration from the new landscapes she perceives throughout her journey. (via Demilked)
Born in Tokyo and living in NYC since 1996, well known as founding member of art collective FAILE. In 2006 she started her solo career and has been exhibiting her stencil/silk screen paintings in major cities such as NY, LA, London, Berlin, Tokyo and Barcelona.