R. Crumb’s Underground
Curated by Todd Hignite
July 11-August 16, 2009
July 11th launches Grand Central Art Center‘s opening reception for the Yerba Buena’s Center for the Arts traveling exhibit, “R.Crumb’s Underground.” This exhibition salutes San Francisco treasure Robert Crumb with an eclectic mix of early work, collaborations, and the world premiere of his “spool” drawings. Universally acknowledged as the founder of the underground comic scene, Crumb gained cult popularity for his pioneering Zap Comix and stardom with the Terry Zwigoff documentary, Crumb. The YBCA traveling exhibit also shows how his work has blossomed in philosophical complexity, highlighting his collaborative work, including intimate confessions produced with wife Aline Kominsky-Crumb.
Like most people, when I was a kid I loved playing with a kaleidoscope. Pointing it at different light sources and twisting the chamber caused a morphing geometric mandala to take shape before my eyes, magically shifting sunshine and the colored bits inside into a series of hypnotizing designs. The same part of me that was enamored with a kaleidoscope is the same part of me that loves juicy colored highly geometric contemporary art.
As the highly influential artist and color theorist of the Bauhaus, Josef Albers, says so succinctly in his classic book Interaction of Color, “As with tones in music, so with color- dissonance is as desirable as its opposite, consonance.” The dance of tension and fluidity in an ever changing kaleidoscopic pattern is a rhythm of light and hue, which there is an abundance of in contemporary art. There are so many artists out there these days who use these components in their visual art, however the five artists included here emerge with unique strength, vision and technical ability that is worth noting. Artists include: Dalek (James Marshall), Maya Hayuk, Richard Colman, Amanda Airs and Jeff Depner
Each month, Beautiful/Decay will release a new shirt on the Beautiful/Decay shop before they hit any retail stores. The shirts will be printed in unique color ways in a select print run of just 300 shirts. Oh, and did we mention that we’ll be giving you a 33% discount off retail prices, pricing them at just $20 a shirt?
Here’s a rundown of the B/D monthly shirt release:
– Available in advance before the season ships to retailers
– Unique color way printed in a select run of 300 shirts
– 33% discount off retail price, at just $20 a shirt
First Release “Lost Face” by Vladimir (Waldez) Snegotskiy aka Ctrl-V
Vladimir Sengotskiy creates his hypercolor fantasmagoric creations in multi-media, ranging from print, web, motion and beyond. His recent design for Beautiful/Decay apparel is a neo-neon medusa’s head mask, seething with bright purple, yellow, blue and brown snakes and line confetti. Carnival masques meets facepaint!
To suggest that David Adey builds art from recycled materials would be an understatement. He develops intricate patterns from previous design work. Each celebrity limb or fashion savvy lip is delicately cut out, then pinned and pieced together on a foam board, without any digitalized color manipulation; he does, however, use a Google search to locate the parts for his palette and develop an arrangement.
His process, Adey admits, is terribly methodical, time consuming, and detail oriented, however, this is exactly the point. He states, “For me as an artist, it’s a matter of developing or choosing your own constraints. Finding them and embracing them as a tool to make the work.” Echoing a similar sentiment put forth by the father of design himself, Charles Eames, Adey continues: “Without constraints, you don’t have anything. That’s the whole design process — working within constraints.”
Would you eat a blue chicken? What about an unidentifiable purple sauce? In Lawrie Brown’sColored Food Series, dishes are outlandishly unnatural colors that appear unappetizing to some and edible to others. This is the point of Brown’s work, and they explain in an artist statement:
These photographs comment on the social, visual and psychological aspects of food. I am involved in a photographic investigation of what food people eat, what those foods materially consist of, what they look like, and what statements foods make about our society. Of concern to me is what food actually looks like photographically and how it psychologically affects the viewer when isolated within its natural context.
My photographs of typical table settings of food outwardly evoke in the viewer either delight and acceptance or repulsion and rejection. The response that occurs depends on:
The awareness of the viewer to the actual or imagined taste of the subject or to the actual or imagined content of the food.
The individual psychological response to the colors presented.
Although you may look at this and be disgusted, Brown’s foods don’t seem worse than the artificially colored and flavored fruit gummies (for example) on the shelves now. So, if you’re not grossed out by these images, perhaps it’s from years of Gusher’s Fruit Snacks that’s desensitized you. (Via Flavorwire)
Brooklyn based artists Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen have been collaborating since 2005. Together they create expansive installations that fill gallery spaces. The installations’ size forces visitors to interact with it. Made from natural materials such as wood and paper, their work carries an organic atmosphere. The installations often resemble trees or entire forests, mangled, twisting and growing. The paper seems to be giving a nod to its origin as an almost ironic choice of material.