I first met Juka Araikawa during my stint at UCLA as a teachers assistant for a drawing class. She was a quiet girl who had moved across the world to LA to study art. Even though she didn’t say much her work always stood out as some of my favorite in the class.
Laura Swanson’s “Splices” series mixes and matches various parts of two peoples faces to splice together the “perfect” face.
“Splices” recognizes an absurdity in comparing overt physical differences. I am fascinated with a contemporary phenomenon: overindulgent, politically correct driven behavior of pointing out obvious differences to avoid seeming ignorant or biased. Often, this ends up as condescending towards the person who is the “different” one. In “Splices”, it is apparent the eyes are not the subject’s, but what is it about a blunt splice that makes one so quick to notice or point out the obvious difference? Ultimately, I am interested in the idea that something can become too different to bear – to the degree where one cannot refrain from pointing it out. -Laura Swanson
As part of our ongoing partnership with In The Make, Beautiful/Decay is sharing a studio visit with artist Annie Vought. See the full studio visit and interview with Annie and other West Coast artists at www.inthemake.com.
Often on our way to studio visits or coming back from them, Klea and I will get into big, questioning conversations about life. I know that sounds a little cheesy, but it’s true. In part, I think it’s because we are either warming up for or winding down from encounters that frequently take on a philosophical, ruminative tone. It’s also just how we like to talk to each other. As we drove across the bridge to Annie’s North Oakland home and studio (where she lives with her lover, performance artist Scott V.) we were having one of these conversations— specifically about secrets and how everyone has them. Our car-ride conversation wasn’t about Annie’s art, but about halfway through our visit with her it dawned on me that unintentionally it was a very apt preface to her work. Annie takes fragments of written correspondence – from handwritten letters to text messages – that she has found, received, or written, enlarges and reworks the text on large paper, and then meticulously goes about removing the negative spaces with an X-acto knife. Because of the precision involved, Annie changes her X-acto blade after every five or six cuts, so she can easily go through close to 500 blades just to finish one piece. When I asked Annie how she goes about choosing her source material, she said she’s most interested in text that reveals “those in between moments” of humanity and language in which she can identify subtext — typical and commonplace communications at first glance, but that somehow express a human frailty and an underlying element of truth. We talked about how personal many of these correspondences are, and her willingness to expose herself and others through them. So much is revealed inadvertently— in hesitant language, in the pauses and empty silences between words, in muddled expressions, and overwrought sentences, and it’s these details that Annie seems to be after in her work. As we sat out in Annie’s lovely garden talking, with her big dog Moses lazing nearby in the sun, I kept thinking about how full of secrets we all are and what rich and complex inner lives we lead. And yet we can’t help but lay ourselves bare through language, in everything we say and everything we leave unsaid.
Our good buddies over at Two Rabbit Studios is having a big ol’ 4th of July print sale and BBQ. Go hang with them, listen to some good music, get some food, and most importantly get some amazing prints and posters for your walls at a fraction of the price!
Ralph Pugay‘ is a Portland artist who makes awesome, lighthearted paintings. His colors and content is all comic, but his style reminds me of a combination of Waldo and Pieter Bruegel–a million things going on with lots of different characters all in one big flattened space. One of the thing i love about this, Waldo, and Pieter, is that you can spend a whole afternoon staring at and finding new, funny things in them. Confused hunters, dancing office workers, spiritual gymnasts; I can’t get enough. Check out the rest after the jump, then go look at the other 42 on his website!
I think the world would be a better place if all album covers were done in Microsoft Paint…maybe not…but every single one of these remade album covers has made me laugh and that’s worth something. Diramuid and Anthony the founders of “Paint My Album” have gotten over 1,800 album covers redone. Submit your own primitive (or fanciful, depending on your MS Paint skills..) recreation at email@example.com.
Inquietto (Oscar Marchal) is a art director and creative director, specialized in Motiongraphics with background in animation, (quite convincing) 3D graphics, illustration, graphic design, cinema, tv graphics and multimedia applications.
Feel free to blame Canada for the fun artwork of Toronto-based photographer Sara Cwynar. The above image is a ‘fictional manifestation of paranoia’. The cluttered composition and mischievous raccoon makes me a bit paranoid, even though I enjoy it. Sara was even featured in The New York Times magazine, and she’s still in school! You can also see Sara’s work on her Tumblr page.