Photographer Abelardo Morell brings that outdoors in in his series Camera Obscura. Morell installs a lens or prism in a window and transforms an entire room into a camera obscura. The view outside is then projected on the opposing wall – upside down through the lens and right side up through the prism. A long-exposure photograph captures the outside world as its projected within the room. He says of the process and series:
“Over time, this project has taken me from my living room to all sorts of interiors around the world. One of the satisfactions I get from making this imagery comes from my seeing the weird and yet natural marriage of the inside and outside.
Art directors Anaïs Boileau and Samuel Volk are the dream team when it comes to creating short and snappy campaign ideas. This time around they have used their skills to benefit The World Wildlife Fund in a project called WWF/Botanimal. With flawless Photoshopping technique, they have camouflaged images of endangered animals into forested landscapes. With the tagline “Donate to save a tree and save 875,000 species for free”, this is one clever visual narrative detailing a worthy cause. Boileau and Volk show us exactly what these beautiful environments would be without the animals roaming around within them.
Boileau is also responsible for another campaign with a responsible message. Called WWF/WeWantFurniture.com, she imagined a brand and designed a corresponding website “selling” wood to customers. Apparently from all wood sold, 40 percent is made from illegal wood. She devised a very effective way to show customers the ecological effects of buying cheap furniture. The effects of deforestation can be devastating, as we are reminded in this new campaign also.
Working with creative directors in a commercial environment, Boileau and Volk are able to maximize their reach to a large audience, and come up with visually interesting answers to complex questions. Boileau sums her work up nicely:
[Impassioned] by craft and art direction; I have been lucky to work with talented photographers, retouchers and CGI artists. The best part of my job is to imagine visual universes, and find creative solutions.
Click here to see more of Boileau’s work, including her hilarious take on disfigured fruits.
Los Angeles artist Dave Tada regularly posts film photography to his blog, Analog Pics. This in itself is not unusual; except, in an age of digital photography where memory cards can be easily & quickly filled, I find Dave’s commitment to posting his strictly analog work a refreshing and disciplined approach.
Artist Noah Scalin has created a series of fantasized “anatomically correct” guns. Within his series Anatomy of War, the artist aims to humanize guns in order to depict gun violence as an even more sensitized and complex topic. He wants these pieces to provoke a discussion about the possibilities of violence if guns were “as fragile as the lives they can potentially take.”
Noah Scalin creates these “anatomically correct guns” with a mixture of polymer clay, acrylic and enamel. He has sculpted a handgun and an AK-47 from their own parts, literally making these machines from their own “guts.”These works act as tiny metaphors for the actual act of human choice within gun violence; as if the weapon is in fact a part of the human that uses it. These sculptures remind us that it is not the machine that commits an act of violence, but the brain that has decided to use it. These pieces take away the notion that a gun shoots someone, but in fact, a living thing does. He states “…too often the discussion around guns in America gets wrapped up in emotional terms around the 2nd Amendment. Anatomy of War brings the discussion back to the individual human level.” (via Lost at E Minor)
Location is important to Canadian artist Aaron S. Moran. The wood sculptures he creates are both inspired by, and dependent on pieces of wood that he finds in a particular area. From them, he assembles the discarded material into works of art. Using a variety of colors, textures, and patterns, he creates pieces that create a dialogue between place, media, and the viewer.
At times, his sculptures feel like they are going to combust. In his series If You Resist This! and Wash Up (Boundary Bay), wood is unevenly matched in color and size. Pieces are wedged, layered, and placed where they will fit. The non-matching feels almost haphazard, like the piece’s shelf life wasn’t supposed to be very long. This visual tension feels volatile, as if there is something is ticking inside them and about to burst.
At other times, Moran’s sculptures are more docile. They hold an entirely different air and attitude. Here, he uses wood that’s been painted colors of a pretty sunset. Moran has considered placement of colors and arranged the wood in patterns. He titled the series Kite Contest/1991, conjuring up the feelings you’d get from a warm, pleasant day. He writes this about the series, poetically stating, “Sun filtered nostalgia, memories of vibrant kites flying high in the sky along the shore of a beach. Lively patterns from days gone by, blurred by time. Sun bleached photographs of smiling faces. Picnic blankets and pinwheels moving in the warm breeze.”
Moran is currently pursuing his MFA with the University of Windsor in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. He lives along the Detroit River on the border of Canada and the United States. You can follow his works in progress and inspiration on his Tumblr, Year On A River.
I first met Robbie Conal back in 2001 when B/D was just a part time hobby run out of my bedroom. He was one of the first LA artists that I met, and we immediately hit it off. Fast forward a decade, now Robbie is a great friend of mine, and a loyal Cult Of Decay supporter. He is the type of artist that gives his time, energy, and sharp wit to anyone and everyone without thinking about what they can do for him. Over the years we’ve featured Robbie on our cover (you can get a copy here), included him in shows we’ve curated, released videos about his work, and had him write an amazing article about his painting mentor and hero Leon Golub (You can get a copy of that issue here). Needless to say we back him 200%.
Robbie is having a much deserved show opening this week in LA at Country Club. If you’re a fan of what we do at Beautiful/Decay then you must go to this show to support the original King of Postering, and the ultimate Mad Man of Paint. If you’ve only seen his work on the street then this show will be a true eye opener, as all of Robbie’s posters are actually prints of paintings with hundreds of layers of rich paint. So join me, the rest of the B/D team, and help celebrate one of LA’s great artistic treasures.
Robbie Conal:The Missing Link
November 20th-December 22nd 2010
Opening Reception: November 20th 6-9pm
@ The Buck House
805 South Genesse Avenue
LA, CA 90036
The brilliant aspect about instructional illustrations is that they speak for themselves (don’t miss the story in its ordered entirety by clicking on Read More below). But if you’re further wondering what this little beauty was intended for, it comes to us thanks to Packard Jennings and the Centennial Society who describes this as a “small, sixteen-page pamphlet… produced to put inside the postage-paid, business-reply envelopes that come with junk mail offers. Every envelope collected is stuffed with the pamphlet and mailed back to its original company.” Feel like participating in some subtle revolts of your own? I would recommend checking out their participate link!