Brooklyn, NY based artist and architectural designer Chat Travieso creates playful and interactive urban interventions that encourage people to question their assumptions of the built environment. His work takes the form of design/build installations that promote resourceful and sustainable strategies with a stress on simplicity, reuse, and making-do tactics. This work acknowledges the social and physical context of a site and often considers the existing spaces and objects in our urban landscape as a resource to be appropriated and repurposed.
Our favorite works by him are the amusing collapsable shelters pictured here.
Tony Cragg is truly a master of materials. Moving effortlessly between plastic, wood, bronze, glass, and found materials Cragg as been creating groundbreaking formal sculptures since the early 70’s. Perhaps one of the most skilled sculptors of the last Century Cragg is an artist whose work keeps pushing the boundaries even at the age of 63.
The makeup artist, wig maker, and costumer Elvis Schmoulianoff exists in a dreamscape where dress-up and science fiction collide. Her works, including a charming stop-motion animation titled Painted, celebrates the transformative power of disguise; operating as a character within a visual narrative, her body paint takes on a life of its own, overtaking and doing delightful mischief to the human form. Schmoulianoff seemingly draws inspiration from anything but the traditional, her work beautifully echoing that of Surrealists like Joan Miró.
Schmoulianoff’s visual trickery maintains a childlike sense of experimentation; her abstract, brightly colored shapes are seen in tension with the curvatures of the body, blurring the borders between model and medium. In some images, a Cubist-inspired oversized eye is overlaid on a closed eyelid, and the face is split down the middle, morphing in such a way that contains multiple perspectives: the full face, the profile, and even the layer beneath the skin. The artist’s expert shapes often serve to flatten the human subject, who camouflages with painted backgrounds; like a clever game of hide-and-seek, viewers are invited to discover the body within a surreal landscape.
Within Schmoulianoff’s work lies an undeniable sensuality; with glossy eye-catching paint, nipples miraculously become eyeballs, and full lips are seen in lush, starkly contrasted tones. In vibrant color and tonal blacks and whites, the body lies at the precipice of magic and wonder, with skeleton figures dancing to the beats of their red fire-engine red hearts. Schmoulianoff is committed to animal rights, and she only uses cruelty-free products for her art; to learn more, visit her website.
The work of Australian sculptor Sam Jinks may haunt you for quite a while. Although they are made from silicon, resin, paint, fiberglass, calcium carbonate and human hair, his hyper-realistic figures look like real humans caught sleeping. It is hard to believe they can’t just wake up and walk away. Jinks recreates all details accurately and painstakingly, creating amazingly anatomically correct characters, each complete with a history embedded into their wrinkles and tattoos.
Captured in private moments, these beautifully serene characters seem to be contemplating their past. Instantly intimate, Jink’s work has a way of using these quiet characters to reflect our own sense of mortality back onto ourselves. From a grandmother holding a new born baby, to a man grieving over a lost relative, or an elderly woman displaying her youthful tattoos on her torso, all of these figures are somehow a reminder that our human bodies disintegrate and decay as wonderfully, beautifully and as easily as they strengthen and grow.
[His] sculptures [have] a powerful presence, which at times is confused with a man’s. This is unusual…. You’d never confuse a Bernini for a real human. You just accept that it’s an illustrious effigy and not a real person. But, as with the realist sculptures of Ron Mueck, the proximity to human textures is uncanny. The slightly puffy belly, the hardness of the ribs, the lankness of the unsupported legs: it’s almost too lifelike. (Source)
Jink’s work fits into a theory of “Uncanny Valley” (an idea relating to robotics, computer animations and body modification) where an inanimate object is uncannily similar to a human, but isn’t actually one. This effect supposedly creates feeling of repulsion and disgust, which could well happen with these sculptures as well. They are unsettling, yes but definitely objects of curiosity.
Angela Dalinger’s illustrations are difficult not to fall in love with. They are funny, whimsical, strangely stiff, and make us nostalgic for our own lofty teenage renditions of music, art, and adulthood.
The playful bio on her website only adds to the cryptic childlike mystique-
“I’m 29. I live in a very small town very close to Hamburg since I escaped from there. I am busy working on my career in illustration, means I’m mostly busy painting and drawing and being nuts. I’m born as Sandra Angela Wichmann and use my artist name since 2 years, simply because I really hate my real surname.”
Eyes, we all have them. And they’re attached to the body that we have to take to the gym, so why not go to a gym that’s good looking? Take EQUINOX fitness clubs for example. The décor is zen-spa inspired. The yoga room has relaxing lighting, it’s oval shaped with bamboo floors and every mat is neatly tucked away in its place.
Everywhere you turn it’s another tasteful sign, piece of furniture or gleaming surface- a far cry from the usual garish colors and cluttered ambiance of other gyms. The treadmills even have a place to plug in your iPod and charge it, if that isn’t attention to detail, I don’t know what is.
Beautiful/Decay readers, we know you’re a discerning bunch, and you appreciate thoughtful design and great aesthetics, so get yourself over to Equinox for a 3 day trial and soak up the good-looking atmosphere for yourself.
Asger Carlsen is a camera user with escaping needs and wants. In the dialogue of grains and tones, the subjects escape through a hole in the sky. The moments captured deface, defile, and subvert – in the best way possible. I want more.