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B/D Best of 2010: Manuel de révolte au travail

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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!

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Daniel Palacios’ Visualized Sound Waves

Artist Daniel Palacios‘ sculpture nearly seems alive.  A length of rope is attached at to a machine at each end and spun.  The spinning rope creates waves against a black backdrop, which are also audible as the rope cuts through the air.  Visitors entering the gallery and their movement then influence the rope’s wave.  The more a visitor moves in front of the installation, the more chaotic the wave pattern.  It’s interesting to note a visitors surprise or sudden discomfort upon realizing their influence on the wave.  The sculpture not only reveals a viewers impact on sonic surroundings, but also concretely presents also seems to eerily acknowledge each viewers existence in space and movement.

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Li Jikai

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Li Jikai is a Chinese artist who makes wonderfully melancholy sculptures and paintings. And even though he is well known in Asia, I had never seen his work before visiting Dialogue Space Gallery’s booth at the LA Art Show – a massive art exhibition being held in the convention center downtown. His piece “Daydream” of a young boy laying on his back and holding his legs against his chest drew me straight towards it, so I battled the waves of artwork at the convention center to get a closer look. And after inspecting the piece and meeting the gallery’s director, I turned the corner and became totally entrenched in Jikai’s world full of lonely characters and heavy symbolism. Especially one piece that I found most interesting of a boy sitting underneath a giant mushroom, because it existed as both a sculpture as well as a painting. According to some online sources Li Jikai is a member of the Ego Generation – a group of Chinese artists born after 1970 who deal with personal matters in their work as opposed to cultural ones. However, it doesn’t really matter if he belongs to that movement or not, since his work is so powerful at expressing its intentions that it doesn’t need to be lumped into a group.

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Qiu Minye Captures Light And Time Standing Still In These Glowing Photographs

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In his new show “My GodQiu Minye presents us with a new way of seeing. Well, he at least offers us a new way of experiencing objects and the recording of those 3-dimensional things with photography. By painting with light, Minye has suggested different forms of objects that could be real, and then photographed them, resulting in haunting, iridescent, airy images. Whether it is an outline of several figures huddled together watching something in the distance, or an ambiguous geological shape, mythological creatures or floating forms of babies, these snapshots all belong to another space and time.

Minye’s playful images all have a gracefulness to them, and more than most photographs seem to have successfully frozen a moment in time. By removing any fussy details (whether it is light, shadow or color) that may anchor an object in the mundane, he has elevated the idea of the object/subject to something majestic and mystical. The fish for example seems to spitting sparks of fire and is caught in an ethereal state – in a way we don’t see our everyday fish. Minye has managed to capture some sort of life force or see-able movable energy and it is a very calming thing to witness. He has a very existential approach to his art. He poses numerous questions when speaking about his past photographic projects:

What part of humanity is lost in time? How can we transform these moments into eternity? There are always two worlds, the world of yesteryear that has collapsed and the real world. Here, it is to travel between the two. (Source)

Minye seems to be coercing a particular response out of his audience – suggesting we look at the things surrounding us in an abstract, philosophical way – where it’s more about the idea of the thing rather than the tangibility of it. (Via Designboom)

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Zachary Rossman

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Sickly sweet works from LA based artist Zachary Rossman. Such delicate use of naturally colored papers, and the drawings have hints of the hyper-detailed patterns that make my brain twitch with excitement.

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19th Century Technique Used To Develop Images Of The Desert On Tin Cans

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Photographer David Emitt Adams‘ series Conversations with History captures images and time.  Adams collected discarded cans from throughout the Arizona desert.  The cans, eroded and reddish-brown, are as much as forty years old.  Using  wet-plate collodion, a 19th century photographic process, Adams develops the desert scenes directly onto the cans found there.  The timelessness of the deserts emerges through the images on the can, the decades of corrosion on it, and the antiquated photographic technique.

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Bindi Cole Photographs Explore Issues of Identity

From the Not Really Aboriginal series

From the Not Really Aboriginal series

From the Not Really Aboriginal series

From the Not Really Aboriginal series

Sistagirls series

Sistagirls series

A stint in prison for selling drugs helped Australian artist Bindi Cole refocus her mode of expression. Having always been interested in photography, shortly after her release Cole began focusing her work on issues of identity. Aboriginal, but fair skinned, Cole had never really been sure about the way she identified with the stereotype of the Aboriginal. Her Not Really Aboriginal series, which featured fair skinned Aboriginal people in blackface, garnered her much attention.

In another work, EH5452 (Cole’s prisoner number), Cole documents her time in prison using photos, diary entries and prison issue personal items such as cigarette papers and lighters. Cathartic, for Cole, the project in her words “aims to turn something dark, hidden and shameful into something light, revelatory and beautiful.”

In yet another series, Cole spent a month capturing portraits of the Tiwi Island culture’s “Sistagirls.” A Sistagirl is a transgender person. Formerly revered in the culture, after the culture was colonized and converted to Catholicism, the Sistagirls became shunned and excluded from their tribe. Existing in their own mini world, Cole sought to capture the essence of who they are and the spirit o their community.

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Studio Visit: Sandeep Mukherjee’s Abstract Visions of Topography

As part of our ongoing partnership with In The Make, Beautiful/Decay is sharing a studio visit with artist Sandeep Mukherjee. See the full studio visit and interview with Sandeep and other West Coast artists at www.inthemake.com.

Klea and I visited Sandeep at Pomona College in Claremont, a small town about 30 miles east from downtown Los Angeles. Sandeep lives in LA, but as an Assistant Professor of Art he’s been provided with a studio on campus (lucky him!). After getting a bit lost and stopping for a quick lunch at a random Mexican family-style diner, where we feasted on tasty pozole and camarones del diablo, we finally made it to Sandeep’s studio. The space is big; it’s a wide, long room with a little office area at the front, and it’s extremely tidy and well organized— not one thing appeared to be out of place, and everything is color-coded and meticulously labeled. There was lots of work on the walls, and for the first few minutes Sandeep wildly darted about the room, enthusiastically gesturing, and breathlessly explaining this piece and that piece, and to be honest, I was having a hard time keeping up. But finally, we settled into his office area with cups of green tea and his high-octane energy mellowed a bit and we fell into easier conversation. Sandeep’s thoughts move quickly, and they don’t follow linear paths, instead they zig-zag, whizz, and dash about, but they circle back upon themselves, and are brought and held together by recurring themes. Much of Sandeep’s art is fueled by his curiosity about in-between spaces— when something is no longer what it was, but hasn’t quite yet become something else. His work explores the territory of collapsed tangibility and structure, when meaning and corporality become destabilized, allowing new understanding and perception to emerge. When discussing his current work, which incorporates painting and embossed drawing on Duralene, Sandeep said he was inspired by the idea of a landscape folding in upon itself, where the valleys, the mountains, and the horizon give way to abstraction, but the topography still manges to come through to the viewer. This mutability is enhanced by the film-like quality of Duralane, which creates a range of variation in the material— translucency, opacity, and dimensionality simultaneously exist within the striated colors and black spaces. Sandeep’s work reveals the nature of materials and the impression of the hand and body, as much as it emphasizes the amorphous quality of space and experience.

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