Michael Willis‘ visual language doesn’t consist of any single point of reference. Rather, it is a syncretic blend of multiple styles and influences – a sort of hodgepodge of 60s psychedelia, 80s computer graphics, and a modern view of pop culture. Imagery sometimes includes figures that are in the American cultural unconscious – Frank from Blue Velvet, for example, makes an appearance in a drawing. But more often than not this outlook on pop culture, especially looking back towards the 60s and 70s, is expressed through the utilization of stock imagery of anonymous, yet clearly old, photographs of people from days of yore.
This past Saturday was the opening of the India Street Mural Project in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I helped organize the project taking on duties such as running the blog, printing business cards, and flipping burgers. Best part of the gig was getting to witness six artists progress from painting a blank white wall into massive and beautifully crafted murals. Artist Chris Soria‘s contribution to the project is titled Antiquated Giant, which overlaps images of a local burned down building and the skeleton of an ancient sea turtle. The resulting image is surreal, its layered illusions rife with both jagged and organic movements.
Eric Shaw doodles obsessively, delving into the space where all things psychedelic thrive. Utilizing gouache and ink, he seems to reference Hinduism, Mayan and Native American creation myths, and hippie subculture in his wildly disorienting patterns. Beautiful/Decay recently interviewed Eric about his customized t-shirt line, artistic inspirations, painting techniques, and more. Full interview and images after the jump!
Last night I finally went to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery Screenings, a true experiential landmark of living in Los Angeles, and saw a collection of Kenneth Anger (satanic moving-picture majesty) films that he worked on from 1954-1979. The most memorable one was Lucifer Rising (1973) not only for its hauntingly beautiful footage (scenes shot in Egypt with amazing amazing costumes, rituals, strange/awesome editing techniques…), but also for its backstory. The amazing psych-fuzz-rock soundtrack was composed in prison by musician and actor Bobby Beausoleil: Charles Manson Family associate and murderer currently serving life…how much more intense could it get?? Check out the video after the jump.
Through his series, “The Birth of Feminism,” Daniel Almeroth shows the symbolic events that occurred before and after this political movement. In each piece he is trying to portray the way women were controlled by men through many different aspects of society and the path women of this time took to gain equality among men. I really enjoy his use of colors for this subject matter. The color palette is unexpected and I feel he could have taken a much different approach to such a serious political movement in our history, but I love the path he chose to take for this series.
New York sculptor Thomas Doyle works in miniature, creating detailed scenes capturing specific moments in his tiny people’s lives. Some of these moments are rather mundane, while others are epically dramatic. What all these sculptures share however, is best put in Doyle’s words:
The pieces’ radically reduced scales evoke feelings of omnipotence—as well as the visceral sensation of unbidden memory recall. Hovering above the glass, the viewer approaches these worlds as an all-seeing eye, looking down upon landscapes that dwarf and threaten the figures within.
Conversely, the private intensity of moments rendered in such a small scale draws the viewer in, allowing for the intimacy one might feel peering into a museum display case or dollhouse. Though surrounded by chaos, hazard, and longing, the figures’ faces betray little emotion, inviting viewers to lose themselves in these crucibles—and in the jumble of feelings and memories they elicit.
Have you ever wished that your favorite brand of black pens came in different sizes? Or that paint wasn’t so expensive? Or that spray paint came in a wider variety of colors? Beautiful/Decay would like to share a survey that offers the creative community a chance to change the way art materials are packaged, sold and priced. And, there are perks for your time and wisdom! 500 artists will be randomly selected to receive a free sketchbook, and, ALL participants will receive an exclusive discount offer of 15% their next purchase from Jerry’s Artarama art supplies.
Please click on the below link to participate in a short survey:
I just saw this documentary yesterday and it blew me away. I already knew many of the things covered in the film but it’s always great to brush up on the truth about how we get our food. After watching this you’ll make a quick dash to the closest farmers market to detox all the garbage you’ve been feeding yourself for years!
In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, herbicide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won’t go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli—the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults.