Our fine friend Brian Bonus from VIMBY recently did an amazing video profile on us for our anniversary issue Z and art show. It’s a great piece- Amir discusses the very first black and white issues of Beautiful/Decay ever made all the way to our most recent issue! Watch as ten years becomes 4 minutes….
Sally Hewett is a UK-based embroider who gives new meaning to a sculptural approach to the craft. Instead of stitching subject matter like flowers, puppies, and generally happy scenes, she fills embroidery hoops with butts, breasts, and genatalia. The circular compositions rise from the surface and Hewett uses well-placed stitches to give form to these bulbous shapes. In addition, she’ll use dangling threads to simulate public hair, both trimmed and natural.
In her artist statement, Hewett states that she’s interested in ideas of beauty and the things that people do because of it. She writes:
Men and women almost ritualistically shave and remove hair from their bodies – beards, underarm hair, pubic hair, leg hair etc, whereas other hair – hair on the head, eyebrows, eyelashes – are valued and encouraged to flourish. But there is other hair which not everyone has. Sometimes this special hair seems to be reason to feel ashamed. A large number of women and men submit their bodies to extraordinary procedures in the name of convention or beauty – liposuction, implants, scarification, surgery, laser treatment, electrolysis etc.
Embroidery is often see as an innocuous craft, and part of the reason that Hewett works this way is to see how the medium affects how the content is seen. Is it more shocking, amusing, or beautiful simply because it’s portrayed with a needle and thread?
When you see a photograph of a monument, often it’s just of the sculpture itself and not within the context of the larger landscape. It gives the appearance that these colossal constructions live within their own world. Photographer Fabrice Fouillet shatters this illusion in his series titled Colosses, in which he zooms out and provides us with what’s surrounding these massive creations. Many times, they make the monument appear less special and more ordinary.
Fouilllet explains his thinking behind the photographs:
The series “Colosses” is a study of the landscape embracing those monumental commemorative statues. Although hugeness is appealing, exhilarating or even fascinating, I was first intrigued by the human need to build gigantic declarations. Then I asked myself how such works could be connected to their surroundings. How can they fit in the landscape, despite their excessive dimensions and their fundamental symbolic and traditional functions?
That is why I chose to photograph the statute from a standpoint outside their formal surroundings (touristic or religious) and to favor a more detached view, watching them from the sidelines. This detachment enabled me to offer a wider view of the landscape and to place the monuments in a more contemporary dimension.
The statues that are surrounded by nature fit more comfortably in their environment. It feels less chaotic and a more peaceful place, in line with the intention of many religious practices. But, even when they are among shopping centers, you can’t ignore the stunning presence that these monuments have. (Via Flavorwire)
If you feature cats, they will come. That’s what Australian marketing executive, Rach Aslett discovered when she created the Tumblr titled Cats That Look Like Pin Up Girls. The original intention was to promote a Hurly Burly, a new rockabilly fashion shop, but transcended into viral popularity because of the amusing fact that cuddly cats were paired alongside busty vintage pinups.
Based on the signature on the works, some of the illustrations seen here by the legendary artist Gil Elvgren, who produced these iconic works between the 1930’s and early 1970’s. They represent a facet commercial art that was popular during this time, and one that set a standard for pin up girl illustrations today.Of course, when combined with the pictures of cats, it takes them from serious-yet-cheeky art to something that’s just silly. The ridiculous poses of a kitten or hairless feline undermine the sexiness that these would have been otherwise. While this Tumblr is not fine art, it’s no doubt amusing to look at.(Via Spiceytec)
Katie Miller’s images attract us and repel us equally. This double movement is due in large part to the artist’s fastidious painterly style that demands close viewing as well as from afar.
Miller, fascinated by the connotations of what she terms “animal breeding, adornment, love or lust,” creates works that give us access to her susceptibilities as an artist. Sharply attuned to formal nuances whether they are in the realm of color, or shape, or line or subject matter she has explores the arenas of excess, decadence, uncontrolled metamorphosis, and artificiality. She is attentive to aberrations, hybridity, abnormal behavioral psychology, social pathologies, behavioral psychology, and evolutionary biology. She is fascinated by dog shows and child beauty pageants. Miller is compelled to ask questions about the nature/culture divide as she ponders the ins and outs (and the no-exits) of the nurture/nature debate that centers on differing debates about the socialization process. Towards that end Miller paints with astonishing mimetic exactitude in her new work as she goes about shuffling the natural order in her interrogation of differences, limits, and of the impossible.
Located in the heart of Kansas City, this project represents one of the pioneer projects behind the revitalization of Downtown KC. The iconic book bindings clad the outside of the parking structure for the new downtown library and help solidify the building as the cornerstone to the new Library District. Designed by Dimensional Innovations, local residents got to vote on which books would appear on the libraries facade. (via)