Shay Aaron creates delicious looking, incredibly small, and extremely photo realistic sculptures of all your favorite food items from a delicious stack of cupcakes to the most tasty BBQ favorites. The only shortcoming of the work is that I’d have to eat at least 100,000 pieces by her to justify it even as an afternoon snack.(via gaks)
Seattle painter Jesse Higman is the creator of a world where everything shimmers on an exaggerated scale, either macroscopic or microscopic. With the use of “Illuvium,” Higman creates within his paintings an affect of an unmistakably organic, earthly feel. Using masonite as a canvas, Higman dilutes acrylic paint mixed with mica flakes and pours the paintings onto the canvas, which is weighted to allow a slope which the paint will travel to. Illuvium, a geological term referring to the way particles settle on flood plains, is really about the art of these mica flakes settling along their course. The resulting textures are planetary, cell-like, while the mica flakes grant a shimmering presence that breathes life and density into his work.
Looking at his paintings, which are large, you see that they could be of many things: an aerial view of a retreating tide from a network of grasslands, cells and tissue seen under a microscope, the nearly mythical creatures that live in the deepest, darkest parts of the ocean, the terrain of another planet, a spray of blood, the moon.
What is interesting about this method is the active role that time and chance play in his work. Higman casts a single gesture, pouring the paint in a certain direction on a chosen part of the board, and then, for the most part, the painting is out of his hands. The mica flakes travel and settle on their own accord, an outcome that cannot be calculated or predicted.
Higman sums up the importance of his process:
“As I sit with a cup of paint in my hand, on the edge of a blank board that took days to set up, I try not to lurch forward like a horse into the stream. I promise to take more time to see how the water is flowing before I move. Once I begin, there is no stopping. Pouring over the same place twice creates craters and destroys the quietly settling particles. Investing too much energy into the system creates aberrations like cancers. I find that curiosity, confidence and play leads to beauty.” (source)
It’s hard to categorize the work of Judith Geichman. Are we looking at thick paintings or sculptures that are in a dialogue with the history of painting? I’m not sure which side I’d pick and frankly I don’t think it matters much. I’m more interested in how Judith has managed to bring a sense of comedy and humor to a body of work that could be read as minimal. There’s not much minimalism out there that makes me chuckle but these goopy and drippy works manage to do the trick.
In June 2012, a man named Andrew Shannon walked calmly into the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin, and after approaching Monet’s Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat (1874), he put his fist through it. To Shannon, the act of vandalism was a way to “get back at the state” — by punching a famous, 141-year-old painting, appraised (before the damage) at $10 million (Source). In court, he claimed he had fainted and fallen onto painting; video surveillance later revealed the act was deliberate. Recently, in December 2014, Shannon was sentenced to 5 years.
Since that day in 2012, conservators at the National Gallery have been hard at work trying to restore the painting to its former, beautiful, impressionist state — as Monet intended it. The damage was severe; the painting was split open in the middle, the torn pieces twisting outwards. The first step was to collect the tiny fragments that were on the painting’s surface and the ground nearby. Fragments that were found were then collected and classified under a microscope, as the conservators tried to figure out where they fitted into the painting. 7% of the fragments, however, were too small to be identified; these were sent to a lab and tested with a chemical staining dye, to figure out what types of materials Monet used.
The actual repair process was a long and delicate one. First, the painting was placed onto a padded cushion, and the front was covered with a conservation-grade tissue that was adhered to the surface of the painting using water-based, animal glue to stabilize it while it was being fixed. The actual “surgery” proceeded like this:
“With the aid of a high-powered microscope and appropriately small tools, the tear edges were carefully aligned thread-by-thread. Re-joining of the realigned, broken canvas fibres involved applying a specially formulated adhesive to achieve a strong but reversible bond between the thread ends. This adhesive material has been used and developed by painting conservators in Germany over the past 40 years.
Examples shown here include small steel surgical tools for working on tiny areas using a microscope; mini hot spatula for applying controlled and localised heat to the painting; warming plate and glass containers for keeping adhesive at a consistent temperature. Hydrated collagen adhesive was made in-studio.” (Source)
After delicately suturing the canvas back together, the conservators then went through and pieced the fragments back in. Gesso and watercolor were used to retouch the areas where there were still missing fragments. To make sure the painting is preserved for the future, the conservators built a climate box “to reduce exposure of the painting to environmental fluctuations” (Source). The box includes a humidity buffer as another preventative measure.
It was a long and delicate process, but despite the extent of the trauma, the repair was a success. Check out the National Gallery’s website for a longer description of the restoration project. More pictures of the process after the jump. (Via Gizmodo).
Andrew Clark’s illustrations have a beautiful vintage feel to them. I’m not positive about this but I believe most are made with colored pencils which give them a slightly faded quality that is brilliant in a world of neon colors and digital pixels.
Gabriel Moreno does beautiful work with such basic materials: a pen and a brush. His illustrations begin in black and white, upon which Moreno builds, adding layers of color and images of other places and people tattooed into their skin. Flowers, birds, and faces organically expand from his subjects, as if a rush of creativity, or a dream, is escaping them.
Amsterdam artist Cari Vander Yacht just closed a show at Nationale in Portland. The show, Breaking Bad, consists of cartoonish paper mâché masks and ceramic bling renditions (above).I can’t exactly put my finger on the subtle insanity involved in each mask. There’s something about those guys. And sure, the lampooning of excess through altered/exaggerated gold chains and bling isn’t exactly new, but Vander Yacht’s earthy ceramic work makes them feel that way. She also sets up a nice interplay by installing the sculptural works against patterned digital prints. Would’ve really liked to have caught this one in person. Portland why are you so far? See more from the show after the jump.
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