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Street Artist JR’s Installation For The New York Ballet’s Art Series

JR JR

image by stephanie szerlip

image by stephanie szerlip

French artist JR, previously covered by Beautiful Decay, has recently created a series of posters and floor-bound installations for the New York City Ballet’s Art Series.  The NYCB Art Series commissions contemporary artists to create original works of art inspired by the ballet’s unique energy, spectacular dancers, and one-of-a-kind repertory of ballets.  Having worked with artists such as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Julian Schnabel in the past the tradition has a high standard and is a special example of collaboration between dance and contemporary art.

JR’s installation involved coordinating dancers’ bodies in complicated, intricate arrangements.  Interested in the unique qualities of dancers’ bodies juxtaposed with the texture of paper JR sought to explore the “interaction” one experiences when viewing the ballet, or in his case when actually creating his work.  Both experiences are ephemeral, not something that can be wholly captured by a singular work of art.  Yet JR’s temporary installation does capture beauty, grace, and the sense of a fleeting moment by portraying many dancers arranged in the shape of an eye.  Encouraging a viewer to look at both his piece and the performance JR’s installation acts as a reminder to keep our eyes open so as not to miss a thing.

JR will share his Art Series installation during three special performance evenings — January 23, February 7, 13 — when every seat in the house is available for just $29. On these evenings, every audience member will receive a takeaway created specifically for this event.  More information about public viewing hours here.  (via designboom, hahamag)

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The Lusciously Detailed Colored Pencil Drawings Of Joe Sinness

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The lush, vibrant colored pencil drawings of Joe Sinness portray screen and stage stars, queer icons, and online erotica submitters, combining them with antique or thrift store items, flowers and jewels to create carefully constructed tableaus. The technical ability of the Minneapolis-based artist is what one immediately notices, and it is only after that the viewer must attempt to make sense of the laboriously drawn scene before them.

Sinness creates each still-life by hand before photographing and then meticulously executing them with Prismacolor pencils.  “I want each still life to have a visual richness or lushness to highlight and celebrate the figures or kitsch objects presented (and I use the term ‘kitsch’ with the utmost seriousness)”.In works like the Shining Indiscretions triptych (seen above), Sinness created a loose mythology which the work is based on, but does not depend upon. Titled from a Tennesse Williams quote (“All good art is an indiscretion.”), Sinness built hundreds of scenes imagining what a queer,flamboyant spirit such as Williams might physically look like, eventually settling on a triptych of shapes formed from gold lamé. The triumph of this triptych is that the viewer most certainly does not need to know this backstory to enjoy the work, because the images are so visually striking and meditative that they speak for themselves. However, they also have a strong conceptual intention and purpose which informs the work for those who wish to dig deeper.

Sinness continues, “I am interested in how objects and people seeking fame become consumable products, a paradox that sees their artistic endeavors pursuing immortality become disposable and commodified. My imagery and subjects are first looted and then loved… In mining these subjects and devotedly recasting them together in shrine-like still lifes, they are given new life in narratives which mirror their subject’s original aspiration and desire for fame and immortality.”

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Chad Hagen’s Nonsensical Infographics

There’s been a lot of talk of 2012 being the “Year of the Infographic”: visual representations of data as aesthetically pleasing as they are informational. Chad Hagen welcomes us to “the world of fictional information” with illustrations that explore what we’ve come to accept as infographic staples — a visual key, multi-dimensional shapes, a vibrant color selection — with none of the facts. Without the burden of telling a story culled from factual data, various dimensions, planes and colors are free to tell whatever story they choose. (via)

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Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s Street Art Confronts Sexual Harassment

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Tatyana Fazlalizadeh - Street Art

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, a Brooklyn-based painter and illustrator, responds to street harassment by creating dialogues through art in public places. Stop Telling Women To Smile, a series of portraits depict strong willed women responding to catcalls or inappropriate comments.

This series, which has been fostering solid conversations since it’s 2012 NY inception, is simple in its assertion, yet complex in the response. Madison Carlson of Feminspire addresses some male reactions the work has evoked, one of which involved a penis being drawn on the woman’s face. The New York Times additionally notes: “Andrés Carlos, 50, stood by the freshly pasted posters on Tompkins Avenue. ‘A woman likes nothing more than being told she is beautiful,’ he said. ‘For me, this is ridiculous.'”

But, Fazlalizadeh and Carlson disagree with Carlos. This is not about beauty, but control. Carlson asserts, “Yelling or whistling at a woman on the street like she’s a dog who will come when you call, or telling a woman to ‘Smile. It can’t be that bad. You’d be so much prettier if you smiled,’ dehumanizes her. It reduces her purpose to pleasing the male gaze. The posters, answering that reduction with confrontation, are meant to show street harassers that they are not entitled to women’s smiles or any other part of them.”

What do you think?

 

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Pat Perry’s Intricate Drawings Of Memory And Place

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Michigan-based artist Pat Perry creates surreal drawings and paintings that play on the relationship between identity and memory. Often, they feature a single person who has imagery swirling around in their head or the rest of their body. Perry is an avid sketchbook keeper, and he draws these complex, alluring compositions on yellowed paper. It’s clear that he is a skilled draftsman and is able to balance of small details with blank space.

Landscapes are a prominent part of Perry’s work, and you can’t help but think that these subjects are recalling that specific place. But why? His work begs us to take the narrative further and imagine the stories behind these people.  (Via Design Crush)

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Beautiful/Decay Book: 8 Strange Daze- Available Now!


Something is different lately. The Earth has shifted its axis and now everything seems to have moved to the right by a couple of inches. A dark wind blows. The birds aren’t flying south like nature normally commands them to, and you can tell the animals know something we don’t. These are Strange Daze, Beautiful/Decay’s revelation of the phenomenal and paranormal minds of artists. In a world-surreal, where every night holds a full moon, strange has become an adjective that plagues and ponders our daily existence.


Seek creative passage through the barren void in the company of this book’s featured artists, as we first find Olaf Hajek, a painter whose work holds séance to colorful spectre. Encounter Shamus Clisset, who plays host to a glimpse into his work and its otherworldly humor-macabre. Become self-aware of a hole in your head as splashes of psychedelic work by Fredrik Åkum drip onto your synthetic brain. Witness the chemical rainbow that glows around the work of Timo Vaittinen, pulsating its life and character. Uncover Hew Locke’s sculpture and its ability to pierce through joint and marrow, straight into one’s fifth eye. Examine Jeremy Dower’s visceral work, which will haunt you like a howling spirit through the realms of both the flesh and digital until finally Neil Krug, whose photography will leave you coma-bound in a visual fever.


In line with apocalyptic forebodings, celestial encounters, and unexplained experiences, Strange Daze presents an astonishing collection of artwork that is documented proof of many famous speculated phenomena. Never one to disappoint Beautiful/Decay Strange Daze is filled to the brim with works that will shake the foundations of human culture forever if released to the masses.


Also Featuring: Christine Gray, Michael Willis, Raymond Lemstra, LNY, Kira Leigh, Todd Ryan White, Jeanti, Justin Williams, Robby Day, Andrea Wan, Henry Gunderson, Berto Legendary H, Nicholas Kennedy Sitton, Ben Beshaw, and Brendan Flanagan.

Get your hands on one of the 1,500 hand numbered limited edition copies of Beautiful/Decay Strange Daze Books by clicking the links below!


Only 99 copies  Book:8 will be available on the B/D Shop. Get your copy before we sell out!

 

 

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Kelsey Short’s Washed Out, Moody Silkscreens

 

Nice silkscreen work from California-based illustrator and comics artist Kelsey Short. I dig the muted palette full of green, black, and blue. It perfectly matches her washed out, moody style. A lot of Short’s work is like those rainy days where you’re not bummed that you can’t go outside because the quiet sound of the rain just matches your mood for some reason. Hit the tumblr over here for a little insight into Short’s process (artistic and otherwise), and grab yourself a copy of her zine, “Grid” and some prints at her Etsy shop.

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Concrete & Sex: Sasha Kurmaz Juxtaposes Nude Figures Against Scenes Of Urban Desolation

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In a book titled Concrete & Sex, photographer Sasha Kurmaz juxtaposes nude figures against urban and industrial scenes of post-Soviet Kiev. At a first glance, the images may not seem to have a lot in common, other than the similar tones of concrete and skin. One side displays bleak horizons and the hard façades of cold and crumbling buildings; the other takes us inside, to candid moments of warmth, flesh, and bodily expression. By splicing these images together, however, Kurmaz masterfully shakes their emotional and political similarities into relief; both resonate with a sense of alienation and the vying for connection. Bodies (with their faces hidden) and buildings become landscapes of departed dreams, made and unmade again by the social and political conditions that shape them.

However, there is more than desolation in these juxtapositions. In comparing images of sex with devastated urban spaces, Concrete & Sex reverberates with a subtle resistance, a quiet protest against a system that strips the individual of power and evacuates life of meaning and beauty. The book’s description explores this further:

“On one hand, it’s impossible to ignore the political implications of this approach—as in so much of his output, one finds here the blunt advocacy of sex, vandalism, and, of course, artistic expression as meaningful responses to repressive conditions, and it doesn’t feel like a stretch to view this work, at least partially, as a comment on the status of the individual (whose identity within these pages is repeatedly [and tellingly] obscured by anonymity and/or physical distortion) within the broader mechanisms of public ideology and fading history.” (Source)

If the nude body can manifest its oppression and exploitation, it can also enact change. By moving, twisting, and contorting against architectures of despair, the figures in Kurmaz’s photos become enduring signifiers of life and self-expression within a deteriorating system.

Concrete & Sex can be purchased on PogoBooks. Visit Kurmaz’s website to learn more. (Via Dazed)

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