Anna Garforth is a graphic designer and illustrator working from London. Her inspiration from the “plant life that pushes and grows its way through all the cracks in the concrete,” has led to some amazing works including plant life and moss.
Just in the nick of time Beautiful/Decay’s Class Clowns Book is here!
Laughter is universal; it transcends culture, trends, and time. The art world, however, is not considered to be droll. Galleries and museums are stoic, intellectual spaces and works of art are discussed in academic terms. Yet in this scholarly world there are artists that buck conventions and use humor to engage us and make us laugh and think. Art is a medium of communication and the artists in this issue have found that humor is the most powerful way to engage their audience and convey their message.
This class clowns issue of Beautiful/Decay is dedicated to those artists who pack their work not only with meaning but with a powerful punch line that keeps us coming back for more. Join us as we delve into the world of Winnie Truong’s surreal and funny portraits, and find the humor in Devin Troy Strother’s discomfort with his own race. Witness how Maurizio Cattelan has become the art world’s premier prankster and gain insight into artistic duo littlewhitehead’s mixture of dark humor and lo-tech fabrication.
View our cover artist Stefan Glerum’s arresting illustrations, and Ben Aqua’s subversive photography. See how William Powhida’s cynical, self-deprecating, and universally criticizing works take the role of the court jester to a new level. As if that weren’t enough to keep you busy, we’ve also invited an international cast of artists, illustrators, and designers to create original works for our Project Pages based on our theme. So get out your X-ray specs as we explore the worlds of Beautiful/Decay’s Class Clowns.
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Something about Asger Carlsen‘s photos are a bit off..but who cares because I can’t get enough of them!
Emilio Gomariz creates gorgeous videos using simple experiments with digital media. Manipulating software’s such as Quicktime and photoshop, keyboard shortcuts, and various saving and opening patterns Gomariz makes transcendental videos that will make you think “Why didn’t I think of that?”More videos after the jump.
Off the coast of Hinoba-an in the Negros Islands region of the Philippines, artist Azuma Makoto has constructed a floating, 13-foot-tall bouquet of Heliconia flowers and banana leaves. Shimmering against the ocean horizon in stark contrasts of red, green, and blue, the installation rises like a paradisiac mirage. Entitled “In Bloom #2,” the project juxtaposes terrestrial environments with the sea, bringing art and floral life where there would otherwise be open space. The following artist’s statement describes the construction and context of the art-island:
“A 4-meters long botanical sculpture consist[ing] of approximately 10,000 red Heliconia [was] installed on a simple raft used by the local fisherman. With nothing block[ing] the harsh sunlight, blown by salted water, the sculpture of flowers quietly floated in the cobalt blue ocean. The ocean accounts [for] 70% of the surface of the earth, and therefore it created [a] magnificent stage for the project.” (Source)
Following “Exobiotanica” — an exceptional project wherein Azuma sent boticanical arrangements into the stratosphere — “Bloom #2” demonstrates his creative goal to explore the visual and thematic effects of putting flowers in “environments where nature does not allow them to exist” (Source). The result is a detached form of beauty. Azuma’s work brings up questions of nature and place, and, by doing so, fosters an appreciation for the Earth’s harsh, disparate, and yet ultimately connected environments.
Click here to watch the video documentary of the construction of “Bloom #2,” and be sure to check out Azuma’s website to view more of his projects, including a collection of beautiful flowers embedded in ice, which we featured earlier this year. (Via Spoon & Tamago)
Manipulating glass to the limits of its expandability, Graham Caldwell creates surfaces marked by crumpled and stretched distortions. These agglomerations simultaneously recall stainless steel and shriveled skin, quite an unfamiliar pairing. The spectrum of forms and structures embodies an otherworldliness found in microorganisms or evolutionarily complex sea creatures.
Teetering between playful and sinister, much of Caldwell’s work hinges on the importance of viewer interaction. In one work the convergence of angles toys with the viewer’s understanding of perspective. One’s own image is contorted as if by multiple funhouse mirrors. In another work, planes of iridescent glass are interlocked in an organic, geodesic structure. Seemingly less concerned with the viewer’s presence, this work plays a mise en abyme within its own brightly hued peaks and valleys.