This is the first in a series where each week we’ll gather some of our favorite street that you definitely won’t want to miss. This week we have a mural from Blu that, like much of his work, utilized features of the building. You’ll also find one in a series by Herr Nilsson of some fiendishly violent princesses, a smart wheat paste piece from Peter Drew, as well as new pieces from INTI, Seth, and Ever. Finally, we have Lego block interventions from Jan Vormann, European historical figures with the heads of Olmec statues by Mata Ruda, and a kitty piece from Jesse Olwen. Enjoy!
Nick Cave combines free-spirited motion exploratory modern dance with ostentatious sculptural detail to breath new life into contemporary art. In many ways, Nick’s work function within the vein of African art/costuming in the sense that they are intended to be “danced,” and enlivened within the context of performance and dance to illustrate and reflect upon societal mores and the cultural landscape. With references to haute couture, sculpture, performance, African American culture, costume, masquerade and beyond, Nick’s “Sound Suits” defy categorization. Beautiful/Decay recently had the opportunity to interview Nick Cave to discuss his background, inspiration and ideology behind the suits. Nick Cave is currently showing his latest works at Jack Shainman Gallery, until Feb 7, 2009.
When the photographer Douglas Sonders met Emma, a Pit Bull, black Labrador mix, he was touched by her gentle disposition and knew he had to take her home. With his ongoing personal project Not A Bully, the artist hopes to change public perception about so-called “bully dogs,” breeds like Pit Bulls, Boxers, Rottweilers, French Bulldogs, and Boston Terriers, who together make up 40% of shelter dogs.
Tests by the American Temperament Tests Society conducted in 2009 displayed excellent behavior and tenderness on the parts of these breeds, and yet unfair prejudice continues to cloud the judgement of adoptive families, and many dogs go without finding a permanent, loving home. Emma, for instance, was nearly put down and subsequently went nine months in the foster-care system before finding Sonders.
Through a series of poignant images, Not A Bully hopes to change all that. Sonder’s canine portraits are shot with the same careful reverence displayed in his commercial and editorial captures of celebrities; seen in high resolution and saturated in rich color, the animals are desperately emotive. Personalities shine through expectant eyes and eager tongues; the dogs pant excitedly, peer curiously at the viewer. Set against the most brilliant black fur, radiant topaz eyes shine bright, and chests perk up at attention, revealing soft and tender patches of white fur. Similarly, heads bow down slightly below the center of the frame in a show of trepidation and approval-seeking. These deeply-feeling creatures—capable of joy, fear, wit, and wisdom— are clearly anything but bullies. (via My Modern Met)
We all know that Valentines day is a scam created by greedy corporations looking for an excuse to make an extra buck. However I have to admit that this is one valentines day gift I wouldn’t mind getting behind. I introduce to you the Love Is Lame series of teddy bears by NYC based designer Chad Silver. What started as an art school project has turned into a full fledged company that helps you say those five affectionate words to your loved one.
Kent Rogowski’sLove = Love series of puzzle collages are created by taking out the flowers and skies of over 60 store bought puzzles and combining them to form a series of spectacular landscapes. Although puzzle pieces are unique and can only fit into one place within a puzzle they are interchangeable within a brand.
Portland, Oregon based artist Zoe Keller creates intricate and whimsical nature themed illustrations and designs. After her graduation from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Keller found herself spending time in rural areas such as the rocky cost of Maine, on a blueberry farm in Michigan, and the quiet town of Hudson, New York. Inspired by her experience and her surroundings, Keller’s work aims to explore the “intersection of art making, activism and the natural sciences.” Using graphite renderings that are sometimes enhanced with digital coloration, Keller’s drawings are flawless and comprehensive. Each work, exploring a stylized still life or, in some cases, a more narrative focused composition, acts as a tiny shrine to nature. Many of her drawings depict endangered species, allowing her art to serve as a form of education, awareness, and perhaps memorial. For example, her piece Life Cycle portrays the various phases within the life of a Black Racer Snake, an endangered species native to Maine. Another piece, Endangered Turtles, is a charming composition of North American endangered turtles stacked by size. Her drawings have a lithographic feel, allowing them to act as a part of the classical tradition of drawing as documentation. Her images clearly pay homage to the vintage botanical drawings once used before the days of photography. Painstakingly detailed, yet simultaneously fun and carefree, her images have an almost fairytale quality. Keller’s work is undoubtedly endearing and her craftsmanship undeniably elaborate.
Abramson, who died three years ago, shot on a Leica and spent a lot of time shooting in Chicago’s South Side, where he compiled work for his book “Light: On The South Side,” of which this work is a continuation of. Often compared to Brassai, who photographed the Parisian nightlife scene, Abramson showed a new side of Chicago. Abramson has work in the permanent collections of many institutions, such as the Smithsonian, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago History Museum, the Milwaukee Art Museum, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, and the California Museum of Photography.
Throwing abuse at people is easy. Getting paid to do it is another matter. London based illustrator Mr Bingo does it with ease, and loves taking money for his efforts. The prankster receives offensive sayings from visitors on his twitter page, draws pictures to accompany the words, and sends the composited postcard to the chosen (willing, or unsuspecting) victims. For 50 quid, plus postage, you can receive a customized card that tells you exactly how crap you are. Quite surprisingly, the abusive service he offers has proven to be quite popular. Mr Bingo explains how it all began:
It all started one night in my studio in 2011 when I’d had a few drinks. I went on Twitter and said I will send a postcard with an offensive message to the first person who replies to this. (Source)
After receiving over 50 replies in a matter of minutes, he sent the postcard to ‘winner’ to Jonathan Hopkins from Forest Hill in London, stating that Mr Hopkins had shit legs. “Fuck you, Jonathan, fuck you and fuck your shit legs” the card read. Even though he was saying something that would be offensive, even repulsive to some, Mr Bingo’s card went down a treat and kickstarted a niche market for cards that knocked the receiver’s self confidence.
Essentially, what I was doing was enabling strangers to pay me to tell them to fuck off. All this is comedy. It’s clear that the hate mail is a joke and that I’m only sending it to people who want it. (Source)
Mr Bingo himself receives a lot of hate mail, but takes it all on the chin, as he expects his clients to do. He is the type of person that considers swearing funny, and in fact necessary, but refuses to poke fun at homophobia, racism, religion or disability. The cheeky illustrator has also launched a (successful) kickstarter campaign to fund a printed collection of his postcards. You can see that project here. (Via Juxtapoz)