Michelle MacKinnon‘s photorealistic portraits use the human face to investigate secrets and their relation to the idea of public/private. The artist explains:
“The series is a combination of a list of exposed secrets, and with no direct link to them, portraits of the sitters expressing their emotions/reactions to their listed secret. Provoked by the idea of confession, this series will explore the public/private relation of people and the exposition of their secrets. By anonymously submitting secrets to the artist and later posing for a portrait depicting their secret, this series strikes an interesting note of juxtaposition between the public and private sphere of secrecy. Publically, these secrets, and therefore their keepers, have been indirectly exposed. Out of instinctive human nature, curiosity drives the viewer to either intuitively match the portrait to their secret, or become empathetic to the portrait deriving from relation to their own secrets. Privately, the confession becomes an outlet for the sitter; a chance to formally acknowledge and confront their secret, yet knowing that, though it may be assumed, no one but themselves will be entirely accurate as to which secret is theirs. It becomes a veiled breach of the private into the public and a connection without fact; after all, we all have secrets.” – Michelle Mackinnon
We first featured Michael Swaney in B/D 4 years ago in issue:X with a feature length interview. Issue:X is unfortunately sold out but if you happen to be in or near Brussels you can stop by A.L.I.C.E Gallery and check out Michael’s latest show opening April 7th.
Double Meat Head, cast aluminum, cast bronze, urethane, paint, 2009, all images courtesy Tony Matelli
Tony Matelli’s hyper-real sculptures of meat and vegetable portraits, sprouting weeds, stacked cards, sleepwalking humans and malicious chimpanzees captures your attention with immediacy, a visual poignancy that would make it hard not to react with curiosity and amusement. This initial response opens the door to a slightly somber and disturbing environment where each series tackle concepts of death, resurrection, failure, pessimism, loss and reinvention. Matelli’s own personal concerns are projected onto these works buliding a relationship between object and artist that is further extended to the public.
It is fair to assume that while most of us know that our world, our living spaces, and even our bodies are covered with microscopic organisms, we do like to not be reminded of it. Photography student Marcus DeSieno’s recent photoseries begs to differ, offering a beautiful yet disturbingly close look at our microscopic natural surroundings. Parasites is an ongoing project “investigating a history of scientific exploration through images of parasitic animals.” Taken with a Scanning Electron Microscope and then exposed onto dry plate gelatin ferrotype plates, a process which combines classical and cutting-edge photographic techniques. The final images are archival pigment prints from the scanned ferrotype plates and printed larger for these abject animals to confront the viewer at a one-on-one scale.
“Photography and science have had an intrinsic relationship since its’ invention in 1839. It did not take William Henry Fox Talbot long until he was using his calotype process to capture what was under the lens of his microscope. The indexical nature of photography has pushed the reaches of science ever forward into the 21st century. These technologies allow us to peer in to the unexamined corners of the natural world reminding us that the universe around us is much greater than ourselves. In this realm of scientific curiosity, photography has a intriguing relationship with the invisible, allowing us to see the world that we cannot. Parasites explores these themes of science and wonder and, at the same time, confronts a personal fear of these parasitic organisms that attach themselves to humans. Embedded in the work is an engaging dialog with photographic history, its\’ shifting modes of representation, and its’ material possibilities. Parasites investigates the role of shifting photographic technologies in contemporary culture and their abilities to capture a mysterious and unseen world.”
Beautiful/Decay is pleased to introduce online website building platform Made With Color, which empowers artists artists to build a professional website in minutes. Made With Color allows artists to build a sleek website and share their art without having to code and spend hours on lay-outs. The simplified and responsive navigation is made to be functional. Giving both the artists and the viewers the possibility to explore some of the best contemporary art in a pleasant environment. This week, we are sharing Edith Beaucage’s latest work ‘Chill Bivouac Rhymes’ series.
California based Edith Beaucage translates an atmosphere onto the canvas, using the painting as a snapshot. Her work involves characters, a scenario and a scene. Allowing the imagination of the viewers to go beyond the painting and envision their own story. The ‘Chill Bivouac Rhymes’ series is built as a loose leaf narrative. A ballerina, her entourage, her Russian lover, a rave and a specific, yet invented location: Yellow Boa Canyon.
The paintings depict the characters interacting with each other in the fantasy land created by the artist. Edit Beaucage’s strokes are ‘broad, fluid and relaxed’. Translating a world of floating moments and effortless motions. The characters are blended with the landscape. The same tonality of colors and the same brushstrokes are used for each of them. The artist captures a couple kissing, a girl dancing, a men smoking and a teenager sleeping. Never omitting to add-on the wandering, lingering rhythm which ends up altering the mood and spirit of the viewer.
Recognize the above image? Maybe the name Jesse Auersalo rings a bell? Give up? We featured Jesse in Issue Y, back when B/D was still a magazine… before we upgraded to our fancy limited edition book format. Well Jesse is giving a talk at AIGA/NY on Wednesday March 3rd, 6:30-8pm. This is Jesse’s first ever U.S. presentation! Be sure to check it out if you’re in the area. Also, you can go to our online shop and pick up a copy of Issue Y or grab the t-shirt Jesse designed. Just for fun, you can see more of Jesse’s illustrations after the jump.
The installations of Michel Blazy grow, flow, and froth. Like much of his work, Blazy’s latest installation, titled Bouquet Final, makes use of white foam. Inside a French Medieval church, the foam tumbles from high scaffolding to the floor. The pliable, moving, and ever changing foam contrasts with the sense of permanence in the centuries old cathedral. Blazy alludes to a change and mortality by using materials such as foam, an unstable medium in perpetual transformation. The foamy flow could also reference the earth and neglect for its environment. The installation resembles uncontrollable detergent suds – a product that is at once used to clean our homes and also a poisonous pollutant to the earth and its waters.