Beth Scher‘s “Female Soldiers” series depicts women in the military adorned with embroidery and other decorative elements. Scher’s mixed media paintings explore ideas concerning femininity and strength. Her images feature women in a variety of military contexts – Scher’s embellishments of her female figures recalls the idea of a “decorated” soldier while also referring to the art of craft and embroidery, concepts normally found within in a domestic setting. In images that include a bulls eye or target image, Scher conceals the women’s faces with black thread, evoking a sense of expendability that must inhabit a conflict-heavy environment. Scher explains, “In my paintings, I portray them as young women who intentionally seek to display their sexuality and vulnerability, yet are trained killers, in a position of power and placed in serious conflicts. I wonder what the consequences are in a society that must deal with this dichotomy.” (via lustik)
Lukasz Wierzbowski is a freelance photographer from Wroclaw, Poland. His photographs exude youthful energy and a sense of humor. With a keen eye for composition and a love for nature his work often features a figure playfully interacting with an environment. The result is a body of work that serves as pictorial allegories involving our relationship with the world around us.
Andrzej Dragan‘s style of photography is gritty and raw. Detail of the skin is usually retouched and airbrushed out by a lot of photographers but for Dragan they seem to be emphasized.
Yuken Teruya skillfully cuts intricate trees and other shapes out of banal, everyday objects like dollar bills, toilet paper rolls, and cereal boxes. The artist completely transforms what usually amounts to trash into delicate, beautiful art. Really makes you reconsider which material objects are “special”. Even the things we constantly overlook are full of creative (and even spiritual) potential. Teruya has a new piece in a recently opened group show at Denver’s David B. Smith Gallery. (via)
The documentary FOCUS follows the trials and tribulations of professional gamer Mike Ross as he trains for EVO, one of the biggest tournaments in his life. Ross, who recently signed with pro gaming team CompLexity, is one of the most passionate and well respected fighters in the entire Super Street Fighter 4 community. Watch the full documentary after the jump.
SKWAK is a French illustrator who draws elaborate crowds of what he calls “maniacs”: colorful characters who skitter and dance together with a look of celebratory absurdity. SKWAK is no stranger to Beautiful/Decay; over the past few years he’s collaborated with us on various projects, using his signature style to design kooky merchandise for our shop.
SKWAK is our cover artist for Beautiful/Decay Issue J, a magazine that focuses on groundbreaking artists with offbeat styles that oppose the elitism often associated with mainstream art. Also featured in the issue is Michael Scoggins, who draws nostalgic and self-exploratory images on crumpled pieces of notepaper, as well as Misaki Kawai, who creates expressive craft art with a raw, intentionally “amateur” aesthetic. As one of our most popular magazines, Issue J is sure to delight you with its curated collection of artists that strive to do things their own way.
We interviewed SKWAK in 2011, giving us fascinating insight into his art. Featured here today are some of the pieces he’s produced in more recent years. Among the works are the eye-catching, jittering throngs of his maniacs; wide-eyed and grinning, they mesh together amongst vibrant patterns and cartoon images of eyeballs and snakes—as well as more subtly sinister depictions of skulls and dismemberment. Among these mad assemblages are a couple of individual character drawings, wherein he focuses on illustrating the bodies of his maniacs with the same colorful, psychedelic fever. In the past few months, SKWAK has also embellished classical busts with his undulating line work.
Immerse yourself in the eccentric world of SKWAK and similar artists by picking up a copy of Beautiful/Decay’s Issue J, available here.
Cool photographs from Akihiko Myoshi. The photographer is captured in a mirror as bars of color, meant to evoke pixels, are positioned in the frame. A nice commentary on personal identity in the Digital Age. But the coolest thing about this series is Myoshi’s process:
The photographs included here are of mirrors, paper and tape often adhered to the surface of the mirror taken with a large format camera as they attempt to unpack the structural mechanics of photographic representation.
Originally a computer engineering PhD candidate, Myoshi now makes art and teaches at Reed College. (via)
Andrew Myers‘ uses unique medium to interesting effect. His pieces are built of many carefully placed screws – up to nearly 10,000 in just one piece – inserted to just the right depth. He then uses oils to pain the image on the heads of the screws. Myers accepts the challenges of depicting soft surfaces, movement, and light with a material as hard and utilitarian as screws. The result is an intriguing mix between painting and relief. The screws add to the depth to that typically found in oil painting.