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Zachari Logan Depicts Hybridized Nature In The Exploration Of Masculinity And Queer Identities

Eunuch Tapestry 5 (detail) (2015).

Eunuch Tapestry 5 (detail) (2015).

Leshy 2 (2014).

Leshy 2 (2014).

Fountain 1 (2013).

Fountain 1 (2013).

Root 2 (in progress).

Root 2 (in progress) (2015).

Zachari Logan is a Saskatoon-based artist who creates stunningly detailed drawings, installations, and ceramic works that explore representations of masculinity and queer identities. Proliferating throughout his works are thick amalgams of nature; beards and hair sprout into lush habitats for various animals (see the “Wild-Man” series); ceramic petals cluster together like piles of delicate, bleached bones (“Fountain 1”); and elsewhere, a mythological body composed entirely of flora and fauna melds with the surrounding forest (“Leshy 2”). Interestingly, the plants depicted are of diverse origins, sourced from images collected by Logan in North America and Europe. These beautifully-woven hybrid landscapes represent the liminal spaces inhabited by queer identities — that is, those vital spaces between “here” and “there” that unsettle the restrictive binaries of heteronormative gender and sexuality.

Many of these works are interpretative self-portraits of Logan, created in the exploration of his own body, memories, and sense of place. However, in his more recent works, Logan has portrayed the body more as a “catalyst,” thereby allowing him to “re-wild his body as a queer embodiment of nature” (Source). One of his most spectacular and ongoing works, the Eunuch Tapestry Series, exemplifies this shift from self-portraiture to a more objective exploration of identity, both corporeal and incorporeal. Based on the fourteenth-century Flemish Unicorn Tapestries, the Eunuch Tapestries feature camouflaged bodies (self-representations of Logan) crouching and searching amidst walls of dense, dark foliage. The newest work, “Tapestry 5” (shown above), features a nude, shadowy figure moving quietly through the hybridized forest. Whereas the Unicorn Tapestries represent a search for a mythical creature, Logan’s works metaphorically explore the liminal terrain of queerness, discovering new bodily narratives infused with history, myth, and presence.

Always investigating and expanding the boundaries between the physical and metaphysical, Logan’s ceramic works draw these two realms together. “Fountain 1,” for example, is a time-based installation whose bone-like flowers accumulate every time it is shown, proliferating like a living thing despite its sterile, ceramic composition. The Root Series also represents a philosophical blending of physical body and metaphysical time, place, and memory; detached body parts surrealistically sprout flourishing weeds. In these works, the body is both the adornment and the catalyst, the tangible and intangible vessel through which we derive personal meaning and identity.

Logan is currently attending the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) in Brooklyn (ending this month). His “Eunuch Tapestry 5” is on display at the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art until Tuesday, June 23rd. He is currently exhibiting at Paul Petro Contemporary Art in Toronto until July 11th, and is also featured this month at Western Project in Los Angeles. Keep an eye out for Logan’s upcoming projects in in Atlanta, Seattle, Regina (Canada), and Verona, and visit his website and Facebook page to see more beautiful and exploratory works.

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A Hotel And Art Gallery Built Entirely Of Snow And Ice

Icehotel architecture

Icehotel architecture

Icehotel architecture

Every winter about 125 miles North of the Arctic Circle a hotel is built entirely out of snow and ice.  While definitely a unique hotel, ICEHOTEL, as it’s called, is just as much an art project in its own right.  In a way the structure is contemporary interpretation of traditional homes built of the same material.  However, each year brings an entirely new design to the hotel.  In addition to being filled with guest rooms and a bar, the art and design group at ICEHOTEL also work from a handpicked group of artists.  The hotel becomes a temporary home to art and people, to be destroyed and rebuilt next year. [via]

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Awesome Video Of The Day: Dragonfly Love

This is probably the best short film I have ever seen using only a camera phone. Director Thomas Hilland was asked to make the most out of Nokia N8’s smartphone camera. If the quality of the film doesn’t do it for you, I know I especially enjoyed the rotund men running around in costumes, battling each other with remote controlled dragonflies. Music was by the British band, Kap Bambino.

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Illustrator Julia Kostreva Is Good On Paper

Julia Kostreva

Julia Kostreva

Illustrator & art director Julia Kostreva is a lady with many talents—whether it’s working on membership kits for creative co-lo hotspot Makeshift Society, web design for brands like Kodenko Jeans or creating intriguing artwork for The Dirty Projectors. After studying graphic design and printmaking at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Kostreva made the trek out to San Francisco, where she has rooted herself in a multi-faceted creative career. Kostreva has gone on to develop a series of simple, visually striking letterpress prints, notebooks, calendars and cards—in addition to textile patterns.

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Submit to Beautiful/Decay Book 3!

Beautiful/ Decay Underdog submissions

Beautiful/Decay has saved just 10 final pages in our upcoming Book 3 to feature YOUR work! So far we’ve received hundreds of responses in all media from around the world. Due to overwhelming response we are opening up the last 10 slots just for you! PLEASE, read ALL requirements before submitting or your entry will not be considered!

The theme is “Underdogs” and is totally open to interpretation. However, it has to be a piece created especially for this issue, and not published in any other magazine, website, or in any shows before its release in March 2010. So go wild- what does your idea of “Underdogs” look like?

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Jennifer Hudson’s Dark Staged Photography Explores the Quiet Side of the Soul

Eerie and dark staged photography from Jennifer Hudson. Hudson is a current MFA candidate at the University of New Mexico. She recently finished Medic, a series of photos exploring the breadth of human relationships during illness and recovery. Really dig the compositions with these and the cold sepia tone. The emotional content of each piece comes through really strongly even though her sensibility is slightly on the quiet side. A nice example of affective work that doesn’t need to hit you on the head to fully come across. Hudson says that her conservative, spiritual upbringing in rural Texas led her onto an “imaginitive, curious, and experimental” path. Definitely feeling that.

See images from Medic and Flora, another recent series from the artist, after the jump.

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Spine-Chilling Paintings By Casey Baugh Prove That The Matrix Is Real

glowstaticammonoiddisplacement videodrome

The painter Casey Baugh’s vibrant images are so astoundingly realistic that they could easily be mistaken for photographs if not for the eery, impressionistic brushstrokes that are only visible at close range. In rich and moody blues and blacks, the artist imagines a social and psychological landscape dominated by technology, a world where humans and machines coexist in a heightened state of tension and theatricality.

With conventionally beautiful women serving as his subjects, Baugh seduces the viewer; the photorealistic flesh glistens in soft, dreamy blues. Technology becomes a fetish object of sorts as wires coil about the curves of the female body, entangling and binding her while her sensually lit face surrenders to a strange sort of ecstasy, her body reclining suggestively.

Despite the powerful allure of technology, Baugh’s work also serves as a warning against our surrender to it. The remote, mechanical aspects of our modern lives— electronics, social media—entrap the human self with their metallic sheen and magnetic glow. A woman is seemingly choked by a collar made of industrial piping; the piece, titled Ammonoid, suggests that the foreign object has in fact integrated itself into her anatomy. Similarly, a girl is bound in glistening cellophane and confined to a cell, hooked up to televisions without chance of escape. Sadly, Baugh’s women, drawn to the irresistible blue screens, have become as much machine as human being.

The form of the work mirrors its thematic content; at first, the images look like photographs, captures of real events, but upon second glance, it becomes clear that the scene is an expertly-painted illusion. How much of our experience with technology is real? At what point do we sacrifice a truthful mortal existence for the entrancing (and ultimately fleeting) world of technology? (via HiFructose)

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Nicola Samori Scratches The Surface Of His Dark And Intense Paintings To Unveil Previous Layers Of Work

Nicola Samori - Painting 1 Nicola Samori - Painting 2 Nicola Samori - Painting 3 Nicola Samori - Painting 7

The work of Nicola Samori depicts dying corpses and mysterious portraits scraped, scratched and torn on the surface, unveiling layers of contrasting paint. Dark and intense paintings, covering layers of existing work, like flesh covering the accumulation of past experiences and traumas. The artist chooses to damage his previous paintings on purpose. He feeds the canvas, daily; until the texture becomes ’intense and palpable’. Using his fingers or a knife to destroy the apparent layer, the result of what feels like a painful process is a magnificent harmonized agony. By scraping his paintings, Nicola Samori tries to search for true identity. A person’s face on a painting is not a valid representation of who this person really is. It doesn’t give a true essence of its inner personality and soul. Exploring what’s underneath the surface is the purpose of the artist.

Body, death and painting are, for Nicola Samori, subjects of obsession. By punishing the three altogether on the canvas, he opens the wound and sets himself free. His layered macabre creations are the structure for his catharsis (act or process of releasing a strong emotion into an art form or any extreme change in emotion that results in renewal and restoration).
Apart from the fact that the artist doesn’t fancy working with colors, according to him; the source of darkness does not reflect a state or a belonging; what is made from it is what’s interesting. A rough process symbolizing metamorphosis of deep emotions into meaningful and empowering art pieces

Nicola Samori’s work will be exhibited at Galerie Eigen+Art Leipzig in Berlin until September 2015. (via Empty Kingdom)

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