Antoine Caecke is a French artist whose delightfully stark drawings look like the visual log of an obsessed archaeologist. Bones and other objects are lined up, encased, and shelved for the viewer to dissect. The work comes across as a more abstract form of 19th-century zoological and scientific specimen drawings. Caecke’s artwork serves as a reminder of the cycle of articles left behind, discovered, studied, and cherished throughout history.
Photographs by Brisbane artist Michelle Knowles. She shows us the familiar next to the unusual in an attempt to transform the mundane into magical.
Oakland based artist Christopher Blackstock creates the ‘The Lone Stranger’ a series of illustrations that explore the life of an imagined character who finds himself experiencing the ultimate journey of self-discovery in a hallucinatory, post-apocalyptic remote desert area. The vibrant, cartoonish aesthetic puts emphasis on the surrealism of it all. Finding yourself in a desolated space can become lonely but exciting all at once.
According to the artist, the stranger, the recurring character, has experienced his fair share of tragedy and is now in search for answers, and maybe some sort of redemption through a spiritual quest. His tale, one of existential turmoil, redemption and self-discovery coincides with the collapse of the ecosystem as climate change reaches a more advanced stage and renders California completely arid.
Blackstock, a muiti-media artist who works in painting, sculpture and illustration, rendered these as digital drawings first and then turned them into laser-cut panels which were then placed onto canvas and hand-painted with acrylic and spray-paint.
Blackstock’s ‘The Lone Stranger’ will be on view at Oakland’s Loakal, starting July 4th through July 30th, 2014.
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Montreal-born Magalie Guerin currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. With machine-like precision, she uses ballpoint ink on paper to create incredibly detailed pieces reminiscent of the visual texture of dollar bills. Her art reminds me of a cross between the elegance of Civil War portraits and the distortion of carnival funhouses.
Eddie Martinez and José Lerma have a two person show up at Halsey Mckay Gallery in East Hampton NY. It’s only up until this Wednesday, August the 29th, I know it’s just two days to get there, but these are two of the best drawing/fabric/paintslingers of our generation. The colors in Martinez’s paintings can’t be replicated in a photograph because the paint is physical, like a thick smear of deep red oil paint that looks like martian roofing slate, or maybe a crack inside an antediluvian sea cliff containing some strange fossil reminding us of how old thinking is, and how we are only here for a little while so we should be kind to each other. Yes, red paint can say all that. Lerma’s pirate-like-figuration feels musical, and reminds me of the Clancy Brothers singing a sea shanty “Way haul away, haul away Jose.” History comes up to us and then recedes like the tide in Lerma’s work, you recognize something and then it is and isn’t what you thought. This is a good summer trip, like the first time you went to a water slide park after noticing girls/boys for the first time, an expanse of wave pools lapping lazily against a big breasted life guard and tower slides of pure unadulterated joy.
In an effort to raise awareness about environmental degradation and decreasing water quality, Washington-based photographer Michael Dyrland turned some botched plans to go surfing into a series of disturbingly prophetic images. In October 2014, he traveled to Los Angeles to take photos for a friend who lives there. “I was really looking forward to this trip because I wanted to make the most of it and try my hand at surfing,” he explained in a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay. After a night of heavy rainfall, Dyrland asked when they could head to the beach and his friend was aghast. Apparently, following a storm, the 10 billion gallons of runoff contains “sewage, garbage, oil, and shit” — the types of human-derived waste that transform the ocean into a cesspool of disease.
From this unsettling experience, Hazmat Surfing was born. Dyrland wanted to show the world in a creative way what a future of continued environmental abuse and neglect would look like, and how it would impact our lifestyles that we take for granted. Coordinating through email and Google maps, Dyrland chose LA’s famous Venice Beach for the shoot location. A lifeguard was posted to keep an eye on the surfers, and out they went, garbed in gas masks and full-body suits that glisten a sickly yellow against the storm-bruised sky. Capturing the surfers treading water, riding the waves, and gazing seaward, Dyrland has instilled sport photography with a quiet-but-powerful social message. It is not unrealistic to believe that our relationship with the sea might one day look as dark and alienating as this.
Dyrland hopes to continue Hazmat Surfing at different locations in the US and beyond. His next shoot is aimed for Rio, where he hopes to “focus on the water quality issues and let [his] photos speak louder then words.” Visit his website, Facebook, and Instagram to follow this fascinating project. (Via Feature Shoot)
In the late 1930s, Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) brought his imaginary creatures to life, sculpting them out of wood, mounting them on the wall, and imbuing them with a haunting realism by incorporating real animal parts. The remains of deceased animals came from his father’s workplace, the Forest Park Zoo.
After their construction, the creatures, bearing delightful names like the “Andulovian Grackler” and the “Two Horned Drouberhannis,” were sold as a collection under the title “Collection of Unorthodox Taxidermy.” After living in a child’s bedroom, the pieces were retired to an old barn and resold in 2004. The Chase Group later made resin copies of many of the works. Some of these pieces are available for sale on eBay.
Each sculpture stays true to Seuss’s touchingly earnest connection with the imaginative realm of childhood. The animals, though mounted on a wall, maintain a poignant emotive ability; the marriage of raised brows and mellow smiles with the antlers of genuine beasts makes the works magically vital, communicative— and somehow— real.
The profound soulfulness of the work is only enhanced by its hints of morbidity. In what is perhaps a critique of taxidermy practices, the prolific artist chose to present these fantastical creatures within the context of human domination, forcing viewers to reconcile our desire to believe in magic with the knowledge of environmental destruction. In this way, the aging of the works has not detracted from their potency but has serendipitously heightened it; years after the prolific author’s death, we are asked to search these faded faces for indicators of bestial personalities and traces of the beloved artist’s hand. Take a look. (via This is Colossal and the world’s best ever)