Photographer Brian McCarty combines the innocence of childhood with the horrors of war in his series WAR-TOYS. Violent scenes are reenacted with toys; Bombs are dropped on a pink plastic house, while toy soldiers gun down a giant-headed doll. McCarty’s source material is the drawings of children who live in war-torn areas like the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel.
The artist travelled to the sites where the children had been, which adds another level of sadness to these images. This project is not just the undertaking of McCarty, but he pairs with other aid workers as well. From his artist statement:
Employing principles of expressive art therapy, my process begins with observation and guided interaction with children under the care of humanitarian organizations operating in areas of active conflict. Specialized therapists and caregivers conduct art-based interviews on my behalf, inviting children to draw pictures about their lives and experiences. The resulting illustrations serve as art direction and basis for photographic exploration.
McCarty tries to involve the tiny artists, too, and uses toys that are acquired locally. You’ll see that a Disney Princess is in the line of fire. He writes:
When possible and under the guidance of specialists, I invite the children to actively participate and use the photographic process as a form of therapeutic play. The resulting photographs provide an interpretive document of witnessed events and context for the children’s accounts.
McCarty plans to continue this project and travel to Afghanistan, Sudan, and Colombia. (Via Huffington Post)
California-based artist Gregory Kloehn was tired of making sculptures for rich people. “It just sits there,” he said. “I kind of think that if you’re putting so much effort into something it would be nice if it actually did something.”
With the help of a close knit art community, Kloehn began his Homeless Homes Project, a collaborative endevour that provides sturdy, innovative and mobile shelters for the homeless.
They look like sculptures, but they actually serve a purpose.
Kloehn starts the process by installing beds, sinks, stoves, and storage shelves on regular old dumpsters and shipping containers. All of the ‘amenities’ are made with repurposed materials found on the streets.
To prove that his dumpster homes are fit to live, the artist put it to the test. He has actually lived in one that he built for himself, and fitted with such conveniences as granite counter topped kitchen, a microwave, a mini-stove, a fridge, and even a cushioned sofa.
With a successful run, Kloehn is a now a full-time home builder. So far he has built 10 tiny homes, some of which have already found tenants. (via Amusing Planet)
Gelitin is comprised of four Austrian artists who met in 1978 at a summer camp and started exhibiting internationally as a group. Their cleverness in dealing with topics such as childhood, the functionality of objects, scale and absurdity are obvious in projects and corresponding titles such as “Klunk Garden” and “The Dig Cunt.” I like that their work seems to take on a variety of tones- ironic one moment and nostalgic the next. But all appropriate.
Jeremy Little is a graphic designer based out of Los Angeles, His poster designs dwell in the realm of the mystic. Themes such as totality and modernity are examined and radiated through his cosmic visual style.
Robert Lazzarini is best known as a sculptor. But that is actually an oversimplification of what he does. Walking the line between reality and illusion, Lazarrini creates compound distortions of common objects, challenging perception and what we understand to be the limits of the material world.
Lazzarini’s works are not mere deformities. Using mathematical distortions and algorithm-based operations, such as mappings and translations, Lazzarini bases his alterations in reality. Along the same lines, he chooses to fabricate the warped objects in their true material. A skull is made of reconstituted bone, a hammer of wood and steel, etc. This intense attention to detail is important to Lazzarini. Earlier this year he and his team attempted to create a series of broken liquor bottle sculptures. Despite consulting MIT experts and Dale Chihuly’s team the project was sidelined because it was too difficult to realize. Such dedication and through research are major components of Lazarrini’s artistic practice. Part of this obsessive thoroughness is his desire is to eliminate art-specific materials from his work. In doing so the viewer’s experience is completely different. There is a sense of authenticity, which makes the distortion all the more extraordinary.
Violence is another component of Lazzarini’s work and it extends beyond the fact that he chooses to work with guns, bullets, knives and skulls. The objects themselves are disturbing, and the way they exist in our visual field is also disquieting. We so want to make sense of them, to right the disfiguration so that we can easily understand them. Ultimately though, Lazzarini’s works completely refuse that possibility, making them all the more compelling.
As part of our ongoing partnership with Feature Shoot, Beautiful/Decay is sharing Jennifer Kaye’s article on John Mdgley.
Cosmetic giant MAC put their in-store makeup artists to the test this Halloween to create the most compelling looks. Artists from stores in Miami, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York will be judged by MAC’s facebook followers for their annual “Halloween Face-Off.” The portraits, which range from glamorous to macabre, were shot by photographer John Midgley. “The passion of each of the artists was a lot of fun, and it was infectious,” says John. They lived for it—they lived for the look. They lived to have their picture taken. It took it back to the simplest form of photography, which is flattery and escapism.”
It is time to up your game, shadow puppeteers. This morning presents you with some shadow art that will challenge your routine. The main artists featured here are Kumi Yamashita plus the art team Tim Noble and Sue Webster (who are responsible for the above image). Even if you’re afraid of your own shadow, don’t miss out on the goodies after the jump.