San Francisco-based artist Michelle Fleck creates slightly minimalistic acrylic paintings that deal with the “relationship between man and the landscape”. In the paintings, decaying natural environments are sullied by the trappings of construction work and neglect. What’s great about these, in addition to Fleck’s nice illustrative sense of texture, is the artist’s intelligent handling of her subject matter. It’s so common, whenever drawing on environmental themes, to be heavy-handed. To sort of say, “I’m talking about the environment now, and it’s very important so look at what I’m doing.” Instead of taking that route, Fleck just paints what she sees (of course taking care to include pointed compositions and visual appeal). Some situations don’t need extensive commentary, just a skilled storyteller to show you just enough of what you need to know.
When Japanese artist Yukiko Morita began working in a bakery as a teenager, she marveled at how cute baked bread was. She probably did not realize at the time that, years later, she would craft a way to make bread into a usable home decorative object.
Introducing her one-of-a-kind Pampshades at Tokyo Designers Week, Morita most certainly has a monopoly on the most glutinous lighting system. Although she declined to name a few secret ingredients, she listed the rest as: “Bread flour, salt, yeast, LED, batteries.” After the bread is baked, she covers it in resin, solidifying the form so it will not decompose.
“As the story goes, Morita worked in a bakery in her native Kyoto eight years ago, subsquently graduating from the Kyoto University of Arts in 2008 and reportedly launching Pampshades as early as 2010 (the name is a portmanteau of ‘pan’—French for bread, derived from the Latinpanem—and lampshade). The brief timeline on her website further notes that the first prototype dates back to 2007 and that she relocated to Kobe as of this year.” (Excerpt from Source and Source)
It’s not everyday that we post an artist who works with yarn but Jo Hamilton’s crochet portraits are really interesting. I’m really happy that Jo decided to not over finish these and left them without a background and with the yarn hanging down. Sort of looks like paint drips and adds another dimension to the work that you don’t see often in crochet.
Rebecca Levy died. Her apartment, situated above Raven Row gallery in London, did not; instead, it became a work of art by Iain Baxter, Canada’s most prominent conceptual artist.
Here, Baxter re-imagines his classic 1966 piece Bagged Place in each nook and cranny of Rebecca’s abandoned flat, wrapping clear plastic around the contents of which previously had been donated “intact” to the gallery from her family. Unsurprisingly, Rebecca’s Bagged Place, this 2013 rendition (collected here), seems to have more of a personal feeling, which immediately brings a new spark to not just Baxter’s work, but also, the underlying narrative or intention. This is not about sterilization nor consumerism, instead, it’s about Rebecca: her past, present, and future.
Before Rebecca’s things were bagged, they were alive because she was alive holding them, sitting in them, staring at them, and touching, loving, or losing them. Now that she has passed, her habitat is still and quiet, at least momentarily until the room slowly disassembles from one new pair of hands to the next. The thought of an interior space collapsing and dividing seems like a final goodbye, and the preservation of that farewell, heartbreakingly seems like an inability to confront death and an almost tragic prolonging of life. A room on life-support. How as viewers do we fall into the room? What do we take from it and where do we stay? When will we let go?
In this piece, amidst all the plastic isolation, the subject shifts with our own anxieties, daydreams, or curiosities in reaction to such careful preservation. We start to imagine Rebecca as we imagine ourselves: our own deaths, our own rooms, our own limbo before the dismantling. In this sense, Rebecca’s Bagged Place mirrors our own, and strangely we are Rebecca looking in from the outside.
As digital technology takes over analog traditions it becomes harder to keep alive the tried and true methods of yesteryear. Case in point, analog photography. This is why British photographer Richard Nicholson began documenting the few remaining professional dark rooms in London before they all slowly disappeared and were replaced with high resolution digital cameras and massive digital printers. Will these labs one day only live in history museums and through the work of such photographers such as Richard? Only time will tell.
A recent graduate of Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD), Stanzie Tooth paints scenes that evoke a sense of calm. Her works often feature woodland landscapes, sometimes bursting with pastel hues that would make a Fauvist blush.
Last week we spread word about Aiden, an amazing 5-year old horror artist who is currently fighting Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, and tried to help raise funds for him and his family. The $2 we donated from every subscription made great progress thanks to our loyal Cult of Decay members, but there is still some progress left to be made. We want to help soften Aiden and his family’s journey through leukemia as much as possible, but we cannot do that without your help. So subscribe today, and help spread the word of our efforts to as many people you know. Lets demonstrate what the support and backing from Cult of Decay can really do!