Has anyone else noticed the vicious smily face graffiti gang that owns the streets of Italy? These guys go from town to town painstakingly scribbling their frightening faces all over the city walls. Lets pray that these blood thirsty happy face bandits don’t attack the red, white, and blue next! As community service to the Italian nation, I began a catalog of these horendous crimes in hopes of tracking down these criminals and once and for all turning their smiles upside down!
Scott Wade lives on a dirt road, full of limestone dust that loves to rest on the back window of any car that goes through it. Seizing the opportunity, Wade, instead of writing something like “Scott was here,” started his very own genre of art, “Dirty Car Art.” Yes, Wade “paints” with dirt.
It’s difficult to gauge scale in the work of Petros Chrisostomou. The giant shoes seem so detailed; the galleries look immaculate. If you want to know I’ll spoil it for you…it’s the galleries that are tiny. Chrisostomou uses small mundane objects as the center of his photographs. He places these in the middle of amazingly detailed miniature galleries. Chrisostomou painstakingly gives attention to lighting, scale, perspective, and detail. The realism of his sets force the eye and mind to alternate between small and large scales, doubting each in the process.
Nestled around a fire, inside a cozy cave, the first painter picked up some charcoal and drew a Mastodon. The Cave is also the place where Plato described the world unenlightened people view as “shadows of the images the fire throws” against the back wall. Courbet painted his cavern, The Source of the Loue, with an oarsman like the mythical Charon, ferrying people across the river Styx for a coin. Caves are mysterious places, tied into our deepest roots: metaphors for our experiences, fears, and knowledge. Melissa Brown, who we did a studio visit with a few months ago, has been working with an interesting group of printmakers at Random Number. She has a new silkscreen out – Cave View. Check, it, out.
All of us at Beautiful/Decay would like to wish all of our readers and supports a happy thanksgiving full of food, fun and good times with family and friends. We’re taking the day off from blogging but if you must have your art fix check out some of our favorite all time posts HERE, HERE and HERE. Also keep an eye out for our Cyber Monday sale that will bring you big savings on all your favorite Beautiful/Decay books and products just in time for the holiday season.
At 13 Mark Cloud tried acid in Santa Barbara, an experience that merited the epic summation: “I was blind, but then I could see.”
It wasn’t until then, around 1968, that acid imagery became popular and McCloud started collecting and cataloguing the many acid stamps he encountered.
“At first I was keeping them in the freezer, which was a problem because I kept eating them,” McCloud explained to VICE, “but then the Albert Hofmann acid came out, and then I thought, Fuck, I’m framing this. That’s when I realized, Hey, if I try to swallow this I’ll choke on the frame.”
Today, Mark McCloud is the world’s leading collector of “Blotter Art” (the fancy way of saying that he collects the small, stamp-like papers that used to transport acid, or LSD). McCloud’s collection, one that is bigger and more varied that those owned by the FBI and DEA, is now hanging in his Victorian home in San Francisco- a home turned museum that you should definitely visit!
Stephanie Tillman‘s designs match a subject, often an animal or two, with a matter-of-fact line of text. She applies the imagery to postcards and prints, but the embroideries are the most successful in capturing a sense of earnestness behind them. All handmade by the artist herself, each piece is permanently glued to a flexihoop — such a great touch as a frame — and finished with fabric to hide the stitching on the back. Available through her Etsy store.
Photographer Michael Galinsky’s series Malls Across America captures what we simultaneously love and hate about the mall. Stale air, artificial light, and swarms of teenagers are all captured in photographs from 1989. It was in the 1980’s and 1990’s that these places were at the height of popularity and a bastion of consumerism; Galinsky’s photos now is like digging up a time capsule.
Malls Across America began in the winter of 1989 at the Smith Haven Mall in Garden City Long Island. Galinsky travelled from North Carolina to South Dakota, Washington State and beyond photographing malls. We can look at this series as a source of amusement and anthropological study. There are ostentatious 80’s fashions (a lot of big hair) and the beginnings of 90’s grunge.
In many of these photographs, we are the voyeur. I get the feeling that Galinsky took these photographs on the sly, trying to be inconspicuous about it. He captures images through plants, behind people on escalators, and standing outside stores as women are conferring about clothing choices. Because Galinsky makes us both the voyeur and the viewer, I can’t help but feel a little bad for spying. But, considering all the 80’s movies that included mall hijinks, it feels oddly fitting.
These malls still exist, they are just dead. My hometown mall still looks eerily familiar to what’s in these photographs. If this series makes you feel nostalgic for your own mall, you can buy a book of Galinsky’s work. Aptly titled, Malls Across America, it was released this past summer. (Via It’s Nice That and Gizmodo)