Pauline Hisbacq’sThis Side Of Paradise documents Rallyes, parties for teenagers from upper-class in France where well dressed young people dance, drink, and try to seduce one another in a world where they are free to be young and live a careless existence.
Star Wars is a popular franchise that spans decades, so it’s no surprise that it has crept up in many artists’ work. We’ve seen it in paintings, expressed through Legos, and it’s even influenced engagement rings. Clearly, the fictional story has resonated with many. Cedric Delsaux can also count himself as someone who finds inspiration from Darth Vader, droids, and the vehicles made famous in the films. He’s expertly inserted Star Wars characters into desolate urban areas that look abandoned and dismantled. The results are images both poignant and haunting; and, given what we know about the characters, Delsaux sets the scenes for alluring narratives that are like a suspenseful novel. Something is going to happen, but we aren’t sure what.
His bleak and stylish works have caught the attention of many, including George Lucas himself:
Over the years, many artists have interpreted Star Wars in ways that extend well beyond anything we saw in the films. One of the most unique and intriguing interpretations that I have seen is in the work of Cedric Delsaux, who has cleverly integrated Star Wars characters and vehicles into stark urban, industrial – but unmistakably earthbound – environments. As novel and disruptive as his images are, they are also completely plausible.
“I’m just as fucked up as they say, I can’t fake the daytime, found an entrance to escape into the dark”, sang Emily Haines as Metric opened up with the first track, Artificial Nocturne from their newest record Synthetica. I doubt many of her fans would agree with her since the outpouring of love and excitement came as soon as the lights went down and didn’t let up for the whole show. I for one have been a huge fan of Metric’s music since I first saw them open up for fellow Canadians, Stars back in 2003 at the now closed Knitting Factory in Hollywood.
The laser light show over drummer Joules Scott-Key started when they played the title track Synthetica and as soon as the first notes for Dead Disco came on, the crowd jumped into a dance frenzy, not that it wasn’t before. While Emily is an amazing performer (I challenge anyone to do her trademark 80’s aerobic dancing for an hour and half), she has very few words for the crowd, that is until the encore. “I know it’s a cliche… moving out to CA to fulfill your dreams, but I’m so glad we did it… carrying gear when it’s not freezing cold… contrast to Canada… music trumps all the talking in the world.” With just James Shaw on acoustic, the pair ended with Gimme Sympathy which turned into a sing/clap-along as the rest of the band joined them onstage for the last half of the “lullaby”. Check out their new video for Breathing Underwater for a behind the scenes glimpse at what their Synthetica tour was like.
Hamidou Maiga’s career as a photographer was launched in the early 1950s when he purchased his first camera, a medium format Souflex. At the age of twenty he learnt the rudiments of photography and printing through photojournalism, and in 1958 Maiga opened his first studio in N’Gouma. For two years he traced the route of the River Niger developing a clientele for his distinctive outdoor studio portraits. In 1960 he returned to Timbuktu with a successful business.
Mernet Larsen’s geometric paintings are at once an affectionate parody and critique of Renaissance narrative painting, a longing for something lost, and a desire for a sense of space and narrative unity more in accord with contemporary concepts of reality.Read her full artist statement after the jump.
Beautiful/Decay decided to do a three-part series of posts on artists who never listened to their mother’s advice….. not to play with their food! Food itself is an art form, its creation and consumption can be as much a feast for the senses and expression of emotion as any other type of creation. However, this collection of artists were not merely seeking to create a meal (in fact most of these works should be regarded as wholly inedible). In experimenting with squishing, flinging, melting, and otherwise manipulating food in all manners of ways, these artists were able to use food as a medium to comment about everything: from rising levels of obesity, to our perceptions of ethnicity and class. Read on to check out our first three artists!
In Phillip Toledano’s new book, A New Kind of Beauty, you will find photographs of those whom have gone through extreme cosmetic surgery. The images are quite shocking, but there is also something quite unusual about them; you can see, through the sitters’ victorious stances, that they actually feel quite powerful and actually beautiful.
‘A New Kind of Beauty’ possesses an interesting aesthetic. The photographer decides to portray his subjects, not under a glamorous light, but instead in way which exudes an air of strength and power. Although the artist says that he is referencing 16th century artist Hans Holbein (which he is) I say that he is also reflecting an aesthetic that very clearly references that of Greek and Roman sculpture. I find it compelling that Toledano’s juxtaposes something so contemporary as cosmetic surgery, to something so dated. But, his line of thought makes sense.
We all know that the Greek and Romans were obsessed with beauty, perfection and youth. They found beauty in perfect young bodies, hence the many grand sculptures of young naked bodies (usually men). Their stance, for the most part, was stoic; emotion made the beauty fade away…their stance was always upright, a symbol of power and honor. Similarly, the photographer renders his sitters in poses that clearly show off their wannabe young bodies and faces (some are covered by draped robes and veils, yet another detail that references this particular stylistic period). They stand tall and emotionless, even if their highly transformed faces say otherwise. Their ‘beauty’ is fake, but it is theirs, and they are owning it.
In a way, Toledano is documenting contemporary human beauty as well as ‘admiring beauty’ in the same way the Greeks and Roman did in their time.
“We will be able to redefine what it means to look human, and I think these people are the vanguard of that type of evolution.”
However, it differs in that this kind of beauty is manufactured and maybe not so beautiful after all. The photographer wants to make sure we realize that this is our society’s standards of beauty. Whether it is actually beautiful or not, real or not, well that’s not something to fret about. It is an obvious fact that the public is eager for perfection, youth, and hypersexualized physical attributes, so here’s the outcome of the pressures to be just that.
“I wanted to make beautiful and distinguished portraits of these people. … I wanted to represent a particular part of beauty from our time. It will be very interesting to see in a few years time how I compare physically to these projected images.”