Curiosity led photographer James Friedman to cut into his collection of golf balls to see what the cores looked like. To his surprise, he discovered that each golf ball contained a unique interiority, revealing elegant formal qualities and inspiring Friedman to become more enthusiastic about the possibilities of abstraction in his photography, especially as a corollary to his documentary work. His series, entitled Interior Design, captures these surprisingly colorful and distinctive golf ball guts, displaying the inner beauty contained within their homogenized white forms. Friedman has been fascinated with photography since he took his first self-portrait at 5 years old. He does not play golf. (via Lost at E Minor)
Its difficult to say whether the drawings or the machine is the work of art here. Artist Eske Rex created the Drawing Machine which in turn produces ink drawings. Two pendulums are attached to an arm which is equipped with a ball point pen. Once the pendulums are set in motion the arms record the contraption’s movement by creating a singular work of art. Beyond each piece’s pleasing aesthetic is something just as intriguing. In a way, each drawing documents a very specific movement and time.
Gary Clark, or, preferably Graphic Nothing, takes the word “graphic” very literally. His works consist of lines, curves colors organized in a well thought out fashion. It’s like those color theory books you pick up in the computer section of the bookstore, but on crack. Or something similar. Either way, they’re mesmorizing to stare at, just don’t do it for too long or your face will stay that way.
Will Kurtz lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Kurtz is well known for his life size sculptures made out of newspaper. He recently opened a solo exhibition at Mike Weiss Gallery NY entitled Another Shit Show. From the press release: “Using the empty gallery as a site on which to stage operatic, all-encompassing mise-en-scene, Kurtz makes an ambitious, multi-part figure installation that throws the facade off human nature – albeit in canine terms. Constructed of unlikely materials such as newspaper, glue, wire and wood, more than 20 dogs of every breed, size and color, strain and cavort off the leash of a single human handler, each rendered more expressively than the next. Kurtz, a master of anatomy, achieves an utterly believable aesthetic by building up layer upon layer of yesterday’s news, held together by exposed grommets and endless amounts of masking tape.” The exhibition is on view through April 27th, 2013.
Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos creates a “second skin” for kitschy-looking ceramic figurines. Animals such as dogs, wolves, snakes, and more are concealed in Vasconcelos’ delicately-crocheted coverings, which are reminiscent of a blanket that your grandmother might have worked on. Whatever surface treatment is underneath, the artist’s handiwork is obscured by small-yet-elaborate flowers that fit over her subjects like a glove.
The nature of Vasconcelos’ work is about the decontextualization of everyday objects. Crochet is often seen as a craft, but here she’s removed it from any sort of practical purpose (like providing warmth or being used in the home) and transformed it into an art object. It now occupies two dichotomies, hand-crafted and industrial, in which the former wraps the latter, mass-produced object underneath.
There’s another way to view Vasconcelos’ sculptures, and that’s applying a narrative to them, like they’re characters in a story. In this respect, it’s seems as though she’s creating a protective garment for them and that her subjects are in need of care. The crochet acts as a shell that gives the illusion of protection from the unknown. (Via Fubiz)
For Susanna Bauer, a casual fall stroll can lead into a creative process. She transforms nature’s most fragile corpses into mini art sculptures. The leaves she delicately sews and crochets are brought back to life and hung off walls next to their fellow forest companions: pieces of woods and stones. With an astonishing dexterity she is able to roll, curve and assemble elements that were found dried and shriveled. She uses all of her concentration to operate on her findings. The artist takes the raw, emotionless leaves and patiently nurtures them, stitching back their wounds, unifying two different kinds of leaves together and taking care of the smallest details. Comparing the tenderness and tension of her work to the vulnerability and resilience of a human relationship.
She says she doesn’t work with nature but she collaborates with it. She respects flora, and her main will is to embellish the organic beauty that has fallen instinctively on her path. She closely examines how the fragile leaf, with no brutality, can be manipulated; and yet with a firm hand she pierces the dead element, making sure she leaves her imprint. Metaphorically, the work of Susanna Bauer is beyond interesting. To the eyes, it is a simple and precious vision, set in the immensity of a pumpkin toned abundant forest.
Susanna Bauer’s work will be exhibited at Salon Vert in Switzerland as part of a group show until August 2015 and at Lemon Street Gallery in Cornwall UK until September 2015.
Last year Beautiful Decay featured Paola Pivi’s 360 Degree Rotating Airplane in New York City Plaza. Pivi is making art headlines again with her fantastical feather-clad polar bears. Influenced by the surrealists, Pivi’s plumed bears walk the line between dream and reality. They are her version of the ready-made. Prone to “visions,” Pivi says that she often sees animals located in a strange setting. For her most recent show, entitled Ok, you are better than me, so what?, at Galerie Perrotin’s new space in New York, Pivi created a series of sculptures influenced by a vision she had of a polar bear dancing with a grizzly bear. Rather than taxidermy actual animals, Pivi had an expert create bears from urethane foam, plastic, and feathers. The results are fantastic in the truest sense of the word. Meaning, they are imaginative, fanciful and slightly absurd.
In proper surrealist fashion the bears engage an element of surprise and unusual juxtapositions, which Pivi strives to create with all her work. The bears, for instance, embody several contradictions. All at once they are both real and whimsical, frightening and amusing, and serious and absurd. Mostly though, they seem like a lot of fun.
Pivi has lived all over the world, but currently resides in New Delhi, India. Her show that opened Sept 18th at Galerie Perrotin’s New York location will be up through October 26th.