The Billbored series of artist Dan Bergeron (also known as fauxreel) undermines the all to common visual language of advertising. His hijacked billboards, particularly his series featuring Carl the Plastic Baby, challenges passers-by to consider what they see more deeply. Like much of his work, Billbored investigates identity, consumerism, and the places they intersect. Carl the Plastic Baby, for example, playfully offers an an easy alternative to actual children. A website accompanying the billboard offers visitors the opportunity to buy a “child” of their own – their very own Carl delivered to their home.
Emilia Brintnall lives and works in Philadelphia where she is a member of the Space 1026 art gallery and co-op. Her paper-mâché sculptures revel in the vibrancy of the animal kingdom as well as everyday objects. Snakes, Dinosaurs, Foxes, Fruits and Ghosts are simplified and minimally painted. Small yet mighty, Emilia’s spirited figures are a buoyant reminder of the merry and oftentimes silly world we inhabit.
From Carnival in Haiti to West African Masquerade, Phyllis Galembo has seen it all. Humanity has always had such a fascination with dressing up–with becoming someone else for even a short period of time–that these costumes and the rituals associated with them play an important role in these societies’ cultural textures. Galembo photographs these moments in which people become magical, steeped in the symbolism of their dress. So, what does it say about us if our definition of costume is a sexed up, polyester sailer/nurse/bunny?
Langdon Graves is all about the mystery of deception and illumination. Her drawings utilize two contradicting devices, photo-realistic rendering and surrealist narrative, all to create trompe l’oeil images that astound and leave you wanting more. Each drawing has elements that are immediately recognizable, but the second you think you know what is going on, you realize something is amiss. Some drawings are easier to decode, while others have a ‘wait a minute…’ quality that would make M.C. Escher proud. Unlike Escher, Graves saturates her drawings with a folk-like narrative that evokes the feeling that we should be learning some kind of lesson. As if we are seeing just a glimpse of a much larger, more complex story, and are hungry for more.
There is a delicate sense of instability that disrupts the calm in each drawing. Whether it’s Grave’s beautifully subtle use of color, or the quiet violence implied in many of the images, we are not looking into a world of sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. Instead, Graves creates a world where a dark cloud hangs over each perfectly coiffed head. The combination of innately feminine symbols with clandestine actions produces a tension that lures you in like a moth to a flame. Yet, like any successful illusionist, Graves is careful to not reveal too much, leaving us in a state of expectation similar to the feeling of anticipation when opening a present. You know something special is inside but you only have a few clues to guess what it is.
Love these bizarre sculptures by Chinese artist Hu Ke.I couldn’t find much about what they are about or how they are made online but maybe one of you smart Cult Of Decay members will put on your investigator cap on and report back to cult headquarters with your findings.
Artist Livia Marin’s Nomad Patterns is a series of classical ceramics depicted in a most unconventional manner. Her representation of the destruction of ceramics is fascinating in the sense that she has chosen to use melted ceramics rather than breaking, chipping, or shattering them in the way they are known to do. In this sense, she has brought a sort of silent, unconventional destruction to the ceramics in her series.
The fascinating aspect of her work lies in the way the ceramics are being destroyed. She merges the ideas of “care and ruin” by making it difficult to distinguish whether the ceramics are being destroyed or put back together.The fluidity of the melted ceramics and the way that the patterns are maintained add a touch of surrealism to the series. The physically impossible nature of her project as well as the aesthetic aspects of her work make for an original merging of physics and art.
In this sense, her work reaches beyond its artistic capacities and underlines the artistic aspects of physics as well as the merging of science and art. Marin’s work merging of the notions of restoration and destruction also provides a reflection on these two notions, which are, in her work two sides of the same coin.
Francesca Pastine’s Artforum Excavations Is a beautiful series of works where the artist cuts away at various issues of art forum literally excavating the art away and rearranging the pages and layers of the iconic art publication. Lets hope she tears apart a copy of Beautiful/Decay one of these days!
“I began using ARTFORUM magazines as a medium for my work in 2008. I noticed that they were familiar fixtures in my friends’ homes. Apparently, because of their glossy nature, nobody wanted to throw them away. I was intrigued by their square format, particularly when the bloated art market was reflected in their one-inch thickness and I began asking my friends for their unwanted magazines. Starting with the covers, I cut, bend, manipulate, pull, and dig my way through them, revealing a visceral topography of art trends. The finished worked becomes an unsolicited collaboration with the magazine and the cover artist. Maintaining a strong connection to the physicality of drawing, my X-acto blade mimics a pencil, subtracting rather than adding. I eschew glue or other manipulations that change the inherent character of the magazines. In this way, they retain their association to what they are, carriers of information that have been handled, earmarked and scuffed over time. Through physically intervening with these familiar icons of the art establishment, I suffuse the inanimate with emotional power, creating a palpable complexity of form and information.”
Carne Griffith’s fluid and layered drawings are made by combining a layered mixture of calligraphy ink, graphite and liquids such as brandy, vodka, and whiskey. Using the alcohol as an agent to move the ink around the page Carne creates imagery that explores both figurative and floral motifs which move from representation to abstraction in the same stroke of the pen.