Martin Hugo’s sketchbooks détourné the commercial imagery he encountered while designing corporate fashion in the “Empire State.” These books read as Hugo’s coping mechanism for trafficking in cultures he actively disdains. Using styles from esoteric hardcore music and quotidian visual culture, Hugo degrades and problematizes “high-brow” mainstays like the fashion industry, the contemporary art world, and our global plutocracy. But these minimal collages would be a bore if they were just well-designed, on-the-nose crits of capitalism’s look and effect; whether it’s through his deft rebranding of The Whitney (it rhymes), or by imploring us to “Support Our Predator Drones,” it’s Hugo’s gallows humor that makes them shine. He is able to look into the abyss of American culture and find the ha-has we need to get through the (last) day(s).
Artist Brandon Muir creates dark, creepy, digital collages. With creatures such as a vintage pilot whose nose seems to have been burned off, a smiling blue child with red melting eyes, and a boy with a mutated head including a third eye complete with tentacle arms, Brandon Muir’s potential patrons of hell are truly what nightmares are made of. They are reminiscent of The Twilight Zone meets The Munsters meets Basket Case (1982). They are undoubtedly demonic, however, the work also has this sense of playfulness (perhaps solely because they are displayed using the lighthearted platform of the GIF). Muir’s work has an of aura of jest, perhaps taking notes from the type of kitsch found in 1950s horror films. In his own words “[My] one intention with these animations is to ride the line between a disgusted cringe and a smooth chunky chuckle” (source). His process begins as any collage artist’s would — he collects images taken from magazines such as National Geographic and LIFE magazine. After he creates his more traditional collages, he then uses programs such as Photoshop and AfterEffects to formulate the digital rendering. By placing the work into a digital format, Muir allows himself to explore more complex textures, colors, and juxtapositions, creating striking images you can’t seem to get off your mind. (Via The Creators Project)
Marci Macguffie’s work ride the line between relief sculptures and wall paintings. My favorite works are her When Animals Attack series (pictured above) which have a great playful nature to them while dealing with issues of space and abstraction.
It’s refreshing to see fashion photography that doesn’t look like your run of the mill fashion editorial. Bela Borsodi’s massive portfolio is full of playful and experimental photographs that walk the fine line between design, fashion, and art.
Nina Chanel Abney, a New York based painter, creates these amazingly bold, and politically charged pieces of work. Incredibly blunt with a mix of clever symbolism (such as rubber gloves to represent “dirty work.”)
Flemish photographer Sanne De Wilde enjoys telling a good anti-fairytale. She undertakes photographic journeys to track down and narrate stories that we don’t often hear about, or get to see. Her project Snow White captures a variety of people with Albinism. Characterized as skin, eyes and/or hair lacking in any pigment, Albinism is still quite rare and misunderstood. Many people are unsure how to react to it. De Wilde is aware that most people, when faced with something they don’t understand, they will alienate and shun that ‘abnormal’ thing. She wants to explore these feelings further and explore her own curiosity about this condition.
Like photographic material, people with albinism are light sensitive. Light leaves an irreversible imprint on their body. This whiteness that makes them stand out, when captured in an image, almost makes them dissolve, consumed by the light. Their eyes can hardly bear it. Nevertheless they have the power to look back at us, the viewer, and embody a human-mirror. (Source)
Her photographs are quiet, eerie and haunting. As she says, they act as a mirror for the viewer, and reflect whatever emotions we transfer on to them. It is a visual reminder that when we bully someone, it says more about the bully, rather than the bullied. These photographs say more about our society and our personal attitudes towards the ‘abnormal’ and ‘other’. She goes on to say:
They are a metaphor, a symbol for stereotypes, they magnify the erroneous idea of human weaknesses and physical fragility but also that of an invincible strength. Touched by their breath-taking beauty, in this series, I try to create a powerful impression of this fragile snow white. (Source)
De Wilde has also taken photographs of a tiny village in Southern China which has a high population of ‘little people’. You can see that series – The Dwarf Empirehere. (Via Beautiful Surface)
Stephen Aldrich carefully cuts woodcut prints, steel engravings, and other printed epehemra from the Victorian Age to create these sardonically surreal new vistas of the era. Yes, Garret, I like this because it’s Victorian!
He will be showing his work at NYC’s Foley Gallery from September 9- October 23.
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