Beautiful/Decay has partnered with premiere website building platform Made With Color to bring you some of the most exciting contemporary artists working today. Made With Color allows you to create a website that is professional and easy to use with just a few clicks and no coding. This week we bring you the unbelievably detailed work of Ben Tegel whose gleaming white and minimal website was built using the Madewithcolor.com platform.
LA based artist Ben Tegel is a master of line. His work ranges from loose gouache paintings to pen and ink drawings so dense they look like they look like 17th century etchings. But no matter what medium he’s using Ben’s work has a sense of humor that is satirical and biting- a commentary on the ethos of our time. Both his celebrity caricatures and his portraits of every day people bring to light aspects of that person’s character that usually remain unseen.
Masaya Kushino‘s high heel designs are chimerical, fusing organic textures and materials with the manmade. He utilizes luxurious fur and lush jungle moss alongside meticulously stitched leather, creating works of art that are quirky and beautifully imaginative.
It’s fitting that the form he chooses to play with is the high heel: the height of artifice; impractical; undeniably evocative. It’s a choice that is brimming with meaning and possible interpretations. They’re an everyday item but commonly elevated by haute couture into something fantastical. To some people, they represent an unobtainable ideal, one that is rife with sociopolitical meaning and controversy. Whether you approve of the existence of stilettos or not, they’re admittedly architectural, intriguing in their contours and elegant curves.
Kushino emphasizes a number of these qualities, borrowing the jeweled swoop of a peacock’s tail feather and a bouquet of flowers to highlight the theatricality. In his latest work, called “Bird-Witched,” he incorporates an element of the grotesque: Three shoes that seem each an embryonic stage in the development of a chicken. The heel of the shoe is a gnarled claw, sharp-toed and grisly.
Olafur Eliasson, a well-established Danish/Icelandic artist, has installed an imitation dried riverbed in the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark. The artist filled rooms in the gallery with rocks, and created what would be a remnant stream, were it actually a dried river. The museum building has had many additions and renovations, and so the architecture and space is an essential part of the experience, and something obviously important to those with investments in the institution. Olafur states that he is interested in the audience’s presence in the museum and their interaction with the artwork. He wants to emphasize the museum space as a “natural bodily process” (according to the Louisiana website, translated by google). In any case, Eliasson’s installation does a good job of eliminating the sterility of the white wall, and engages the viewers’ senses more deeply.
The idea of the river also relates very closely to any museum. A great museum or gallery will have good flow through the rooms of an exhibition. There is nothing worse than the interruption as you trek back through art you’ve already seen to see the next stage in the show, completely disrupting the narrative. It’s a given that not all exhibitions must be linear in their layout, but the river is a great way to engage with the flow of the space. When it feels like many artists (recently and in the past) have experimented with empty gallery space in the name of radical installation and institutional/spacial critique/awareness, Eliasson has actually managed to make something pleasant and engaging, while remaining questioning as well. (Via De Zeen)
Photo retouching, specifically in magazines, permeates our culture and projects unhealthy and unattainable body image ideals. Writer and illustrator Jen Lewis has her own take on this controversial topic and sends Disney Princesses through the proverbial ringer by exposing what work they’ve had done. Like other individuals and news organizations before her, Lewis shares both the “unaltered image” and the drastically manipulated final in her series that’s touted as “Disney Princesses that Disney didn’t want you to see.“
This is series is all fictitious, of course (especially when you see Pocahontas’ transformation), but the satirized images are a witty way to get back at Disney for promoting princesses over real people and perpetuating gender stereotypes towards people at a very young and impressionable age. (Via Lost At E Minor and Buzzfeed)
Can video games be art? If you ask me, I’d say “Yep,” and I’m sure you would be hard-pressed to find anyone under 30 who would say “Nope”. I just asked because you still have people like this, but he also thought this, so he’s not very credible now is he. Anyway, we’ve got a couple of games (BNPJ.exe and Mansion) created by the versatile Tabor Robak available for free download.
Mansion (2010) didn’t really do much for me, and it seems like a warm-up for Tabor. BNPJ.exe (2011), on the other hand, is certainly more developed, but still a bit too linear. He does insure that BNPJ.exe will be viewed as an attempt at art simply because he wraps most of these strange worlds in famous paintings. Frankly, I am not fond of this tendency in contemporary art to reference itself as a safety net, but I don’t believe it is a primary aspect of the game. I admit it is hard to judge, because the criteria for games is far different than the criteria for art, but sometimes you should just have a good time and resist assessing the shit out of something. BNPJ.exe is not without its moments of beauty though, and when I came upon this image directly below I was insured of a promising future (I did come upon this in a non-linear fashion, and it took me multiple tries to find it). I don’t know of any similar types of “art games”, and I think Tabor Robak could really create something powerful with his next game. I know I’ll being waiting in anticipation to see where he takes these “art games”, and I’m curious to hear what you dudes think about these interactive experiments.
To promote a new line of recycled paper, the creative ad-agency Soon made these fantastic sculptures of bugs. The bugs are inventive in form and colour, but are still recognizable as beetles, bees, dragonflies, and other species of insect. The wings are meticulously cut out to imitate the texture of real wings, but without the thin film that would allow them to fly. The sculptures really are all about texture. One that looks like it could be a fly has the texture of a fly’s eyes over the entirety of its body, and feelers that look like the filter-feeding system of a baleen whale.
It’s funny to see the “making of” video, because the bugs are as large as their creators’ hands. It’s entertaining to see the process of making the bugs. The video shows everyone at the agency sorting the papers by colour (even enlisting their children to help them), cutting the paper into different shapes or folding it like origami, and gluing it to create rather sturdy looking sculptures. It’s totally enjoyable to see such a collaborative effort to successful effect.
Soon also created flowers and other plants as a sort of habitat for the bugs. Using the habitat, they made a short film of the bugs flying around it, that is equal parts playful and funny. (Via Bizarre Beyond Belief)
Shaun Berke is one of the most skilled artists I’ve ever met. And when I saw a Rembrandt master-copy he created for a group show, I instinctively knew that he must have had some really insane pieces hiding out in his studio. So, I took the trip out to his place, where he pulled out one amazing print after another. He had woodcuts that were as masterful as anything by Albert Dürer as well as an entire book he made for his thesis project at Art Center that was full of pop culture references you wouldn’t realize he was initially inspired by. The fact that he can execute everything from a classical painting to graphic design work is kind of unheard of. There are those who can do one or the other, but very rarely anyone who can do it all, and do it all remarkably well. In particular though, I really wish Shaun continues to make some more woodcuts, since I haven’t seen an artist do anything close to what he’s doing with the medium due to his level of detail and depth of narrative. I mean, some of his pieces have entire books that go along with them featuring mythologies he’s created based upon heavy research.
Alicia Eggert creates kinetic, electronic, and interactive sculpture and installation work. With a background in interior and architectural design, Eggert builds her work with a temporal conception reflected in the stillness and movement of her pieces. Implementing a variety of objects in her designs, such as clocks, flashing LED text, a perpetually spinning bicycle wheel, and re-usable ceramic coffee cups that shatter down a perceived assembly line, Eggert uses simple ideas to convey a world of depth. Some of her work is created in collaboration with other artists, as she values sharing the creative experience with another person. She currently lives in Portland, Maine, and teaches sculpture and architecture at Bowdoin College.