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Michael Mapes’ Dissected Portraits

Michael Mapes Boxed collages house thousands of individual specimens consisting of dissected photographs and biographical DNA in the form of such things as hair, finger nails, scent, eye lashes, fingerprints, food, botanical elements, fabric swatches, makeup, dirt, handwriting samples and breath. The human specimens reflect the artist’s interest in the role of creative science as lab threatens to supplant studio in his own work. Representations of the specimen are dissected and then reconstructed through artistic interpretation invoking entomological, forensic and artistic methods. (via)

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Save Big- The Beautiful/Decay 4th Of July Sale Is Here!

50America, it’s time! Time for you to save your hard earned American dollars and take advantage of our special 50% off sale that we’re offering to celebrate Fourth Of July. Since we consider ourselves citizens of the world we’re also extending this sale to all our international shoppers. Save on all our Books, Magazines and Apparel on our shop today through July 11th 2013. Just enter the discount code “AMERICAN50″ during checkout, save big and add some creative inspiration to your life!

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Hauntingly Gorgeous Paintings By Henrik Aarrestad Uldalen

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Artist Henrik Aarrestad Uldalen combines something that we’ve seen many, many times throughout the history of art – figure painting. But, he does it with a contemporary approach. His moody paintings feature partially obscured people as they rest beneath the water. They are just below the surface of the dark, deep pool, and the light from their bodies is all that’s visible.

According to Uldalen’s artist statement, his work, “…explores the dark sides of life, nihilism, existentialism, longing and loneliness, juxtaposed with fragile beauty. The atmosphere in his subject matter is often presented in a dream or limbo-like state, with elements of surrealism.” Although these figures are rendered realistically, they rest in a void with little additional visual information. We can’t be sure of where they are or what brought them there. And, for some, if they are dead or alive. It’s this open-ended narrative that gives drama to Uldalen’s paintings, and the hauntingly gorgeous images are the kind that will stay with you – even if you don’t want them to. (Via I Need a Guide)

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Jenny Aryton Encapsulates Childhood Memories In Molten Glass

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British artist Jenny Aryton creates “miniature wonderlands captured in molten glass.” Almost like snow globe depictions of every day life, Jenny Aryton’s work physically encapsulates intimate depictions of her private world. Gaining inspiration from her young daughter, she aims to gather excitement from the mundane. Her work tends to have a “domestic twist” as she allows her surrounding of her home and family guide the way as her source imagery. Her process begins by creating small metal wire figurines. She fashions tiny sweaters, chairs, trees, shovels, and other objects found in an everyday family home. She then organizes a simplistic scene, almost like a child playing with a dollhouse. After everything has been arranged, Aryton then encases it between two layers of molten hot glass which is poured at 1100ºC (2012ºF). She uses what is called sandcasting. She molds the overall shape of the piece in sand — just as a plaster sculptor would do with clay or wax. One the first layer is poured, she has one brief moment, while the glass is still fluid, to manipulate the aspects of the piece. The second layer is then poured and the whole piece is placed to set in a kiln for two days where it will take its final form. The glass, as a fragile and volatile material, will solidify differently each time, creating a one of a kind piece.  The delicate and cloudy imperfection of each piece almost seems to mimic the memory of a child. The have a solemn charm that is nostalgic yet innocent. Each piece is quiet, quaint and unique. (via iGNANT)

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Beautiful/Decay Shop Summer Sale

50The B/D shop sale is still going strong with 50% off all our books, magazines and apparel until this Thursday! Just enter the discount code “AMERICAN50″ during checkout, save big and add some creative inspiration to your life!

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Olga Ziemska’s Natural Wonderlands

 

 

Olga Ziemska’s artistic statement appears as a poem on her website. And one of her lines, “The body is nothing without that which surrounds it” is especially important when it comes to art. The Ohio based sculptor has been refocusing her energy into fully serving it too – seeing as how most of her work in the last couple years has involved outdoor installations, which can incorporate a lot more people encompassing them than the few invited into collector’s homes. However, what I like most about her recent work, other than its ability to be shared, is that it’s made up of mainly organic materials sourced from nature. (via)

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Dave Rowe’s Haunting Sculptures Of Broken Boardwalks And Rollercoasters

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Midwestern artist Dave Rowe creates sculptures of time worn structures influenced by American landscapes. His work has developed through a means to “explore history,” as he believes that addressing the change and aging of a landscape reflects not only the passage of time, but also has psychological implications about those who inhabited that change. Memories, ideologies, and personal histories are shaped by one’s surroundings. Therefore, a landscape can serve as a reflection of a collective “personal” experience. By capturing one specific physical moment, the artist allows himself to reflect not a universal or personal truth, but instead, acts as a sort of mirroring of a hyper-specific type of development. The artist re-creates recognizable, yet unspecific buildings that allude to an archival, physical space. His sculptures, focusing on geometrical infrastructures, have been shaped by his own upbringing in the American Midwest and have been influenced by the changes in the American landscape. Specifically, his work focusses on the more rural areas, as the relocation of factories have dissolved the need for industrial buildings. He captures how functionality, or rather, a lack of it, can act as a record of topographical transformation. Even his use of color is a reference to time; he pairs “barn red or tar black” along with “brighter colors evocative of graffiti,” in order to reflect the often seen palette of a forgotten edifice. Rowe creates these structures scaled to hit at eye level, allowing the viewer to enter the space emotionally, and hopes to open a discourse for personal reflection.

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Daniele Papuli Swirling Bent Paper Installations

Daniele Papuli’s incredible installations and sculptures at first glance seem like a pool of foaming and rippling water but upon closer examination reveal that they are simply bent and cut sheets of delicate paper. Thousands of sheets of paper bend, fold, and move together in unison creating a dialogue between the spaces and places that they are exhibited in. (via my modern met)

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