Jen Mann‘s oil paintings are sublime, dreamy, quiet and hypnotizing. They are awkward, special moments of men and women turned into striking portraits. Her luscious brushstrokes and amplified colors are able to turn a mundane moment into something ethereal and magical. Mann also celebrates the flaws and imperfections of her models. Instead of smoothing them over, she embraces them, even exaggerating them – whether it is the freckle under an eye, or the wrinkles in someone’s lips. And that is the thing that elevates the moment into something timeless. Mann says about her paintings and the moment frozen within them:
[They represent] something that is kind of ….lost. [Something] we don’t really look at in our society – we only look at perfect moments, like a manicured facade. (Source)
She explores the idea of identity, how we present ourselves, and who we are. Her paintings represent a ‘lost reality’ rather than the actual reality. They are more about the moment we share together in the world outside of ourselves, and less about the actual person. In a way she is trying to capture the existential image of her subjects – perhaps they are more like a spiritual portrait. She continues:
I’m trying to imagine how I would see an image or a moment as a child. And how hyper saturated and amazingly fun everything was when I was little. The days were longer, the summer was better. Everything was just fantastic… as we grow older, we are less naive. (Source)
Her portraits do feel like recalling a happy memory – like watching an old friend or sibling playing in slow motion in the orange light of a sunset. They are sensational images – emotionally charged, hyper-real and almost surreal. Make sure you continue to get lost in the dreamworld of Jen Mann in the images after the jump.
Jean-Pierre Roy is a New York-based artist who paints surreal scenes that deconstruct the known world. His work is often associated with science fiction, depicting alien wastelands inhabited by colossal humanoid beings, their bodies laden with geometric shapes, holographic projections, and mirrored panes. Their behaviors are likewise strange; wearing modern clothing, they loom against empty horizons, their faces splintered into expressionless shapes. Many of them appear contemplative, or even violent, pulling the clothes off prone bodies and engaged in silent feuds.
Rather than ascribing to science fiction specifically, however, Roy is more interested in fostering a critical, creative space that allows us to examine the systems of knowledge that construct reality. He strives to explore what he identifies as “the pull of the fantastical”—that moment when “your existential understanding of the nature of things will be questioned.” (Source) By making the earth unearthly, by depicting the self in unexplained contexts, and by crossing the beautiful with the unknown, Roy’s work provides fascinating visions of immaterial and cosmic worlds. (Via Trendland)
Julie Heffernan‘s paintings take all the tropes of Northern Renaissance painting, combines them, and makes them into absurd works that feel like art history collages rendered by one of the masters themselves. She has a show coming up at the Mark Moore Gallery on November 3, so if you like what you see, make sure to check out her opening, it sounds great!
Welcome to another release from Click To Collect, Beautiful/Decay’s campaign to help art lovers start their collection of original artists works at affordable prices! This week we bring you an amazing selection of drawings by LA based illustrator Lyndsey Lesh whose works mix quirky scenarios with Lesh’s masterfully drawn multimedia aesthetic. Based on fictional stories as well as real world observations these drawings open the door to Lesh’s creative world and beg you to join in on her humorous surreal adventures. See all the available works by the talented Lyndsey Lesh and read more about our Click To Collect project after the jump!
Lea Anderson is an American artist who creates beautiful and “propagating” wall-mounted installations. Exploding and evolving like particles, individually crafted parts (or “pods”) made of soldered tin cans, socks, wire, and flowery digital prints merge into beautifully flowing units, enveloping walls with an ecstatic, quasi-infectious fervor. Inspired by the unstructured nature of memory, thought, and hope, Anderson’s works represent the free-flowing multiplicities that compose our emotional lives. In a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, she explained her process:
My work is fertilized by personal fascinations with the parallels found between the tangible, biological world, and the world of ideas, thoughts, and emotions. My work begins with a question about how a particular unseen reality might present itself if it were actually re-produced in physical form: What surprising form would the energy of ‘creative intention’ take on if it were visible? How might your memories flex and intermix with one another if we could see them all at once? What does the cumulative energy of one’s entire life look like when, through the grief of loss, it is transformed into love?
Many of Anderson’s works emerge from pain as projects of healing. “Matters,” for example, is a tribute to the enduring memories and influences of her late mother and father; “Rebirth of a Life” grew as an artistic response to the possibility of never having another child. In each case, Anderson dismantles mazes of pain by “sprouting” matter in infinite directions; as in the natural world, there is always a way to initiate healing and renewal by embracing the ebbs and flows of uninhibited thoughts and ideas. Without a predictable structure, Anderson’s works provide visual environments for highly subjective interpretations:
I hope the works stimulate curiosity and resonate on both the most fundamental and highest levels. The meaning I personally infuse in the work isn’t required for a link to be established. The language of color, shape, and form are powerfully unifying and universal ways of communicating. Responses reflect who each individual is in that moment. In that way the ideas are germinated within the mind of another, and the evolution continues.
Scott Everingham is an artist who is based in Toronto. As a painter, Scott particularly enjoys the various forms of experiences created through the vast language of paint. He creates abstract, gorgeously fictional environments where you could almost make out tangible imagery. An experience I would relate to observing an illusion out of the corner of your eye. Though Scott’s paintings appear almost completely spontaneous, you would be surprised to know that along with the process of impulsive mark making, there are extensive preparations through drawing.
Currently, Scott Everingham is exhibiting his paintings in Amsterdam and Rotterdam at the Le Secet Museum. If this blog post has sparked your interest in Scott Everingham, you can view his work up close at his solo exhibition at Galarie Trois Points in Montreal in January 2011.
In San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood sits Aunt Charlie’s Lounge, a small, windowless locale that’s the only remaining gay bar in an area once known for its nightlife LGBTQ attractions. It features an evening-length drag queen show, which is the subject of photographer James Hosking’s intriguing images.
Hosking first visited Aunt Charlie’s in 2009 after moving to the city from New York, and he was drawn to the older entertainers there. What was their connection to drag when it was “illicit and less accessible,” and why do these people continue to perform? “They open themselves to ridicule because of their age, yet they seem to relish the opportunity for provocation and confrontation,” the photographer told Slate.
Hosking’s curiosity played out by photographing three performers at Aunt Charlie’s during 2013 – Collette LeGrande, Donna Personna, and Olivia Hart. He also teamed up with journalist Jeremy Lybarger for a story published in Out Magazine, and completed a documentary about the drag queens titled Beautiful by Night.
It’s in these gritty candid photos and film that we see just how laborious performing is. Putting on makeup, wigs, and costumes can take time a lot of stamina that only gets harder with age. And with all that effort, audience members can sometimes be disrespectful, Hosking tells Slate, “But, for the most part, I think the joy comes from the audience’s excitement and pleasure, which creates a feeling that everyone is there to have a good time together. I imagine that makes all the bullshit worthwhile. The tips don’t hurt either.”
Check out the documentary to hear the drag queens talk about their experience and to see the transformation process take place.