Roman Klonek has a soft spot for old fashioned cartoons, especially east european styled prints that sit somewhere between folk art, pop, and propaganda graphics. In the 90s he studied Graphic Arts in Duesseldorf and discovered a passion for woodblock printing. For the last 10 years he has been creating posters with a wide range of whimsical creatures, mostly half animal/half human, preferential in awkward situations.
The Queen of lush and juicy paint Allison Schulnik opened up her studio to Beautiful/Decay and Visual Creatures to give our readers insight into the world of sad hobo clowns and her painting and animation process. Allison discusses how her paintings inform her animations and vice versa, the long history of artists in her family, and how Los Angeles allows artists to have quiet time in the studio yet have a community.
Ellen Jewett is a Canadian artist who creates flowing sculptural fusions of plants, animals and objects. Among her mystical menagerie is a wild boar with shrubs growing from its mane, foxes with tails sprouting into grass, and a deer whose body resembles a tree-shrouded grove. As singular beasts, Jewett’s creatures are beautiful and dynamic, but look closer and you will see that each one is composed of tinier parts, microcosms of flora, fauna, and objects that weave seamlessly together. These layered components infuse each sculpture with multiple narratives, from celebrations of life and growth, to stories of death, decay, and burden in the form of manmade debris. As Jewett explains:
At first glance my work explores the more modern prosaic concept of nature: a source of serene nostalgia balanced with the more visceral experience of ‘wildness’ as remarkably alien and indifferent. Upon closer inspection of each ‘creature’ the viewer may discover a frieze on which themes as familiar as domestication and as abrasive as domination fall into sharp relief. (Source)
Jewett makes the sculptures from the inside out, layering materials and utilizing negative space to create hollowed works that flow into the air around them: dense frames unravel into breezy foliage and empty space, creating habitats for fluttering, sculpted birds. The results of these disentangled bodies are creatures that speak their strengths via expressions of lightness, vulnerability, and emotion. Jewett describes this effect:
Over time I find my sculptures are evolving to be of greater emotional presence by using less physical substance: I subtract more and more to increase the negative space. The element of weight, which has always seemed so fundamentally tied to the medium of sculpture, is stripped away and the laws of gravity are no longer in full effect. In reading the stories contained in each piece we are forced to acknowledge their emotional gravity cloaked as it is in the light, the feminine, the fragile, and the unknowable. (Source)
As part of her creative and flowing artistic practice, Jewett strives to free her work from materials with toxic properties, such as glazes, paints, and finishes. This greatly limits what she can use, but at the same time, incites her imagination and makes her work even more unique. “Where possible I source the natural, the local, the low impact and, always, the authentic,” she writes (Source). Check out Jewett’s website for more beautiful and holistic creations. (Via Lost at E Minor)
We received an email today with the subject line: “anonymity is knowing everybody that knows of you” and the mysterious URL in the body: banksysucks.com. Followed the link to find the not-so-subtle .gif splash page above with a cheery midi rendition of the Cheers tune. (Presumably for its hook, “where everyone knows your name.”) Someone doesn’t like Bansky, I take it. Whether you love him or loathe him, Banksy has been the closest thing to this decade’s controversial Warholian art star. The site above clearly takes a jab at the fact that the identity of the internationally-famous British street artist is still “unknown.” Is Banksy still anonymous and “street” when the likes of Jude law and Brangelina shell out cool millions on his work? What do you think?
Decadent desserts are paired with sexy legs in Argentinian-based artist Camila Valdez’s series of life and table-sized sculptures. The faceless beings are placed in public and are posed on benches, seen exiting restaurants, and enjoying a picnic in the park. Despite the fact they can’t convey emotion through eyes or a mouth, Valdez has made their legs expressive. They are straight and together if trying to look pensive, or partially open as if trying to suggest something else.
This series literally objectifies women and compares them to a sugary treat that will rot your treat and should be enjoyed only every-so-often. At the same time, they reference outdated objects from the middle of the 20th century, where legs were attached to things like lamps (as seen in the film A Christmas Story). Valdez pokes fun at this absurd and fantastical objectification of the population. (Via HiFructose)
Recycling is a way of life in Cateura, Paraguay. Many people there earn money by scouring the huge landfill for items that can be recycled. A certain garbage picker, though, began recycling for much more than money: for the young people in his community. Nicolás Gómez began creating instruments – violins, cellos, drums, guitars – from the trash he sifted through and gave them to local children. The idea picked up steam and children’s orchestra known as “The Recycled Orchestra” came to life. Landfill Harmonic, a documentary on Gómez and the orchestra, is slated to capture the inspirational story. [via]
Years before the project Miradors became reality, photographer Erwan Fichou saw a man standing in a tree that looked like a UFO. This image stuck with him and he eventually turned his memory into a reality, working with gardeners to design topiaries of varying shapes and sizes. Afterwards, he invited people off the street to climb those trees and photographed them at the top.This strange and light-hearted series illustrates the interesting progression of what happens when we have a memory. Often times we see things as we walk down the street, file them in our brain, and move on. So, it’s refreshing to see that Fichou returned to this moment and developed something completely new from it. He touches on this idea in a short statement about his work:
What’s interesting about pictures isn’t their function, to represent reality, but their dynamic potential, their ability to spark and build projections, interactions, narrative frameworksmechanisms that structure reality[ …]an image is the result of movements that are temporarily sedimentary or crystallized in it[ …] Beyond metaphors, we must understand that, paradoxically, our contemporary sensitivity predisposes us to prophesy, not history. We live in a world of images that precede reality; we’re not looking to see, unless it’s déjà-vu. (Via This is Paper)
Jean Pichot went to the beach with Ana on their bicycles. Jean wanted us to come with, but we forgot to RSVP – so he captured the whole thing for us. Let’s go ahead and join them.