Beauty is Embarrassing is a newly released documentary film chronicling the life and work of California artist/designer/madman Wayne White. Last weekend, I was lucky enough to catch a screening of the doc and a Q&A with White and the film’s director, Neil Berkeley. White, who’s worked on countless design projects including Pee-wee’s Playhouse, spends a large portion of his time these days making “Word Paintings”- humorous text-based works done on recycled thrift store landscapes.
White’s had quite the career, and it’s great to see him getting some much-deserved recognition. The film takes you through his childhood all the way up to the present day. A pretty epic life. He’s spent time as a struggling cartoonist living in Lower Manhattan, done a stint working on Pee-wee’s Playhouse, burned out trying to make it in Hollywood, and raised a family. But he’s still just a Southern-bred outsider compulsively making art to deal with the crazy world we live in.
A really great watch. Check out a trailer for the film and some of the artist’s paintings after the jump.
Heather Benning refurbished an abandoned farmhouse built in the 60s and turned it into a life-sized Dollhouse in the style of the era. Her project began in 2005, as she remade the house to be used, re-shingling the roof with recycled shingles, restoring and furnishing the house, and stood open to the public until 2013. She removed the north side of the building, and replaced it with plexi-glass, to look like an authentic children’s toy. When the building was no longer structurally sound, Benning – who has already planned for such an event – burned it down. The resulting images of the 8 year long project are lovely, although I’m sure seeing the thing in life would be much more exciting!
Benning grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan, Canada. It has profoundly influenced her practice. Rather than installing in urban centers, as is the general practice of sculpture and installation artists – because, you know, there are more people to see your work – she installs in rural settings similar to where she grew up.
Benning speaks about her relationship to farmhouses:
I grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan. I was affected by my surroundings; when I was young, my parents would give me disused farm buildings for “play-houses.”
There was also an abandoned farmyard/house about a mile through the field on some land my father worked. In the summer months and on weekends, I would spend days exploring this yard and house, imagining what it was prior—who the people were, make up stories why they left. My sister and I would play “pioneer” based on the tales our grandmothers told us.
Miranda Donovan explores the invasion of graffiti from the exterior world of landscapes and buildings to the interior one– of bathrooms, bedrooms, and yes, even galleries, where street artists are finding more and more of a home these days. However, Donovan’s work is not just about street politics or the art of tagging here– each piece also examines the quality, textures, associations, and contexts of walls themselves.
Of her work, in Cool Hunting, Donovan states, “The point of departure is a wall, which so often people just overlook . . . It’s something in our daily space constantly, internally and externally, and there’s a romanticism in that, which draws me in. The different combination of languages, the grid, the broken plaster breaking up that grid, the colors, the erosion, is something that really excites me. It’s about combining those languages to tell a story about the passage of time and the analogy of the human psyche, peeling back the onion layers to find the core.”
This has to be the ultimate piece of street art. Not only can you stick it to the man by removing corporate companies messages off of billboards and other video based ads but you can put up whatever you like in its place. Maybe a video of you doing your favorite dance move, sleeping, or better yet an image of the stars and sky that you would see if the massive eyesores weren’t there. I’m curious to see where advances in technology and street art will take us. What do you think? Watch the full video after the jump.
***UPDATE!*** Well looks like the jokes on me. There is another version of this video where the guy says he is on a drug right before he starts talking. Apparently this is a viral video for a new movie called Limitless. Guess the man stuck it to me in the end! Damn It!
Illustrator Mark Todd has had work in publications like McSweeneys and The New York Times, and is now collaborating with Mishka for a show in New York. “Power Fury!” opens on April 15th at 350 Broadway in Brooklyn and runs through May 13th.
For the artist Annette Thas, Barbie is a disturbingly bittersweet symbol of childhood nostalgia and longing; for installation piece “Wave I,” she uses between 3,000 and 5,000 barbie dolls to build a sculptural wave, re-appropriating the doll as a means of translating her earliest memories, scenes which now flood her after returning to Belgium to care for her ill sister. Her sister’s illness, she explains, was related to the childhood they shared, one that was marked in part by the death of her brother.
For the artist, the wave is meant to convey her own relationship to overwhelming memories; it is 4 meters wide and stands at 3 meters tall, forcing viewers to be encased completely within its depths. The piece seems to swell with cascading blond hair, forever caught at the terrifying moment before its breaking. Adding to its realism, Thas chose to exhibit it on the beach as part of 2014’s Sculpture by the Sea amidst the sounds and smells of real waves.
The barbies in the piece, wild hair tangled and stripped of their clothing, do indeed seem ominous, but they are also startlingly sympathetic. They are second-hand toys, once loved but eventually discarded. They have endured a sort of violence, having been scarred by knives and bite marks. Each one has a poignant narrative all her own; one doll simply bears the words “please love me” on her chest. The plastic toys, symbolic of the scores of children who once owned them, are somehow lonesome now, robbed of childhood’s affections. Their demanding presence is urgent and desperate, their blue eyed faces pressing us to remember both the magical and painful bits of our youths. (via Design Boom)
We just moved to our new amazing office and unfortunately our internet isn’t set up so excuse the lag in blog posts.We’ll try to post as much as we can during breaks from unpacking millions of boxes but in the meantime enjoy some fun animations by Pellet! We’ll be back up and posting in a day or two!
Chiharu Shiota‘s installations have the power to generate a surreal and almost dreamlike environment. Using a combination of items, the artist has created works that range from floating beds and a window tower to objects prisoners in a nest of thread.