Eric Yahnker creates works that are too clever for their own good. He welcomes all sectors of popular culture, personal narrative, religion, icon and beyond into his studio as “fair game” for his visual fodder. At times, the works playfully traverse into taboo subjects and ideologies, like a naughty child sticking their finger into the socket or cookie jar, at once turning them on their head once again to reveal their inherent paradoxes and inconsistencies.
Brooklyn based multimedia artist Emily McMaster has created a provocative video series featuring one shot scenes of masochism. Her work invites us into intimate and unsettling moments that provoke questions of power dynamics. Each work is a test for the squeamish, a pit of anxiety, and a platform for confusion and quandary. When entering the work, it remains unclear whether these acts are that of pleasure or torture. It remains unclear who is empowered and and who is dominated. Within her piece Steeple, McMaster sews her fingers together in a gesture from a childhood hand game. She struggles to break the ties, only to be unsuccessful and greeted with blood. Perhaps this piece speak of the disfunction within power structures, the loss of innocence, the impurity of self destruction. Baby’s Breath begins with the act of a masculine arms covering the head of the topless, red lip stick stained artist with a plastic bag. Again, the question of pleasure versus pain, power versus abuse, and in this particular video, female subjection. Her work is powerful, allusive, and perfectly hard to watch.
The following is her artist statement;
“Emily McMaster is a Brooklyn based artist who studied Printmaking at Bard College and The University of New Mexico. Her work, whether solo or in collaboration, focuses on delicacy, remarks on femininity, draws from fetish, and values playfulness above all else. She couldn’t put an x-acto knife down for a decade, but has recently swapped it out for a video camera. Baby’s Breath and Steeple are recent examples of this transition. With this new work Emily explores her endurance by confronting specific physical challenges. In this process she showcases texture, vulnerability, and masochism.”
Oscillate is the MFA thesis project of digital artist Daniel Sierra. The animation begins with a simple rolling sine wave. However, things quickly get complex. The waves fling dust, begin to smoke, and seem to catch fire. The waves multiply and mutate. Oscillate is an impressive animation by any standard, especially considering it is a school project (albeit an MFA thesis project). Also, you’ll notice the credits are especially short. While such animations typically have a staff of several, Sierra animated and composed the music entirely on his own. [via]
Small Victories, the latest project by Booooooom, opens Thursday May 20th at Hong Kong’s Above Second gallery. This collaborative experiment came together by requesting 4×6 photographic prints from numerous participants, and aims to be “a photographic celebration of the quietly beautiful, unintentionally funny, people and things all around us. It is these little moments that make life worth living.” If you can’t make it to Hong Kong, Booooooom.com will be posting the submissions.
May 20th at Above Second gallery, 31 Eastern Street Hong Kong.
Chris Garcia‘s paintings are inspired by his love of cars and bicycles, and the relationship between people and objects. His graphic compositions and carefully rendered contrasting textures make his paintings especially striking.
Numen, a European design collective, used 27 miles of scotch tape to create their most recent installation at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. We’ve posted about Numen’s jungle gym and flexible staircase before on Beautiful/Decay, and they’ve caught our eye once again! Viewers/participants are allowed to explore translucent tunnels that weave around columns and down staircases, mid air. The installation belongs to a group show called ‘Inside’ that “delves into the murky territory of both physical and psychological interiority, thematising immersion, introspection, and probing of the depths of self.”
Numen says their intention was to…
“transform the whole building into a convulsive mind/body organism whose slippery inner limits a motivated explorer has yet to trace and confront. The stretched biomorphic skin of Tape Paris is marking the entry point of the whole experience, being a literal incarnation of an inner-directed, regressive environment – the sense of descent into the primordial always lingering around its openings.”
…A lot to basically say that Numen has created an installation that seems like throughways for blood cells or passageways through time, and looks like it would be incredibly fun to crawl around in. It’s impressive in terms of engineering, imagination, and entertainment value, and it’s not hard to see how it relates to “interiority”, though I wouldn’t have put it in such convoluted terms. I might sound bitter about their project statement, but that’s probably because I can’t get myself to Paris to experience the real thing! (Via The Fox is Black)
Kyle Thompson is the artist behind these haunting photographs. His image are darkly surreal, seemingly caught in the middle of a or sinister or tragic situation. An autumnal palette adds a slight chill to each scene. What may be most surprising about the work, though, is its creator. Thompson’s biography states that he’s only been photographing work since he was 19 years old – the young photographer is now only 21! Further, Thompson is a self-taught artist with no formal training.