We have been following William Emmert on the Beautiful/Decay blog for quite a while (see posts here and here). We enjoy the exploration into his past and the pop culture nostalgia he recounts. Emmert has recently expanded his practice by employing trompe l’oeil techniques using nothing but paper. His familiar use of 80’s Professional Wrestling imagery and quotes still remain but have taken a backseat to sculpture and installation. The viewer is confronted with what looks to be an exhibition space in transition before banal studio materials are revealed to be paper objects.
Jennifer Davis is a painter based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota with, among other things, a great color palette, mixing muted hues with more vibrant pops of pink and yellow. Her paintings are delightfully quirky too. I mean, have you ever seen a skeleton wearing striped toe socks, or a purple goat sporting a multi-colored sweater? Well, you and I have now.
A rainbow colored sky as a sole view. This is the dream-like scenery imagined by English artist Liz West. In a room where nothing else can be the attraction other than a multitude of colored neons reflected on mirror covered floor and walls. A place where senses and emotions relay thoughts and worries.
‘An Additive Mix’ installation is part of the group show Light Fantastic: Adventures in the Science of Light at the National Media Museum in Bradford, UK. It is a tremendous piece of art comprised of 250 fluorescent lights and 199 different colors. Aware that she has chosen to express her creativity through a rare medium she is proud to have found her signature in using light and colors. The large scale installation reflects the genuine palette the artist wanted to use in order to design an astonishing environment for the public.
An aesthetic Liz West has been nurturing for a long time. Fascinated by colors, and the way they mix together, releasing beams and streams of perfect white light. She wished the viewer could be amazed, tip toeing before entering and being part of the art itself. The purpose being to place the body into a foreign context, powerful and mysterious.
‘I have designed An Additive Mix to be an overwhelming, intense, immersive experience.’
For the last three years, urban explorer and photographer Matt Emmett has taken pictures of hidden locations across Northern Europe. He finds it thrilling to enter a previously-forgotten world and discover its new idiosyncrasies firsthand. Emmett is particularly fascinated in industrial remnants and ex-military sites, and he’s documented it in a series titled Forgotten Heritage.
“Having a camera with me allows me to prolong that thrill long after the building is gone,” Emmett writes on his website.“It’s an often quoted cliché but there really is a strong sense of palpable history present in abandoned buildings, the items left behind like paperwork in a drawer or plaques or signs in an industrial plant, allow you a glimpse into the past. I consider experiencing these places to be a great privilege.”
The landscape images feature hulking machines now obsolete. Rust, dirt, and grime covers control panels and infrastructure as the earth reclaims the land. Emmett is interested in capturing the aesthetics, character, and history of the buildings. He describes this process:
From the point of view of a photographer there is a total lack of distraction in the stillness of a derelict building; the sound and movement associated with people or workers has been removed, for me this makes them far more sensory than when they are occupied. Your mind can easily focus on what is around you and takes in so much more. The building’s voice is clear and a character and visual aesthetic emerges that was much harder to define than if it was a busy, populated environment. (Via designboom)
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De Kwok, out of San Francisco (currently, anyway… having lived in both Los Angeles and Seattle), photographs both everyday scenes and ones we hope are staged. His subjects range from elderly asian couples to rabbit-people to friends- always managing to have a casual yet engaging scene.
New Zealand-based artist Karley Feaver creates assemblages that involve a mixture of stuffed birds and various costume-like adornment ( human hair, gold plated metal, wood, and more). The artist claims that the animals she uses are ethically sourced and have died of natural causes.
Through her grotesque yet beautiful sculptures, the artist explores the idea of transformation and adornment, as her current interests rest in nature’s ability to survive in different forms by adapting, adjusting, and mutating into an increasingly man-made environment.
She intends to make these birds look other-worldly. Interestingly enough, she is successful at doing this by using materials that we are very familiar with (human hair, gold, and wood). She makes an interesting juxtaposition between the natural and the unnatural, the familiar and the unfamiliar- specifically to make a point about the unnatural efforts animals (in general) have to make in order to survive in a man-made environment.
Through the ages people have made beautiful things for themselves and others by using materials from their nearby environment. Birds are known to do the same, especially when seeking to attract a mate. Feaver’s new works bring the image of beauty almost to the edge of absurdity, their appearance is both bizarre and extraordinary, unlike any other creature on earth.
(via Brown Paper Bag)
Alaina Varrone is a Connecticut-based artist who reinvests the folk art of embroidery with her off-the-cuff brand of weirdness. Many of her works explore nudity, and some are candidly erotic, displaying cross-stitched pornographic stills endowed with traces of memory and fantasy. Other pieces are humorous and somewhat morbid (don’t let the masked man’s “smile” deceive you, with those severed arms of his). More recently, Varrone has embroidered a series of portraits of empowered young women simply hanging out — often dressed in rock metal clothes — and indulging in the occasional bawdy behavior, such as the poolside alien “kiss.”
Despite the apparent clash of a traditional medium with contemporary “deviance,” Varrone’s intention is not to shock, but rather to raise questions, provoke absurdity, and induce laughter (you can read more about this in her interview with Evil Tender). Indeed, her raw, unapologetic style and bizarre subject matter is humorous; like the amusingly strange marginalia people have found in medieval tomes, Varrone’s works participate in a very human tradition of wanting to create lightness and celebrate fun and absurdity. With her skill, creativity, and wit, Varrone’s pieces are uniquely entertaining. You can view more on her website, Facebook, Instagram, and Flickr. (Via Juxtapoz)