Kent Rogowski has been hard at work on several different projects that flash a delicate sense of humor on the big question of identity. He is also the founder of Scaffold, a non-profit organization that gives fellowships to emerging and mid-career artists.
Daniel Aristizábal is a graphic designer and illustrator who creates incredible digital works of art that are surreal and transport the viewers to a topsy-turvy Rube Goldberg-esque world. His Huevos series is playfully inspired by Dali’s “Eggs on the Plate without the Plate,” showing colorful variations on the common egg.
“My main sources of inspiration are random thoughts that pop in my mind, like memories of dreams and places that I used to imagine when I was a child. I think the term ‘pop surrealism’ works well for me. My work is full of simplicity and organic shapes. It is nostalgic in its essence.”
Anita Bruce combines her love of craft and zoology and biology into her unique works of art. Creating string and wire lace pieces, Anita crochets plankton, starfish, octupii, coral… all wonderfully marine and beautiful. Surprisingly, she’s part of a whole subculture of marine crochet, just google it and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
For “Phonies,” the UK photographer Dan Rubin turns celebrity selfies into works of fine art. In his unusual street photographs, the smartphone itself stands in for the face of passersby, projecting the grins of social media-savvy stars like Kim Kardashian, James Franco, and Harry Styles. Rubin’s series is equal parts playful and scathing, capturing the narcissism of celebrity in the 21st century in such a way that highlights the anonymity of the digital age.
Within the medium of street photography, normally characterized by raw and gritty from-the-hip shots, Rubin replaces candid captures with shiny screens projecting perfectly made-up celebrity faces. In these clever doubles, these photographs of photographs, notions of identity are complicated. Our faces, especially in photographs, have the power to betray our innermost selves and to define our perceptions of that self; here, the subject’s visage is shown only to be a reflection of the media we consume. As we are continuously bombarded with social media, how do we shape our egos in relation to the rich and famous?
From images, we derive meaning. Flawlessly inserting the HTC One mini 2 phone into his compositions, the artist creates a hybrid human that is simultaneously a celebrity and just another face in the crowd. As we become more vain and the innocent selfie borders on arrogant self-indulgence, do we stifle our individuality? Here, the realm of social media is ambiguously seen, a powerful force that is both fun and disconcerting. Take a look.
Recently Beautiful/Decay teamed up with our good friends over at Stickerobot.com to print a few new custom stickers and boy did they come out great. We’ve been working with Stickerobot for many years and we love their high quality full color vinyl stickers that hold up whether they are stuck indoors or out. To celebrate the awesome new batch of stickers we just got in we’ve teamed up with Stickerobot.com to bring you a special 10% off code exclusive to Beautiful/Decay readers. Simply visit their site, order your custom vinyl sticker in any size (did I mention you can do full color stickers!), and use the discount code BD10 at checkout to save some cash on your next batch of stickers! Check out more examples of high quality stickers and their many artist collaborations after the jump!
Meatwater, a line of 60 plus meat-inspired beverages and photographic prints, is currently showing at 303 Grand in Williamsburg but its depth may be best explored at Dinnerinabottle.com. Varieties like Italian Sausage, Tandoori Chicken and Wiener Schnitzel have received raves from beverage trade magazines (none of which found a press release with quotes from a “Governor Rose Selavy” suspect) and a writer for the LA Times described it as “the most disturbing thing I have seen on the internet in a month.”
Queries about the cost of an actual bottle are met with a winking “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it,” but for a lucky few who make it to the closing party Aug. 22nd at 303 Grand @ 7pm, tall glasses of Pork Dumpling may be on offer.
Krautkrämer in his own words on what Meatwater is, and what Meatwater can never be.
Found Via Partycrasher.
Hungarian artist Flora Borsi’s latest work was fueled by the emotions she felt after visiting Detroit. The artistic examination of architectural and infrastructural ruin has proven to be a topic of interest for many a creative person. From the ruins of once bustling institutions comes an idealization of the past that in turn triggers reflection on the future. She explains that she was “saddened by the state of abandoned buildings and factories”. She transferred this feeling into her latest project, simply entitled “Detroit”, which is a clever series of photos where she places old photographs of people in Detroit on top of photos she took during her time visiting the city.
Her photos include couples roaming the streets, children ice skating, and factory workers manufacturing tire parts. She merges what she sees as a very alive past and a very much less alive present. Through her splicing of past and present, she addresses the melancholy associated with the decay of an urban setting and the nostalgia of a metropolis in its heyday.
Her series reaches beyond a simple display of sadness and neglect, and the clashing of the city’s past and recent present provides strong grounds for reflection on the idea of rebirth. By doing this, she has somewhat created her own vision of urban decay in a way that is both bleak and hopeful.
Laura Makabresku is a Polish photographer and visual artist who creates atmospheric images that harness the tragedy and beauty of myths and fairy tales. The photos featured here are from Laura’s more recent posts on her blog. Brimming with a romantic darkness, the images include a pale woman lying in a “garden of wounds,” engaged in a subtly violent and erotic ritual with the flowers and a sharp blade. Set against her white dress, the flower petals resemble blood, turning the woman into a mythical — almost sacrificial — figure. Death blends with beauty in a quiet dream.
In another series, the mythos surrounding death becomes darker: in a dingy room filtered with a hellish green moonlight, a cloaked figure stands in a boat overlooking a nude woman. In some scenes the woman is struggling to escape; in others, she is lying prone, pinned by the boatman’s paddle or with coins resting on her mouth, suggesting the River of Styx — the coin shall pay her entrance into the underworld. Elsewhere are images of women communing in different ways with taxidermied animals such as deer, birds, and foxes. These animals emanate with a sense of attentive care over the women they are protecting — but of course, they are dead, troubling us with their simultaneous beauty and artificiality. Speaking of how her works seek to explore fairy tale imagery by highlighting traces of pain and horror, Laura writes:
“My [photographs] are like screenshots from beautiful but cruel fairy tales. Their narrations are not straight. Images that appear are more like feelings that come during a lecture of an old folk-based story – full of witchcrafts and retributions. The structure of my works is similar to the structure of a dream where natural tendencies of collecting and organizing impulses and motivations coincide with irrational clashes of objects and feelings. Isolation and wounds are closed into patterns, uneasy and artificial orders – visual spells created in order to divide beastliness from humanity and dreams from horror.” (Source)
Poetic, grim, and beautiful, Laura’s photographs are truly spellbinding on several emotional levels. Be sure to follow her blog, Tumblr, and Facebook to see what evocative and dream-like images she composes for us next. (Via Art Fucks Me)