Derek Albeck has a magical way of transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. Using only pencils, a bit of paint, and masterfully honed traditional portrait techniques, Albeck creates pieces that are anything but traditional.
Frequently working from snapshots taken in his daily life, Albeck amplifies the expressions and motions of his subjects, revealing the completely comfortable, unguarded, and usually hilariously unflattering parts of ourselves that manifest most intensely in candid photos taken seconds too soon, or when chemically compromised. In fact, much of Albeck’s work is characterized by a sort of “magic brownie effect,” turning mundane, common symbols, people, and objects into mesmerizing sources of irresistible humor. His eye for details — like the logo on a beer can, the crinkle of a flag, or the cover of a book by Aleister Crowley – capture escapist fantasies, moments of carefree bliss and rebellion that appear at once precious but fleeting, intensely personal but universally familiar. In Albeck’s world, a pile of dirty laundry becomes an eerily expressive smiley face, a cheeky rainbow forms the frown of an aptly titled “Sad Murderer,” and a skull with hypnotic eyes, comprised of the floating heads of the happiest, goofiest people you’ve ever seen, leaves you giggling in a trance-like state for hours. This happiness proves contagious as you find yourself smiling back at the bearded, flannel-clad man collapsed in a joyful stupor beneath a rainbow in a drawing called “Have a Great Day Forever.” And with an attitude that makes us want to do just that, Albeck’s work provides a fresh viewpoint with which to view, and laugh at, everyday life.
Distortion, illusion, and psychedelic alterations can all be found in the hand cut collage work of Lola Dupré. My favorites are the well known images that she re-imagines in her trippy explosive cut paper interpretations like the above drawing by M.C. Escher.
In 1962, a U.S. soldier sent to guard the peace in South Korea deserted his unit, walked across the most heavily fortified area on earth and defected to the Cold War enemy, the communist state of North Korea. He then simply disappeared from the face of the known world. He became a coveted star of the North Korean propaganda machine, and found fame acting in films, typecast as an evil American. He uses Korean as his daily language. He has three sons from two wives. He has now lived in North Korea twice as long as he has in America. At one time, there were four Americans living in North Korea. Today, just one remains. Now, after 45 years, the story of Comrade Joe, the last American defector in North Korea, is told.
Based on our work on the two North Korean films over the last five years, VeryMuchSo Productions, in partnership with Koryo Tours, has gained the trust of the North Korean authorities. This has enabled clear and unrestricted access to James Joseph Dresnok and to the North Korean-based families of the other U.S. defectors.
Bob Egan, a real estate agent during the day, becomes a “pop culture detective” by night. Egan’s PopSpots features images of album covers and television and film shots superimposed on and lined up with a photo of the shooting location as it appears today. Though Egan has researched images that were shot in other places, most of the images he researches have been shot in New York City, with many in Manhattan, a part of the city that is continuously in flux. Accompanying each superimposition are details of Egan’s research, including maps and resources he’s used, such as the New York Public Library’s digital archives, to deduce exact locations based on image details and correspondences surrounding the creation of each iconic image. Egan’s project began with his curiosity of where Bob Dylan’s “Blonde on Blonde” cover was shot, a place he has yet to discover. He has been able to find other Dylan album covers, however, and cites classic rock as his “music comfort food,” something that is not surprising based on the particular albums Egan has so far superimposed. Over time, Egan’s project evolved to include television and film stills, as well as other iconic photographs from the same era. (via open culture)
The good folks at portfolio site builder Made With Color have teamed up with Beautiful/Decay yet again to bring you exclusive artist features. Each week we team up to bring you some of the most exciting artists and designers working today who use Made With Color to create their clean and sleek websites. Website builder Made With Color doesn’t just help artists create minimal and mobile/tablet responsive websites but allows them to do so in a few minutes without having to touch a line of code.This week we are happy to share the work of talented artist and long time B/D friend Terence Hannum.
Terrence Hannum has always been consumed by music. When Terence isn’t in the studio creating his next work of art he can be found releasing zines, designing and releasing limited edition vinyl, and playing in his acclaimed minimalist black metal band Locrian. So it should come as no surprise to discover that Terrence’s artwork also explores the world of music. Using the magnetic tape found in cassettes as raw material, Hannum creates glossy and lustrous paintings that explore the world of minimalism and geometry.
Hannum states about this body of work:
“Typically one does not engage with the material of the cassette. Unless it was being eaten by a tape player, the average consumer never gazed upon its reflective spool. To this point most media requires a certain precious handling of it, the CD, DVD and LP require the listener to hold only the edge. Perhaps speaking to the ubiquity of the digital file these days, the MP3, FLAC, WAV and others have no real handling instructions. I want to focus on the surface. Hence, everything is the surface and in my pieces I try to construct a quiet void.”
Hitoshi Kuriyama creates elaborate light installations using complex clusters of shattered fluorescent light bulbs. With Kuriyama, fluorescent lights and LEDs become life forces that animate the darkness of the universe with an irregular, unpredictable rhythm.
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to photograph for Playboy, ponder no further. Dutch photographer and art director Patrick Van Dam has the ultimate behind-the-scenes look at the infamous magazine in his book, Playboy Behind The Scenes. Published in 2011, it’s full of images that capture the awkward and unsexy moments that comes with the making of every sexy centerfold.
Seeing these images takes some of the allure and fantasy out of Playboy photos. Pulling back the smoke and mirrors, it reminds us they have their share of unflattering moments, too. It takes the proper lighting, strategic positioning, and even water pouring to make things appear just so. Nothing is as glamorous as it seems.
Van Dam directed nude photo shoots for Dutch Playboy for seven years, so he has no doubt seen it all. He even had Hugh Hefner write the foreword for his book:
In these compelling images, Patrick has captured the soul of the Playboy shoot and offered a true celebration of, and homage to, the people who make these beautiful things happen. Vividly here is the intimacy, the fun, and the dedication it takes to create the very best in contemporary erotica. And along the way, true to his calling, he gives the reader a peek behind the curtain of the Playboy lifestyle. (Via Featureshoot)
As soon as I saw these jumping guys on Stephanie Homa‘s homepage, I knew I was in for a treat! Her artist statement, below, perfectly describes her style:
“My works are of a spontaneous and impulsive nature. Inspired by the playfulness and imperfection I discover in everyday occurrences, I am interested in carrying these values into my work, intending an intuitive and instant expression.
I aim to visualize indistinct moments of perception, thoughts and ideas by creating series of swift and automatic works such as drawings and paintings. While experimenting with spontaneous thoughts, randomness and accidents in my practice, the boundlessness in the use of expression, material and format plays an essential role in my work.”