At Beautiful Decay we are beginning to bring our readers weekend coverage, where we’ll be sharing micro art trends of the unusual and unexpected every weekend. And we figured what better way to start than with dessert?
The work featured here of artists Peter Bugg, Rebecca Holland, William Lamson, Aude Moreau, Navid Nuur and Kara Tanaka demonstrates that diverse ways confection can become conceptual. From the painstaking process of Moreau’s Sugar Carpet (which uses 4,500 pounds of loose Domino sugar) to the haunting ephemerality of Tanaka’s Social Leveler (When Immortality Became Uncouth), the use of sugar as a medium, sometimes in combination with other materials, becomes an expansive tactile vehicle.
Artist Alan Bur Johnson natural motifs often. However, this may be his work at its most creepy. Johnson’s Progeny series begins with photographs of winged insects. The photographs are transferred to transparencies and affixed to the wall using insect pins. Progeny allows viewers to inspect the insects up close, afford creatures we’d otherwise dispose of more time, and give some thought to taxonomy, the exercise of classification. Interestingly his statement says in part:
“Whether an image, memory or specimen, each is meticulously dissected, altered and restructured. Referencing physical structures and the pulse of living cycles, his work documents fleeting occurrences, which typically transpire unnoticed.”
Artist Justen Ladda has been living and working in New York City since 1978. His first solo exhibit listed on his resume was in 1980 at the legendary ABC No Rio. His perspective warping style looks surprisingly fresh considering much of it was created throughout the 1980′s. Ladda combines painting with installation to create two-dimensional images that appear to float in space are slip into three dimensions. Using careful proportions, perspectives, and viewpoints, Ladda painstakingly creates image that appear severely warped from all but one angle. He often uses this technique of illusion to arrange for his paintings to interact with their surroundings in ways not often accorded to flat images.
The installation 24 HRS in Photos by Erik Kessels isn’t a typical photography installation. An entire room at San Francisco’s Pier 24 Photography is filled with photographs. One end of the room is piled to the ceiling with images cascading down to visitors’ feet. The photographs at first appear to be innocuous: family photos, vacation photos, smart phone photos. The immense number of photographs compiled by Kessels, though, are all of the images uploaded to the popular site Flickr in a single day. Kessels’ installation serves as a clue to astronomical number of images uploaded to the internet constantly. Even more striking is the way 24 HRS in Photos hints at the sheer saturation of images in day to day life. Kessels’ installation is part of A Sense of Place, a photography group exhibit on view at Pier 24 Photography through May 2014.
Street art has become especially exciting and unpredictable over the last several years. However, the last place many would expect to find it is on the water. The New York based street artist SWOON designed three sea vessels built from salvaged material. The “flotilla” sailed from the coast of Slovenia to Venice, Italy. Though, definitely not the street SWOON effectively brings an urban aesthetic to sea. Photographer Tod Seelie was along for the ride to document the trip. The photographs and wild journey are as amazing as the vessels themselves. The raucous mash up of materials perfectly match the crew and set the atmosphere for what was certainly a wild ride.
The installations of Katharina Grosse are disorienting in scale, color, and material. Her use of color is wild bordering on violent. Brightly colored paint is sprayed over any surface the artist pleases, from the floor to walls and windows. Huge heaps of painted dirt fill the gallery space transforming the space from an architectural to a geological one. The dirt, paint, and various objects seem to intentionally undermine the white box that houses the installation. Her installations raucously question the very space they inhabit by allowing visitors experience it in a transformative way.
Thierry Dreyfus doesn’t hang his art on the gallery wall, but instead splits it. His Rupture installations use the white box gallery space as a starting point. The pristine walls seem to have cracked and slightly seperate as if it were a tectonic fault line. Inside is the craggy masses of wall bathed by a warm golden glow or a cold silver light. The fissure encourages the imagination to speculate on what lies beyond the walls. It is interesting to notice how the color of the light colors the imagination in connection with the ruptures. While the golden crack nearly conveys a fairy-tale like curiosity, the silver rupture has a menacing sort of undertone.
The installations of Dominique Pétrin are visually overwhelming. Images, patterns, and designs seem to cover every as much available space as possible. Walls are plastered from floor to ceiling often even covering ground. Her expansive installations overlay the outsides and insides of buildings alike. Pétrin accomplishes her pieces by using large silk screened panels of paper. The imagery recalls an internet of the early 90′s – a time when the overabundance of information and imagery the web had to offer was only beginning to come clear.