Noah Becker graciously allowed Beautiful/Decay into his Canadian studio to view his new body of work. Becker is about to open a second studio in New York this September for the fall 2012-13 art season. This is a correspondence studio visit, Beautiful/Decay requested the photos and they were provided by another photographer. Although the paintings are clearly portraits, Noah describes his newest work as figurative instead of portraiture. I recognize a few of the faces but generally the paintings aren’t obviously people we should know, and because they aren’t it follows that they can’t be portraits in the traditional meaning of a portrait of a specific person. Noah presents us with a romantic vision of elegant people, people who are good at living! Wish I was one of those, ha. Some of the folks feel like 70s’ rock stars or maybe authors from the 30s’, and I think I recognize some of Velasquez’s Spanish Renaissance princes. When asked Becker mentions “stillness and time frozen in a moment,” which is a way to talk about the strange nowness of consciousness, or possibly he’s saying the point of modern life is to be elegant in the absence of direction. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you might as well do nothing with style.
Illustrator/Photographer/Filmmaker Matt Mahurin has published illustrations in Time Magazine, Rolling Stone, The New York Time, and more. He’s compiled photo essays on the homeless, people infected with HIV/AIDS, the Texas prison system, and more. He’s directed music videos for artists like Tom Waits, R.E.M., Metallica, David Byrne, and MORE. That word- “more”, comes to mind a lot when going through Mahurin’s work. He just seems to be doing everything at once. And he does it so well. I’m always astounded when I come across a multidisciplinary artist making work in each of his or her chosen platforms that’s just as good, if not better than that of artists who choose to focus in only one area of practice. I mean it’s just not fair. Check out more of Mahurin’s widely varied projects after the jump.
Eddie Martinez and José Lerma have a two person show up at Halsey Mckay Gallery in East Hampton NY. It’s only up until this Wednesday, August the 29th, I know it’s just two days to get there, but these are two of the best drawing/fabric/paintslingers of our generation. The colors in Martinez’s paintings can’t be replicated in a photograph because the paint is physical, like a thick smear of deep red oil paint that looks like martian roofing slate, or maybe a crack inside an antediluvian sea cliff containing some strange fossil reminding us of how old thinking is, and how we are only here for a little while so we should be kind to each other. Yes, red paint can say all that. Lerma’s pirate-like-figuration feels musical, and reminds me of the Clancy Brothers singing a sea shanty “Way haul away, haul away Jose.” History comes up to us and then recedes like the tide in Lerma’s work, you recognize something and then it is and isn’t what you thought. This is a good summer trip, like the first time you went to a water slide park after noticing girls/boys for the first time, an expanse of wave pools lapping lazily against a big breasted life guard and tower slides of pure unadulterated joy.
London-based illustrator Ricardo Fumanal creates tight graphite drawings that combine many elements to create an almost collage-like effect. The drawings might have come off as cold and without human touch if it hadn’t been for Fumanal’s skill in capturing the expressions of his subects. And then again, if you get so good at rendering in graphite that people find it hard to see a human touch in the first place, maybe that’s not such a bad thing. See more of the artist’s work after the jump.
“X marks the spot” is an ongoing series, which is about looking for the hidden possibilities that are related to form and function and the game between the reality and my fantasy. My inspiration is my house and my environment (it’s a kind of a kitchen chemistry), that becomes a playground. I like to work with common objects and discover their possibilities, give a new function for them. I try to play with the borders of the nonsense; something that looks foolish at the first place can always find its right place at the end. But like in every game and story it is impossible to tell what will happen and how the end is going to be. The whole project can become a tea party or a toy story. It doesn’t really matter how we call it, because eventually it is just a game, which is about the fact that you can enter to an other world.
“Found antique objects and miniature tintype photos form the emotional core of several works, juxtaposing the musty aura of a dusty attic with smooth, delicate ethereal forms, computer rendered yet exquisitely hand-crafted.”
Brooklyn via Russia artist Stanislav Ginzburg‘s Curiophyla is a series of staged photographs of original sculpture placed within specific, relevant mise en scène environs. The sculptures, beautiful references to cellular anatomy that incorporate emotionally charged vintage (and faux-vintage) tintype portraiture, take on a unique appeal when positioned amongst their ethereal settings. The overall aesthetic perfectly captures an elemental, organic feel (moss, insects, blood, etc.), while the photographic elements within the works offer a distinctly human connection. By reducing things to their most basic, cellular level, Ginzburg illustrates a deep connection between past and present. So beautiful.
Kevin Champeny creates mosaics using individually cast urethane figures and random objects like hot wheels cars (above). Using small, colored fish, candy, flowers, etc., He’s done everything from self-portraits, to skulls, to roses. Looks painstaking as hell but the results are definitely worth it. It’d be cool to see some of these before they were assembled- just a pile of plastic. Click through to see more. (via)
Brighton-based artist Jake Wood-Evans‘ classical influences are readily apparent. A 21st-century Caravaggio? Who knows. But dude’s definitely on the right track. Celebrating his heroes while producing work that’s relevant to his period, Woods-Evans executes drips and fades in disaffected, casual gestures. Laurel wreaths and nuclear explosions are likely to meet in a single composition. If you’re near Brighton next month, check out his work at the Brighton Media Centre the 7th through the 16th. More images of the artist’s work after the jump.