The art of Christopher David White seems like it could be found decaying in the forest at the end of your street. However, the gnarled wood, patina copper, rusting metal is all meticulously worked ceramic. White’s work is at once quietly peaceful and playful dealing out a subtle surrealism. He offers curious find on objects that would normally be passed over. Regarding his ultra-realistic style and themes of deterioration, White explains:
“Through the use of trompe l’oeil, we look closer; we rediscover the amazement, joy, and tranquility that come from our environment…Neither good nor bad, decay is simply a natural process of our world that at times can produce deeply moving and beautiful effects.”
Italian-based artist Noubeda Carbone is known typically for her award-winning illustrations. Her sculptures, however, are similarly colorful and meticulous. The Disease Sculptures and Wearable Pills series each include pieces painstakingly crafted from pill capsules. While her 3D work may exude a technicolor lightheartedness, the medium itself is disquieting. Particularly in the Wearable Pills series, the modern shift from pharmaceuticals as medical items to vanity products is especially striking. Carbone may be highlighting the visually pleasant nature of the pills as it’s connected to the dream of personal transformation.
The work of Trenton Doyle Hancock is the focus of …And Then It All Came Back To Me, a new solo exhibit currently at the James Cohan Gallery through December 22. The Texas-based artist is well known for his exceptionally intricate work and the epic narrative that flows through it. Hancock seamlessly ties together classical, religious, and pop-culture references and styles into emotionally engaging artwork. His new series veers from his narrative to a more autobiographical theme and his role as an artist.
Trenton Doyle Hancock was also a featured artist in Beautiful/Decay Issue: V. Be sure to check it out if you’d like for more of Hancock and his work.
At first glance the Stone Fields of designer Giuseppe Randazzo seem to be akin to stoic environmental art a la Andy Goldsworthy. Under closer scrutiny, however, these pieces are far from ‘natural’. Randazzo begins with optimal packing algorithms – algorithms that determine the most efficient way to fill a certain amount of space with various sized objects. He then modifies the algorithms to produce different arrangements of stones in the circular field. Further, the stones aren’t ‘natural’ – that is, they’re not real! Rather, the images produced by Randazzo are actually hyper-realistic 3D renderings.
The work of art collective Ghost of a Dream uses lottery tickets and romance novel covers to mezmerizing effect. Often employing thousands of dollars worth of scratch-off tickets ($70,000 worth of tickets in the last installation alone), the work conjures a culture of hyper-materialism. The gaudy coloring of the tickets and cheap imagery of romance novels reflect the nature of the object they cover. Like the dream of striking it rich, the art of the collective is hypnotic and absorbing.
If you want to see more work from Ghost of a Dream be sure to check out their exclusive feature interview in Beautiful/Decay Book 9. The collective explores Greed in this Seven Deadly Sins themed edition.
The art duo of Yarisal and Kublitz create smartly charming sculptures and installations. The pieces, often created from household materials, are each emboided with a subtle subversiveness. From a vending machine filled with glassware to self filling and popping balloons, the duo’s pieces transform familiar objects into characters of ironic scenes. Through their work, Ronnie Yarisal and Katja Kublitz encourage a fresh perspective of the banal through sculptures that look like the punchline to existential jokes.
The installations of Peruvian artist Antonio Paucar utilize a rather uncommon material: dead flies. By suspending dead flies from nylon string as well as meticulously placing them on the ground Paucaur painstakingly builds each pieces. The swarm of flies loosely forms the image of a human figure. The hazy form created by the collective flies imply the memory of a person, particularly in relation to the space it inhabitants. Further, the flies seem to suggest the idea of death or decay. The last four photos are taken from a piece installed in Germany’s Sacrow palace, a building dating back to the 17th century. The grounds had been inhabited by Prussian aristocrats, high ranking Nazi officials, as well as communist secret police.
Enrico Nagel‘s Secret Garden is a series of collage portraits. High fashion models are contrasted against a plain paperboard background. Each model’s face is replaced with a garish arrangement of flowers, jewels, and other ephemera. Nagel juxtaposes what he terms as the “artificial imagery” of the fashion world with the natural imagery of flowers. Each bloom seems like a nearly violent coup of the subject’s identity, the clothing being the only remnant of the former glossy fashion mag photo.