Cari Vander Yacht animates old photographs she found in thrift stores located near her hometown in Portland, Oregon. For the Amsterdam-based art director’s side project, TGIMGIF (Thank God It’s Monday Graphic Interchange Format), she breathes humor and new life into photographs that have been abandoned. Vander Yacht says she stares at the photos until she finds herself giggling over her animation ideas; she then scans and digitally manipulates the images until they become the animation she envisions. Her only rule is that she has to use the elements already in the photograph. Of her acquisition of these old photos, Vander Yacht tells Fast Company, “At a certain point, one must justify their creepy acquisition of other people’s pasts. Either you make up stories about how you’re related to the people in the pictures or you animate them.” Vander Yacht’s website is currently down for maintenance, but you can view more of her work on Tumblr. (via fast company)
Canadian artist Tonya Corkey creates portraits made out of lint on canvas. Through her choice of material and subject, the artist looks to investigate an unavoidable aspect of human nature- precisely, the the need to collect memories and reconstruct the past. The series, “See You In the Future,” looks to further analyze this desire to recollect objects and moments of the past through a medium that encompasses the essence of loss and decay over time.
My work hybridizes the discarded material of lint with the second hand image – the iconic school photograph – to conceptualize my interests. Materiality conceptually layers the work. As a byproduct of society, lint consists of fibers, hair, dead skin and other debris, and thus directly referencing people and their daily activity. Lint and cast off photographs are both discarded materials – materials that reflect the idea of a decaying memory. Our desire for memory in absence is triggered by sensations of smell and touch, a trait of my work.
(via The Jealous Curator)
Amy Boone-McCreesh’s sculptures and 2-D mixed-media works are both self-referential and highlight a larger aesthetic idea, which is the visual aspect of celebrations. For years, she’s explored the way in which different cultures commemorate events in their lives, particularly how they express it with decoration and objects. Now, with a new body of work, Boone-McCreesh goes beyond this initial inspiration and uses things she’s previously created as raw material for new pieces. They debuted at a recent two-person exhibition with artist Sarah Knobel entitled Anything Sacred at Hamiltonian Gallery in Washington, DC.
The delightfully dizzying pieces are full of texture, color, and have the same sensibilities that we’ve seen in her previous works. Boone-McCreesh explains the idea behind her rich and vibrant aesthetic:
Anything Sacred is a birth of new from the old. Through digital manipulation, collage, printing, and reworking, I allow visual elements from an extant body of work to become new imagery printed on vinyl, paper, and custom fabric. The complex layering, stripping, and blending of the digital with the handmade gives birth to a new visual language.
In sampling my own imagery and re-contextualizing it in an immersive visual experience that is both cyclical and unifying, I am challenging traditional notions about value and pushing for a more complex, dynamic personal aesthetic. Simultaneously, my work in Anything Sacred continues to examine the use and meaning of decoration through formal arrangement and design.
You can view Anything Sacred now at Hamiltonian Gallery in Washington, DC until June 21 of this year. More shots of the candy-colored walls and lively work after the jump.
Beautiful/Decay has partnered with premiere website building platform Made With Color to bring you exclusive artist features. Each week we join forces to bring you some of the most exciting artists and designers who use Made With Color to create their clean and sleek websites. Made With Color helps makers build their artists space on the web. Every Made With Color site comes with a built-in mobile site and is totally responsive for smart phones and tablets. This week we’re excited to bring you the exuberant sculptures, paintings, and videos of Made With Color user Emily Silver.
The mixed media work of Los Angeles artist Emily Silver seeks to examine the space between the celebratory and tragic moments that simultaneously exist in the life of an event. As subject matter Silver look to funerals, parties, parades, and carnivals, in their finite nature, for the work to be actively a part of these sensual celebratory spaces. The materials hold a metaphor of the ephemeral and the cherished creating objects and videos that play with what is monumental or decorative, comic or tragic, and beg the viewer to reconsider their relationship to these ideas.
Many of the sculptures that she creates become part of short humorous animations that shift our perception of what is real, what is desired, and what is anticipated. This work mashes the individual and group, the celebratory and discarded, the monumental and diminutive. Though these pieces seem overtly playful, there is an under current of the tragic, absurd and unexpected invading these spaces. About her work Silver states:
“I spent many years working doing floral arrangements for major events, and for a time I worked in a mortuary doing only large funeral arrangements, where I found myself spending a lot of time in the cemetery (maybe too much time). I have always had a fascination with the celebratory in relation to death, and the things that we don’t talk about at the/an actual party/event. That is a large influence in the making and research of the work.”
See more of Silver’s work as well as her animations after the jump.
The indie-feminist rock-artist Jessicka Addams marries the gothic with the whimsical, creating heartbreaking portraits of innocence lost. In her wonderfully sweet yet disturbing paintings and sculptures, the artist builds a candy-coated dreamscape ripe with sexuality, drug use, and metamorphosis. Her pale, virginal subjects look much like babydolls possessed, embodiments of mythical female mischief and corruption. These works, in some ways, serve as testaments to the pains and labors of the biblical Eve, the mythological Medusa.
Addams’s work is elegantly imbued with an uncomfortable anxiety that arises from the tension between icons of innocence and the suggestion of impurity. Rabbits, used in early Christian art, symbolize the coming of spring, the resurrection, and the rebirth of innocence. Here, this iconographical connotation is poignantly subverted; alongside images of bleeding nostrils, suggestive of cocaine use, these white rabbits could easily find themselves in the drug-induced Alice in Wonderland of Jefferson Airplane. Addams’s rabbits cry bloody pink tears and sprout sea witch limbs.
The cat, an animal both adorable and foreboding, also figures prominently in Addams’s pieces, often in the form of hybrid human or ghost. Addams’s aesthetic is distinctly modern, characterized by thick, dripping brushstrokes and somewhat taboo subject matter. Like those of the modernist trailblazer Goya, her cats seem to represent sin as it creeps in upon the untainted child; a burlap sack, with embroidered feline ears, envelops the face of a pale babe, who weeps as if mourning a lost childhood.
Addams’s exquisite works are charming and unsettling in equal measure, inspiring pity and empathy for our own former innocence. Here, human beings—especially women— are neither madonnas nor whores; instead, the human soul is a complexly woven tapestry, colored with surprising and miraculous shades of gray. Addams’s work is currently on view at The Cotton Candy Machine. (via BUST)
French designer Maud Vantours creates astoundingly detailed works of art from finely cut paper; carving out perfect geometric and organic shapes, she layers page upon page to create deep cavernous holes and intricate surfaces. With paper patterns of midnight blue and desert yellow, she constructs mesmerizing spaces, strange and wondrous terra incognitae, or lands unknown. Flowers sink like caves below the topmost surfaces; gray parallelograms, like mounds of be achy sand, are emerge from the page.
Vantours’s transfixing images catch and trick the eye, which is accustomed to viewing artwork on a single plane; her works exists in a space all its own, caught between sculpture and line. The work is made both from peeling away and adding layers, and we view it like a vibrant onion, unsure of where it begins or where it might end. Colorful, ever-brightening concentric circles seem infinite, and repeated, detailed surface patterns resemble complex cathedral windows. Blue and orange or green and pink, being opposite colors, visual pull apart from one another, creating an illusion of even greater depth within the thin pages.
From a medium as simple as paper, Vantours renders a dreamy world where organic and mathematically precise shapes are celebrated and fully explored. These deceptively effortless collages are a testament to the order of the natural world; neatly aligned, bright and neutral colors emerge from the shadows. Single and double-layered cut-outs occlude one another, forming complex visual structures that necessitate our attention and captivate our imaginations. Take a look. (via Demilked)
Digitally created visuals are so ubiquitous today, from commercial applications to advertising to contemporary art, that it is hard to remember a time when it was a rudimentary technology used only be a few specialists. Commodore’s “Amiga 1000” changed this, bringing image creation programs into the home, allowing anyone to create original and edited computer images for the first time. To promote the public launch of their groundbreaking model, Commodore asked Andy Warhol to create an image using the software, demonstrating the accessibility of the program, and the possibilities in the hands of a pioneering visual artist. Seen in the following clip of Warhol “painting” Blondie singer Debbie Harry in 1985, it was assumed that Warhol only used the program once, his digital experiment being forgotten.
It may have stayed that way had it not been for the curiosity and effort of another pioneering artist, Cory Arcangel. Well-known for his early hacked video games and glitched aesthetic that came to be known as Net Art (or Post-Conceptualism), Arcangel was curious if the Prince of Pop Art created any other works on the early digital format. This search led to conversations with curators at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, who owned most of the equipment (discs, hard drives and floppies) that might contain these experiments. Connecting Arcangel to the nearby Carnegie Melon University’s computing club, who have experience in recovery and “retrocomputing”, the combined effort to recover Warhol’s files took three years.
In a more tech-savvy description of the difficult process at Wired.com, Liz Stinson notes, “Because of the disks’ age and fragility, extracting data posed a serious risk. The archiving and viewing process could irreversibly damage the content, but letting the disks slowly degrade was an even worse option.”
The team was eventually able to recover eighteen images (some of which are shown above), among the first digitally made images by an already famous visual artist. Describing the astoundingly original files, Arcangel said, “What’s amazing is that by looking at these images, we can see how quickly Warhol seemed to intuit the essence of what it meant to express oneself, in what then was a brand-new medium: the digital.”
A documentary about the recovery, Trapped: Andy Warhol’s Amiga Experiments, will premiere May 10th at Carnegie Mellon (and will then be viewable at http://nowseethis.org/.), after which many more of the images will probably be released to the public for the first time ever. (via wired)
Mixed media artist Travis Bedel, also known as bedelgeuse, seamlessly blends vintage anatomical illustrations with botanical or other biological images to create stunning collages that range anywhere from 5 inches to 6 feet in size. Bedel often uses glue and a razorblade to excise printed vintage illustrations, combining them into beautiful and surreal new iterations. He’ll also scan his images and manipulate them digitally because this technique provides him with more opportunity to play around with sizing, cutting, and pasting the various elements in his collages.
Of his interest in human anatomy, Bedel says, “I find the body beautiful and mysterious. I am amazed and what people can do with their bodies and how if you take care of your own body, the rewards are much greater than imagined. I believe a lot of self-healing takes place mentally and physically when you eat clean and stay active.”