The work of artist Caroline Attan examines how objects form a part of our memory and personal history and identity. By combining hand-written text with delicately folded, colored paper installations, Attan plays with separate ideas of poetry, text and form, each “that function as loaded repositories of the past.”
Installed with text written directly onto the wall and the origami-like paper notes arranged in circular patterns, the results are visually reminiscent of mandalas (which represent wholeness, inter-connectivity and an organized cosmic diagram) or the sacred geometry found in Islamic art, Attan illustrates poetic language, and at the same time, brings attention back to the beauty of the words.
Says the artist, “Tantalizing snatches of memories and desire revolve endlessly over collaged backgrounds, encouraging the viewer along multiple strands of thought. The technique allows for ingenuity and flexibility. Some compositions disrupt or loudly announce their text or subtexts, while others absorb them into a calm coherent whole.” (via myampgoesto11)
Barbara Wildernboar, a South African photographer and sculptor, creates a series of altered books that are visually reminiscent of organic, sea-like organisms. Some emulate the visually striking legs of a star fish, others are reminiscent of wild, but beautiful jellyfish- but most of her work imitate the very beginning of any type of live being, a very basic but important part of life as it is- the shape of an atom or a mitochondrion found in eukaryotic cells.
Wildernboar strictly uses books that she buys in flea markets while she’s abroad; usually, she uses books that are dated and redundant- however, there seems to be a pattern to the kind of books she picks- almost all, if not all, have to do with earth/physical science or biology. This specific detail could or could not be relevant, but the ways in which she shapes and manipulates the paper within the book tells us otherwise. She states the following about this speculation:
Although my work has strong ecological themes, I do not see myself as an activist for environmental change, nor is the body of work to be seen as a green campaign. It is rather a reflection on my personal response to climate and environmental issues that can often leave one feeling overwhelmed and distressed.
The saying “the more things change, the more they stay the same” proves itself to be true with this outstanding series of work by redditor, Shystone.
On this body of work, the artist cleverly juxtaposes paintings of London from the 18th and 19th century with London’s modern-day settings in Google Street View. Taking inspiration from the film “London, Then and Now”, Shystone takes several popular landmarks on Google maps, including Westminster Abbey and the River Thames, and just like a puzzle, he inserts the matching 18th/19thth century painting where it belongs on the GSV’s shot. The beauty of this is how much we think things have changed over time, but truly, as we can see here, everything still kind of remain the same, at least aesthetically/architecturally. The 19th/18th century paintings make us nostalgic for the simpler times, but the Google Maps image makes us cynical about today’s highly industrialized, loud and filthy London. It is interesting to think about how we are looking and thinking about these polar opposite characteristics in a place that has physically changed very little. (via The Atlantic Cities)
Born in Switzerland, Mathias Schmied manipulates comic books and magazine images to create wall installations, collages and drawings. His works are pop images transformed. Cut-out graffiti and superheroes take on all new representation and meaning through Schmied’s cautious hand and razor blade. The easily recognizable content of Schmied’s found images becomes confused through his dissection. Pages where all real content has been removed feel empty and even somewhat sad. Depicting only what’s left behind from superhero stories feels like the newspaper without the news. We can only begin to guess at what’s going on.
Other works, such as the “landscapes,” are combinations of explosive imagery. A motif repeated becomes a humorous apocalypse of comic explosions. And Schmied’s “movie soundtracks” depict the “pows” and “kabooms” seen in comics, jumping off the wall and moving into a viewer’s space. Perhaps my favorite are Schmied’s Rorschach comics, which consist of a cut out the figure that Schmied situated in such as way so that he is mirroring his negative space.
Fun, but also thoughtful and engaging, Schmied’s work is both smart and nostalgic.
Our friends at portfolio site builder Made With Color have teamed up with Beautiful/Decay yet again to bring you exclusive artist features. Each week we join forces 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. 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 mixed media artist Cassandra Jones.
Cassandra Jones uses thousands of found images collected from stock photography
agencies, eBay, and public domain archives to create her dazzling digital collages. Culling through thousands of found images, she compiles these photographs to create imagery that tell stories about human observation and the power of photographic imagery in our snap-happy contemporary lifestyle.
Two standout bodies of works by Jones includes her Good Cheer and Lightning Drawing series. In Good Cheer Jones takes stock photos of peppy cheerleaders performing stunts that flaunt their briefs and transforms them into a mesmerizing geometric patterned wallpaper. This type of photography, a young girl in uniform with one leg up in the air, has a duel connotation of family values and pornography all in one image. Good Cheer surrounds the viewer in this paradox of ethical ambiguity. In Lightning Drawing Jones turns to found images of lightning. Merging “Remix Culture” with traditional mark making, Jones groups and connects stock photos of lightning bolts, end to end, to draw a series of circles. Each of these pieces is executed with a different and distinct line quality, including bold, thin, feathered, overlapping, meandering, and fluid linear scores.
About her work Jones States:
My photography archives and the works I create from them are documents of a banality that have emerged from an over-abundance of common imagery. Led by a desire to create a counter to convention, I am attempting to liberate specific visual clichés by embracing them. I draw connections between theses images to demonstrate that the most prevalent scenes we are compelled to capture, somehow link us. Alone, these photos have diverse meanings but when intertwined and woven together they reveal much larger stories of history, ritual, desire and innate human aesthetics, regardless of author.
Taking your average shovel, bucket, and spoon, Lithuanian-based artist Severija Inčirauskaitė-Kriaunevičienė embroiders them with detailed cross stitch designs. She often adorns these items using conventional floral motifs, and combines the decorative art with the practical everyday object (view some of her previous work). Most of the time, however, this renders its usefulness obsolete.
Severija’s work is cognizant of the history surrounding craft in her country. In an essay about her embroidery, Dr. Jurgita Ludavičienė writes:
Employing irony, Severija conceptually neutralizes the harmfulness of kitsch’s sweetness and sentimentality. Irony emerges in the process of drawing inspiration from the postwar Lithuanian village, with which artists have lost connection today, or from the destitute Soviet domestic environment, which women were trying to embellish with handicrafts, no matter what kind of absurd forms it would take. The intimacy of indoors freed from all tensions is the essence of coziness, that is crystallized in Severija’s works as cross stitch embroidery on various household utensils not intended for it.
The artist’s portfolio goes beyond floral arrangements. It has a sense of humor, as she embroiders trompe l’oeil cigarettes in an ashtray, the reflection of a mouth on a spoon, and fruit in a bowl. In addition to its meticulousness and amusement, it also blurs the lines of gendered objects, as she stitches “girly” flowers in to “manly” car parts. (Via Colossal)
French street artist and photographer Etienne Lavie‘s photography series, “OMG, Who Stole My Ads?” envisions the city of Paris without advertisements, replaced by stunning classical works. Lavie photographs the street scenes and paintings separately, and combines them later with digital editing. The result is a beautifully effective and realistic utopian city where people aren’t surrounded by images that encourage conspicuous consumption, but are instead living among masterpieces that decorate their chaotic urban world. (via huffington post)
Brooklyn based artist Melissa Zexter combines photography and hand-stich embroidery to create layers of narrative and texture in a unexpected and colorful way. Zexter, an MFA holder in photography, redefines her practice, as she creates a new artistic concoction that provides more context in the already-narrative medium that is photography. The use of embroidery is a reaction to the photographs themselves, a way to overexagerate or emphasizes different aspects of the images.
For me, sewing was another way to build up a surface and to build upon the content of my photographs. I loved the meditative process of sewing – it was in such contrast to the technologically more immediate art of photography. The combination of sewing and photography brought together two very different processes that I love. The use of embroidery is a reaction to the photographs and is a process that aids in the transformation of identity of the person or place being photographed.
Some of the photographs she uses are digital prints and others are gelatin silver prints that she make in a darkroom. The thread, which she uses to compliment the images, primarily acts as a connection between the person/place captured in the photograph and the artist herself.
I always think of the photograph as something from the past and the thread as a reaction to the past and present. The thread makes the photograph more personal to me and allows me to meditate on the image. Combining the two mediums (photography and sewing) allows me to reinvent the photograph; to visually react to a person or a place.