Using abstract expressionism as muse, Brooklyn painter Andy Piedilato plays off visceral emotion. With unyielding imagination, he reaches a place between here and another, a type of painter’s purgatory, where ship wrecks float in brick shaped waves on huge panoramic canvases. Intertwined with vast metaphors, the ship motif was first inspired when a friend built his own boat. The idea stayed with Piedilato and he started thinking about how a handmade vessel would fare at sea. Soon he was painting parts of boats with a technique he had already acquired using bricks. This completely changed his purely abstract canvases. Paintings that were once finished in a day were now taking a month to complete. Before, the focus was not so much on a thing but a moment. This produced dozens of messy works which concentrated on sole mark making.
Today, his painstakingly tedious process uses a technique which paints around hand taped sections of canvas, allowing the tiny brick shapes to form into pictures. The results are flatter and less heavily impastoed. There’s a translucency present, especially in two recent works called “Red Sail” and “Sea Snail.” Both over 10′ wide, they exude a Japanese scroll effect making them slightly more watercolorish. This might account for the large amount of white in the background, thus opening up a new path for Piedilato. His present state of mind, is that of an artist who’s been asked to paint ‘smaller’ by potential dealers to encourage more salability. His refusal has allowed the paintings to get bigger and weirder, adding more aura to his increasing cult hero status.
Amanda McCavour creates delicate and intricate thread illustration-sculptures by sewing into a fabric that dissolves in water. This method allows her to build a threaded structure that stays in place once the fabric dissolves. The result is embroidery that appears fragile, on the verge of unraveling. She recreates domestic scenery, like that of chairs, side tables, electric sockets, in addition to other figures such as hands, a garden, and a steam pump. The effect of this work is ephemeral and whimsical.
From her artist statement, “I am interested in the vulnerability of thread, its ability to unravel, and its strength when it is sewn together. I am interested in the connections between process and materials and the way that they relate to images and spaces. Tracing actions and environments through a process of repetition, translation and dissolving, I hope to trace absence. My work is a process of making as a way of tracing and preserving things that are gone, or slowly falling apart.” (via slow art day)
White Winter Hymnal from Grandchildren on Vimeo.Wistful, long-bearded lumberjacks turning the world with an old fashioned crank and a contemplative look in their eyes. I guess its actually one guy in various stages of aging, unless you believe that the self is transitory and you are not the same person you are today that you were yesterday. Heavy. Beautiful stop motion animation by Grandchildren.
Canadian photographer Hana Pesut’sSwitcheroo series of work examines how couples start to look and dress alike as their relationship progresses. The process is simple. Get dressed in the morning, show up, and then switch your entire outfit with your significant other and mimic their pose. The result is a humorous body of work that examines sexual politics, social identity, and how we express ourselves through our clothing.
I have a massive library of artist books piled towards the sky and I’m always seeking the next artist monograph to add to my book collection so it was a special treat to get Erik Parker: Colorful Resistance in the mail last week.
Erik’s been a friend of Beautiful/Decay for a long time now, first appearing in a feature length interview in Beautiful/Decay Issue: O complete with cover art (Get your copy here). Since then we’ve kept in touch with Erik and followed his work as it continuously evolves, grows, and pushes forward into mind bending and candy coated directions. Colorful Resistance is the first retrospective look at Erik’s work with over 256 pages and 300 massive images of almost everything Erik has made since the 90’s to feast your eyeballs on. If that’s not enough Erik’s close friend Kaws did a fantastic interview with him at the end of the book where they discuss everything from collecting other young artists artworks to how flowers can look like genitals.
Painter Jonathan Yeo captures wonderfully serene moments in the midst of something quite violent. Snapshots of women undergoing cosmetic surgery are painted in a delicate, realistic style, complete with cutting lines. Blurred edges and half-formed torsos suggest bodies that are not yet complete. We see the surgeon’s hands pulling this way and that, like an artist inspecting his canvas. Glimpses of figures are covered in cryptic markings, ready to be cut, snipped, sliced and altered. Yeo’s paintings appear to be something of a modern day Frankenstein.
A self-taught artist, Yeo has been exploring ideas of identity through portraiture, pornographic collages and images of plastic surgery since the early 90s. Having completed high profile portraits of celebrities (Nicole Kidman, Damien Hirst, Malala Yousafzai, Kevin Spacey and Tony Blair) it is fitting for Yeo to move onto another western obsession – vanity. These paintings of the modern day phenomena that is cosmetic surgery are deeply disturbing. We see these women in the midst of transformation, in a state of ease, even bliss, but perhaps this has more to do with the anesthetic. Using a palette of beige, creams and and greys, his works appear sickly but peaceful.
Depicting these subjects as he does, Yeo really is the contemporary Mary Shelley. He shows us people so ready and willing to undergo drastic changes – a vanity and longing for perfection that is in all of us. These paintings maybe act as the mirror we should be looking into; a mirror in which we don’t see what we want to, but rather the stark reality we are faced with: that perhaps Narcissus is not such a far away myth after all.
Artist Hoang Tran creates your favorite pop-culture characters, from The Simpson’s to the Ninja Turtles, all out of wax…but not just any wax. Tran carves each character from a jumbo-sized crayon! That’s right, each intricately and meticulously detailed character is carved from your everyday Crayola crayon…the same crayons that you used to make your own “masterpiece” with at age three. Each pop-culture icon is carved from the color in which it dominantly possesses, but also has hints of other colors that make up the finishing touches of the character. To do this, Tran melts different colored waxes, or crayons, and then applies the melted pigment onto the finest details of his creations. The amazing detail speaks wonders about the talent and patience the artist must have in order to master such a painstaking craft.
What is so wonderful about this artist’s crayon creatures is that only half of the wax is carved. The other side of the crayon is left intact, Crayola wrapper and all! Tran creates all sorts of characters such as Batman, Gizmo, Spongebob and Cookie Monster. He even carves out real life people such as Conan O’Brian. This series, appropriately titled Wax Nostalgic, is chalk full of infamous characters. It is a nostalgic dream. If you are a Star Wars fan, Tran has transformed a crayon into every character from this classic film from Hans Solo to Princess Leia. This impressive little treasures can be found on Hoang Tran’s website, or his Etsy site, where you can have get crayon characters for yourself. (via Inkult Magazine)
Offworld is a liminal realm of pure possibility. It’s the apex of the creative process, the alchemical fusion of research, personal voice, technical knowledge, and the summation of all one’s experiences. Passing through Offworld results in a creative synthesis that is more than the sum of its parts. Offworld is the 2011 UCLA (Bruins FTW!) Design | Media Art undergraduate exhibition, featuring student works that explore and expand. The opening reception will begin at 5pm in the New Wight Gallery at the Broad Art Center, followed by musical performances featuring Baths and Flying Lotus in the Experimental Digital Arts Space on Thursday, January 13th.