In late 1978, an exhibition of cartoonist Chester Gould‘s (d. 1985) art for his strip, Dick Tracy, was held at the Museum of Cartoon Art (now defunct) in Port Chester, NY. In the catalog published to coincide with the show, there is a massive appendix of 200 characters Gould created for the strip over the years. Now I’ve never read Dick Tracy as it was a bit before my time, but I had absolutely no idea it was so weird. The characters have bizarre appearances and names like Flattop, Nothing, and Vitamin Flintheart. Matt Masterson, the man who put the appendix together, says:
When I asked Chet Gould where he got the names for some of his characters, he told me he used to ride the train from his home in Woodstock, Illinois to his studio in Chicago and sketch various people he observed on the train. He would exaggerate upon certain features or characteristics. The name would follow, with he one exception being Flattop, whose name came from the popular aircraft carrier of World War II.
Some of my favorites are after the jump, but if you want to see the whole collection, click here.
Brazilian artist Henrique Oliveira creates monumental, site-specific installations that confront the viewer with oddly formed, but organic looking sculptures. Oliveira’s way of shaping and installing the material against the gallery wall make it seem like an ever-changing parasitic growth upon a manufactured, man-made landscape. The objects’ swirls, knots and root-like quality allude to both natural and artificial substances.
The artist’s way of merging varied materials, amongst them recycled wood and decayed debris from the Sao Paolo streets, suggest that the artist is interested in manipulating both indoor and outside space to finally create a harmonious coexistence between urban design, plant life, and biology. (via Design Boom)
“Processes that give rise to forms are at the heart of our artistic work.” says German studio Deskriptiv (the combined work of Dominik Kolb and Christoph Bader), who describe their work as being rooted jointly in the (occasionally conflicting) realms of design, art and computer science. “We work on the interface of computer science and design and combine both disciplines. In this area of conflict to find new processes to deal with it, to analyze it and graphically prepare, that’s what fascinates us and drives. The formation processes, we define purely digitally with the help of our main working tool, the computer.”
Naturally 3D printing fits neatly into the Venn Diagram shared by these disciplines (see previous examples, such as the world’s first 3D printed room, Nick Ervick’s incredibly complex 3D sculptures, and more at Beautiful/Decay) and serves as the perfect medium in which to explore their intersection. In works like their “Hüllen” series (“Wrap,” in English), the duo utilizes clear and opaque plastics, combining them with more mirrored silver surfaces. The intricate complexities (and the imagined difficulties to achieve such subtleties without blending the materials) can also be seen in the their “Verbowen” (translation, “Interwoven”) series, combines a variety of materials and surfaces, weaving them in tight complexity. Meanwhile, their “Klebend” (translation, “Adhesive”) series focuses less on blended materials and more on form, choosing a singular palate to exhibit the true range of surfaces the technology is capable of. (via hi-fructose)
Chris Burkard is a photographer based in Central Coast, California. He captures lifestyle and action sports, and some of his most compelling works are these pictures of people surfing among the snow-covered mountains in places liked Iceland, Norway, and Alaska. There’s a cognitive dissonance that comes from viewing these photos – surfing is typically a warm-weather sport that doesn’t seem like it’d mix with the cold temperatures. But here, Burkard’s subjects are traipsing among glaciers and a white landscape in their head-to-toe wet suits.
Despite the initial reaction of “buuuurrrrr,” there’s a palpable bliss in Burkard’s idyllic photos. The natural beauty is undeniable no matter the temperature. Skies are clear, the water is blue, and it’s all made even brighter with the peppered throughout. Burkard purposely searches for wild, remote destinations, and, according to him, “portrays the humble placement of the human in contrast to nature.”
This piece is an exact representation of: discovering (despite a frantic search for at least one orange popsicle) the remaining popsicles in the freezer are all grape. I hate grape. Well, maybe that’s not exactly what artist Rokkaku Ayako had in mind when she created this piece, but she definitely has a knack for capturing the essence of childhood in frenzied acrylics and scraps of cardboard. Ayako’s work bleeds with the immediacy of youth. Like when our mothers would say they’d be back in an hour, and we had absolutely no concept of how much time that really was.
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New York artist Alison Blickle creates interests paintings in which female nudes (which I think are roughly self-portraits) are pictured in the majestic beauty of nature. While this might not sound all that revolutionary on its own, there is an interesting, almost cartoonish aesthetic in the paintings which creates a sort of off-putting sense of abstraction/simplification, as if this reality is very far from the artist’s life.