Broken bones, badass dogs, big on loitering… Brendan Klein’s name even sounds thrasher. My skateboarding days may have ended the first time I couldn’t make a turn, but with these photos I feel like I’m getting a proper look into a world I never became a part of. But maybe that’s a good thing….. or I might have ended up like the lovely lady after the cut. My face is the wrong shape for Mardi Gras masks.
For 3 months of the year, Corey Arnold is a commercial fisherman. For the rest of the time he travels around Portland, Oregon and the surrounding areas photographing the wildlife in a very sincere and earnest way. Beginning his life at sea, he first worked as a deckhand on a crabbing vessel in Alaska in 1997, and from then started documenting his experiences in an on-going series called Fish-Work. In it, Arnold captures the lifestyle of the commercial fishing world, filled with images of men in neon colored rain jackets, bundles of ropes, dead bait, enormous waves, monstrous fish and hoards of birds.
In his new series though, he has concentrated just on animals and their personalities. The exhibition Wildlife is as unpretentious as it sounds. Arnold has been able to become quite intimate with his subjects, capturing bears, birds, seals, sharks, and moose all in a relaxed, natural state. Spliced with images, once again, from the fishing world, we get a good idea of how seamlessly Arnold fits into his environment. It seems the animals caught on camera don’t notice the presence of this human one bit. The artist reflects on his obsession with the wilderness and also his ability to go unnoticed within it:
I harbored a deep desire to be an animal living in nature and I didn’t have far to travel. The lush gully in my backyard, just out of sight beyond a thicket of poison oak, was home to coyotes, raccoons, possums, stray pets, snakes, lizards, rats and crawdads. Any bustling in the bushes was a potential mystery to unravel or a prey to stalk. I was a particularly curious child, an amateur wildlife tracker, behaviorist and hunter who often pressed the boundaries of human/wild animal proximity. (Source) (Via Super Sonic)
To some, the purpose of hyperrealistic art may seem uncertain; why reproduce reality in such painstaking detail, when we are confronted by each other’s flesh every day? Of course, some of the sculptures have disturbing and surreal aspects, which makes their illusory qualities more clear. Like rats’ tails and hairless cats, these sculptures may make many of us strangely uncomfortable, for they unconsciously remind us of our own mortal fleshiness. Beyond this initial repulsion, however, they also mimic and accentuate reality to confront the viewer with meanings they may never see otherwise: human vulnerability, and the skin as a shallow edifice that distracts us from another’s internal experience. In each of these “simulations” of real life, an intuitive (and often unsettling) truth is revealed.
Maybe you love puns, maybe you hate them. Whatever your stance on them, UK street artist JPS is a fan. They permeate his work as he incorporates the witty phrases into stenciled images of characters in popular culture. We see Batman, Loki, Biggie Smalls, and even Michael Jackson on walls and rocks and are often accompanied by text that’s specific to the character.
JPS’ clever street art is made extra amusing because of how silly some of his puns are. A previously graffitied wall has his addition of “This surface needs a Sheen,” with a portrait of Charlie Sheen next to it. Groan-worthy, yes, but it might’ve made you chortle. And, this is probably part of the point of JPS’ stencils. While funny, they engage the average passerby and infuse some humor into their day and stay subversive at the same time. (Via The Roosevelts)
The Loaded Woman 2009, acrylic on linen, 76 x 65 images via LaViolaBank Gallery
The works of Helle Mardahl vary in medium with paintings, sculpture and collaged photographs addressing human fallacies and inventive absurdities. The artist’s background in fashion is demonstrated by the precise coordination and arrangement of shape and color embodying the figures. They don exaggerated features and contorted body parts and are masked to the point of sheer spectacle and wonderment. The artist’s interest in bedazzlement and burdened woe is a convincing combination of Rembrandt’s hobo drawings and Nick Cave’s soundsuits.
If you’ve followed Beautiful/Decay you know that Skwak has collaborated with us dozens of times creating apparel, posters, gallery exhibitions and most importantly his wildly popular cover story in Beautiful/Decay Issue J . One of his most exciting new projects is his collaboration with our friends over at Mr. Chiizu, an artist’s photo decoration iphone app. He signed on with Mr. Chiizu earlier this year to create a theme that lets his fans get inside his always funny and sometimes grotesque illustrious world. Skwak’s signature style lent themselves well to the photo frames and stickers he created for his theme. We caught up with Skwak to see what he has been up to.
David Thomas Smith’s Anthropocene series examines global landscapes that have been transformed by the actions and activities humanity. Smith has created these images using a unique and groundbreaking technique. Each image is composited from thousands and thousands of thumbnails extracted as screen grabs from Google Maps, which are then reconstructed piece by piece using Photoshop to produce such incredibly detailed images, a level of detail one can only really experience in person.
Anthropocene itself reflects upon the complex structures that make up the centres of global capitalism, transforming the aerial landscapes of sites associated with industries such as oil, precious metals, consumer culture information and excess. Thousands of seemingly insignificant coded pieces of information are sown together like knots in a rug to reveal a grander spectacle.Questions of photographic and economic realities are further complicated through the formal use of patterns that have their origins in the ancient civilizations of Persia. This work draws upon the patterns and motifs used by Persian rug makers, especially the way Afghani weavers use the rug to record their experiences more literally with vivid images of the war torn land that surrounds them.This collision between the old and the new, fact and fiction, surveillance and invisibility, is part of a strategy to reflect on the global order of things. (via)
Manjari Sharma’s newest project, called “Shower Series,” takes her subjects into an area that is usually private and very intimate; the shower. In this new series, the subject is invited to her apartment where she photographs them in her bathroom. The experience, Sharma says, was one in which, “.. every new person in the shower became a brand new allegory. With every new visit I had a new protagonist; A new plot and a new parable of hurt and heroic that came undone under that shower – My Shower.”
Manjari Sharma was born and raised in Mumbai, India. She has worked as a photojournalist with many respected magazines in India as well as been featured on the cover of many publications. Her work can be seen on her website.