On top of the Sierra Madre mountains of Mexico there is a town called Taxco where literally everyone participates in a massive reenactment of the last days of Christ with elaborate costumes, processions, and scary hooded men that look more like klansmen than holy men. Photographer Paul Alexander Knox has documented this bizarre religious parade in all its glory complete with Roman soldiers, Judas, baby angels, and of course virgin girls.
Bernard Roig’s light sculptures capture a particular strain of ennui. While the idea of light tends to evoke a positive or uplifting feeling, Roig recontextualizes this element as a burden to his sculptures’ human subjects. Sometimes light crushes or imprisons this man, or seems to be a goal that will never be reached. The man is usually sculpted in white, brightening the effect of his subjects’ dissolution. Roig’s work addresses the boundary between the connect/disconnect of our culture’s relationship to light. “Today we are living in an atmosphere saturated with images, but the experience that they produce has a low intensity. Now it is ever more difficult to give meaning to an image. We are subjected to light, a light that dissolves the outlines of things, a white light within which everything fluctuates.”
Daniel Shea’s new series “Plume” is an ongoing photographic examination of coal-fired power plants in Southeast Ohio. The plants loom in his photos, part of the daily lives of the residents. The photos are poignant and revealing. If you would like to support Daniel’s ongoing series you can buy a print, and if you’d like to see more of his projects, like his awesome Baltimore series, check out his website.
To the street artist known as R1, the city is a living thing and he creates his ‘interventions’ accordingly. The city and its streets are something we interact with each day. R1’s simple interventions reveal our relationship with our urban homes. Perhaps more importantly, though, it challenges us to interact with the city in an entirely new ways. R1 says of his process:
“I consider the street as an open canvas. I work with urban interventions and collect every day found materials, transforming them and placing them back where they came from, to become a part of the city’s journey. The resulting artwork is tactile, moving within the motion of the cityscape. Like the street, the work finds its meaning once an interaction with the passer-by takes place.”
In Robbie Rowlands latest body of work Interventions he looks at the nature of decay. During a residency in Detroit, Michigan he came across several abandoned houses which he ‘refurbished’ by ripping out certain sections and creating track-like extensions which seemed to break free and come alive. The idea behind this was to take a rundown or burnt out structure and bring it back to life, even if that only meant in a metaphorical sense. Rowlands’ narrative addresses invisible or inanimate objects such as walls or floors which only begin to get our attention when they start deteriorating or breaking down. Rowlands uses this as a jumping off point to examine ideas of form, rebirth and transformation. The majority of pieces look similar to wooden roller coaster tracks gone haywire breaking free of their static restraints and possessing a unique beauty. In others, especially those “ripped” from the floor inhabit insect qualities which might just be mistaken for an alien life form in the right light.
Various projects have taken the Melbourne native to different locations around the globe both in his native Australia and abroad. Rowlands’ older work has been featured on Beautful/Decay and can be viewed here.
Born in Vietnam but raised in the USA, illustrator Tran Nguyen earned her BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in 2009. Fascinated with the human psyche and interested in the psychologically therapeutic potential of art, Nguyen’s creations are often surreal, dream-like scenes. Sometimes tree stumps have eyes, twigs grow through ear canals, and miniature figures live in the folds of a gown. Besides being visually arresting, often the titles of her works are quite intriguing as well — for instance, “I Came Across a Wilting Cognition” (seen above), “We Vomit Carcasses of Unattended Thoughts,” and “Living Parallel To an Infectious Pigment,” to select a few.