One of the most influential artists (Did you know Beautiful/Decay is named after a Barry McGee quote) of his generation Barry McGee was recently asked to reinstall a work of his at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for their 75th Anniversary retrospective. What ended up happening was an installation that not only incorporated the original work created in 1996 but also sampled new work created days before the installation. In this piece we talk with Barry about the preservation of impermanent art and how reinvention keeps him excited.
Artist Maja Ruznic paints what she remembers. Ruznic acts in a literal way on the idea that remembering is a creative process. Painting from experience and filling in the unknown, her paintings feel like their plucked directly from the middle of a narrative. Speaking of the way past experience plays into her creative process Ruznic says:
“Sometimes I am drawn to someone’s hands, to one’s rhythm of speech, to one’s constant checking of their cell phone. This interest usually serves as an incentive to begin a painting.”
The prevalence of any technology forever alters the way we previously understood the world before it. Photography changed painting, audio recording changed our relationship to music, and the internet changed print media such as books and magazines. What is most often lost is the human touch, a closer connection from the source to the viewer or listener. Such is the story of courtroom sketch artist Gary Myrick, the focus of a documentary produced by Ramtid Nikzad of the New York Times as part of the Op-Doc series. A compelling figure who narrates the history of the tradition, Myrick Myrick explains the difference and importance of his craft, “Illustration is story-telling. The difference between the camera in the courtroom and an artist might be the difference between just a cold, dry, factual transcript as opposed to a novel.”
Beginning with Myrick explaining his work, the documentary covers the history of the medium, the advent and fall of courtroom photography, and the eventual decline of the courtroom sketch artist. “The artist at one time was the media,” says Myrick, relaying the history of artist documentarians, from war reporting through history to multi-tasking newspaper reporters who considered their drawings as important as their words. “When you funnel the story through a human being, its got a different quality than simply doing a mechanical recording of it,” says Myrick. “A lot of things going on about me are channeled through my heart, and my soul and my brain and my fingers…I like to convey just how it feels in that moment.”
Despite his immense talent, Myrick and so many other sketch artists are no longer able to work exclusively in the dying industry. Myrick poignantly notes, speaking more indicatively of so many industries that are being lost to the ease of technology, “I’m trying to draw to communicate to those that aren’t there, what it was like to be there. And maybe some of that has been getting lost.” (via juxtapoz and newyorktimes)
Mostly considered for the way they might make you feel, it is less common to consider what a drug might look like. Artist Sarah Schoenfeld had this thought while working at a Berlin nightclub. She converted her photography studio into a laboratory and exposed legal and illegal liquid drug mixtures to film negatives. She then created large prints from the resulting chemical reactions. The body of work, titled All You Can Feel, consists of bizarre images of heroin, cocaine, MDMA and other drugs. The work is meant to explore the relationship between alchemy, pharmacy and psychology, but also emerges as a visually interesting and sophisticated photography series.
The images appear as visual incarnations of the physical effects of the drugs they depict—they evoke bizarre altered states that feel both alluring, otherworldly and dangerous.
One of my favorite pastimes while in Dubai & Sharjah is to photograph all the photos and paintings of the various Sheikhs in every single building that you enter. They all vary in scale, medium, and content but all are fascinating. I think we should take this practice up in the states, plastering Obama’s photos and paintings behind every single business desk.
Northern Irish, Australian based artist Emma Coulter creates large scale colorful illusions that break the boundaries between painting, sculpture, installation, and interior design. Her work, being painted or installed directly on the walls, are site specific, allowing each vibrant piece to exist as a reaction and assessment of it’s environment. She notes that “spatiality in painting has long been a problem in the history of art.” Her process allows to her “utilis(e) space as a raw material,” challenging the traditional approach to figure out and investigate the issue of space and light. Her use of color and geometry employs a distortion of the space— creating illusory elements that both add and destroy previous conceptions of reality. Within in artist statement, Coulter explains:
“I see colour as an object or material to be manipulated through placement, proportion and adjacency in response to space. I am interested in challenging our assumptions about colour. It is a commonly misunderstood material, that is often associated with not being critical or serious. Through my systematic approach to colour and the spatiality of painting, I hope to reveal something new about the practice of painting and its potential to blur boundaries and adapt environments.”
Her use of color, big, bold and bright, is a nice wink to conceptual minimalist artists such as Sol LeWiitt; her work captures that same notion of a somehow clean experimentation. Truly a contemporary take on difficult and endless artistic quandaries. (via PICDIT)
Premiere website builder Made With Color and Beautiful/Decay have teamed up yet again to bring you exclusive artist features. Each week we bring you some of the most exciting artists and designers working today who use Made With Color to create their clean and sleek websites. Website builder 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 hilarious and offbeat illustrations of Kyle Stewart.
Canadian illustrator Kyle stewart is currently working on his Illustration degree at Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD). When Stewart isn’t busy hitting the books at OCAD he is churning out his pop culture laced mixed media illustrations, in watercolor, collage, and number two pencil. Influenced by everything from 80’s and 90’s sitcoms (Alf!) and action movies (Robocop!) to his early years of skateboarding, Stewart’s strong sense of line and bold color comes through in all his works making us laugh with him at his subtle alterations to the pop icons that we all know and love.