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Sarah Sze Forages And Deposits A New Installation At Venice Biennale

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Sarah Sze’s installations incorporate everyday items from toothpicks to light bulbs, and “Triple Point,” her most recent endeavor at the Venice Biennale, is no different. Ladders, paper scraps, aluminum rods, sleeping bags, and other finely scavenged items collect and assemble to create a whole new type of machinery: a thinking one that has to do with re-assessing value and investigating the romanticism of objects at play with one another in this never-ending Milky Way of constructs.

According to The New York Times, Sze “wanted the installation to bleed out into the environment.’’ This is relevant to not only the pavilion itself, where the bulk of her work sprawls from room to room and outward onto the exterior landscaping, but also the neighboring community.

Blazing a cryptic trail, before the opening, Sze deposited a series of fake rocks (aluminum structures wrapped in photographs of rocks) sporadically in unexpected places, sometimes, with local businesses, who now house them in unconventional spaces, often along with their own imaginative origin stories. The intention is to lead patrons into the exhibit slowly, almost subconsciously, as though foraging their own trail into the surprising wilderness of Sze’s art.

More images of the installation and a video after the jump.

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Rana Begum’s Shifting Perspective Geometric Sculptures

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The first quality one may see in the brightly-colored, bent steel pieces by Rana Begum is the potential to shift based on perspective. From one angle, viewers will be confronted by a flat, monochromatic shape jutting from the wall, while another view offers more intricate geometric patterns spreading across several pieces. This is the legacy of Sol Lewitt, Donald Judd or Agnes Martin – to take the simplest shapes and through color, form and collection, imbue them with complexity and depth. As Begum explains, “Its so beautiful the way the simple form and shape can be repeated to create a space like that”

Though Begum lists these more modern artists as influences, the Bangladeshi-born, London-based artist also explains that the Aniconism (belief in avoiding/outlawing representations of divine beings, prophets or any human beings in religious imagery) traditions of Islam were equally influential. This tradition was responsible for the exquisite geometric and intensely detailed works seen in classical Islamic architecture, a connection which is apparent in Begum’s deceptively simple works.  “For me, architecture evokes memories of reading the Quran as a child in a mosque in Bangladesh,” said Begum in an interview with Surface Magazine’s Marina Cashdan, “which was bare, simple, and had a lot of light coming in through the windows.”  This shifting imagery can be seen in her works, where repetition and simplistic elements collectively offer complexity.

Begum’s most recent works often uses paint on Origami-like, bent mild steel and powder-coated aluminum, but she has also begun using brass and copper as a base for her wall sculptures. “[They are] materials I spent a long time researching and I’m excited to use them for this show,” she says. “They bring an extra dimension to the works” (via wallpaper* and surface)

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Delicate Paper Birds by Diana Beltran Herrera

Columbian artist Diana Beltran Herrera carefully sculpts incredibly detailed paper birds by hand, representing real and imagined species with bright (and sometimes glittery) plumage. Though her creations are static sculptures, they seem to convey an incredible sense of movement and life. This is reflected in Herrerra’s choice of paper as a medium, which she uses for its sense of lightness and freedom. She also frequently creates paper habitats for her birds, ranging from jungles to woodlands.

Made With Color Presents: The Intricate Sketchbook Drawings Of Zidekahedron

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Premiere website builder Made With Color and Beautiful/Decay team up each week to bring you some of the best contemporary artists and designers using Made With Color to build their sleek websites. Made With Color helps artists create well-designed and mobile/tablet responsive websites in a few minutes without having to touch a line of code.This week we are excited to share the work of Zidekahedron who created his portfolio site on the Made With Color platform.

The intricate drawings and illustrations of North Carolina based Chris Zidek A.K.A Zidekahedron are ultra-detailed explorations into the unknown. Rather than looking at art history or pop culture for inspiration, the majority of Zidekahedron’s inspiration results from reading non-fiction. Quantum physics, sacred geometry, astrophysics, cosmology, ancient forbidden archaeology, and theories of an advanced human past all come together and collide in his stippled and patterned worlds that live within the pages of his sketchbook.

Expanding about his work he states:

I’ve been creating my own mythology based on these studies, specifically focused on how creation functions on a macro and micro level, how pyramids were constructed, and how life is truly created, usually with sacred geometry acting as the underlying blueprint. My demigod characters act as the answer to most of the oldest questions we have. They range from the size of a subatomic particle, to 150 foot tall pyramid construction workers, to 50,000 mile high planetary architects/demolishers.

Mark Menjivar Updates His Photographic Series Of Fridges Several Years Later

Midwife/High School Science Teacher, 2008, left, and right, midwife/business consultant, 2012

Left: Midwife/High School Science Teacher, 2008. Right: midwife/business consultant, 2012

A bartender's fridge in 2008 (left) and 2012 (right).

A bartender’s fridge in 2008 (left) and 2012 (right).

Left: The fridge of a carpenter and photographer in 2008. Right: The fridge, with the photographer now a homemaker, in 2012.

Left: The fridge of a carpenter and photographer in 2008. Right: The fridge, with the photographer now a homemaker, in 2012.

Photographer Mark Menjivar wants to know what’s in your fridge. His series You Are What You Eat began in 2007 (it was previously featured on Beautiful/Decay here), and it captured the insides of 60 different people’s fridges. Menjivar thought of the series as a portrait project, with food defining someone’s identity. Several years later, he revisited some of the fridges. The new photographs depict how lives change over the years, as illustrated by food. For some, their habits have changed drastically, while others, more or less, are the same.

 The ingredients in one’s fridge tell us a lot. Not only what kind of food they eat, but do they cook regularly, do they drink alcohol, do they like barbecue. And what about fresh produce? When the photographer met with a midwife and science teacher in 2008, they had started a commitment to eating only local produce. In 2012, with ready-made fruit packs in sight, we can see that commitment didn’t exactly last. The fridge that was chock-full of takeout containers in 2008 was owned by a bartender. Still a bartender in 2012, he has, according to Menjivar, started eating healthier and lost weight.

You Are What You Eat was originally shot for an exhibition at the Houston Center for Photography. Since the release of the series, the exhibition has travelled to 15 cities. In each city, Menjivar collaborates with communities to create a conversation about food issues in their area. The series will eventually become a book. (via Slate)

Andres Guerrero

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Former White Walls Gallery owner Andres Guerrero has been making some epic skull and currency infused paintings that really pop. He has a show going up at Subliminal Projects in LA from February 6th through March 6th, so make sure you go check it out!

Go Figure and Ted Gahl on the Lower East Side

There’s a pretty great pair of painting shows on the Lower East Side in NYC at Dodge GalleryTed Gahl is in the front room with his cryptic, interpretive and symbolic paintings.  I was drawing with him once, and he drew something that looked like a mysterious jelly bean, using a marker on construction paper.  I was curious so I asked Ted what it was, and told me it was a car mirror reflecting the driver.  Go Figure is group show curated by Eddie Martinez, and it has a bunch of artists that have appeared on Beautiful/Decay’s website and in the book series.  There is some very choice work too, it’s interesting to see the work together as well.  After the jump you can see work by Allison Schulnik, Erik Parker, Jamison Brosseau, and Jose Lerma.  Both shows are up until November 13th.

Phil Ashcroft

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London based artist Phil Ashcroft explores & investigates the Urban Landscape and unveils, through both 2D & 3D mediums, sometimes somewhat ominous and often playful, the hidden possibilities within.