The Guardian’s design and architecture critic Oliver Wainwright traveled to North Korea in 2015. Thankfully he brought a camera with him to document the country’s eerie aesthetics!
I had to cancel all push notifications about North Korea this summer because they just gave me too much to worry about. Everything about North Korea is so fascinating yet frightening to me. Perhaps this is why I am so enthralled by Oliver Wainwright’s photographs?
What strikes me the most is how I seem to have the exact same taste in interior design as Kim Jong-un. If I were a dictator, I too would decorate my country like a Wes Anderson-inspired doll house. A marble statue of myself placed in front of a neon pink sunset? *my literal dream*
All images via northkoreaninteriors.tumblr.com
Swoosh Art is the type of art I am here af for. I truly believe masters wanted the Nike logo incorporated into their art when painting their Madonnas and goddesses. They just did’t know it yet.
Swoosh Art is a tumblr page run by award-winning fashion film director Davide Bedoni. In his words Swoosh Art “is what I do when I am bored.”
Placing the so-called Nike ‘swoosh’ in 18th and 19th century masterpieces may seem like a way to emphasise the absurdities of commercialism. But to me this is about creating a connection between visual propaganda of the past with visual propaganda of today. Although these paintings might seem like harmless decorations, they were more often than not commissioned to propagate the message of a social, political or religious conviction.
And besides, who knew that Jacques-Louis David’s iconography would be such an aesthetic match with Carolyn Davidson’s logo-design?
All images are from swooshart.tumblr.com
In an alternate universe, I would wake up to five large, canvas-shaped presents under the Christmas tree this year.
I would proceed to ripping those presents open real quick to find that Santa very generously gave me paintings by 23-year-old, London-based artist George Rouy. Preferably paintings from Rouy’s In Dirty Water series. Too bad his paintings sell out so fast Santa doesn’t stand a chance against all the art investors out there. Maybe next year.
Images via itsnicethat and id.
Follow George Rouy on Instagram here.
Growing up as a die hard Destiny’s Child fan, you bet I’ve had my eyes on Solange since the days of her sister Beyonce’s girl group. I distinctly remember staying tuned on MTV just to watch Solange’s music video to Feelin’ You. And listening to I Decided while biking to and from school every day. Although I loved everything Solange did from day one – little did I know she would become one of her generation’s most forward-thinking artists.
Of course if you’re reading this you have already watched the music videos to Don’t Touch My Hair and Cranes in the Sky… because otherwise you would be in jail by now. Jail for people I don’t like. Rather than writing about the aforementioned videos, I wish to spotlight Solange’s live performances.
In 2016 Solange channeled the message of her album A Seat at the Table through a performance piece titled An Ode To, at the Guggenheim Museum. She requested that the audience come dressed in white, and banned usage of all phones and electronic devices. Hence there being very little documentation of this event.
The message that Solange communicates through her music is clear: it’s all an intelligent commentary on racism, and a celebration of blackness. After the standing ovation, Solange gave a speech regarding her role as a black artist in a predominantly white art world : “inclusion is not enough”. It’s time to enter institutions and tear “the fucking walls down.”
Solange has some of the best curated aesthetics out there. But most importantly – Solange turns the idea of museum exhibitions as we know them, into a safe space for activism through creative expression.
Images above via Solange’s Instagram.
On top of her Guggenheim performance, Solange has also performed at the Pérez Art Museum Miami and the Menil Collection. You can also view an online interactive for the Tate Modern, titled Seventy States here.
Since there is no decent footage from any of Solange’s museum performances I thought I’d add a clip from her Jimmy Fallon performance instead. It’s phenomenal.
CONTEMPORARY ART YOU GUYS <3333
Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde creates fluffy, white clouds in unique indoor settings. In his ‘Nimbus’ series, Smilde has developed a well versed technique that produces clouds, which he then photographs in churches, museums and castles.
Clouds are just about the most universal matter one could think of. But seeing them indoors, with their organic forms in contrast to manmade architecture, really throws me off.
Berndnaut Smilde carefully adjusts the temperature and humidity of his scouted locations. Thereon he produces perfect little clouds using water vapour and a fog machine. The lifespan of his artwork is about 10 seconds – just long enough for the cloud to be photographed.
All images are from http://www.berndnaut.nl/
My latest obsession is the music video for SANDÍA by Argentinian rapper Nathy Peluso. This vaporwave aesthetic is so millennial it makes me want to put it in a time capsule and preserve it for generations to come – together with a note saying “this is the aesthetic the post-internet era was all about”.
For those of you who are not down with the millennial lingo, vaporwave is basically a subculture of music and art that satires and celebrates pop culture. The visuals of vaporwave are coincidentally enough referred to as ‘aesthetics’. If you’re looking at something pink, with a marble classical bust, nostalgic imagery from the 90’s, and a glitching, stretched out font – you’re probably looking at a vaporwave aesthetic.
You can definitely see the vaporwave influences in SANDÍA by Nathy Peluso. Like Cabanel’s Venus photoshopped in front of a picture of Ciara = my two favourite things in life. <3
The term ~ contemporary art ~ is often synonymous to weird art. Just to be clear, ‘contemporary’ just means that the artwork was made fairly recently.
Anyway. Artist Christopher Chiappa‘s installation of 7,000 fried egg miniature statues in the Kate Werble Gallery is definitely just as weird as it is contemporary. Nevertheless… I’m a big fan of fried egg statues.
The Kate Werble Gallery describes the exhibition as follows: “Chiappa’s fried eggs operate squarely within the uncomfortable intersection of two symbolic legacies, mining the darkly humorous vein where perfection and failure meet.”
Haha operate squarely who?!? Uncomfortable intersection whatttt? Darkly humorous vein whom??? This is literally gibberish to me. EITHER WAY. I’M A BIG FAN OF EGG STATUES.
Images via designboom.com
British artist Danny Fox has really been poppin’ off on the art market lately. His paintings are (what people in the art world call) naive, yet super confident.
Danny Fox grew up in a small town in the British country side. He lived a hard knock life in London for a few years until he relocated to Los Angeles as his career took off. Now he and his famous tattoo artist wife, Tati Compton, are the ultimate LA hipster couple.
Danny Fox’s naive painting style almost becomes iconoclastic in the context of Sotheby’s prestigious auctions. The one with boxers and birds is my favourite :)))
All images are from http://www.white-cake.com/
Romanian artist Dan Cretu creates photomontages of classical statues in contemporary environments. Like Venus de Milo taking the subway. Or Michelangelo’s David having a nosebleed. <333
I am once again obsessed with art that combines the past with the present. So I guess it comes as no surprise that the playful work by Dan Cretu is just my cup of tea.
Images via trendland.
Follow Dan Certu on Instagram here.
I do believe Brazilian art director and photographer Carolina Mizrahi is the answer to all of our prayers. Rooms fully painted in pink or beige is at least all I’ve ever wanted.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, now living and working in London, Carolina Mizrahi art directs and photographs creations that are an absolute dream. Brace yourselves for a heap of pictures because I simply could’t just select a few.
All images are from http://carolinamizrahi.com/
Follow Carolina Mizrahi on Instagram here.