a blog about art and all things aesthetically pleasing
Hey my name is Michelle! I am a Stockholm based art history student obsessed with all things aesthetically pleasing. Aesthetics is a digital platform where I compile all forms of visual content that I like.
There is so much Internet yet so little time so let me do you a solid and help you navigate your way through the world of art, photography, music videos and much more.
I love these paintings by the Los Angeles based, up-and-coming artist Alex Gardner. While his painting technique is very traditional and academic, the result almost looks like an animated illusion. In interviews Alex Gardner is often asked whether his Afro-Japanese heritage plays an important part in choosing to depict charcoal black bodies, but he insists that although those ideas are inherent in his work, he doesn’t have a socio-political agenda. His themes are rather universal feelings of identity, desire, ethics and anxiety.
Loook at this super nice music video by super nice Quiñ. In her Instagram bio, Quiñ describes herself as a “FANTASY GIRL IN A FANTASY WORLD MAKING FANTASY SOUL MUSIC”. A description I am very here for. And although the video is pink and perfect, Sticky Situation is about losing interest in your partner: “I only pursued you for the booty, babe. Now you glued to me.” : / Oh and Syd is obviously an absolute blessing to any song at all times.
The Slovakian artist Maria Svarbova has made a name for herself by photographing the human body as mannequin-like props in what is often referred to as ‘Socialist Era settings’. Although she studied restoration and archeology at uni, her artistic calling in life is photography. Maria Svarbova’s art direction together with the final editing creates such an uncanny finish. If you keep your eyes open you’ll notice that her unique aesthetics have become very popular in editorials and galleries all over the world – and righteously so.
The writer and visual artist Elise R. Peterson’s series #blackfolk epitomises everything that I love about the Internet and contemporary art. Dance by Matisse just so happens to be one of my all time favourite paintings. And Grace Jones has got to be one of my all time favourite human beings. So combining the two??? Not only is the result aesthetically pleasing, it also adds layers of political commentary, questioning the authority of the modernist white, male geniuses that have been placed on pedestals by (white, male) art historians. Not that Matisse wasn’t a genius… but his pedestal is definitely worth questioning or at least sharing with a long list of black artists that never got the chance to exist and thrive in the same artistic context as Matisse, for instance. I could literally go on forever so instead let’s just look at Prince posing next to one of Matisse’s many muses.
I’d say a good 80% of the art i enjoy looking at contains nudity. And good for me because the vast majority of artistic subjects throughout history are pretty scantily clad. And the Japanese artist Haruhiko Kawaguchi, better known as Photographer Hal, is no exception. He literally finds couples at bars or restaurants and asks them if they will undress for him and pose in vacuum sealed plastic bags. Each shot takes about 10 to 40 minutes to capture and during that time the nude couple is rubbed up against each other with a minimal supply of oxygen. If that’s not an artistically accurate metaphor for relationships then I don’t know what is. Also. He’s sponsored by Condomania :))))
Reo Cragun is the up-and-coming artist who studied medicine at uni but dropped out and gave up a full scholarship in order to pursue his dream of making it in the music industry.
And Reo Cragun’s video for On My Way is so nice guys!! Drake-esque dance moves amongst reindeer? Yes plz. (Or is it deer? moose? elk? cow? they’re literally all the same to me.) Using the word ‘authentic’ is something I shy away from because it’s probably the most white-girl-expression to date but then again I guess I am just that and Reo Cragun’s video truly is authentic. It’s shot on a film camera rather than using a vintage filter, and it took days to shoot because they had to hike the forests of Washington state in order to find the most dramatic scenery.
If you are a fan of the Wes Anderson aesthetic, you will love this reddit thread. People from all over the world are gathering pictures of actual homes, buildings, public transportations and sceneries that are reminiscent of the film director Wes Anderson’s productions.
Although the internet can be a cruel place, this proves that it can also be <333
I have spent an embarrassing amount of time looking at South Korean music videos. It’s just something I like doing and I don’t know why. But then again I have also watched a ridiculous amount of Bollywood films and at the moment I am watching every documentary about Post-Soviet youth culture that I can come across.
But that’s neither here nor there… because this post is about a music video by the Korean indie rock bandHyukoh (although I’m pretty sure they are singing this specific song in a Chinese language). Oh and the video is shot in Mongolia. The entire visual concept has me screen printing every scene.
Spencer Tunick is an American photographer known for his large scale nude installations. He travels the world and photographs big groups of undressed people, often in front of well known buildings or monuments. Needless to say, when orchestrating hundreds of naked humans on the streets of New York City for example, various arrests and legal battles have come up. It’s the type of art that poses so many questions, yet so few answers. Like, how could they all get undressed, put their clothes somewhere on the ground, and minutes (maybe hours) later find their stuff again??? Nevertheless, his work is magnificent.
My latest obsession is the 24-year-old Barcelona based flamenco singer Rosalía. Now I’m about as familiar with flamenco culture as your average Spanish person is with Swedish folk music. But Rosalía’s voice definitely has me considering the fact that my calling in life might just be flamenco? Anyways. This contemporary approach to an otherwise traditional musical genre in combination with the simple aesthetics of the music video will have you floored. You’re welcome.