Happy Halloween To The Cult Of Decay!

Happy Halloween from Beautiful/Decay &  Pia Bramley !

Halloween-Inspired Beauty Photographed by John Midgley

As part of our ongoing partnership with Feature Shoot, Beautiful/Decay is sharing Jennifer Kaye’s article on John Mdgley.

Cosmetic giant MAC put their in-store makeup artists to the test this Halloween to create the most compelling looks. Artists from stores in Miami, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York will be judged by MAC’s facebook followers for their annual “Halloween Face-Off.” The portraits, which range from glamorous to macabre, were shot by photographer John Midgley. “The passion of each of the artists was a lot of fun, and it was infectious,” says John. They lived for it—they lived for the look. They lived to have their picture taken. It took it back to the simplest form of photography, which is flattery and escapism.”

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Freya Jobbins’ Gruesome Portraits Made Out Of Doll Parts

Freya Jobbins’ repurposes doll parts and plastic figurines to create disturbingly beautiful busts made out of thousands of tiny body parts. Influenced by Ron Mueck’s sculptures and Guiseppe Archimboldo’s fruit & veggie paintings these provocative objects both delight and disturb the viewer all at once.

“My work explores the relationship between consumerist fetishism and the emerging recycling culture within the visual arts. Due to our society’s overspending on children’s plastic toys, especially dolls, the materials for my assemblages are very accessible.”

See more of Freya’s work after the jump including a special Darth Vader piece in honor of Lucas Films being sold to Disney! (via)

Sten Lex’s Massive OP Art Hand Cut Stencil Portraits

Italian street art duo Sten Lex  are considered as pioneers in their use of the stencil in Italy. Starting their career in their hometown of Rome in 2001, they rapidly acquired an international reputation.  Their work consists of portraits of anonymous characters that they photograph as well as portraits from album covers from the ‘60s and ‘70s. Moving between op art and stencil work STEN LEX is based on a technical finesse and unprecedented accuracy in their remarkable art. Their technique, which they named “Hole School”, is a meticulous hand cut stencil process. They make a thin frame consisting of thousands of paper lines. From the contrast of the black and white lines, the portrait emerges. The visual illusion of the stencil is thus part of the work. The walls on which the stencils are pasted up and the eventual evolution of the paper are hence an equal part of the artwork. Watch a video of their labor intensive process after the jump.

Annika Frye’s Experimental Design

Annika Frye is a young German designer making objects that are partly useful but mostly experiment. That modern cliché of “everything has been done”, or in this case, made, can be discouraging to some young artists and designers. But not everybody. Some people find in it a freedom– now that the difficult groundwork has been done, it is time to play. Annika is definitely in the latter group. Her designs are mostly about in what ways we can re-create the things we already have but in the wildest, most unconventional, and cheapest ways possible. Everything she does is at an angle– a table, made out of tape; a chair, that’s half blanket; a seat, that unfolds into a bed. Check out more of her designs and her descriptions thereof after the jump!

Sascha Braunig’s Hypnotic Paintings

Portland, Maine based artist Sascha Braunig is a portrait painter of sorts.  She uses traditional baroque portraiture techniques with a nod to Op art and a wink at Surrealism.  Braunig’s figures seem to barely emerge out of a hypnotic (and nearly seizure inducing) patterned background.  Her canvases are striped with colors that contrast so much they nearly appear to glow.  The effect is hallucinatory and almost a bit haunting.  The gallery statement from her current exhibit describe the various concepts at play saying:

“ Braunig’s geometric figures have a visual fluidity, as if their delicate skins can barely contain their bodies. Subject and background merge, creating ambiguity and optical tension. An alliance is forced between flat patterned designs and observed, mimetic representation.”

Sascha Braunig is exhibiting her work through December 22 at Manhattan’s Foxy Production.

Shelley Miller’s Cake Icing Graffiti

Montreal based artist Shelley Miller challenges the rough and gritty world of graffiti with her cake icing graffiti. Instead of the usual tags and throw ups Miller brings to the streets a delicate floral touch more likely to be found on triple decker wedding cake from the victorian era.

What makes Miller’s work even more interesting is that her pieces don’t just look like cake frosting but actually are cake frosting! This adds another layer of interest as these intensely ornate pieces disappear and melt off the walls almost as fast as they go up. See more of her works below and check out this great blog post documenting one of her more elaborate pieces as it fades away due to the elements.  (via)

Nick Thomm’s Surreal Bent

Welcome to the hyper colored world of Australian artist and designer Nick Thomm where neon covers everything, digital altered photos are the norm, and everything is just a bit surreal. From neon text pieces to altered scanned images nothing is safe from Thomm’s neo-psychedelic touch!