“Godfather of Neon” Chris Bracey is the artist and collector behind London’s God’s Own Junkyard, the world’s largest collection of neon signs, art work, light sculptures, and other reworked, salvaged props. Bracey’s signs and props have appeared in many Hollywood films such as “Blade Runner,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Mona Lisa,” and “Eyes Wide Shut,” to name a very few. After filming’s done on a movie, the signs and props get tossed out, but 25 years ago, Bracey decided to start collecting and storing many of his more iconic creations. In this short film, Bracey explains that his experience of neon is like visual cocaine, an experience of visual addiction. He also claims that he was the first person to create the iconic and oft-used “Girls Girls Girls” sign seen at adult establishments, both in real life and in films.
After he began collecting his discarded film commissions, Bracey says he decided that he should name the collection. “I had this yard with all the stuff in it, and I’ve got loads of sheds with neon signs in, piled up. And I thought, what am I going to call it? And then I read about this book that was about an architect in the 60s who didn’t like urban America because of all the movie signs, petrol stations, gambling casinos, diners on Route 66, and big signs all over the landscape. He said ‘they’re turning God’s own country into God’s own junkyard!’ And I thought, yeah, that’s what I’ve got here. I’ve got all this stuff from God’s own junkyard which is very much like America, with all these signs. I love this stuff so much, I thought if God had a junkyard it would be full up with all this stuff, these neon signs, because I think God would really like all this stuff. It’s really magical to me.” (via unknown editors)
Ladies & Gentlemen Studio is a two person team with a love for vintage items. Looking at their serving utensils from their Superior Servers collection, their sensibilities are immediately apparent- use classic silhouettes in a new modern way. Their other projects share this clever and endearing quality.
If you follow B/D on a regular basis you know we’ve been long time fans of Skinner and his grotesque and monstrous world of zombie vikings, heavy metal soldiers, and gnarly warriors looking to rage on the closest village of innocent soft rock listening peasants. We’ve featured Skinner in Book 3 and countless times on our blog but our minds were completely blown when we stumbled across his latest collaboration with one of our favorite snowboard brands, CAPiTA Super Corporation! Not only are CAPiTA boards some of the best on the market but they feature some of the most brutal graphics available. Needless to say that if you’re part of the Cult of Decay you need to get rid of that tacky neon board from the 80’s and slash n’ burn in style with CAPiTA & Skinner.
If you’re still not convinced just head over to the CAPiTA site to check out some of the other boards that Skinner designed along the rest of CAPiTA’s range. Even if you’ve never snowboarded in your life you’ll love CAPiTA’s art direction as every page of their site is a spaced out, psychedelic, visual mind explosion- from the zombie astronaut team page , to the motion page where you can watch the CAPiTA team shred, kill, and destroy everything in its path. CAPiTA is definitely a kindred spirit of the Cult of Decay, if B/D were to start a snowboard company CAPiTA is what it would look like.
In his new show “My God” Qiu Minye presents us with a new way of seeing. Well, he at least offers us a new way of experiencing objects and the recording of those 3-dimensional things with photography. By painting with light, Minye has suggested different forms of objects that could be real, and then photographed them, resulting in haunting, iridescent, airy images. Whether it is an outline of several figures huddled together watching something in the distance, or an ambiguous geological shape, mythological creatures or floating forms of babies, these snapshots all belong to another space and time.
Minye’s playful images all have a gracefulness to them, and more than most photographs seem to have successfully frozen a moment in time. By removing any fussy details (whether it is light, shadow or color) that may anchor an object in the mundane, he has elevated the idea of the object/subject to something majestic and mystical. The fish for example seems to spitting sparks of fire and is caught in an ethereal state – in a way we don’t see our everyday fish. Minye has managed to capture some sort of life force or see-able movable energy and it is a very calming thing to witness. He has a very existential approach to his art. He poses numerous questions when speaking about his past photographic projects:
What part of humanity is lost in time? How can we transform these moments into eternity? There are always two worlds, the world of yesteryear that has collapsed and the real world. Here, it is to travel between the two. (Source)
Minye seems to be coercing a particular response out of his audience – suggesting we look at the things surrounding us in an abstract, philosophical way – where it’s more about the idea of the thing rather than the tangibility of it. (Via Designboom)
The house is a shape everyone has some form of relationship with. Whether it symbolizes comfort, global financial crises in housing market, cookie cutter mediocrity or family, the house as a mundane symbol or object has been elevated to captivating experimental art and high art on several occasions. This weekend we share with you a selection of significant works that adapt houses into art objects.
Urs Fischer‘s Untitled (Bread House), constructed of bread, bread crumbs, wood, polyurethane foam, silicone, acrylic paint, screws, tape and rugs leaves every ingredient exposed. Stepping inside this large sculptural work recently at MOCA had the effect of walking inside a decaying fairytale, as the work is naturally allowed to crumble and decompose in exhibition. Stepping over piles of crusts of cinnamon raisin bread amidst dirty rugs and peering up at the bubbled polyeurythane foam that seeps between boards and rows of old bread, the viewer may feel any combination of wonder, amusement and fear- much like Grimms Brothers Fairytales.
An Te Liu‘s Title Deed evolved from the Leona Drive Project in Toronto where a number of vacant tract houses were offered to artists to be reinvented as artistic installations. As this project took place in 2009 in the height of the housing market crash, the artist observed that the simple shape of the existing house represented the 20th century iconic Monopoly board game house pieces. The simple, yet flawless execution of Title Deed situated within a functioning suburban neighborhood carries comical yet heavy implications.
Viola’s plaid suitcase was empty except for this tiny scrap of paper.
When Willard Psychiatric Center in New York’s Finger Lakes area closed its doors in 1995, staff member Bev Courtwright made a miraculous discovery. Tucked away in the attic were a collection of over 400 abandoned suitcases containing the possessions of their original owners before they were committed to the institution. Photographer Jon Crispin began documenting the collections of belongings in 2011, offering a poignant look into the lives of the people who entered this place (and often never left).
The patients and their suitcases arrived at the Center between 1910 and 1960. Since many of them were treated for chronic mental illness, it wasn’t uncommon that patients died while in the hospital and were buried in the graveyard across the street. If no family member came to claim their belongings, they were taken and stored in the room where Courtwright eventually found them.
The suitcases and trunks vary in their contents, of course, and some were more robustly-packed than others. This fascinating series that examines the objects we hold sacred and what we’re personally attached to, as strange as they may seem. Crispin’s website sheds light on the individual stories of each patient, and in a way memorializes those who owned them. (Via Let’s Get Lost. H/T Meighan O’Toole)