This is a two part documentary post. If you intrigued by lady gangsters, drugs, and Miami Vice these are the documentaries for you…
The cocaine trade of the 70s and 80s had an indelible impact on contemporary Miami. Smugglers and distributors forever changed a once sleepy retirement community into one of the world’s most glamorous hot spots, the epicenter of a $20 billion annual business fed by Colombia’s Medellin cartel. By the early 80s, Miami’s tripled homicide rate had made it the murder capital of the country, for which a Time cover story dubbed the city “Paradise Lost.” With COCAINE COWBOYS, filmmaker Billy Corben – whose first feature Raw Deal: A Question Of Consent, caused a sensation at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival – paints a dazzling portrait of a cultural explosion that still echoes as Hollywood myth, evidenced by the latest manifestation, NBC/Universal’s Miami Vice, opening July 28th. Composer of the original “Miami Vice” theme, Jan Hammer, provides the score.
Three months ago we approached long time B/D contributor Kyle Thomas to hand draw every single copy (1,500 total) of Beautiful/Decay’s Book: 1. Much to our surprise, Kyle quickly agreed and simply said “Bring it on!”
Last night at 6pm, we received the shipment of books and Kyle began the monumental task of creating 1,500 distinct works of art. The video above documents his stream of conscious supernatural drawing style. He’s currently holed up in the Beautiful/Decay offices drawing non stop during the whole work day! Based on his current pace he will complete all the covers by Tuesday July 14th, which is also the cut off date to reserve your copy. So make sure to subscribe today to ensure you get a copy of this one of a kind book.
I’m back with another fantastic documentary from my netflix archives. I give you The Nomi Song!
Looks like an alien, sings like a diva – Klaus Nomi was one of the 1980s’ most profoundly bizarre characters. He was a cult figure in the New Wave underground scene, a genuine counter tenor who sang pop music like opera and brought opera to club audiences and made them like it. He was a performer with a “look” so strong, that his first audiences went wild before he even opened his mouth. Klaus presented himself as “the perfect video star” yet his star burned out just before the mass explosion of MTV. On the verge of international fame as a singer, he became instead one of the first gay artists to die of AIDS. In the end, his recorded output consists of re-reissues, in various forms, of only two LP’s and a live album. For those who do know him, the reaction he provoked was so strong, that he is still unforgettable, even 20 years after his death. Even now, Klaus is somehow still winning new fans among those too young to have known him when he was alive. And a quick check of the Internet reveals that all his records are still being sold.
If you’re anything like us here at Beautiful/Decay, you are no doubt avid zine/magazine readers & collectors. So, in celebration of print, we are holding a competition- whoever shows us their collection of magazines in the most creative way will win an Offi – “W” Magazine Stand in Walnut ($169 value!). The mag rack comes compliments of the online shop All Modern, which carries an excellent selection of modern furniture & housewares by brands such as Knoll, Herman Miller, Blomus, Alessi, etc. So send in your artwork/design/photographs of the craziest, biggest, messiest stack of magazines to:[email protected].
We’ll post all the entries on our blog next week and will pick a winner on Monday.
Deadline: Monday, July 6th, 10am PST!
About the Offi – “W” Magazine Stand in Walnut
Designed by West Coast product designer Eric Pfeiffer, the magazine reflects a penchant for simplicity and a useful and elegant solution to everyday living. Pfeiffer’s works evoke timeless forms that recognize a product’s usefulness and necessity while exhibiting the beauty of its material.
Crazy Love is probably one of the more bizarre documentaries i’ve seen in a while. Here’s a great review of the film by Eric D. Snider.
Ideally, you would watch “Crazy Love” without knowing anything about it beyond what’s contained in these first few paragraphs. It is a documentary about two New Yorkers who met and fell in love in the 1950s, and the turbulence their relationship has endured since then. It’s a bizarre, riveting, and outrageously original story, and it’s 100 percent true. You’ll enjoy it more if you’re surprised by what happens, which you won’t be if you continue reading this review, or any other review or summary of the film, including the one-line plot outline at IMDb.com.
I would love to leave it at that, but it’s impossible to review the film without talking about some of its basic elements. And the fact is, despite knowing some of the story’s more jaw-dropping developments beforehand, I was still riveted and surprised by the movie. Reading a review won’t ruin it for you; you’ll just be slightly less flabbergasted when you see it.
“Crazy Love” does not mince words about its protagonists: These people are not right in the head, and their love for one another defies all reason. But then again, one is compelled to consider, doesn’t all love defy reason? Isn’t its irrationality part of what makes it true love?
(Here’s where you should stop reading and go see the film.)
Utilizing a multi-faceted approach to painting, Matt Phillips’ large-scale, oil and collage on canvas artworks reference op-art, pattern painting, mosaics and textiles. Phillips approaches his multilayered, dynamically textured, collage paintings as both object and illusion. Prismatic, lively and rhythmic, accessible cube-grids and diamond quilt-piece patterns are viewed through transparent cracks, sketchy loops and crooked squares. The artist’s intentional interruption of patterned space fractures his already frenetic compositions into kaleidoscopic abstractions. Plays on shape, color and movement result in paintings that are both formal and lyrical, quirky yet familiar. Originally from Roanoke, Virginia, Phillips received his degree in visual art and art history from Hampshire College, where he has taught as a visiting professor.
In Mario Wagner’s collage on canvas works, high contrast images of 1960s cool are layered onto large-scale vintage settings, tinted in lurid colors and populated by men in three piece suits and girls with shiny hair, clustered hands and disembodied eyes. Wagner draws from familiar Modernist techniques such as Dadaist collage and photomontage to create his paper collage and acrylic on canvas works. Created using ‘analog’ processes with scissor, glue and acrylic, Wagner’s surreal scenes of intrigue and glamour exude an underlying false sense of nostalgia for a bygone era of an overindulged society. Wagner, a German-born artist and illustrator, has been shown in numerous international exhibitions and his illustrations and artworks have been commissioned by Esquire, Playboy,Vanity Fair, and The New York Times Magazine.
Seth Curcio implements Xerox and laser copiers, billboard pasting, enamel paints, and screen prints — what he describes as “the accessible materials of mass commerce” — in the construction of his mid-sized collages on paper and wood. At first glance, Curcio’s pictures resemble familiar contemporary landscapes. But, on further inspection, a perplexing multiplicity imbues Curcio’s images with hallucinogenic static. Kaleidoscopic explosions splinter a high-rise building into a shadowy house of cards. At other times, patterns multiply like mushrooms within celestial landscapes that mirror both the surface of the moon and the interior of the Large Hadron Collider. Disquieting and complex, Curcio’s works resemble photo-real environments shredded and then pieced together from memory, an intricate mesh which captures the claustrophobic, endlessly reconstructed nature of our contemporary culture. Curcio worked as director of Redux Contemporary Art Center and is the founder of the art blog Dailyserving.com.
Seems like we have a sexual theme going today on the blog so I thought i’d add another post to the mix by sharing this great interview with Italian photographer Manuel Vason on one of my favorite new art&design blogs Yatzer. The interview is a great read so make sure to give it a look.