New Beautiful/Decay Book Release- The Seven Deadly Sins

Beautiful/Decay is pleased to release Book 9: The Seven Deadly Sins!

Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Pride, and Envy have been explored—and challenged—for centuries by artists, scholars, and writers. In this issue of Beautiful/Decay, you’ll find artists who explore these themes through a contemporary lens, either by explicitly calling out those deemed guilty of committing one of the Seven Deadly Sins, or by turning the sweeping notion of sin right on its head.

James Gobel tackles Pride through felt portraits of colorfully clad, sexually charged, plus-size bears, and continuing the exploration of Lust, we have the raw and lascivious Polaroids of Jeremy Kost. View Tom Littleson’s bloody portraiture drawings and their relationship with Wrath. See how cover artists Tim Noble & Sue Webster’s adept use of personified garbage channels Gluttony. Libby Black’s paint-and-paper sculptures replicate Envy-inducing luxury brand goods, while paintings and drawings from Brendan Danielsson address the social and physical epidemic of Sloth. Finally, Greed lies at the center of Ghost of a Dream’s hypnotic sculptural art and immersive installations. We’ve also invited international artists, illustrators, and designers to create original pieces for our Project Pages based on all seven sins.

Other featured artists: Carolyn Janssen, Okay Mountain, Colette Robbins, Cleon Peterson, Micah Ganske, Zoe Charlton, Penelope Gottlieb, Paul Mullins, Keith Puccinelli, Travis Somerville, Kara Maria, Aideen Barry, Travis Collinson, Geoffrey Chasedy, John Knuth.

Each copy of Beautiful/Decay: The Seven Deadly Sins comes blind packed with either a zine by Terence Hannum or Heather Benjamin or a limited edition silk screen print by Paul Nudd!

GET YOUR COPY HERE!

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Choi Xooang’s Miniature Vegetative-State Figures

 

Choi Xooang is an artist who sculpts concrete bodies. This may sound somewhat banal at first, but we come to be surprised at his ability to grasp the world pathologically. Choi’s understanding of the world began with his 10-20 cm miniature figures displayed at this first solo show. These miniature figures, suffering from an expansive delusion, do not realize their relative diminutiveness, and tend to overstate their ability and situation. They have a bloated musculature, partly enlarged bodies in macho-like gestures suited for revealing such megalomaniacal symptoms. Their effort to emphasize their existence through bragging and exaggerated gestures at times seems pompous, but they are too diminutive to impact the world, despite their attempts.

Choi’s concern with society’s pathological state later moved to an interest in vegetative states those making utmost efforts in living everyday life undergo. A person in a vegetative state cannot perceive or affect his surroundings at all due to serious brain damage, although he looks like he’s breathing, laughing, weeping, and awakening himself. Choi likens an individual’s mental state intimidated by an unidentified force, to a person in a vegetative powerless state. The artist’s perception of this state is confirmed in the work titled Vegetative State displayed at his second solo show. A bare tree grows from the head of a vulnerable man who has fallen down. This work, depicting a man changing into a vegetative state, like Daphne who transformed into a laurel, appears realistic and elaborate in its finishing, through its amazing figurative imagery and the meaning of the title.”-Ki Hye-kyung, Curator of National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea

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Seong Tae Jin’s Hand Carved Paintings

At first glance the work of Koreon artist Seong Tae Jin may look like you average painting but as you get closer to these hyper-colored scenes you realize that the surface of each piece is meticulously carved out of a single piece of wood revealing secret texts, patterns, and marks. The result is a cartoon filled world where strange figures carry out strange behaviors on a bed of never-ending scratches, cuts, and scrapes.

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Dennis Busch Collages

Surreal and bizarre collages with a folksy hand made feel by Dennis Busch.

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Chad Wys’ Melting Pools of Antiquities

It seems like we just posted about the work of Chad Wys’ but we’re back again with some exciting new pieces by this talented artist. This time around we’re offering Chad’s gorgeously altered busts, china and other ornate antiques melting into fluid and luscious puddles.

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Till Gerhard

Hamburg Germany based painter Till Gerhard’s images are psychedelic narratives with dark undertones filled with unsettling atmospheres.

“The scenes he chooses to memorialize—dimly felt moments from that tumultuous decade in 20th Century American history when counter-culture briefly flourished—are rendered with a discreet maleficence that belies their offbeat humor and whimsical color-scatterings. Thus, an otherwise banal preoccupation with “hippy bullshit” is transformed into effectual social commentary.”- David Marcus

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Margi Geerlinks

Margi Geerlinks’ work is concerned with the ways the human species creates an identity for themselves, and the forces that seem to govern this process. She takes four of the Ten Commandments and digitally imprints them on children. She portrays the ageing process by commenting on the ways modern society tries to slow that same process down. The directness of these images may come across as quite blunt, but every visible detail is there to warn us not to jump to conclusions. The children may bear these condemning moral codes on their chests, their pose and actions display a very human insecurity.

Being deeply physical, her art confronts us with the many things that literally mold our beings into shape. Displaying the effects of science, religion, morality and time, Geerlinks photographs are a timeless testament of the human condition. Taking the body as a canvas she tries to show both the current identity of the person photographed and the things that make her become someone else. She seems to categorize the different stages of a human life by representing them symbolically, but at the same time she makes us question the necessity of an age divided society.

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Louise Despont’s Drawings as Abstract Meditations

Louise Despont explores drawing as abstract meditations, balancing and integrating symbols and forms to link her art to the inscription of narratives and to mystical or literary concerns. Employing and recasting a vocabulary of elements and constructions found within a set of architectural stencils and compasses, the artist renders her drawings on the pages of antique ledger books.

Despont has borrowed the geometries of Indian labyrinths, gardens, architecture, vessels and ancient Buddhist and Jain caves to offer balanced forms – particularly masculine and feminine principles—that engage past and present as indicators and provocations. While leaning towards strong poetic and lyrical translations, these drawings unlock a spatial perceptual field to reveal the formal qualities of surface, texture, scale and form.

While reinvesting introspection and the metaphysical into tropes of abstraction, Despont’s drawings are notable for their levels of sincerity, intricacy and refinement. Even in her larger works, the artist evokes an intimate experience with fine lines and subtle hatch marks revealing themselves only when viewed up close. The resulting works, charged with alternative legacies of cultural and personal, confront the binaries of abstraction and figuration through their encoded compositions.

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