Perhaps Lady Gaga will up the ante on her outlandishly “avante-garde” sartorial sense, and start rocking these ten inch bejeweled and beaded poo poo-shoes- and you thought stilettos were hard to walk in! Or not. As part of a recent exhibition, Tate Britain asked artists from around the world to respond to Chris Ofili’s controversial elephant dung on the The Holy Mary painting that caused a “Sensation” in NYC 15 years ago. UK-based INSA’s contribution? Poo shoes. Is this what the controversy has been reduced to today? Ohmigawd shoez? Looks like it.
This week’s Beautiful/Decay Apparel Artist Interview features Steve Bonner, who contributed the nautical themed “Unknown Voyage” shirt to our Spring 2010 collection. With its art deco flourishes, the shirt hearkens back to the golden age of glamorous cruises in the 1930′s, when tuxedoed and ball-gowned movie stars might be seen in the dining hall, or red-lipped starlets might sip a cocktail or two sunbathing on the deck. Today, the T-shirt would look great with your favorite pair of Docker’s and boating shoes- or just hanging around town. Steve’s work is almost exclusively digital, focusing on sleek and creative typography. Read the full interview to find out the one activity Steve devotes an hour to every day (and that every emerging artist should do as well), how he stays inspired, and more.
Jennifer Ziliotto is a Los Angeles based photographer (and happens to be a good friend and bandmate of mine!) One of my favorite shots is the David Lynch-ian inspired portrait, above, of Zachary James. I love its flickering, dramatic spot- lighting, its textural qualities; the soft focus, played against the cool, hard steel of the sword, the interplay of velvet on velvet, and its stunning jewel-tone palette – a beauty! Could almost be an out take of a surreal performance from Mulholland Drive or an unexpected hallway in Twin Peak’s black lodge. If her stunning, surreal photography that fuses psychedelia with glamour isn’t enough, she’s also an amazing make-up artist, having worked with the likes of Kat von D and Full Metal Jackie of Indie 103.1 fame.
I just about fainted when I got some behind-the-scenes studio pics back from Skinner, one of our featured artist from Book 3, including his van?! Holy triumphant-unicorn from hell-monster-mash-Crystal-stash-Wizard-spell lightening bolt riddled beast of awesomeness! His studio is like a headbanger’s ball, topped floor to ceiling with multi-sided-die, long lost relatives of Iron Maiden’s Eddie the Head, the occasional red plastic party cup, and treasures that seem to exceed a greedy dragon’s doubloon pile indeed.
I’m excited to check out the new works that will be up at San Francisco’s White Walls August 14th. In his words, the exhibition will include: “large old timey halloween mask replicas of my own design, 24 epic psychedelic fantasy paintings inspired by my own unhealthy feelings of global dread…one epic painting (a week for six months was the goal I set and im well under way and about to finish my 17th piece). And they are getting larger as well…” And a partridge in a pair tree. According to Merlin’s crystal ball, the future holds great things for Skinner indeed- we’re excited to see what he comes up with!
John Parot, who was featured in our B/D Book 3, and Rachel Niffenegger currently have exhibitions up at Chicago gallery Western Exhibitions./(which, coincidentally enough, also stocks B/D Book 3!) John Parot, with his exhibition “Hobbies,” continues his poetic musings on gay urban living, and focuses in on internet dating to reflect how identity, meaning and love are constructed under the auspices of Web 2.0′s arrow. A multi-hued pie chart displays Facebook-esque likes and dislikes: “hot fudge sundae,” “enough with the man-scarves,” and “no beige!”
Rachel Niffenegger, in Gallery 2, creates sculptures and ephemeral-washed paintings dealing with the grotesque nature of the human body, executed with a hauntingly beautiful hand. Drawing its title from an ancient epitaph, “As you pass by and cast an eye as you are now so once was I,” the exhibition seems to conjure the ghostly spirits from beyond the gravestone she references.
Dear Beautiful/Decay Readers-
We’ve had some exciting news as of late- we’ve recently wrapped up Book 3, which was quite a task, compiling hundreds of reader submissions from around the globe. Book 1 has already sold out, and Book 2 is nearly there. This month, we also released our latest apparel line for Spring 2010 , of which many styles are already sold out. We’ve also watched our online readership more than triple in under a year. So, whether you are a B/D subscriber, B/D Apparel t-shirt wearer, or avid B/D blog reader, we’d like to thank you for your support of Beautiful/Decay!
We’d also like to take a minute to encourage you to subscribe to Beautiful/Decay. It’s one of the best ways to stay up to date with the creative world, for inspiration, and in return support us and the emerging artist community! By now, you’ve seen the quality, attention to detail & design that the new and improved B/D book has to offer. You know that every book in the limited edition series is lovingly hand-numbered, and stocked full of special artist giveaways and personal touches. From hand-drawn covers to signed silkscreen poster inserts, we strive to make each and every copy of Beautiful/Decay a unique, collectable art & design sourcebook.
You’ll also know by now that instead of cramming our pages full of advertising, we dedicate B/D entirely to the continued support of emerging artists.
So please- subscribe today. We rely on you, the subscriber, to support not just Beautiful/Decay, but the community of up-and-coming creatives from around the world!
Thanks for all your support- expect more surprises to come!
Amir H. Fallah
I never was too good at crafts. The little “easy loom” knit-a-kitten sets always came out looking surprisingly like Liz Craft’s sculpture, above…a mess of plaster-cast, jumbo yarn, pea-pod plastic dishes forming some sort of goofy-grin. Or at least, I wished they came out like her work. In her recent fifth solo exhibition, “Death of a Clown” that just finished up at Patrick Painter, Liz Craft examines, in part, the culture of Regretsy…(Etsy + Regret). Macrame-mishaps and craft-catastrophes are elevated to objects d’art. At once humorous and fresh, Craft’s odd string-beards, tears, and thrift store nick-nacks don’t disappoint.
The second installment in our Monday B/D Apparel Artist Interview series is with artist Ryan Riss. Ryan designed the mind-bending head-scarfed hippie with a melting face graphic (literally), entitled Acid Trip.
If you think we’re way off on a peyote-trip describing Ryan’s works as residing in another dimension- you’d be surprised to hear what he has to say. “I like the idea of relating simple graphics to things like mandalas and other spiritual energy hippie training tee-pee type stuff.” Read the rest of the interview to find out what else makes Ryan’s third eye blink.