Beautiful/Decay Artist & Design http://beautifuldecay.com Daily Art And Design Blog Sat, 19 Apr 2014 07:33:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.6 MRI Scans Of Fruits And Veggies Are Astounding And Mildly Frightening http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/18/mri-scans-fruits-veggies-astounding-mildly-frightening/ http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/18/mri-scans-fruits-veggies-astounding-mildly-frightening/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 17:00:21 +0000 Ellyn Ruddick-Sunstein http://beautifuldecay.com/?p=110504 MRI technologist Andy Ellison spends his days scanning human brains, searching for abnormalities. He began scanning fruit on a whim, using an orange in a test of the machine’s settings; the results were so stunningly beautiful and transfixing that he … Continue reading

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MRI technologist Andy Ellison spends his days scanning human brains, searching for abnormalities. He began scanning fruit on a whim, using an orange in a test of the machine’s settings; the results were so stunningly beautiful and transfixing that he began bringing produce to work, scanning our favorite fruits and veggies on his time off, and posting animated sequences of cross-section images onto his blog, Inside Insides.

The high-resolution black and white sequences apply the imaging tool to the arts, highlighting the geometrical perfection of organic objects. The slow motion animations are imbued with a sense of life and vitality; like pumping ventricles, the matrices of a pineapple seem to gape open and shut. A tomato resembles a microscopic cell, seemingly splitting and reproducing with astonishing speed, and a head of garlic seems to emerge, its cloves flawlessly woven together, from nothingness.

Ellison’s slow motion animation allows mesmerized viewers to be seduced by the rhythmic revelations, and the everyday is elevated to cosmic levels; an scanned eggplant seems to explode into a complex network of stars. These food products, these mundane miracles, get a moment to shine in the imaging machine’s dense whites and pure, weightless blacks. The uniqueness of each fruit takes center stage (can you find the bruised onion?), and together, they paint a rich portrait of the natural world. These elegant plant structures, viewed in this way, don’t seem so different from our very own organs. So the next time you stroll down the produce aisle, take a moment to consider the miraculous visions that lurk beneath the surface. (via Salon and Offbeat)
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Gross Yet Beautiful Artworks Made Of Mould And Bacteria http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/18/gross-yet-beautiful-artworks-made-mould-bacteria/ http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/18/gross-yet-beautiful-artworks-made-mould-bacteria/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:30:34 +0000 Ellyn Ruddick-Sunstein http://beautifuldecay.com/?p=110520 Yes, you read that right; the artist Antoine Bridier-Nahmias paints with mould, marrying art and science in an unexpectedly delightful way. His strange media include various sets of bacteria and fungi, ranging in color, texture, and density, and a petri … Continue reading

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Yes, you read that right; the artist Antoine Bridier-Nahmias paints with mould, marrying art and science in an unexpectedly delightful way. His strange media include various sets of bacteria and fungi, ranging in color, texture, and density, and a petri dish serves as his canvas. Once a piece is grown to his aesthetic satisfaction, the artist photographs it from above, capturing the nuances of the material in stunning resolution.

Bridier-Nahmias’s images, perhaps revolting if seen inside your fridge, are visually enthralling when viewed in the sterile confines of the dish. Like strange and serendipitous science experiments, the moldy surfaces create ordered geometric patterns found time and again in nature; unlike paint, the bacteria reproduces itself in accordance with complex biological laws, forming perfect circles and straight lines that emanate from their centers.

A gorgeous visual balance is achieved through the artist’s careful and deliberate use of color and form; within the gestalt of the dish, puffy clouds of mould, large as sand dollars, are balanced out perceptually with bright reds; seemingly disparate species of bacteria work together to create a harmonious work.

In these pieces, the chaos of life and bacterial growth exists in continual tension with the neatly ordered aesthetic of the work, inviting views to examine moldy patterns not with disgust but with transfixed delight. When given free reign to multiply within the petri dish, these species create astoundingly formal compositions, flawless patterns that no master artist has come even close to replicating. Take a look. (via Design Boom and It’s Nice That)
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You Won’t Believe That Ron Isaacs’ Delicate-Looking Garments Are Made Entirely Out Of Wood http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/18/ron-isaacs/ http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/18/ron-isaacs/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:00:28 +0000 Sara Barnes http://beautifuldecay.com/?p=110494 Artist Ron Issacs crafts delicate-looking garments using a not-so-delicate looking material – wood. Starting with Finnish birch plywood, he builds elaborate relief constructions and ends by painting them in a trompe l’oeil fashion. Issacs excels at capturing the subtle details … Continue reading

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Artist Ron Issacs crafts delicate-looking garments using a not-so-delicate looking material – wood. Starting with Finnish birch plywood, he builds elaborate relief constructions and ends by painting them in a trompe l’oeil fashion. Issacs excels at capturing the subtle details that make these sculptures believable. The shirts, dresses, and flowers look as though they are gently swaying in the wind. He writes about the subjects of his work, writing:

My three primary recurring subjects are vintage clothing (for the way it continues the life of the past into the present, for its rich structures and colors and shapes, and for its anthropomorphic presence as a stand-in for the figure); plant materials in the form of sticks, leaves, and flowers (for too many reasons to list); and found objects. They combine in appropriate or surprising juxtapositions, sometimes purely as a visual “poem” of sorts and (if I’m lucky) sometimes as an image with real psychological resonance. Objects occasionally reappear in other contexts and take on new meanings, like a repertory company of actors playing different roles in different plays.

Issacs goes on to say that he sees his art as a hybrid of painting and sculpture; the three-dimensional construction employs one half of the work while the colorful adornments are the other. In addition, he invites the viewer to come up with their own interpretations of his creations. You can attach a narrative to it and your own “reading,” but to him, these are largely about the act of making and the fascination with making things resemble something that they’re not.

(Via Colossal)

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Artist’s Digitally Enhanced Photographs Look Like Expressionist Paintings http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/18/artists-digitally-colorized-photographs-look-like-expressionist-paintings/ http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/18/artists-digitally-colorized-photographs-look-like-expressionist-paintings/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:30:38 +0000 Jené Gutierrez http://beautifuldecay.com/?p=110473 Japanese art photographer FUKE P-San transforms his photographs into emotional experiences by applying expressive color palettes. In FUKE’s photographs, color and light becomes the subject of the work, as opposed to an objective characteristic. FUKE photographs the world around him, … Continue reading

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Japanese art photographer FUKE P-San transforms his photographs into emotional experiences by applying expressive color palettes. In FUKE’s photographs, color and light becomes the subject of the work, as opposed to an objective characteristic. FUKE photographs the world around him, then uses digital color and light effects to give the photograph a painterly aesthetic, one that mirrors the beauty he sees and feels when experiencing the scenery he encounters. He says, “There is so much beauty in our everyday life that goes unseen simple because we develop a different sense of how we value beauty often influenced by our every day life routine.”
FUKE’s color palette and composition evokes the work of artists like Edvard Munch, Egon Schiele, Vincent van Gogh, and Claude Monet, and registers an emotionality not frequently seen in photographic work; this is largely due to his work’s painterly qualities. He hopes his images enhance viewers’ perceptions of the world, and influences the way they perceive beauty.
“Open new windows in your mind and heart, notice and catch the beauty of ordinary small things, watch them well and find a way to make this beauty even bigger. Find the mystery in everything; feel it and this will open your heart to new worlds that you previously thought they never existed. Art can give us Happiness, and help us communicate with ourselves and others to a higher level.” (via cross connect and life treasure collector)
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The Monstrous Drawings Of Seungyea Park Evoke Feelings Of fear http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/18/monstrous-drawings-seungyea-park-evoke-feelings-fear/ http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/18/monstrous-drawings-seungyea-park-evoke-feelings-fear/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:00:48 +0000 Victoria Casal-Data http://beautifuldecay.com/?p=110412 Korean artist Seungyea Park (also known as Spunky Zoe) creates these grotesque portraits that reveal the ‘Monstrousness’ caused by fear in our inner world. Park works with a detail oriented eye, with ball-pen and paintbrush at hand, she creates these … Continue reading

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Korean artist Seungyea Park (also known as Spunky Zoe) creates these grotesque portraits that reveal the ‘Monstrousness’ caused by fear in our inner world. Park works with a detail oriented eye, with ball-pen and paintbrush at hand, she creates these monochrome, realistic paintings/drawings of bodies with abnormal characteristics (i.e extra hands and eyes, animal-human hybrids,etc).

Park describes her work as a study of fear. With a deep understanding of what fear means to the variety of people/characters she portrays , Park goes right ahead and gives these confining thoughts a vision. Furthermore,  Park wishes to overcome her personal fears as well.  Through her images, she manages to overcome avoidance and becomes completely desensitized by “facing monsters, or the true nature of fear itself.”

“Due to fear and horror being used as the most ‘universal’ and constant devices to maintain social systems as ‘injustice’, and consider them ‘enemies’. While regarding tabooed beings deviating from us as monsters. we ourselves become freaks. Monsters are everywhere.”

(via Hi-Fructose)

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Greg Briggs’ Documents The Nameless Faces That Clean Galleries And Museums http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/17/greg-briggs-documents-nameless-faces-clean-galleries-museums/ http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/17/greg-briggs-documents-nameless-faces-clean-galleries-museums/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 18:00:24 +0000 Nathaniel Smith http://beautifuldecay.com/?p=110428 Australian photographer Greg Briggs‘ new photoseries Melbourne Cleaners highlights the often nameless faces that clean and restore the seemingly untouched galleries, theaters and museums. By focusing on the people who keep these spaces pristine, Briggs not only acknowledges the work of … Continue reading

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Australian photographer Greg Briggs‘ new photoseries Melbourne Cleaners highlights the often nameless faces that clean and restore the seemingly untouched galleries, theaters and museums. By focusing on the people who keep these spaces pristine, Briggs not only acknowledges the work of these people, but also takes the viewer behind the scenes to an even more quite, contemplative place, rarely seen by most museum-goers.

Taking place via a virtual tour of important architecture and places throughout Melbourne, Australia, Briggs’ photoseries was captured over six months. Capturing these workers who generally work alone, they are seemingly oblivious to the camera, and are caught in intensely private moments alone with their work. One cannot help but notice how these abandoned, quiet, spaces might be a better way to actually appreciate all the works of art we often walk right by during busy open hours.

Katie Hosmer at My Modern Met writes, “The artist captures what seem like voyeuristic moments as cleaners go about their work in some of the city’s important and iconic buildings including St Paul’s Cathedral and The Queens Hall, Parliament House. Surrounded by classic architecture andfamous artwork, each individual concentrates on the task at hand and seems completely unaware of the camera’s presence. Viewers can almost hear the low hum of polishing machines, the soft whoosh of feathers dusting across the nooks of a picture frame, and the splatter of bottle spraying cleaner along the surface of glass.” (via mymodernmet)

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The Secret Garden Of Snails Is Filled With Slimey Wonder http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/17/snails/ http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/17/snails/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:00:02 +0000 Ellyn Ruddick-Sunstein http://beautifuldecay.com/?p=110425 The photographer Vyacheslav Mishchenko spent much of his childhood in nature; following his father on mushroom hunting expeditions, he often crouched to the ground in rapt fascination with the tiny, slimy, and colorful wonderland of bugs. As an adult, he returns … Continue reading

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The photographer Vyacheslav Mishchenko spent much of his childhood in nature; following his father on mushroom hunting expeditions, he often crouched to the ground in rapt fascination with the tiny, slimy, and colorful wonderland of bugs. As an adult, he returns to this kingdom of imagination, cataloguing the daily lives of snails.

Breaking from the objectivity of traditional nature photography, Mishchenko’s soulful images read like a children’s storybook, filled with unexpected emotionality and suspense. The expertly-shot macro images frame the miniature snail landscapes in miraculous detail, seducing viewers into a world of Alice In Wonderland mushrooms and plump fruits. Shot from the vantage-point of teensy, unsuspecting creatures, the world seems vast and dazzlingly fertile.

The delicate creatures, seen so vividly, become startlingly powerful, their muscular bodies twisting and writhing around newly-budding stems. In this strange and enchanting visual narrative, snails become lovers who gently kiss, seemingly forming one long, sticky body in their embrace. They curiously extend towards succulent forbidden fruits that drip with raindrops; as if in some natural Eden, they hide their bodies in fantastic shells.

Reflected many times over in perfectly rounded dewdrops and in the artist’s own lens, the snails seem to verge on the point of self-awareneness. As if to evoke the metaphor applied to Helena and Hermia, the young heroines of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, two snails arch their bodies over twin cherries, ripe and red. It’s miraculous what goes on beneath our feet, and I cannot think of  better set of images to get us in the mood for spring. (via BUST)
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Andrew Knapp’s Photographs Of Hide and Seek With His Dog http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/17/andrew-knapps-photographs-hide-seek-dog/ http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/17/andrew-knapps-photographs-hide-seek-dog/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:30:13 +0000 Sara Barnes http://beautifuldecay.com/?p=110377 There’s a dog in every one of these photographs. Do you see it? Based on a famous game, Andrew Knapp and his border collie Momo find a variety of places to play hide and seek. Urban areas, grassy parks, graffitied … Continue reading

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There’s a dog in every one of these photographs. Do you see it? Based on a famous game, Andrew Knapp and his border collie Momo find a variety of places to play hide and seek. Urban areas, grassy parks, graffitied walls and rocky terrain are just some of where you can spot Momo (or at least try). Knapp and his furry friend play this ongoing game called Find Momo with the fans of their blog around the world.

This light-hearted and amusing series is reminiscent of the Where’s Waldo books that many of us enjoyed as kids. Momo is good at hiding, and it’s genuinely difficult to spot him in some of these photographs. Further adding to the feeling of nostalgia, Knapp applies a vintage filter to his images, and they look like they are memories of another time.

If you didn’t know the premise behind them, you can still enjoy these images for the quirky American landscapes that they are. (Via DeMilked)

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Andreas Franke’s Haunting And Surreal Series Imagines Underwater Shipwrecks Full of Life http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/17/andreas-frankes-shipwrecks/ http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/17/andreas-frankes-shipwrecks/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:00:36 +0000 Jené Gutierrez http://beautifuldecay.com/?p=110339 Austrian photographer and diver Andreas Franke has created a hauntingly beautiful series of images called “The Sinking World” in which he layers studio photographs over underwater ship wrecks. In 2009, the USS Vandenberg was lowered into the ocean off the … Continue reading

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Austrian photographer and diver Andreas Franke has created a hauntingly beautiful series of images called “The Sinking World” in which he layers studio photographs over underwater ship wrecks. In 2009, the USS Vandenberg was lowered into the ocean off the coast of Florida to serve as an artificial reef. When Franke encountered the ship while diving, he was inspired by the vessel’s haunting emptiness. For the Vandenberg project, Franke superimposes photographs of recognizable, everyday scenes; the studio figures appear ghostly, as if they are re-enacting scenes that previously took place in a lively atmosphere. The empty ship becomes a site that reveals snapshots of a lost, surreal world, discovering the humanity that lurks among the ships hallways, passages, and decks. Franke creates an unexpected dream world where a viewer is pulled into a strange, new, and fantastical place.

This sunken ship not only provides the setting for Franke’s superimpositions, but also serves as a gallery where divers can swim up to Franke’s work, viewing his photographs in the very place that inspired his images. From the project’s website,

“The pictures engender extreme polarities: the soft, secretive underwater emptiness of sleeping shipwrecks is paired with real, authentic sceneries full of liveliness and vigor, thus creating a new world, equally bizarre and irresistibly entangling…

 

These spectacular underwater galleries make divers fall under their spell and display the work of the ocean itself. During the weeks and months under water the ocean bequeaths impressive, peerless traces to the pictures. It adorns them with a certain, peculiar patina, endowing them with the countenance of bizarre evanescence and transfiguring them into rare beauties.”

Franke has also created two other series of shipwreck images using period piece studio photography, as opposed to the everyday activities of the Vandenberg project. For the SS Stavronikita shipwreck, Franke superimposes photographs of people dressed in clothing and participating in activities evocative of Rococo. For the USS Mohawk, a WWII shipwreck, Franke imagines what life on the ship might look like, and creates a series of images in which the sailors have returned to haunt the ship. (via slow art day)

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Livio Scapella’s Haunting Sculptures Of Shrouded Ghosts Will Chill Your Bones http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/17/livio-scapellas-haunting-sculptures-shrouded-ghosts-will-chill-bones/ http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/17/livio-scapellas-haunting-sculptures-shrouded-ghosts-will-chill-bones/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:30:29 +0000 Ellyn Ruddick-Sunstein http://beautifuldecay.com/?p=110394 The sculptor Livio Scapella‘s shrouded figures seem to be in eternal conflict with their materiality, trapped like lost souls within the confines of stone. In this strange work, titled “Ghosts Underground,” the artist uses the aesthetic dialogue normally associated with … Continue reading

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The sculptor Livio Scapella‘s shrouded figures seem to be in eternal conflict with their materiality, trapped like lost souls within the confines of stone. In this strange work, titled “Ghosts Underground,” the artist uses the aesthetic dialogue normally associated with classical Renaissance masters, establishing the suggestion of movement within the frozen busts; necks contort, and mouths hang open as if to speak. Visual weight is distributed uncomfortably, and like Michelangelo’s Prisoners, Scapella’s figures yearn for escape, gasp for air.

Like a moving, writhing funeral shroud, the fabric is rendered with the utmost delicacy and softness, affording the busts a ghostly significance, as if they were invisible men and women defined only by the cloth in which they are contained. Like those caught frantically between life and death, the haunting figures seemingly do battle with the elements of the natural world and its order. As they strain against stone, they are powerfully anchored by spectacular quartz and amethyst held steadfastly to their chest. Like an external representation of the soul or spiritual self, the burdensome yet magnificent gemstones lie cradled within the airy fabric above the heart.

In a particularly powerful diptych, the “white soul” sits beside the “black soul;” where the white soul rests, embracing her permanent and immobile fate, the black soul strives against eternity, his mouth open in a frightful scream. The male, art historically associated with the intellectual and rational, is in turmoil; the female, on the other hand, becomes unified with nature and with the elements from which she is constructed. Within each of us lies this powerful duality: will we succumb to death or will we struggle to escape it? Take a look. (via Hi Fructose and Juxtapoz)
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Mario Zoots’ Modernly Surreal Collages http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/17/mario-zoots-modernly-surreal-collages/ http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/17/mario-zoots-modernly-surreal-collages/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:00:47 +0000 Nathaniel Smith http://beautifuldecay.com/?p=110275 Collage inherently involves nothing less than altering existence. By taking found imagery, Mario Zoots makes changes both hand-made and (occasionally) digital to alter the perception of the everyday, and continue their evolution towards new definitions. The Denver, Colorado-based Zoots is on the forefront … Continue reading

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Collage inherently involves nothing less than altering existence. By taking found imagery, Mario Zoots makes changes both hand-made and (occasionally) digital to alter the perception of the everyday, and continue their evolution towards new definitions. The Denver, Colorado-based Zoots is on the forefront of the modern collage movement, and was featured in Gestalten’s recent The Age of Collage: Contemporary Collage in Modern Artthe definitive investigation into how collage has become one the most vital forms of current visual expression. Separate from the concerns of any loosely-affiliated movement, Zoots describes his own practice from a more personal perspective, “I would like to think that my work is about tapping into the unconscious and setting up parameters to allow chance to work its magic.”

Typically focusing on the human figure, and often in portraiture genre, Zoots utilizes geometric pattern, layers, and physical manipulations like scratches, drips, and tears to obscure, thereby creating new faces to interpret. In an interview with Monster Children, Zoots describes his attention and focus on the face of his subject, “It’s really about the eyes for me. When I disrupt someone’s gaze, I find some mysterious, surreal quality. It makes you forget who you’re looking at. I try to create collages from dreams. When I dream I know who the people are, but I usually can’t see their faces. There’s a real energy behind that.”

Mario Zoots will take part in the upcoming travelling exhibition INTERNATIONAL WEIRD COLLAGE SHOW (IWCS) at The Invisible Dog in Brooklyn, New York. The 8th Edition of the IWCS opens Saturday April 19, 2014, from 6 to 10pm, and runs through May 11th, 2014. 

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Delicate X-Ray Photographs Offer A Touchingly Intimate Glimpse Into The Everyday http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/16/delicate-x-ray-photographs-offer-touchingly-intimate-glimpse-everyday/ http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/16/delicate-x-ray-photographs-offer-touchingly-intimate-glimpse-everyday/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 16:30:17 +0000 Ellyn Ruddick-Sunstein http://beautifuldecay.com/?p=110307 The artist Hugh Turvey lives his life in x-ray vision; since her began creating his vivid, colored x-ray photographs, titled xograms, he views the world and its objects as something to be dissected, unveiled, and understood. Turvey’s strange x-rays are … Continue reading

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The artist Hugh Turvey lives his life in x-ray vision; since her began creating his vivid, colored x-ray photographs, titled xograms, he views the world and its objects as something to be dissected, unveiled, and understood. Turvey’s strange x-rays are made thusly: he begins by positioning his subjects on light-sensitive paper, then overlays them with photographs and adds color so as to enhance depth.

X-ray technology, which we so often associated with sterile medicine, healthcare, and the danger of internal injury, finds an oddly tender home in Turvey’s work. Dense objects become visual synecdoches, stand-ins for living subjects; in one image, a coat becomes personified, its zippers, seams, and wrinkles suggesting human posture. Femme Fatale pictures the artist’s wife’s foot: contorted, stressed, delicate.

When placed alongside these relatively personal images, x-rays of suitcases, phones, and first-aid kits no longer retain the cold, effective objectivity we are accustomed to seeing during TSA screenings and the like. Instead, we are offered a satisfyingly voyeuristic glimpse into the private lives of others as seen through a tumbler or a martini glass, and we are transfixed by the mundane, incidental objects of existence.

Turvey’s portraits of animals are particularly poignant, indicating the complex internal lives of creatures we too rarely consider. A fish is confined to a painfully isolating bowl, his boney frame drifting to the top for food, and a small dog reveals soft, beautifully coiled internal organs as he wears a cone around his head. Similarly, a curious rabbit is shown in dark, moody browns evocative not of medicine so much as psychology and spirit; his wide eyes peer above the hat. These deeply sympathetic animals are made all the more delicate by Turvey’s process, their curiosities and concerns expressed through the barest physicality. (via Smithsonian Mag, The Guardian, and National Geographic)
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Jan Esmann’s Hyper-Realistic Paintings Of Sleeping People For The Voyeur In All Of Us http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/16/jan-esmanns-hyper-realistic-paintings-sleeping-people-voyeur-us/ http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/16/jan-esmanns-hyper-realistic-paintings-sleeping-people-voyeur-us/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 16:00:16 +0000 Ellyn Ruddick-Sunstein http://beautifuldecay.com/?p=110323 At first glance, the oil paintings of Jan Esmann could easily be confused with photographs; seen in heightened resolution and depth of field, the portraits capture the remarkable tangibility of the human face. Also unlike your typical photographic subject, all … Continue reading

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At first glance, the oil paintings of Jan Esmann could easily be confused with photographs; seen in heightened resolution and depth of field, the portraits capture the remarkable tangibility of the human face. Also unlike your typical photographic subject, all of the painter’s characters are sleeping, caught wide-mouthed in their own personal dreamscapes, allowing viewers an uncomfortable and enchanting intimacy with the private imaginings of the unconscious mind.

Seen from above and as if lit by candlelight, Esmann’s strange and transfixing portraits evoke narratives like that of the mythological Psyche, who, against her lover Cupid’s warnings and prohibitions, snuck a candle into their bedchamber so that she might glimpse his face. The painted faces seem to stand at the precipice of wakefulness, their folded, glistening eyelids precariously shut. The viewer is allowed to witness the most vulnerable of states, yet (s)he does not escape the unnerving sense that s(he) might be caught, found out.

The consistent open mouths betray sleepy yearnings, unabashed moments of ecstasy in slumber. As if possessed by spiritual or erotic climax, Esmann’s subjects are sensuous and blissful; saliva glitters on canines, and sweat sets the face aglow. Unconfined to a more truthful representation of human perception (either photographic or otherwise), the artist’s hyper-realist style enables her to picture every inch of flesh with the same breathtaking clarity. Viewers may examine every feature, while the objects of our attentions remain frozen in time and space. In this beautifully bizarre series, we are permitted our voyeuristic impulses. (via Lost at E Minor)
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Bing Wright’s Photographs Of Sunsets Look Like Luminous Stained Glass http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/16/bing-wrights-photographs-sunsets-look-like-luminous-stained-glass/ http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/16/bing-wrights-photographs-sunsets-look-like-luminous-stained-glass/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 15:30:04 +0000 Victoria Casal-Data http://beautifuldecay.com/?p=110204 Photographer Bing Wright‘s newest project, Broken Mirror/Evening Sky, is a series of images that capture the reflections of sunsets on shattered mirrors. Its colors, textures and overall composition resembles the appearance of luminous stained glass windows. The cracked glass seemingly generates … Continue reading

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Photographer Bing Wright‘s newest project, Broken Mirror/Evening Sky, is a series of images that capture the reflections of sunsets on shattered mirrors. Its colors, textures and overall composition resembles the appearance of luminous stained glass windows. The cracked glass seemingly generates doubled reflections, disjointed gleams and refracted light into shards of images that instantly reminds the viewers of an abstractive painting. The final prints, recently displayed at the Paula Cooper Gallery in NY, are displayed quite large, measuring nearly 4′ across by 6′ tall.

This new body of work is Marks Wright’s first return to color photography in almost a decade.(via Colossal)

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David Redon Combines Famous Musicians With Vintage Advertisements http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/16/david-redon-combines-famous-musicians-vintage-advertisements/ http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/16/david-redon-combines-famous-musicians-vintage-advertisements/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 15:00:03 +0000 Sara Barnes http://beautifuldecay.com/?p=110283 David Redon makes vintage popular culture look new by adding celebrities. The art director at Parisian agency Quai Des Orfèvres combines famous people like Kanye, Beyonce,  and Pharrell with Mid-Century advertisements in a series he calls Ads Libitum. We see … Continue reading

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David Redon makes vintage popular culture look new by adding celebrities. The art director at Parisian agency Quai Des Orfèvres combines famous people like Kanye, Beyonce,  and Pharrell with Mid-Century advertisements in a series he calls Ads Libitum. We see them endorsing soap, make up, toothpaste, and drive-in restaurants, all having been Photoshopped to fit in with the look and feel of the past.

Redon explains to Adweek why he crafts these remixes, stating, “I like the shift between vintage and modern pop culture, because these days the border between art and commercial is very small, and artists work their images like brands do.”  It’s true. Kanye definitely cultivates a specific persona that is polarizing and it’s part of how he sells himself. Pharrell, on the hand, markets himself as a happy-go-lucky likable guy, which makes him more family-friendly with wider appeal.

Ads Libitum is primarily American marketing and culture through the eyes of a non-American. Redon makes some interesting choices on celebrity and advertising pairings. Nirvana, for instance, seems a little outdated, as does Michael Jackson, but to someone who’s an outsider, these people are an icon of music in the United States. (Via Adweek)

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Caleb Cole Becomes Other People In His Photo Series ‘Other People’s Clothes’ http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/15/caleb-cole-becomes-people-photo-series-peoples-clothes/ http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/15/caleb-cole-becomes-people-photo-series-peoples-clothes/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 18:00:49 +0000 Victoria Casal-Data http://beautifuldecay.com/?p=110171 Boston-based photographer Caleb Cole creates self-portraits that are not so much about himself. Cole’s curiosity about the live (introspective lives) of others inspired him to come up with Other People’s Clothes, a photographic series in which the artist becomes the … Continue reading

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Boston-based photographer Caleb Cole creates self-portraits that are not so much about himself. Cole’s curiosity about the live (introspective lives) of others inspired him to come up with Other People’s Clothes, a photographic series in which the artist becomes the stranger, the ‘Other’, in order to further understand his desire to know more about the unknown.

“Though I am the physical subject of these images, they are not traditional self-portraits. They are portraits of people I have never met but with whom I feel familiar, as well as documents of the process wherein I try on the transitional moments of others’ lives in order to better understand my own.”

By using scavenged clothing and various themed setting that matched the clothing, the artists creates characters that resembles people in real life – I assume, people by whom he is intrigued by (he fails to portray people of color/other ethnicities, although he does not exclude women). Each photograph evokes a story, which Cole makes possible by arranging and creating the set of each and every one of these images.

The artist’s facial expressions, however, seem static; he seems to hold about the same face, one of despair or discontent, throughout the series. The reason behind that specific characteristic is unknown, however it can be speculated that he might be channeling his own beleifs about the people he is portraying…can all his characters be this unhappy and apathetic about life in real life, or are those just his impressions?

Whatever his reasons may be, there is no doubt that, through his representation of the ‘real people’, Cole is demonstrating an understated sense of empathy. (via Feature Shoot)

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Intimate Photographs Of Young Women Capture Private Beauty Routines http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/15/intimate-photographs-young-women-capture-private-beauty-routines/ http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/15/intimate-photographs-young-women-capture-private-beauty-routines/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 17:30:21 +0000 Ellyn Ruddick-Sunstein http://beautifuldecay.com/?p=110237 In Rituals, the photographer Noorann Matties catalogs the strange, mystical moments between woman and mirror, capturing young ladies in private moments of self-preparation and styling. As her subjects stand barefaced before public and private mirrors, work in eyebrow pencil, lipgloss, … Continue reading

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In Rituals, the photographer Noorann Matties catalogs the strange, mystical moments between woman and mirror, capturing young ladies in private moments of self-preparation and styling. As her subjects stand barefaced before public and private mirrors, work in eyebrow pencil, lipgloss, and mascara, seemingly memorized by and in poignant discovery of their own features.

Shooting many of the women from behind so as to capture the self in dialogue her reflection, Matties seemingly preserves the innocence of the experience, allowing the girls to engage with themselves undisturbed and unaware of onlookers. These sacred rituals, haloed in early morning sunlight and fluorescent lightbulbs, celebrate the quiet moments before the start of the day. In the instant before her subjects present their faces to the public, Matties stops the clock, preserving the beautiful self-absorption afforded by secrecy.

The inconsistent, accidental lighting serves only to heighten the sensuality of individual skin and hair tones, textures, and shapes; a towel hangs, left over from the night before, and reflections distort serendipitously in still-wet shower doors, affording the photographs deeper psychological meanings.

The repetition of these rituals is expressed through careful self-examination and knowledge; these women have seemingly memorized the curves of their brows, the textures of their skin, the movement of hair moved effortlessly and invisibly into a bun. The poignancy of these photographs, then, lies in part in the efficiency of the grooming activities; to the voyeuristic viewer, these intimate seconds are precious; to the girls, they’re routine, automatic, forgotten until the next morning. Take a look at the series, originally published in Inconnu Magazine, below. (via BUST and Inconnu)
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Lawrie Brown’s “Colored Food Series” Features Blue Chicken And Green Corn http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/15/lawrie-browns-colored-food-series-features-blue-chicken-green-corn/ http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/15/lawrie-browns-colored-food-series-features-blue-chicken-green-corn/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 17:00:21 +0000 Sara Barnes http://beautifuldecay.com/?p=110207 Would you eat a blue chicken? What about an unidentifiable purple sauce? In Lawrie Brown’s Colored Food Series, dishes are outlandishly unnatural colors that appear unappetizing to some and edible to others. This is the point of Brown’s work, and they explain … Continue reading

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Would you eat a blue chicken? What about an unidentifiable purple sauce? In Lawrie Brown’s Colored Food Series, dishes are outlandishly unnatural colors that appear unappetizing to some and edible to others. This is the point of Brown’s work, and they explain in an artist statement:

These photographs comment on the social, visual and psychological aspects of food. I am involved in a photographic investigation of what food people eat, what those foods materially consist of, what they look like, and what statements foods make about our society. Of concern to me is what food actually looks like photographically and how it psychologically affects the viewer when isolated within its natural context.

 

My photographs of typical table settings of food outwardly evoke in the viewer either delight and acceptance or repulsion and rejection. The response that occurs depends on:

 

  1. The awareness of the viewer to the actual or imagined taste of the subject or to the actual or imagined content of the food.
  2. The individual psychological response to the colors presented.

Although you may look at this and be disgusted, Brown’s foods don’t seem worse than the artificially colored and flavored fruit gummies (for example) on the shelves now. So, if you’re not grossed out by these images, perhaps it’s from years of Gusher’s Fruit Snacks that’s desensitized you. (Via Flavorwire)

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James Franco Dresses In Drag, Mimics Cindy Sherman’s Photographs http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/15/james-franco-dresses-drag-mimics-cindy-shermans-photographs/ http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/15/james-franco-dresses-drag-mimics-cindy-shermans-photographs/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 16:30:08 +0000 Ellyn Ruddick-Sunstein http://beautifuldecay.com/?p=110219 At current his exhibition at PACE Gallery, the actor James Franco tries his hand at self-portraiture, posing as the legendary photographer Cindy Sherman in replicas of her 1970s student project Untitled Film Stills, a series of silver gelatin prints in … Continue reading

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At current his exhibition at PACE Gallery, the actor James Franco tries his hand at self-portraiture, posing as the legendary photographer Cindy Sherman in replicas of her 1970s student project Untitled Film Stills, a series of silver gelatin prints in which she dressed as iconic women in film. In this strange mimesis of Sherman’s own impersonations, he reflects on an actor’s place, calling into question fixed notions identity, gender, and time.

Sherman, often playing the role of shape-shifting Bacchus and pushing the boundaries of selfhood, questioned the limitations of contemporary femininity, presenting clearly-defined roles for women: the femme fatale, the ingenue, the metropolitan sophisticate. Her film stills represent a sort of painful self-awareness; the film stops mid-reel, and the heroine introspects: who am I, beneath this costume?

The dialogue is complicated by Franco’s series, which in essence, presents an actor playing the role of artist playing the role of actor; what’s more, he’s a man playing at womanhood. Unlike most modern drag, where men seem to flawlessly transform into women, Franco insists on asserting his masculinity; in most of the images, he wears an unconvincing blond wig and facial hair.

Where there is a sort of anxiety in Sherman’s stills, the self-consciousness of being watched as expressed through a downturned lip and upward gaze, a housewife’s mishap in the kitchen, Franco’s New Film Stills project a self-assurance that borders on arrogance. His identity is unchanging, for unlike Sherman, his transformation is incomplete. He knows who he is, remaining forever the actor, who, in Brechtian fashion, refuses to lose himself completely to the character. Take a look. (via BUST, Art in America, and Interview)
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Miguel Chevalier’s Interactive Magic Carpets http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/15/miguel-chevaliers-interactive-magic-carpets/ http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/15/miguel-chevaliers-interactive-magic-carpets/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 16:00:27 +0000 Jené Gutierrez http://beautifuldecay.com/?p=110250 You may remember when we first featured French artist Miguel Chevalier’s work back in September for his Paris construction tunnel light installation and musical collaboration with Michel Redolfi. Revisiting traditions of Islamic art, namely mosaics and carpets, Chevalier and Redolfi … Continue reading

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You may remember when we first featured French artist Miguel Chevalier’s work back in September for his Paris construction tunnel light installation and musical collaboration with Michel Redolfi. Revisiting traditions of Islamic art, namely mosaics and carpets, Chevalier and Redolfi have joined forces again to create a similarly interactive digital/sound project earlier this month at the Sacré Coeur church in Casablanca, Morocco. From April 3-6, “Magic Carpets” transformed the church’s floor into an interactive user interface featuring graphics evolving along with the movements of visitors. The digital light display features generative graphics that multiply, divide, grow, and transform, reminiscent of cellular and organic systems. Visitors’ shadows become a part of the light and graphics display, allowing users to become a part of the installation. The effect of combining organic and digital technologies renders the installation almost psychedelic, enhanced by the accompanying ambient music by Redolfi. To view the installation in action, be sure to check out Claude Mossessian’s video. (via design boom and inhale mag)

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The Picasso Of Makeup Creates Astounding Optical Illusions With Body Art http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/14/picasso-makeup-creates-astounding-optical-illusions-body-art/ http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/14/picasso-makeup-creates-astounding-optical-illusions-body-art/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 17:00:29 +0000 Ellyn Ruddick-Sunstein http://beautifuldecay.com/?p=110111 The makeup artist, wig maker, and costumer Elvis Schmoulianoff exists in a dreamscape where dress-up and science fiction collide. Her works, including a charming stop-motion animation titled Painted, celebrates the transformative power of disguise; operating as a character within a … Continue reading

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The makeup artist, wig maker, and costumer Elvis Schmoulianoff exists in a dreamscape where dress-up and science fiction collide. Her works, including a charming stop-motion animation titled Painted, celebrates the transformative power of disguise; operating as a character within a visual narrative, her body paint takes on a life of its own, overtaking and doing delightful mischief to the human form. Schmoulianoff seemingly draws inspiration from anything but the traditional, her work beautifully echoing that of Surrealists like Joan Miró.

Schmoulianoff’s visual trickery maintains a childlike sense of experimentation; her abstract, brightly colored shapes are seen in tension with the curvatures of the body, blurring the borders between model and medium. In some images, a Cubist-inspired oversized eye is overlaid on a closed eyelid, and the face is split down the middle, morphing in such a way that contains multiple perspectives: the full face, the profile, and even the layer beneath the skin. The artist’s expert shapes often serve to flatten the human subject, who camouflages with painted backgrounds; like a clever game of hide-and-seek, viewers are invited to discover the body within a surreal landscape.

Within Schmoulianoff’s work lies an undeniable sensuality; with glossy eye-catching paint, nipples miraculously become eyeballs, and full lips are seen in lush, starkly contrasted tones. In vibrant color and tonal blacks and whites, the body lies at the precipice of magic and wonder, with skeleton figures dancing to the beats of their red fire-engine red hearts. Schmoulianoff is committed to animal rights, and she only uses cruelty-free products for her art; to learn more, visit her website.
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Stunning Photographs Of A Landfill Mansion Made Out Of Trash http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/14/stunning-photographs-landfill-mansion-made-trash/ http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/14/stunning-photographs-landfill-mansion-made-trash/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 16:30:55 +0000 Victoria Casal-Data http://beautifuldecay.com/?p=110124 Mark Andrew Boyer, a Graduate student at UC Berkeley’s Journalism school, met Bob Anderson (the man featured on Boyer’s photographs), a former professional boxer, while on a walk through The Albany Bulb, a landfill situated on a fist-shaped peninsula that juts … Continue reading

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Mark Andrew Boyer, a Graduate student at UC Berkeley’s Journalism school, met Bob Anderson (the man featured on Boyer’s photographs), a former professional boxer, while on a walk through The Albany Bulb, a landfill situated on a fist-shaped peninsula that juts into the San Francisco Bay.

The Albany Bulb, serves the community’s poorest, as many homeless men and women call it, home.

 “I was walking on the shore and heard some hammering in the distance. I followed the sound, and there was this guy building this huge structure.” -Boyer

That guy, as Boyer recalls him, is Bob Anderson, a man who has lived in the landfield since 2011 when he was forced to move out of his Berkley home after his mother’s death-since then he has become homeless. Before that, Anderson had been a professional boxer living and fighting in Las Vegas.

Bob is certainly not your average homeless man.

Anderson’s current place stands strong and tall amongst the highest of trash mounds found at The Albany Bulb. Its astonishing look- one that contains unintended artistic merit- captured the eye of Boyer whom was later compelled to photograph the life of Anderson is his landfill mansion.

The journalist spent a week with Anderson photographing him and his three-story domain, which upon closer inspection was even more amazing than it looked from the outside.

“There could be a shipping pallet next to a mirror next to a piece of plywood next to a mandolin that he’s shoved in between the cracks. It’s a really interesting mix of objects, it’s ever changing. Every time I went back it looked completely different. I went out for a walk once and he had stuck a wind surfing sail on the top of it.”

(via Slate)

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Spine-Chilling Paintings Of Suffering by Dr. Kevorkian, Practitioner Of Assisted Suicide http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/14/dr-kevorkian/ http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/14/dr-kevorkian/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 16:00:25 +0000 Ellyn Ruddick-Sunstein http://beautifuldecay.com/?p=110076 The late Dr. Jack Kevorkian, known for his life’s work of advocating assisted suicide and for helping to end over 130 lives with his ominous-sounding Thanatron, or “machine of death,” was also an oil painter. The doctor, who spend 8 … Continue reading

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The late Dr. Jack Kevorkian, known for his life’s work of advocating assisted suicide and for helping to end over 130 lives with his ominous-sounding Thanatron, or “machine of death,” was also an oil painter. The doctor, who spend 8 years in prison, created a little-known body of work tinged with the horror of pain; illustrating his controversial ideas on compassion, the paintings take aim at his religious critics and appeal to a nuanced moral ideal where death is seen simultaneously as a terror and an escape.

Kevorkian’s Thanatron takes its name from the ancient Greek personification of death; in his paintings, he also uses mythological themes. In “Fever,” he illustrates a hell composed of the ill and suffering; like Dante’s Virgil, he leads his painted patient through the depths of agony and fear with wide, sweeping brushstrokes. The Christian Brotherhood is reimagined as a monster characterized by multiple grotesque, sharp-toothed heads vaguely reminiscent of Inferno’s Satan.

Seemingly drawing inspiration from symbolist painters like Paul Gauguin and Edvard Munch, the artist, often referred to as “Dr. Death,” distorts the form of his subjects so that they might express psychological despair and heightened anxiety. In one image, titled “Coma,” a man, draped in a bed sheet, is inhaled by ghostly skull, his body absurdly foreshortened and his lined feet disproportionately swelled to express profound weariness. As the monstrous spirit of “coma” sucks him in, his tiny, darkened eyes beg for release. In “Paralysis,” the body becomes a prison, the brain removed and bound in chains.

When exhibited alongside the doctor’s paintings illustrating his love of music (Johann Sebastian Bach, a treble and bass clef), as they are at Gallerie Sparta, the more frightful images take on a strange operatic quality, evoking eery tonal climaxes with expressionistic bursts of color. 11 of the doctor’s paintings will be on view through April 30. (via Huff Post)
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Rachel Graves Transforms Catcalls And Harassment Into Powerful Photo Series http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/14/rachel-graves-transforms-catcalls-harassment-powerful-photo-series/ http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/14/rachel-graves-transforms-catcalls-harassment-powerful-photo-series/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 15:30:52 +0000 Sara Barnes http://beautifuldecay.com/?p=110088 In a powerful series by artist and curator Rachel Graves, she interprets the catcalls and street harassment that’s thrown at her and her friends when in public places. Menagerie is a collection of self portraits that liken this lewd and … Continue reading

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In a powerful series by artist and curator Rachel Graves, she interprets the catcalls and street harassment that’s thrown at her and her friends when in public places. Menagerie is a collection of self portraits that liken this lewd and unwanted treatment to the way that animals are prey.

“The project came about as a way for me to take control of what was happening and find a way to answer back and gain ownership over myself again,” Graves explained to The Huffington Post. “For me it was important to do more than simply dress up and paint my face to represent some of the names and insults being thrown at me. I didn’t want to just turn myself into the object that the harassers saw me as. I wanted to find a way to get my sense of self back, to be able to throw the words away and take back control.”

 “Bird,” “fox,” and “bitch,” are all references to animals (and ones that women are called) that dehumanize people, and are all costumes that Graves wears. She paints ghoulish-looking makeup and fashions snouts that reflect the identity of what she is to her taunters. Afterwards, she washes herself of these oppressive masks.

“Being a woman in a public space can be a scary thing. Some men perceive women’s bodies as being public property, and act in ways that are intimidating and sexually aggressive. When I experience street harassment, my autonomy and control over my own body is taken away from me,” Graves says, again to The Huffington Post. “A similar thing can be seen in the industrialization of farming practices. Animals and women are objectified in similar ways: seen merely as pieces of meat for public consumption.”

By washing away the paint and taking off the noses, Graves regains her own identity. (via The Huffington Post)

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Whimsical Bussiness Cards Of Your Favorite Pop Culture Hero’s And Villains http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/14/pop-culture-business-cards/ http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/04/14/pop-culture-business-cards/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 15:00:53 +0000 Nathaniel Smith http://beautifuldecay.com/?p=110059 Business cards exist as a tangible resource and advertisment for offering one’s trade. Benedetto Papi and Edoardo Satamato of Italian creative agency Invasiona Creativa began to wonder: what jobs would pop culture characters have, and how would their cards look? … Continue reading

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Business cards exist as a tangible resource and advertisment for offering one’s trade. Benedetto Papi and Edoardo Satamato of Italian creative agency Invasiona Creativa began to wonder: what jobs would pop culture characters have, and how would their cards look?

Beginning with the idea that these characters (ranging from science fiction to comedy to horror and action films) lost their jobs, how would they rebrand? Although most of the results involve wordplay over any serious retelling of the character’s myth, the results are playful and fun, which seems to be the duo’s motivation.

On their website, the group declares, “A different approach compared to canonical style of advertising agencies: a NERD APPROACH…We will do everything to…give new life to mundane communications, to re-invent social campaigns completely useless, to regain lost contact with the consumer, to open new horizons in the world of apps…” (via mymodernmet)

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