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Polly Penrose’s Seven Years Of Powerful Nude Self Portraits

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Photographer Polly Penrose’s series A Body of Work was produced over the course of seven years. Her intention was to take pictures of strong, powerful, and interesting nude portraits. So, how did she achieve that? By using herself as a model. Penrose explains in an email to Beautiful/Decay:

…I was always available, and then because I realised something interesting was happening. I could push myself further than I could other models, and by shooting myself the pictures became a visual autobiography. The pictures are very spontaneous within the space, I never plan them I just work with what’s there, it’s like a secret conversation between myself and the space, a bit of silent theatrics which I document. Looking back I can see that my state of mind at the time of shooting definitely feeds into the imagery, my choice of pose and the general mood of the picture.

Penrose sees A Body of Work as ongoing, and that this simply marks its first seven years. “…I want to keep taking them until I can no longer move to do it – it will be interesting to see my body age and how the poses and locations will change with it.” Her photographs showcase a long time, but still relatively short in terms of an entire life span. We see just some of the changes a body goes through in that time and are intrigued with what the next seven will bring.

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Dean Bradshaw’s Senior Citizen Athletes Are Young At Heart

Dean Bradshaw - Photography Dean Bradshaw - Photography Dean Bradshaw - Photography Dean Bradshaw - Photography

Dean Bradshaw is an advertising photographer based in LA who’s created an entertaining series of portraits of senior citizen athletes. Their characters are hilariously over the top, though his attention to detail keeps them from being tacky. The colours are vibrant and youthful, and photos crisp to match the playfulness of the subjects. It’s obvious that the project was fun to put together.

Bradshaw says of his work:

“I’m drawn to storytelling, character and well-crafted, stylized imagery.

 

I’m attracted to the ‘why’ of things, the essential ingredients that comprise a story, a brand or a character – those elements below the surface which define the exterior. I enjoy immersing viewers in imagery that takes them into a world outside the ordinary. I’m fascinated by narrative, but find inspiration in the real world where things can be equally, if not more, peculiar. More than anything, I enjoy ideas – but realize that they are nothing without equal part execution.”

The images knock the severity out of sport imagery. The idea of an athlete is often limited to someone in peak physical condition, and necessarily younger. Though lifting a massive dumbbell may not be an activity recommended to the average senior citizen, sports are not exclusive to young people. Bradshaw’s series helps to broaden our perceptions of an older generation.

Check out his Instagram for more of his photography! (Via Design Boom)

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Julian Melchiorri’s Incredible Light Sculpture Made From Silk Worm Proteins

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London based design engineer Julian Melchiorri has been inventing amazing things in the laboratory for a while now. The outcomes he produces are a beautiful mix between art and science, and are meant to solve urban problems in an environmentally focused way. His latest project Cocoon is a light sculpture consisting of a 3D printed shell, and proteins from worm silk, crafted into nanoprisms, which form the body of the sculpture. Illuminated from within by a single 1 Watt LED light, Cocoon is a wonderful example of refraction and reflections, and the understated beauty of light.

Melchiorri explains the science behind how we normally view light and how the silk worm protein breaks up rays differently.

Light is an electromagnetic radiation having a wavelength in a range of 400 nanometers. Each section of this wavelength is perceived by us in colors from blue to green and red. When we look at a light emission we usually perceive a white source due to the smallness of its wavelength that unify all the colors. When a ray of light passing through the material gets diffracted by the nano-prisms, the light wavelength is sparse until its real composition is revealed. (Source)

Cocoon is a visual experiment combining different materials, technologies and shapes. It is an innovative way of challenging our perceptions and understanding of seemingly simple things around us, in this case, light. Melchiorri and his experiments are a perfect example of the parallels between art and science. The two different areas have the same curiosity, usually about the same phenomena, and are geared toward some type of improvement. You can see Melchiorri’s other visionary projects (Silk Leaf, and Exhale) here and a video of Cocoon after the jump. (Via My Amp Goes To 11)

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Women Confront Their Body Insecurities In Empowering Photographic Series By Neringa Rekasiute

Rekasiute, Photo

Rekasiute, Photo

Rekasiute, Photo

Rekasiute, Photo

While the work of Lithuanian photographer Neringa Rekasiute ranges from surreal scenes of fantasy to eccentric portraits, each photo illustrates a prevalent theme of her oeuvre: an admiration and appreciation for the female form. Thus, it is no surprise that Neringa has teamed up with writer, journalist, and actress Beata Tiskevic and communications specialist Modesta Kairyte to create We.Women, a female-centric photographic series.

Inspired by theories of feminism and discouraged by Lithuania’s apparent and prevailing cult of beauty, Neringa, Beata, and Modesta imagined We.Women as an empowering response to the impossible standards of beauty projected onto women.

Using Beata’s Facebook page as a platform, the trio invited women with self-esteem issues to assist them with their project by partaking in a harrowing task: standing before a mirror, shedding their clothing, and allowing their bodies and consequent reactions to be photographed.   The results—twelve black-and-white photos accompanied by a personal memoir written by each woman—are captivating and relatable, with the heartaches at hand spanning “anorexia, bulimia, breast cancer, vitiligo, depression, fat-shaming, and skinny-shaming,” as well as additional mental health perils and even cases of domestic abuse.

Deemed by Neringa as “a healing experience,” We.Women has undoubtedly aided the creators in their objective to spread awareness and, subsequently, to bring women together: “I just want women to feel united,” Neringa divulges, “I want us to feel bonded.” (Via Bored Panda)

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Bruce Riley’s Resin Paintings Look Like Psychedelic X-Rays

Bruce Riley - Painting

psychedelic Painting

Bruce Riley - Painting

Like stunning x-rays from an alien world, Bruce Riley‘s resin paintings seem to be lit from within. His playful shapes and psychedelic colors blossom in suspended animation, humming with as much electrical energy as any other multicellular organism.

Riley describes his process as intuitive and organic, saying, “I’m not really trying to define any ideas, I’m just letting it flow.” Watching him work is certainly hypnotizing as fluorescent greens and ozone blues blossom and blend into each other. The paintings can be appreciated from afar as well as up close, each brimming with meditative detail.
“You’re always investigating,” Riley says of his process. “It’s not about an end result. [You're] trying to use techniques that you remember but also looking for things you’ve never seen before.”

Part of the beauty of Riley’s work is that it can be appreciated on various levels. Open to interpretation, one could call it the secret life of lava lamps . It could also be described with a narrative, a foray into extraterrestrial forensics. Or you could just take it as it is: the stream of conscious of a man who certainly knows his way around a paint brush. (via This Is Colossal)

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Douglas Coupland Invites Public To Cover His Head In Chewing Gum

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Vancouver artist Douglas Coupland has made his head available to be vandalized – well an over-sized fiberglass sculpture of his head at least. In conjunction with his solo exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Coupland installed a seven foot black resin and polyester sculpture on the lawn in front of the gallery. Called ‘Gumhead‘ and described by the artist as a “gum-based, crowd sourced, publicly interactive, self-portrait“, the striking sculpture has a very imposing Soviet-era aesthetic to it.

Gumhead was unveiled in May, and Coupland invited the public to plaster their chewing gum all over it for the duration of 4 months. He hoped to build up such a thick layer of gum, that his features would become obscured. Here he comments on witnessing the process:

At first the added gum looked like jewels against the black. And then the Excel chewing gum van parked beside it during the Jazz Festival and took the whole head to the next level. And then we had a heat wave and the gum started to weep. And now it has a 24-hours cloud of bees and wasps around it. It’s a dream. (Source)

People have reacted to the piece in many different ways. Coupland was delighted with the interactions:

People went directly to snot. They tried big earrings but they would fall off. During the last month, we’ve had the Ebola outbreak so everyone started doing hemorrhagic bleed-out from the eyelids. (Source)

With plans of washing the gum off the sculpture and starting the whole process again in January, when the show moves to Toronto, Coupland is interested to see what else unfolds. Admittedly, he is a bit unsure about it’s success during the Canadian winter, especially the -10 degree temperatures and if the gum will even stick. (Via Escape Kit)

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Ra Paulette’s Incredible Hand-Carved Caves

Ra Paulette - Permanent Installation  Ra Paulette - Permanent InstallationRa Paulette - Permanent Installation Ra Paulette - Permanent Installation

Ra Paulette has a very intimate relationship with the New Mexican mesas into which he carves intricately embellished caves. He does the work entirely on his own, and walks a mile just to reach the destination. The caves are overwhelmingly beautiful, especially when you imagine the process used to make them.

“My final and most ambitious project is both an environmental and social art project that uses solitude and the beauty of the natural world to create an experience that fosters spiritual renewal and personal well being.  It is a culmination of everything I have learned and dreamed of in creating caves.”

Paulette is concerned with social change. He tries to stir deep emotions to instigate that change instead of forcing it through direct confrontation.

“How can we change what we do before we change how we feel?”  Its underlying premise is that when through wonder and the sense of beauty we move from the emotional realm of our desires and fears to the more expansive and deeper feelings of thanksgiving and appreciation of life with a sense of its sacredness, our actions will automatically be modified, creating a better world – ‘like magic’.

 

This is the magic of art, music, theatre, and of the beauty of the natural world. We need for that magic to play a more direct role in our lives.”

He also speaks about his relationship to his process.

“Manual labour is the foundation of my self-expression. To do it well, to do it beautifully… engaging mental and emotional strengths as well as physical strength… Like a dancer, I ‘feel’ the body and it’s movements in a conscious way. I’m fond of calling it ‘the dance of digging’, and it’s the secret of how this old man can get so much done.”

Although the caves are not open to the public at the moment, there is a documentary called Cave Digger. (Via Juxtapoz)

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Give The Gift Of Art: 20% off B/D shop On Black Friday

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This Friday ALL items in the Beautiful/Decay shop will be 20% off. Our full-color, willd and trippy posters make for great gifts. Plus, we’ve added a second wave of posters to the store, so be sure to check out the whole selection—and get 20% storewide savings this Black Friday. (Trampling sold separately.)

 

 

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