Beautiful/Decay is ringing in spring with our latest selection of art-based T-shirts. This season’s roster of artists include Ben Tegel, Jiro Bevis, YAIAGIFT, Steve Bonner & Ryan Riss. Playful re-works of iconic pop cultural references, sleek design, and humorous, hand-drawn graphics all collide within our latest collection.
The Spring 2010 Lookbook was shot on the Beautiful/Decay headquarters’ very own rooftop, and in the surrounding Downtown Los Angeles neighborhood.
Charise Isis‘ Grace”, a series featuring portraits of women who are breast cancer survivors and have experienced Mastectomy Surgery, is a stunning compilation of images that simultaneously reinvents feminine beauty and inspires courage in women with similar experiences. The project’s process and presentation allows both subject and viewer to access a place of acceptance and beauty.
The photographic project is influenced by Hellenic sculpture (Greek). Its influence serves as a visual reference for the portraits; the draped cloths and the poses the women are photographed in are very indicative of the feminine portrayal in these hellenic sculptures (i.e “Venus De Milo” and “Nike of Samathrace”). According to the artist statement, the reference is also to implicate notions of the survival, adoration, beauty of old ‘artifacts’.
Furthermore, “Grace” is a continuation of the artist’s ongoing exploration of the feminine body and its perception of beauty in contemporary culture.
More than a year ago, photographer Ruben Brulat set out on a journey from Europe to Asia by land only, through Iraq, Iran, onto Afghanistan, Tibet until Indonesia, Japan and Mongolia. The map below outlines the route that Brulat carved out for himself, marked with places where he briefly parallelled the paths of other travelers. His new series, “Paths,” is a collection of portraits the artist took of the strangers he met along the way. Brulat makes a concerted effort to capture each subject completely exposed in the natural setting where they crossed paths, prompting them to surrender themselves completely to the landscape.
According to the artist, he envisions the series as “a narrative constructed only by the randomness of the encounter, places and body—meeting with utopia and hope in these only suspended moments. [These are] bodies of people that became friends, performing, not without difficulties, leaving wounds, marks, and souvenirs from a time before heading towards different paths, after sharing one for a while.”
Marcie Oakes is a young painter dwelling in the suburbs of Chicago. Her voluptuous, deeply layered abstractions often reference landscape but can often turn into something un-namable. These explosive images are penned using a wide variety of applications and painting techniques that build a surface that can only be truly appreciated in person. Jump.
Mark Hunter Brown is a truly dynamic individual. I have known Brown for the better part of a decade, and I am relatively positive that I will never meet another person quite like him. With each day functioning more like the next chapter in a bizarre novel, his zest for life is infectious. Luckily, Brown is also an amazing artist, and has managed to document his interests and experiences through countless drawings and paintings. Though he gains inspiration from his travels, the work is not limited to the places and people he has actually interacted with. Brown is also heavily influenced by the written historical accounts of different cultures and people, but the work is not about visually representing his source material. Instead, he chooses to focus on the importance of the moments recorded history has chosen to ignore. There is this dead zone in between the great scenes of history that also warrants consideration, and Brown is keenly aware of this. When asked why he is drawn to this type of situation Brown replied, “because life doesn’t look like a Delacroix painting – it’s just people walking around and eating sandwiches. These moments seem more real to me…they’re equally compelling.”
While these scenes are not infrequent in his work, Brown’s practice is not limited to this type of subject matter. There is far less literal material in Brown’s oeuvre, and his vivid imagination becomes readily apparent when looking at paintings of huge figurative fortresses or anthropomorphized coo-coo clocks snorting bones off of a table. When viewed in context these paintings start to function as some sort of bizarre allegory, but their meaning is never explicitly stated. There is such a rich diversity in the distinctive worlds that Brown creates, and no piece is less detailed than the last. Whether he is teaching at Columbia, backpacking through Morocco, or boar hunting with monks in the Italian countryside – the need to process the world into visually compelling images has remained consistent within Brown’s life. Lucky for us, his mind seems to function like an endless supply of Google image search results that I have no desire to stop looking at any time soon.
Flemish photographer Sanne De Wilde enjoys telling a good anti-fairytale. She undertakes photographic journeys to track down and narrate stories that we don’t often hear about, or get to see. Her project Snow White captures a variety of people with Albinism. Characterized as skin, eyes and/or hair lacking in any pigment, Albinism is still quite rare and misunderstood. Many people are unsure how to react to it. De Wilde is aware that most people, when faced with something they don’t understand, they will alienate and shun that ‘abnormal’ thing. She wants to explore these feelings further and explore her own curiosity about this condition.
Like photographic material, people with albinism are light sensitive. Light leaves an irreversible imprint on their body. This whiteness that makes them stand out, when captured in an image, almost makes them dissolve, consumed by the light. Their eyes can hardly bear it. Nevertheless they have the power to look back at us, the viewer, and embody a human-mirror. (Source)
Her photographs are quiet, eerie and haunting. As she says, they act as a mirror for the viewer, and reflect whatever emotions we transfer on to them. It is a visual reminder that when we bully someone, it says more about the bully, rather than the bullied. These photographs say more about our society and our personal attitudes towards the ‘abnormal’ and ‘other’. She goes on to say:
They are a metaphor, a symbol for stereotypes, they magnify the erroneous idea of human weaknesses and physical fragility but also that of an invincible strength. Touched by their breath-taking beauty, in this series, I try to create a powerful impression of this fragile snow white. (Source)
De Wilde has also taken photographs of a tiny village in Southern China which has a high population of ‘little people’. You can see that series – The Dwarf Empirehere. (Via Beautiful Surface)
In 2007, Kurt Franz traveled on a bus across America and Western Europe studying city peripheries where construction and entropic sites become a common occurrence. Along the way he picked up enough materials to make some intriguing work.