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Impossibly Tiny Foods Made Of Clay

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Kim Burke’s miniature food sculptures are so realistic you’ll want to eat them in one bite. Inspired by the photorealist movement, Burke creates flawless dollhouse-scale meals from actual photographs, positioned at various angles for maximum accuracy. Each plate of food, so small as to be balanced on a human fingertip, is carefully rendered from clay using needles, razor blades, and a rock for texture. Chalk pastels add color. For cake frosting, Burke uses Translucent Liquid Sculpey mixed with solid clay. The artist’s company, Fairchild Art, offers a range of plates, from sweet to savory dishes, each at a 1:12 scale.

Burke’s passion for dollhouse accessories began as a hobby in 2008, but soon blossomed into what she calls an “obsession.” The work is painstaking and each piece typically requires one to three hours of full concentration, but the result is well worth it. She says of her process, “every time I make something new I always try to add something extra to make it even look more real.”

Decadent and indulgent, Burke’s tiny masterpieces combine the sensuousness of a Caravaggio painting with the whimsy of childhood play. Like Caravaggio’s Still Life with Fruit, each piece is entirely inedible yet invites a mouthwatering appetite. Burke’s delicate fruit baskets emerge like Eden’s forbidden fruit in miniature, igniting the imagination and uninhibited delight. Poignantly small, they remind us of the preciousness of our humanity. When seen on a plate the size of a penny, the most familiar food stuffs become miraculous and spellbinding. Made with tender love and care, the diminutive plates suggest our own fragilities and vulnerabilities. Take a look. (via Demilked)

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Beautiful/Decay Book Series- Please Read

Dear Cult Of Decay,

For those of you who just joined the cult and those of you who haven’t seen us in a while, we wanted to give you a refresher and keep you in the loop on all the changes we made since 2009.

As you know Beautiful/Decay started as a magazine featuring art & design. We had a traditional advertising model like most other mags on the stands. After publishing a successful 26 issues (issues A-Z) we decided to shake things up in order to bring you a superior product.

Starting in 2009 we re-launched Beautiful/Decay to have all the benefits of traditional magazine subscribership, while taking the form of an expanded, limited edition, more voluminous publication.

In keeping with the spirit of our independent DIY philosophy, we decided to break the mold of traditional magazines and change the way we do business. In this economy, most publications are either going out of business or watering down their content to appease advertisers. Rather than conform to the publishing industry’s new rules, we’ve decided to create our own business model that allows us to flourish and increase the quality of our content.

One thing we’ve always disliked about the mainstream print industry is that it can be wasteful. Newsstands throw away all unsold magazines, averaging a 40-60% waste rate. In keeping with our commitment to staying green, Beautiful/Decay will instead send issues straight into the hands of subscribers, rather than dumpsters.

Here’s what the new B/D looks like:

• No traditional advertising

• 50% increase in page count, meaning 164 pages of pure, unfiltered content

• Features now have double the page space, with more full-color images & articles

• Articles now run 16-20 pages, providing some of the most in-depth coverage of emerging artists available today

• Released in limited edition format of only 1,500-2000 copies, each one hand numbered.

• Each issue comes with a limited edition collaborative artist project ranging from inserts, stickers, posters, to original artwork.

• Presented in new format & size, including French flaps and multiple printing processes within

• Released 3 times a year (once every 4 months)

We’re looking forward to 2011, where we’ll keep doing things our way, innovating indie publishing and bringing members of the cult the best of art and design.

Long live The Cult Of Decay!

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Hand-Stitched Portraits Reflect Our Complicated Relationship With The Digital Age

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Melbourne-based artist Catherine Tipping uses an analog way of working to depict digitally-minded portraits. Blurring the line between what’s on the screen and off, she uses wool to stitch human faces that are partially pixelated, glitchy, or generally just obscured through Photoshop. They are sewn onto a gridded canvas, which is not unlike the the pixels that we see on screen. These similarities make for a compelling series titled Filter that meditates on identity and the way technology has totally changed our culture.

Tipping explains the concept behind her work in an email to The Huffington Post, writing:

I was learning about Modernism and how technology changed society culturally back then. I saw how the Digital era has had a similar affect on our culture. Now that we are in the second decade of the new millennium, we rely on the efficiency of digital technology. Recently, in some aspects of society, it appears there is a yearning for the handmade. Maybe now is the time when digital and handmade mediums can be combined and embraced by society. I see this bridge in my processes by using a digital image with all its pixels and hand stitching it.

Depending on how you’re looking at them, they can resemble digital renderings or traditional fiber work. Tipping intersperses bits of both worlds within a single composition, creating one whole work that’s a combination of influences. “I am interested in cultural identity on many levels; societal, sub-cultural and personal,” she writes to The Huffington Post. “I like considering the distinctive visual traditions of different eras and outside factors that shape them. These portraits may appear distinctive of our current era or not, I sometimes wonder if we are becoming so anachronistic that we are indistinctive of a time.” (Via The Huffington Post)

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Mothi Limbu

Lots of great design, illustration, art direction, and art over at the portfolio of creative juggernaut Mothi Limbu.

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Phoebe Washburn’s Fort Installations And Mixed Media Inventions

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Phoebe Washburn’s constructions, built from found or discarded objects such as plants, plywood, cardboard, or fish tanks, to name a few, have been gaining critical acclaim and momentum since 2008, when she took part in the coveted Whitney Biennial.

Of her craft and salvage, in W Magazine, Washburn states: “I’m not green; I’m greedy . . . There’s definitely an aspect of hoarding that drives this, absolutely! If I see someone walking down the street with a nice piece of wood, I’m like, Where did they get that?”

Her approach to discussing art is as playful and humble as the structures themselves, or their titles, which range from “Nunderwater Nort Lab” (above, top) to “Baby Brain (Not Safe for Use as Jacuzzi)” (above, below).

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Chris Anthony’s Most Normal Person I know

As a photographic artist and filmmaker, Chris Anthony’s world is anything but normal. His large scale photographs are an intersection of Renaissance set and costume design, melted with a process that employs both antique photographic equipment and the modern technology of post-production. Anthony’s work is lush and painterly. He creates an image that is akin to film work in its narrative, both cinematic and containing all the elements of a story left open-ended.

For this body of work, Anthony rented an old hotel in Downtown Los Angeles once owned by Charlie Chaplin to create a sweeping backdrop of space lost in time. He photographs his subjects in mid-dream, or in a state of semi-consciousness. The scene is amplified by distinct props and the presence of small figures, visions manifested from the sub-conscious. It is not sure if they are evil or guardian.

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Marcos Chin

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Currently working in NYC teaching Fashion Illustration at the School of Visual Arts, Marcos Chin  is a renowned illustrator and has been published in many illustration annuals including Communication Arts and Applied Arts. His work is polished yet playful and he can effortlessly create either more realistic or more stylized works, while still maintaining his own unique vision.

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Alexander James Is Drowning In Brands

Working with stylist Davy Pittoors and flowers supplied by The Willow Shoreditch, photographer Alexander James has created an incredibly beautiful series, Drowning in Brands. This collection features 10 recreations of some of the most recognizable brand symbols within the commercial world. I think what I enjoyed most about this series is the process of creation, and the fact that these did not undergo post production work either traditional or digital. Alexander required only rose formations and effectively clever lighting for this dark underwater photography. To view more of his work, make sure to visit his blog and stock library.

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