In honor of Spring, Beautiful/Decay is offering back issues at over 55% off the cover price! We have slashed ‘em down to the lucky price of just $3. Who wants to scrub floors or clear out a dusty garage for “Spring Cleaning” anyways? We suggest you buy some of your favorite B/D back issues, curl up on a porch swing, and savor the feeling of getting a great deal instead. Buy B/D Back Issues here!
This sale ends April 1st and 3 back issues have already sold out so get your copies now!
when Hendrik Kerstens decided to dedicate himself entirely to photography in 1995, he turned to a model very near at hand: his daughter paula. he wanted to document all the important moments in her life, to ‘be there’, to capture something of the fleeting moments that fade from memory all too quickly. The inquisitive eye of the photographer plays an important part in the process: he sets out to catch a glimpse of his subject’s secret being and tries to understand what it is he sees.
He is fascinated and amazed by the fact that every human being, no matter how familiar, is ‘other’, a mystery that can never be completely unravelled. the project became known as ‘paula pictures’, one of which went on to win the panl-award. Something else is going on in kerstens’ photographs. time and time again he uses his daughter as a model, immortalizing her, as if to stop time and oblivion.
Chicago-based illustrator Deb Sokolow is a conspiracy theorist. Or at least that’s what her work seems to suggest. Creating long, linear, installation-based drawings which look similar to the kind of thing your typical movie serial killer has on his wall, Sokolow pays tribute to the great American tradition that is the modern conspiracy. Her work always has a strong narrative, usually featuring a nameless narrator uncovering some kind of sinister plot; plots which may involve anything from office life to the government (of course) to gangster movies to Barbara Walters.
AIDS-3D is a collaboration between two American artists, Daniel Keller and Nik Kosmas, both of whom were born in 1986. Their work, and the documentation of it, is about as cryptic and brash as their mysterious name. Their influences are clear – low brow 1990s cyber-culture, space mysticism, aliens, etc, etc – but the work revolving around said themes can be quite clever and subversive.
British artist Rebecca Glover works in several mediums, but it’s her installations that are especially striking. The three installations pictured here – Space Invader, Flat 51, and The Inhabitant – invades the insides of an apartment and galleries. The calming, almost mesmerizing, color of the spikes clash against the installation’s overall sinister nature. She describes the installation in interview:
“I had an idea to create a sculpture that broke through the space and played with this idea that there’s something latent in the walls; playing around with what lies beyond what you can see.” [via]
The second series of photos are taken from the Market Estate Project in which seventy-five artists worked with residents to install art in a soon to be demolished housing estate in London. The work and apartment buildings were destroyed the very next day following the art’s installation.
Anna Ter Haar is interested in forms that drip and suggest malleability. Whether she applies this idea to furniture or fashion accessories, the effect is similar: the viewer becomes immediately aware of the impermanence of the objects that she transforms, while at the same time aware that the ultimate practicality of the objects is not entirely lost. She primarily uses paint, wax, and glass, substances that become their most malleable when heat is applied. Her work also captures moments in time; her glass and chair sculptures seem to be caught mid-movement and mid-transformation.
Swiss artist Edgar Romanovskis uses simple digital editing techniques to portray the illusion of infinity within his outdoor portraiture. Starting with a hand-made frame, he photographs an outdoor scene either holding or setting the frame in it, then manipulates the image in Photoshop to mirror the frame endlessly, forming a geometric gateway that sinks into oblivion. The results are captivating.
Much of his previous work involves landscape photography, with heavy use of photo manipulation to pull at the tones and contrast, achieving the fullest impact with the image, and creating a nearly other-worldly look. In comparison to that type of work, this series, titled “Concept of Infinity,” has a beautifully muted and nearly fine art quality to it. The tones are even, and although the patterns are simple there is a nearly entrancing quality to them. This is a simple way to turn a beautiful landscape photograph into something that appears to fall into another dimension.
Inner architectural worlds open up in the works of Matthew Simmonds. Beginning his career as a student of art history at the University of East Anglia, the artist gradually moved into sculptural and architectural work, studying stone carving at Weymouth College and later participating in the restoration of several notable monuments, including Westminster Abbey and the cathedrals of Salisbury and Ely. Following these experiences, he began working on his stone sculptures, applying his combined knowledge of history, architecture, and stonework to carve miniature sculptures depicting hallowed interiors.
Simmonds’ works are masterpieces of perception. Despite their small scale, his sculptures absorb the viewer’s imagination with illusions of infinite space; under sunlit arches, through dark corridors, and up monolithic steps, one can almost hear the reverberation of the voice, the lifting of the soul as it passes through deep, sacred spaces. Light plays an important role, warming and chilling the stone and accentuating the finely-hewn details. Invoking architectural styles from ancient and medieval histories, Simmonds visually and emotionally connects us with a Western cultural past; as his artist’s statement compellingly describes, “Drawing on the formal language and philosophy of architecture, the work explores themes of positive and negative form, the significance of light and darkness, and the relationship between nature and human endeavour “ (Source)
Visit Simmonds’ website to see an impressive collection of his work.