Do you know thousands of artists and designers who need to get some well deserved exposure? Do love writing about art and want an outlet? Do you want over a million monthly readers from around the world reading and hanging on your every word? Do you want to join Beautiful/Decay in our quest for all things groundbreaking and creative? If so then we have the perfect job for you!
Beautiful/Decay is looking for a few young writers who are looking to get their foot in the door and contribute to our daily blog. We are looking for smart writers in all corners of the globe who have their fingers on the pulse of the contemporary art and design world and want to join our group of art bloggers.
To apply send a few short writing samples (or links), 5 links to artists who you would like to write about and a cover letter about why you want to join the Beautiful/Decay contributor team to contactbd(at)beautifuldecay.com.
Writers must be able to commit to a minimum of five 300 word posts per week. This is a paid freelance position.
Corey as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Divine Decadence, Henderson, NV
Chelsea as Columbia, Sins O’ The Flesh, Saugus, CA
Shannon as Magenta, Bawdy Caste, Half Moon Bay, CA
Shawn as Rocky, The Home of Happiness, Hawthorne, NJ
There are few movies with the same enduring legacy as The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Since the film came out in 1975, it has become both the longest-running theatrical release in the history of cinema, and more significantly, it has remained a cultural cornerstone for progressive politics and identities. This year, the film celebrated its 40th anniversary, and to this day people continue to bring the characters to life by recreating the costumes and set designs.
Lauren Everett is a Portland-based photographer who wanted to document the world of these dedicated fans. She started a project titled People Like Us, a series of portraits featuring cast members from around the United States in full costume. What makes these images unique is the fact that Everett has taken them out of the theater, portraying these playful and expressive characters in everyday environments. The result is an exploration of the way the movie’s themes of creativity and personal freedom translate into real-life functionality. In the following statement from the project’s website, Everett explains her perspectives on the film’s long-standing importance and relevance:
“It’s an environment where bold sexual innuendos and puns are used freely with an almost innocent humor. There’s a accepting ‘anything goes’ atmosphere, and a sense of being in a place where the rules of ‘out there’ don’t apply. For regulars and casual aficionados alike, Rocky Horror is a safe-haven where people of all persuasions can go to have a good time and be accepted as they are.” (Source)
Everett ran an Indiegogo campaign to put together a book of the portraits, which includes a preface by scholar Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock and short write-ups from the cast members. The book is available here, and you can see more previews after the jump.
The Unconventional Apology Project, created by Los Angeles based artist Chantal Barlow, was inspired by events haunting Barlow’s own family’s history. Her grandmother, Mableine Nelson Barlow, mother of 7 children, was shot and murdered by her grandfather two days following the finalization of their divorce. The dark secret has remained unspoken within her family, as her grandfather, a man of power, was never convicted or even sent to trial. As her grandfather grew older, he began to consistently capture moments from their family’s life. When he died, at age 84, he left her his beloved camera. Today, she uses this camera “as a tool to photograph…women that have been impacted by abuse, and have been silenced.” She aims to give these women a “Trail of Existence. They will not disappear.”
Barlow and her teammates, Tiffany Curlee and Dr. Susan Hammoudeh, have taken on this ambitious and altruistic project with the aims to create a platform to raise the volume of survivors of domestic violence. Not only does the team capture portraits of these women, they also have listened to and documented their stories. Each photograph shows the brightness and radiance in each of these women’s eyes, proving that there is light on the other side. The diversity of both the women’s stories and appearances teaches that domestic violence has no face. This is a truly pure and critical project, offering insight into a dark and far to common reality.
The body of work has been created to, in the words of the project developers;
“recaptur[e] the humanity of abused women. Part of the apology is shaking up our preconceived notions of abused women; how we have made them all appear (or disappear) in media and other social outlets. They have lost their personhood, and are reduced to an event. This portrait project aims to shift our experience of these women.”
To know more about the project and get involved, find the project’s website here.
Kazuhiro Tsuji creates hyperrealist large portraits of celebrities, artists and presidents. His career in Hollywood as a special effect make-up artist has taught him how to transpose fictional features on human faces. He is now entering the art world and leaving his imagination to guide his creations.
The sculptures are 8 times larger than a human head. Made out of resin and platinum silicone, they offer close to real details; such as pores, lashes, hair and wrinkles. Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, Salvador Dali, Dick Smith and Abraham Lincoln appear as if they were going to start moving. When looking at the faces, we cannot consider that the celebrity represented could have existed differently.
The sculptures have an underlying process and are not just depicting a person. Kazuhiro Tsuji manipulates the feeling of empathy. He uses the neutral expression of his characters to entice the viewer and connect with his curiosity; wanting to create a dialogue between the public and the sculpture. According to him, different sets of mood can hide behind a poised look. The sculptures have the ability to invite us to go behind the mask. A step the artist is urging us to take. (Via Illusion Scene 360)
In an incredible series of photographs titled Surreal Stormchasing Portraits, photographer Benjamin Von Wong visually connects the ferocity of a storm with the growing threat of climate change. To capture these images, Von Wong spent two weeks traveling across seven states, bringing along models and a collection of household objects. He staged people doing ordinary things, such as ironing cloths, lounging in a chair, and playing video games. In each scene, the models act as if they are oblivious to the storm behind them, even as the wind rips at their hair and clothing.
“We live in a rapidly changing world, and whether we admit it or not, our lifestyle is pretty unsustainable for the environment around us,” Von Wong states in the above video. He wanted to use his photography skills to comment on “it’s-not-happening” attitudes towards environmental disaster, and storms became the perfect symbol. He quickly learned of the challenges and dangers of storm photography, however; working alongside Kelly DeLay, the two photographers had to remain alert to developing storms, and when they arrived (all the while navigating dangerous roads), they had no more than 10-15 minutes to set up and tear down the scenes.
For Von Wong, these epic photos are justified by the responses they inspire. “The intent of the series is really just to get people to think—think about the world, think about what’s happening around us, be aware of it,” he says. “And if I can ignite that conversation regardless of the reaction on the series, then I think project will have been a success” (Source). Blending together powerful backdrops and images of ordinary life, Von Wong’s call to attention is clear, unsettling, and ultimately motivating.
Portland, Oregon based artist Zoe Keller creates intricate and whimsical nature themed illustrations and designs. After her graduation from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Keller found herself spending time in rural areas such as the rocky cost of Maine, on a blueberry farm in Michigan, and the quiet town of Hudson, New York. Inspired by her experience and her surroundings, Keller’s work aims to explore the “intersection of art making, activism and the natural sciences.” Using graphite renderings that are sometimes enhanced with digital coloration, Keller’s drawings are flawless and comprehensive. Each work, exploring a stylized still life or, in some cases, a more narrative focused composition, acts as a tiny shrine to nature. Many of her drawings depict endangered species, allowing her art to serve as a form of education, awareness, and perhaps memorial. For example, her piece Life Cycle portrays the various phases within the life of a Black Racer Snake, an endangered species native to Maine. Another piece, Endangered Turtles, is a charming composition of North American endangered turtles stacked by size. Her drawings have a lithographic feel, allowing them to act as a part of the classical tradition of drawing as documentation. Her images clearly pay homage to the vintage botanical drawings once used before the days of photography. Painstakingly detailed, yet simultaneously fun and carefree, her images have an almost fairytale quality. Keller’s work is undoubtedly endearing and her craftsmanship undeniably elaborate.
Korean artist Myung Kuen Koh creates intimate structural sculptures of shifting perceptions. Myung Kuen Koh’s work acts as tiny dreamlands that perfectly suggest a certain non-specific person, place, and/or time. Each piece takes the form of an urban structure — one that seems effortlessly familiar. Perhaps each one is an ode to the past; an old home, the house of an ex lover, a place that was once cherished. Their open movement and intentional distortion possibly hint at the fragility and elusiveness of memory. His images tend to portray two seemingly unrelated subjects: classical sculpture and urban, and often run down, buildings. However, these two images, despite their differences, achieve an equal sense of meditative air. Both types of images allude to a type of quiet, yet demanding physical construction that refer to a means to measure history. His work, it seems, could be either inherently personal, or, on the contrary, be focused on a collective notion of time. The artist’s work is almost cinematic, each piece being reminiscent to projector images along a edifice’s surface. Myung Kuen Koh’s delicate work is created through the process of layering translucent images. He then laminates his images and with goes the task of melting them together, resulting in a shimmering and striking sculptural montage. (via hi fructose)
Extremely detailed machines made out of cardboard. Australian artist Daniel Agdag creates directly with his hands and scalpel. The industrial machineries he imagines and makes are a mean to raise consciousness on how human beings are powerless and ignorant over the machines they use daily.
In the ‘Principles of Aerodynamics’ series, Daniel Agdag demonstrates his ability to produce an intricate sculpture using just his imagination and memories he collects from details on architectural elements like buildings or monuments. He doesn’t sketch anything before diving for hours into his work. His process is described as ‘Sketching with Cardboard’. He conceives a hot air balloon, reel-to-reel recorder and a radar-dish without planning. The purpose remains the same : to entice the viewer’s curiosity and to generate a reaction.
The artist’s subject matter places individuals in a position of uncertainty. The machines that we use daily are complex and we tend to forget it. Furthermore, we might forget in the process that we are being helped by those machines, and that without them we could no longer pursue our effortless life. Daniel Agdad’s examination of the effect machines have on us is reminiscent of artist Jean Tinguely’s purpose. By building creative machines from garbage and found objects he ‘aimed to satirize the fallibility and unpredictability of machines and our reliance on them’. Daniel Adgad, by manipulating a simple material like a cardboard attempts to freeze time and the world we are living in. And reconnect the viewer with what he is actually capable of achieving thanks to the use of complicated machines.