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Atomic Bomb Tests Recreated in Fictional Photo Series

As part of our ongoing partnership with Feature Shoot, Beautiful/Decay is sharing  Alison Zavos’ piece on photographer Clay Lipsky.

“I was raised during the height of the Cold War, when the threat of nuclear war loomed between two superpowers. The dramatized depictions in TV and film of such an apocalyptic demise both intrigued and scared me as a child. Yet the actual historical record of the atomic age was full of antiquated, black and white images that seemed dated and a world away.

This series, Atomic Overlook, recontextualizes a legacy of atomic tests in order to keep the reality of our post-atomic era fresh and omnipresent. It also speaks to the current state of the world and the voyeuristic culture we live in.

Imagine if the advent of the atomic era occurred during today’s information age. Tourists would gather to view bomb tests, at the “safe” distances used in the 1950’s, and share the resulting cell phone photos online. Broadcast media would regurgitate such visual fodder ad nauseum, bringing new levels of desensitization.

The threat of atomic weapons is as great as ever, but it is a hidden specter. Nuclear proliferation has gained even more obscurity through the “rogue” factions that can now possess them. Meanwhile America’s stockpile of weapons continues to be modernized and will probably never cease to exist. I can only hope that mankind will never again suffer the wrath of such a destructive force, but it is clear that the world would not hesitate to watch.”

Clay Lipsky is a fine art photographer & graphic designer based in Los Angeles. His photos have been exhibited in various group shows, including those at the Annenberg Space for Photography, MOPLA, Pink Art Fair Seoul, PhotoPlace and Impossible Project NYC.

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Jess Riva Cooper’s Beautifully Grotesque Ceramics Celebrate Death And Decay

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The ceramics of Jess Riva Cooper are gross, majestic, fragile and poetic. Her Viral Series is a collection of clay heads bursting with groups of insects, tree roots, branches, leaves, flowers, stems and buds. Mostly white with a heavy glaze, Cooper subtly decorates areas of her sculptures and adds accented color. The pieces show a beautiful understanding of the circle of life, or rather how things are destroyed and created simultaneously. Cooper talks about how something seen as destructive and parasitic is no different from the form it is overtaking. She treats all areas of life as equal, and each creepy crawly is as beautiful as a lotus flower.

My work, Viral Series, is a continued exploration into the death and regeneration taking place in deteriorating communities. Places and things, once bustling and animated, have succumbed to nature’s mercy. Without intervention, nature takes over and breathes new life into objects, as it does in my sculptures. (Source)

Cooper has researched heavily into different cultures and how this same idea is treated. In most eastern philosophies, the idea that birth and death are part of the same spectrum rings true. She takes that idea further and looks a bit deeper into one culture in particular:

I also study the foundation myths of the Golem and Dybbuk spirits in Yiddish folklore and reinterpret these traditional stories through a female lens. I see a direct parallel between my interest in insidious plant life and a malevolent Dybbuk spirit, which takes over the human body. In both situations a loss of control is suffered as the parasitic entity subsumes the host. (Source)

Cooper’s ceramics remind us that even though things of beauty are there to be admired and celebrated, it is also a fine thing when those things are disrupted and replaced by other things.

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Made With Color Presents: Tanya Batura’s Delightfully Grotesque Busts

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It’s time for our weekly exclusive artist feature in partnership with premiere website builder Made With Color. Each week we join forces to bring you some of the most exciting artists and designers working today who use Made With Color to build their clean and sleek websites. Made With Color is a website builder that helps artists create gorgeous mobile/tablet optimized websites in only a few minutes without having to touch a line of code.This week we are happy to share the work and website of Tanya Batura.

Los Angeles artist Tanya Batura is known for her delightfully grotesque busts that reference a wide array of subject matter such as BDSM, fashion, serial killers, human deformities and classical 15th Century sculpture. Working in ceramics, a medium that has both its detractors and supporters, Batura’s large-scale heads defy even their own materiality, transforming the often staid and predictable parameters of the medium toward a more cohesive and deliberately forceful sensibility.

Batura’s work is at once monumental and delicate, geometric and languorously sensual in their fluidity, starkly devoid of color yet strangely shadowed from within. Pushing both material and content, Batura’s agenda is clearly less about pleasing any perceived “viewer,” and much more about complete absorption into her own process.

An exclusive interview with Tanya Batura is available in Beautiful/Decay Issue:V available on the B/D SHOP.

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Sabi Van Hemert

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Sabi Van Hemert is a Dutch artist who creates sculptures that are fusions of children and animals. Van Hemert likes to play on  the idea that the viewer has his or her interpretation on what they see. Because it is not immediately obvious what you see, the relationship between the spectator and the image is more complex, which is what Van Hemert strives to get from her work. Van Hemert says she has developed a rhythm to her work: precision, and the material she uses, help gives her work its alienating yet sensual, tough yet vulnerable character.

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Jan De Vliegher’s Porcelain Plate Paintings

 

For his first solo exhibition in the United States, Belgian artist Jan De Vliegher creates a series of monumental paintings which reference the artist’s obsessive hunt for otherwise overlooked porcelain plates. United in their ritualistic and repetitive compositions the series of circular abstractions reveal De Vliegher’s fascination with the painting experience while also speaking to broader themes of contemporary collecting.

Like a cultural anthropologist, De Vliegher meticulously documents his varied sources of inspiration in their traditional museum context. The lush colors, dramatic brushstrokes and overpowering scale of his work, however, starkly diverge from the otherwise controlled subject matter. The subsequent rush-infused paintings transcend their representational qualities and assume the commanding presence of contemporary abstractions. In the same way Baselitz’s act of turning his paintings upside down avoided a literal and linear interpretation, De Vliegher ignores the differences within the distinct plate genres—from French Rococo to Qing dynasty—and imbues the work with a palpable essence that is reflective of the artist’s unique, energetic input.

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Debra Scacco unlocks the 3 keys of greatness at MARINE CONTEMPORARY

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 I felt like I was peering into Debra Scacco’s personal journals as I walked around her exhibit BIRDS OF PASSAGE at Marine Contemporary. Her large and small works on paper feature her solid penmanship, which she glides across the surface into geographical formations like States and Countries. “I Cannot Reach You” and “Hold Me” are just a couple of the repeated lines running throughout their corresponding paintings and although this may sound strange, there is almost a psychic connection between the viewer and the work that gives off the feeling of the syntax without actually having to read it. So, even if Debra wrote them in Itallian and I don’t speak or read Itallian, I would still be able to grasp the emotion trying to reach out for me. These are elegant and beautiful works that can take months and months to complete, especially the installation in the center of the room where she had to glue over 1000 golden pins together to form what looks like a map of all the pieces in the show combined onto one plane.

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new work by Sawdust

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London based design duo, Sawdust, has recently updated their site with new works including their latest project – a poster for independent music artist, Angel–A.

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Connie Wong

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Open your eyes and clean out your ears, kids.  Connie Wong has some fresh artwork to accompany your Wednesday morning.  Ear wax and boogers have never been cooler.

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