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Photos Of The Old Soviet Union Are Haunting But Alluring

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The story of photographer Rebecca Bathory’s traveling to the ruins of the old Soviet Union reads like an adventure tale. As she and her guides were in the midst of exploring abandoned buildings and monuments, they were discovered by authorities.  She explains:

Not many explorers travel to Russia where the rules are very different, locations are heavily guarded and a strong military presence exists everywhere. There are serious consequences for getting caught. We managed to stay hidden for all of the trip, we maximised our stealthiness, ducking and diving into bushes and sneaking past sleeping security. But on day three our good fortune ran out as we visited a top secret radar installation. After walking through the forest, mosquitoes attacking us from all directions, we saw the radar and made our way towards it, but just metres away suddenly we were joined by military and they weren’t happy…

Bathory risked radiation exposure, experienced arrest and interrogation, and was accused of espionage as she shot this series of stunning photographs. They depict areas of abandonment – forgotten monuments, peeling paint, a places where nature has taken over. The photographer offers many haunting sights never seen before by western eyes.

These images were comprised into a book entitled Soviet Ghosts. They were all taken by Bathory, while essays and articles by Professor Owen Evans and Neil Cockwill from Edge Hill University and Tristi Brownett.

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Design partners M/M (Paris) put their spin on the alphabet for a collaboration with Prada, creating architectural black and white type where each letter is related to the others.  They will release 5 collectible shirts with different letters on the front and the Prada-M logo on the back.  Wear a different one each day and see what you can spell!

Now who will be first to make this into a font? More alphabet fun after the cut.

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Emma Powell’s Photography Looks Like Paintings of Dreams

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Emma Powell‘s photo series “In Search of Sleep” is a sequence of snapshots straight out of a semi-lucid dream. To create her photos, Powell uses the cyanotype process and also tints them with tea and wine. The result is a layer of haziness and off-kilter colors that enhance the surreality of her artwork, making them almost seem like paintings of the mind.

In Search of Sleep recreates this shadowy realm and allows me to explore my real-life questions, from personal dramas to romantic doubts,” Powell says. Her inspiration is also, in part, the bedtime stories her father used to invent, which incorporated real world locations as well as a mysterious “dream-world of caverns, forests, and oceans full of unexpected animals and dangers.”
Powell’s work certainly embodies that sense of searching, longing, and subterranean menaces. In some photos, her dreamer seems very small: standing before a looming labyrinth; marooned on a rock next to an enormous anchor; pausing before the stairs as a large shadow moves behind her.
“In Search of Sleep” almost gives the sensation that as much as the dreamer seeks, she is also being sought. Powell’s photography gives us a sense of a journey, and as mysterious as it is, we can’t be sure if the seeker ever finds what she’s looking for. (h/t I Need a Guide)

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Would you buy this milk?

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Clean, beautiful, and informative packaging design by Audree rethinks those nutritional figures we always take for granted. If everything we ate had this sort of packaging, would we still be eating it? Is ignorance bliss??

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Book 5 Sneak Peak Part 3!

Only two more weeks until Book 5 in the Beautiful/Decay Book series is shipped off to our loyal subscribers.there will be only 1000 copies produced (all of which are ad-free) and only subscribers will receive their copy before anyone else does. You also save 33% by subscribing versus going to your local shop (plus you don’t have to go past your mailbox to get it!). Subscribe today and secure your newest addition to the Beautiful/Decay series.


To get you ready for the release of Book 5 dust off your tablets and fire up your copy of Photoshop because today we continue the contest to give away a free copy of Beautiful/Decay Book: 5 to the fastest gun in the wild west. Each week we have been releasing a new piece of Beautiful/Decay cover to get you guys ready for the upcoming issue. The rules are simple: Be the first person to piece together the cover of the Book:5 and email the completed image to, and your speed of hand will be rewarded with a free copy of the book you just solved. In case you are just tuning in, be sure to check out the B/D News Category of the Blog for the previous missing pieces. So wrangle up your magic lassos and get busy winning!


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Izziyana Suhaimi’s Embroidered Drawings

Izziyana Suhaimi blends pared down drawings with ornate embroidery in her seductive illustrations. Using craft based techniques, she is attracted to the evidence of the hand and its time-consuming aspect, which runs counter to the instant gratification and mass-production centered age of today. (via)

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Studio Visit: Claude Collins-Stracensky’s Explorations in Space and Light

As part of our ongoing partnership with In The Make, Beautiful/Decay is sharing a studio visit with artist Claude Collins-Stracensky. See the full studio visit and interview with Claude and other West Coast artists at

Claude’s studio is in a commercial building in Downtown, Los Angeles right where two fairly busy streets intersect. It’s a few floors up, and as soon as Klea and I stepped out from the elevator doors Claude’s Vizsla dogs greeted us with wild tail-wagging enthusiasm and then lead the way into the studio. It’s a huge corner space with tons of natural light streaming in through the wide windows that lends an almost limitless feel to the room. I took a few minutes to wander around and take it all in— the dogs tumbling about together in play, the dust particles fluttering in and out of the hazy afternoon light, and the many projects underway, all of them in various states of completeness. At any given time Claude is often at work on multiple endeavors, taking time with each to experiment, re-think, tinker and tweak. His studio is a like a research lab where he plays around with concepts and materials, creating mock-ups and models, and then tries to bring these ideas to life with his hands. There is a bit of a “mad scientist” in Claude— he approaches his work with unfettered imagination and whimsy, totally unafraid to scheme and dream big, and he seems almost possessed by a rampant curiosity about the natural world and how it works. At the core of Claude’s practice is a preoccupation with physical systems and processes and the innate dynamics of different materials, and the ways in which these forces and elements can interact to bring about a new consciousness of one’s surroundings. Embracing a range of mediums, his practice often plays with perception and aims to expand his viewers’ visual experience and spatial awareness to create impressions that go beyond an everyday understanding of the world. I got the impression that the wheels in Claude’s brain must always be spinning at top speed, never at rest, always at work on questions, always in a state of assessing and hypothesizing. Which is kind of funny, because he comes across as super mellow… but I didn’t let that easy-going vibe fool me!

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Christopher Charles Curtis’ Horror Movie World

Christopher Charles Curtis A.K.A. C3’s drawings explores a world the artist has created to better understand the darker parts of himself and humanity as a whole. This world is best described as a fairytale western with some horror film aspects. The characters are in a constant struggle to find their place in a world that is slowly crumbling all around them. As they foolishly try to save this world they find that not only are their attempts futile but their very efforts are contributing to the decline in civilization. It is a basic story of the few vs the many, honor and glory vs power and corruption.

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