Beautiful/Decay: Future Perfect has only been on the stands for 12 days and it’s almost sold out! At last count we had just under 100 copies left and the orders keep pouring in so make sure to order your copy or you’ll be stuck searching the treacherous seas of eBay to get one of the 1,500 hand numbered copies.
Matthew Scott graduated with a BFA in Photography from the Academy of Art. In landscape and in portraiture, his camera sheds light on the “paradoxical tensions existing just under the surface of everyday life.” He overlaps two Americas–the urban and the rural–as they compete in his photographs. He effortlessly gives the viewer “Yin and Yang, light and dark, compassion and sarcasm”–a struggle of dualities.
Jesse Auersalo is a London based graphic designer and illustrator who was recently featured in Beautiful/Decay Magazine Issue Y, and contributed the issue’s cover. We loved the design so much that we decided to create a t-shirt from the iconic cover. Here is a photo of “Clown,” the as-of-yet unreleased shirt!
Jesse Auersalo’s work is at once haunting and seductive; rather than reinforcing the likeness of his subjects, he purposefully complicates and obscures their recognizability. His cast of characters features a plethora of bizarre veils—whether bandannas tied over faces, helmets covering heads, taped shut sweatshirt hoodies, or even Halloween-style fake gag noses, as shown in this t-shirt. They appear like a ramshackle gang robbing your home with makeshift masks. Perhaps this is what simultaneously lends Auersalo’s works an irresistible sense of intrigue and unavailability to the viewer. Jesse himself has noted: “You normally want to get what you can’t have. It’s the most common way to tease and to make itself attracted. Even the most boring secret can reach everybody’s curiosity if it’s well wrapped and hidden.”
You can’t get your hands on this design just yet but keep an eye out for it when it debuts in March for our 09 spring collection!
Christine Gray’s paintings might seem playful at first, but a closer look reveals ominous mythical undertones. Woven dreamcatchers, desolate landscapes, and lightning in the sky… something else is definitely going here. Christine’s show “Into the Light” opens at Okay Mountain on January 14th, so go check it out!
Photographer Bernhard Lang captures an aerial view of the Opencast Coal Mining Pit in Germany, which is one of the largest man-made holes in the world. At nearly 1,500 feet deep and covering almost 22 square miles, everything is at a giant scale. Massive machinery, the size of a 30-storey office buildings, scoops out coal, sand, and dirt to mine and move it about.
It’s hard to imagine something of these proportions, and through Lang’s sweeping landscape photography, he minimizes its grandiose scale. When looking down rather than upwards, it’s hard to get a sense of just how big these things really are. At times, they look like patterns of ant farms rather than the handiwork of humans. Perhaps it’s part of the point to say that these hulking machines and sprawling cleared paths aren’t as important as we’re lead to believe.
The real visual impact of these photos comes from their abstract qualities: the different colors of dirt that have been piled next to one another; the lines that are made by machines as they drive down the road; and the hills and valleys themselves. Through Lang’s careful framing, he’s captured their unintentional beauty.
What happens when molten aluminium is poured into an anthill, allowed to dry, then excavated and cleaned off? Anthill Art – an anonymous American artist – creates intricate metallic sculptures by doing just that. These forms reveal the depth and styles of various ant species’ hills, mainly from the beds of pesky fire ants. The complex and beautiful systems of these ant beds are revealed through this process, but has created a bit of controversy. People concerned with this method of sculpture work have commented on Anthill Art’s Facebook page, where the artist has responded generally to these concerns.
“I regret every day calling it anthillart. To be honest it was a short memorable name and I went with it. I’m not really a fan of art and would never refer to myself as an artist, I guess I considered the ants to be the artists (and architects). If someone created these themselves and called it art I would call it modern art crap. That the ants created it makes me love it.
I first started doing this just out of pure interest (always having been interested in biology and science). A few of my teacher friends took them to school and camp, the kids loved it and it really seemed to get them interested in science. So, I decided to start the site and try to sell a few.
The fire ant colonies are not abandoned. The justification being that there are so many of them and I need to kill them anyway, with kids and pets around. Plus they’re an invasive species in this area and wreak havoc. Some states have eradication programs. The other ants (usually carpenter ants), I try to find abandoned nests but it doesn’t always work out. Either way, I do it sparingly and the property is still over run with them.”
South Korean artist Jihyun Park creates incredibly complex images by burning minute holes in rice paper with incense sticks. He then mounts the finished ‘drawings’ onto varnished canvases. The final results are beautifully serene images of trees, mountains, clouds, forests and branches. As a kind of reverse pointillism, Park is interested in the contrasts between empty space and positive space, or by taking something away (parts of the paper, and the incense stick) to create something new (the image).
Inspired by the books Gulliver’s Travels, Utopia, and Erewhon and after seeing the Japanese animated movie Castle in the Sky, Park became interested in the ideas of utopia and harmony. He expands these connections in his work further:
My recent work, Incense Series, focuses on this relationship while searching for the promised harmonic balance that utopia brings. Ironically, the word “utopia” in Korean is “Yi Sang Hwang” and “Hwang” means “incense”. (Source)
Park also talks about the ideas of positive and negative further. He says the shadows created by the holes in the paper are playing off of the light reflected from behind them. To him this is a fine example of Yin and Yang and two opposites who complicate and strengthen each other. He also chooses to outline his subjects or to fill them in – working with reverses in an aesthetic sense as well.
The subjects addressed in my work range from the natural world to memories of the past, reflecting the constant physical and emotional changes in our environment. It is my hope that the “moments” I captures of my subjects are ones when they are at their most ideal– true utopias. While drawing them with the incense, I am “holding” a split moment of harmony in my hands. (Source)
For your consideration: a $500,000 ring mounted with a tanned sliver of hairy human skin. The piece, titled the Forget Me Knot ring, is the creation of boundary-pushing Icelandic fashion and jewelry designer Sruli Recht. For these one-of-a-kind works of art, Recht had a 110 by 10 millimeter a strip of his skin surgically removed from his abdomen; the artist then salted it, tanned it, and embedded it on a gold ring.
The work, though grisly, carries with it a raw sexual potency. Its title refers, of course, to marriage, or “tying the knot;” in this way, the piece is unabashedly intimate, tying literal bodily fleshiness with the idea of love and intimacy. The ring’s beauty lies in its refusal to be pretty; its hairy, gray, and it’s gruesome physicality operates as a strangely comforting promise that two people might become “one flesh.”
The medicinal and scientific references of the rings strangely reinforce this idea of devotion. Complicating the relationship between jeweler and client, the ring comes with a certificate of authenticity, providing DNA validation that the slash is in fact the artist’s, and a DVD graphically documenting the making of the ring, including the surgical removal of flesh. With these items, Recht creates a personal catalog of both his molecular and artistic existence, offering himself to a potential wearer in uncomfortable yet touching ways.
Recht’s other rings, composed of rare black diamonds and other precious stones, remain authentic to his gritty, viscerally demanding aesthetic. Take a look, and let us know what you think! (via Oddity Central)