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Cocaine Cowboys & Cocaine Cowboys 2

This is a two part documentary post. If you intrigued by lady gangsters, drugs, and Miami Vice these are the documentaries for you…

The cocaine trade of the 70s and 80s had an indelible impact on contemporary Miami. Smugglers and distributors forever changed a once sleepy retirement community into one of the world’s most glamorous hot spots, the epicenter of a $20 billion annual business fed by Colombia’s Medellin cartel. By the early 80s, Miami’s tripled homicide rate had made it the murder capital of the country, for which a Time cover story dubbed the city “Paradise Lost.” With COCAINE COWBOYS, filmmaker Billy Corben – whose first feature Raw Deal: A Question Of Consent, caused a sensation at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival – paints a dazzling portrait of a cultural explosion that still echoes as Hollywood myth, evidenced by the latest manifestation, NBC/Universal’s Miami Vice, opening July 28th. Composer of the original “Miami Vice” theme, Jan Hammer, provides the score.

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Corrosive Beauty: Colin Chillag And Three Other Artists Deconstruct Portraiture

Colin Chillag

Colin Chillag

Karim Hamid

Karim Hamid

Borondo

Borondo

Celebrated artist Alberto Giacometti once said, “The object of art is not to reproduce reality, but to create a reality of the same intensity.” Giacometti was an artist noted for his abstraction and deconstruction of the human form, which he depicted through a multitude of sculptures, paintings and drawings in elongated shape and scumbled lines.  Figurative paintings and portraiture are nothing new, yet subgenres of portraiture continue to emerge, survive and move us.  The common phrase “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” aptly applies, and the activation of perception, observation and process are represented in beautiful and intricate ways in the four contemporary artists whose work is featured here.  Featured artists include: Karim Hamid, Colin Chillag, Borondo and Angela Fraleigh.

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5 New B/D Prints And Restocks!

Attention all boring and drab homes! Beautiful/Decay has just released 6 new prints to help you add a splash of color and inspiration to your walls. All of our posters are printed on heavy-weight, archival quality paper and are guaranteed to make your wall look less boring. The new prints, “Neapolitan,” “Hyperspectrum,” “B/D Or Die,” and “Brick by Brick ” are a fresh blend of the strikingly bold and unique imagery that you’ve grown to expect from B/D. So make sure you get a daily diet of creativity and cruise over to the shop. Your walls will thank you!

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NEW CORNUCOPIA AND THE BIG IOU

Towering over visitors at a height of almost seven stories, New Cornucopia and The Big IOU by John Salvest is comprised of 105 multi-colored steel shipping containers, stacked seven high and fifteen across. The containers will be used as mosaic tesserae, with “I O U” spelled out on one side of the massive structure, and “U S A” on the other. Developed over the course of the past year, this striking installation is unfolding in Kansas Cities Grand Arts at a moment of exceptionally divisive national politics and public discourse.

Says Salvest of IOU/USA:

 

“The placement of the project near a regional branch of the Federal Reserve Bank, one of the main components of national economic policy, comes at a time when concern about the United States’ ballooning federal budget and foreign trade deficits is a major part of the national conversation. Its location between the Fed and the Pioneer Mother Memorial is also fitting in that, whereas the permanent public monument rightfully celebrates America’s and Kansas City’s triumphant past, the temporary public sculpture may generate meaningful discussion about where we, as a nation, are heading.”


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LED Light Tubes That Seem To Never End

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Hans Kotter sculpture6

The artwork of Hans Kotter is decidedly centered around light.  Here Kotter creates tubes of lights that appear to stretch on infinitely into the wall.  He uses color changing LED lights that shine behind a warped one way mirror.  The backing mirror then duplicates the LED lights infinitely.  Kotter’s piece are continually changing as the color of the lights gradually shift and as the viewer moves about the room.  Though technically constructed from Plexiglas, mirrors, and diodes, it is really the light endlessly bouncing between the mirrors that compose Kotter’s work.

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Eye-Deceiving Murals Turn Streets Of Iran Into An Optical Illusion Gallery

Mehdi-Ghadyanloo iran Mehdi-Ghadyanloo iran Mehdi-Ghadyanloo iran Mehdi-Ghadyanloo iran

Creative murals by designer and street artist Mehdi Ghadyanloo are turning Tehran, Iran’s streets into an outstanding open-air gallery. Executed on two-dimensional blocks of concrete, Ghadyanloo’s artworks deceive the viewer’s eye by skillfully using methods from op art and 3D painting.

Mehdi has established a mural-painting company Blue Sky Painters, which helps him to work with the large-scale street art projects. What is not very frequent in the field, is that Ghadyanloo is fully backed up by the city’s municipality. According to the artist himself, it is one of the government’s goals to promote mural art in Tehran.

“The city is an architectural mishmash with buildings often having only one facade and the other three just left blank and grey. This doesn’t make for a beautiful city but it is a great environment for mural work. I think the municipality really felt the need to bring some cohesion or at least colour to the often confused and smog-smeared architectural face of the city.”

Ghadyanloo graduated from MA in Animation, which brought him closer to storytelling and surrealism. The latter has really influenced his style in urban murals. His scenes often depict unrealistic sights and actions such as cars flying in the air, man bicycling down the wall, people defying gravity and so on. Many of Ghadyanloo’s creations also cleverly interact with their surroundings bringing even more life to the streets of Tehran. (via: My Modern Met)

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Photographs of Cancer Patients Reactions When They See Their Humorous Makeovers For The First Time

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Photographer Vincent Dixon and the Mimi Foundation ( a non-profit that helps cancer patients to deal with their condition), join forces to produce ‘If only for a Second’, a poignant book-project that includes the portraits of 20 cancer patients under a positive light.

The participating men and women were asked to keep their eyes closed during their makeover, a step that they weren’t really aware of; they thought it was just procedure for the photo-shoot. They were not expecting to see what they saw later.

The last step of the process entailed the 20 cancer patients and a mirror (a two-way mirror which was hiding photographer Vincent Dixon behind it).

They were asked to open their eyes to see themselves. The surprise they got from the hilarious makeovers clearly shows on their faces- Dixon, behind the mirror, took photographs of their first reaction- a moment of joy, amusement and surprise.

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We Asked Leon Reid IV A Few Questions After His Studio Was Destroyed By Hurricane Sandy

IMG_6005Leon Reid IV Studio Hurricane Sandy

Last September, we visited Leon Reid IV‘s studio and brought back some photos. Less than a month later, Hurricane Sandy blew through the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, leaving so many of us devastated. Leon’s studio is located right up against Newtown Creek in Greenpoint. When the storm hit, the creek flooded the studio with nasty, polluted water; damaging equipment, artwork, and the space itself. Slowly but surely, Leon’s working to bring things back together. We recently talked briefly about his rebuilding process and where things are headed going forward. Click past the jump for Leon’s account of the ordeal and some news from his studio. And stop by his booth at the Fountain Art Fair (March 8-10, 68 Lexington Ave.), where he’ll be showing some of the flooded works.

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