It took us nearly 6 months to get the new B/D site and shop up and running, so getting it off the ground was a huge relief for me and the other cult members over here at the office. Making the shop was relatively easy, as we do a lot of web related projects through our design agency Something In The Universe but we haven’t packed and shipped our own products for our online shop since 2003! Until now we’ve worked with various fulfillment companies to run our online shop. While these fulfillment companies did a good job we always felt a big disconnect with our biggest asset, our readers and fans (that’s YOU!) Sure, it’s nice to have someone else handle the packing and shipping of orders but we had zero interaction with the people that truly care about what we do. Being able to write a hand written note to a shopper when they buy our favorite shirt, or send them a few stickers for free, or toss a random ‘zine in your order just to make their day is what it’s all about. These are all little things that might not matter to bigger companies but they make a difference to us.
I never got into this to make a quick buck, so it’s a great feeling to finally connect with all the other creative memebers of the Cult Of Decay throughout the world. Our first week of shipping had a few glitches but we’re already getting a great response from you. It’s amazing to get so much positive feedback in less than a week! I sent out a package on Tuesday and by Friday I get a Tweet thanking us for the order. Technology is amazing! We got some big plans for the upcoming months so make sure to sign up for our email list to get special discount codes, updates on sales, artists interviews and a whole assortment of other B/D news that we can’t release just yet.
Also, if you missed this in earlier blog posts we’re giving you 15% off Book 4until the end of this week. Just use Use discount code:BDECAYBOOKCULT.
So a big shout out to the entire Cult of Decay no matter where you are. We’re a small group brought together by our love for pushing the envelope, creating amazing things, and doing things our own way. Long live the Cult Of Decay!
A few days back we posted the snow drawings of Sonja Hinrichsen and today we came across Simon Beck, another artist working with the medium of snow. Simon’s extremely complex drawings are made by simply walking in the geometric patterns in snow shoes for hours on end. Sometimes the same piece has to be redrawn several times due to new snow fall. Unexpected high temperatures are also problematic as pieces can melt away in just a few days giving the work an even more magical and ephemeral tone.
Hedi Xandt is a multidisciplinary creative who has a formal graphic design education, but doesn’t see himself limited to this field – his work takes the form of fine art paintings and sculptures. Xandt’s three-dimensional pieces are visually powerful and conceptually compelling. They feature busts and skulls composed of gold-plated brass, polymer, distressed black finish, and marble. The gold acts as an accent that adds an element of terror to the work, such as giant spikes or dripping blood.
The skull and bust are symbols of both art and humanity, and the aggressive nature of Xandt’s sculptures makes it appear as if he is rejecting these classical notions. The sleek and stylish “killings” coincide with his philosophy about creative spirit. Instead of mastering one thing and sticking to it forever, Xandt favors a more fluid approach, writing:
I think that the main and most important aspects of my work are creativity and concept. Being permanently on the experimental side of thinking and creating, I seek to add to my skills with every piece I begin. Learning-By-Doing, this awfully overused term, applies to me just as well as Doing-By-Learning. The unison of knowledge and skill provides me with inspiration and a broad foundation to be used as a starting point for any kind of project. (Via Inkult)
I like these digital collage works from British artist Hayley Warnham. Solid, bright color meets vintage 1940’s, 50’s, and 60’s personal photography in the pictures, which capture a nostalgic, innocent vibe. The use of flat color with found photography evokes the work of legendary American artist John Baldesarri. We wonder if he was a direct influence on Warnham. A lot of these are composed in such away that suggests the vantage point of a youngster, which reminds you of a time when things were much simpler. When skylines and relatives may as well have been flat blocks of color with very little texture as far as you were concerned. You didn’t yet grasp the complexities of every person and setting in your life, and everything was a mysterious wall of impenetrable brightness. (via)
In December, New Zealand’s Antarctic Heritage Trust released their discovery and restoration of photographic cellulose nitrate negatives that were clumped together in a box and found in expedition photographer Herbert Ponting’s darkroom in Captain Scott’s last expedition at Cape Evans. As part of the Ross Sea Heritage Restoration Project, the trust recovered 22 images from Ernest Shackleton’s 1914-1917 Ross Sea Party, including a striking image of Alexander Stevens, Shackleton’s Chief Scientist, standing aboard the Aurora, the expedition’s ship. Though many of the photographs are damaged and the identity of the photographer is unknown, landmarks around McMurdo Sound were recognizable to the Antarctic Heritage Trust.
So far, more than 10,000 objects have been conserved at Captain Scott’s Cape Evans hut. Four years ago, the same conservation group discovered 3 crates of whiskey and 2 crates of brandy under Shackleton’s 1908 base. (via npr)
Boston-based photographer Caleb Cole creates self-portraits that are not so much about himself. Cole’s curiosity about the live (introspective lives) of others inspired him to come up with Other People’s Clothes, a photographic series in which the artist becomes the stranger, the ‘Other’, in order to further understand his desire to know more about the unknown.
“Though I am the physical subject of these images, they are not traditional self-portraits. They are portraits of people I have never met but with whom I feel familiar, as well as documents of the process wherein I try on the transitional moments of others’ lives in order to better understand my own.”
By using scavenged clothing and various themed setting that matched the clothing, the artists creates characters that resembles people in real life – I assume, people by whom he is intrigued by (he fails to portray people of color/other ethnicities, although he does not exclude women). Each photograph evokes a story, which Cole makes possible by arranging and creating the set of each and every one of these images.
The artist’s facial expressions, however, seem static; he seems to hold about the same face, one of despair or discontent, throughout the series. The reason behind that specific characteristic is unknown, however it can be speculated that he might be channeling his own beleifs about the people he is portraying…can all his characters be this unhappy and apathetic about life in real life, or are those just his impressions?
Whatever his reasons may be, there is no doubt that, through his representation of the ‘real people’, Cole is demonstrating an understated sense of empathy. (via Feature Shoot)
Argentinian artist Pablo Boffelli visualizes a mysterious world deep into the depths of a modern technology age concerning amusing future civilizations through a humanistic combination of drawing and collage. Atypical colors layer on top of various textures and mediums in an abstract yet sensible way; drawing forth an inspection toward themes and ideas that aren’t usually explored.
In photographer Rebecca Reeve’s series Marjory’s World I, she captures Floridian landscapes that reference a late 19th century Holland tradition. The idyllic scenes depict the swampy Everglades of long grasses, lily pads, and a lot of standing water. Framing each image is a set of curtains that blow in the wind. This is inspired by an old practice where during the wake of the deceased, it was customary to cover all of the mirrors, landscape paintings, and portraits in the home with clothes. Doing so makes it easier for the soul to depart the body and subdues any temptations to stay in this world.
Marjory’s World I is Reeve’s own interpretation of this act. To her, the ritual was confirmation of the deep connections and experiences we have with the natural environment. It also gave her a way to contextualize her fleeting time spent in the Everglades; All of these images were produced during her Airie Artist in Residence Program. Since she couldn’t take with her when she leaves, this symbolic act made it easier to depart.
In addition to the personal connection the artist draws from the work, to us it recalls the distance that many of us have to this untouched landscape. As we continue to develop an increasingly urban existence, these thrift-store fabrics create a window to the unfamiliar. (Via Artsy Forager)