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Thomas Pedersen Elkjaer

Thomas PedersenThomas Pedersen Elkjaer works out of Copenhagen.

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Please credit me as Richard III

830_1235761924I recently discovered “Richard III”‘s cooky portfolio. It’s replete with unknown highly layered symbolic structures and bizarre ideas. Geodesically interesting. This is a snippet of what the artist wrote in an email to us: “Expect 2000 and 1 thank you’s to be delivered in vapor form in a fortnight’s time… or perhaps you would prefer my Lord Humongous style leather riding vest for your commutes to and through the gauntlet that is Hell A.” Pretty great. Visit Richard III myspace site for more!

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The Beautiful/Decay Biannual Subscription Sale Is Here!

 

This holiday season give the gift of creativity to yourself or your loved ones with a subscription to Beautiful/Decay. Not only will you get three gorgeously designed limited edition books but you will gain access to some of the most interesting creatives from around the world via our in-depth interviews and articles. You only have 5 days left before Book 7 ships out so subscribe today!

NEED FURTHER INCENTIVE TO SUBSCRIBE?

Enter in discount code discountdecaysub during your check out and receive $6.00 off your subscription! This discount code is only good until this Monday at midnight PST (12/5/11) so act now!

 

Want to see some preview pages from B/D Book: 7? Put your eyeballs on them after the jump!

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Muppet Puppet Queen

I’m sorry to do this. But……puppets and Queen rule.

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Vicki Ling’s Drawings of Fictional, Transitional Landscapes

Vicki Ling - Graphite

Vicki Ling - Graphite

Vicki Ling - Graphite

Vicki Ling - Graphite

 

Vicki Ling is an artist that creates graphite drawings of surreal landscapes. Chock full of symbolism and mystery, Ling’s images are cryptic. Part of their appeal is trying to solve the visual puzzle that she’s constructed.

Ling briefly speaks about her work, writing, “…fictional landscapes and constructions shift between two and three dimensions, creating a sensation of movement and evolving forms.” The places depicted are liminal spaces, meaning they are in transition, somewhere between what they began as and what they will become. This is made inherent in the movement and tension created by the textures and forms in the work. They are reminiscent of the ocean. We can imagine the crashing waves,  tides,  and the inhabitants of the sea. There is tension in Ling’s work, and it is easy to feel like at any moment waves will rush in and fill the rooms that she’s so carefully rendered. But, considering Ling’s intent, perhaps she wants an environment that could suddenly be swept away. This notion is refreshing, but also sad knowing that this environment is fleeting.

I am personally intrigued by Ling’s drawing that features a sinkhole. In this image, it looks like the top of the landscape has been punctured. The surface is fragile and looks like it is going to cave in on itself. What would it become? I imagine it to be a black hole, drawing everything in until nothing is left. Or, it could be a portal to another world. The places in Ling’s drawings could exist anywhere. They are surreal and conjure the feeling of a dream, so this could all exist in someone’s head. As the artist spoke of moving and evolving forms, these drawings are all metaphors; not only a shifting environment, but personally as we grow, change, and confront obstacles. If we are willing, we evolve just as Ling’s landscapes suggestively do.

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Lui Liu

Lui Liu’s surreal paintings combine his Chinese heritage with his western upbringing to create a  new hybrid world that transcends cultures and spaces.

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To the Streets: Top Ten Public Works

Since my last post about Street Art Utopia’s “Best List” took off and caused a decent amount of response, I think it is important to involve the Cult’s own selection. Here you will find a carefully curated and crafted list of every imaginable kind of public form of expression and their respected historical contexts. More after the jump.

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Will Cotton’s Decadent Sensuality In A Cotton-Candy Paradise

will cottonwill cotton

Will Cotton - Painting
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Will Cotton has created a very successful career from painting fluffy cotton-candy cloudscapes and supple naked women. His body of work can be divisive, as it can easily be seen as gimmicky. Beautiful/Decay covered his portraits of Katy Perry a few years ago, and did not hold back any punches. In his more recent work in the past two years, though, I think there are some exciting, if subtle, developments taking place. Sentiments that have always been on the periphery of his work, but ones that I hope will begin to come through more strongly.

First, I will say that I do enjoy Cotton’s aesthetic to begin with. I mean, sorry, but I literally want to lick every part of every painting, and I’m not even into women. They’re delectable, and I know that’s his aim. He certainly isn’t challenging anything with his work; he adds a spoonful of sugar, and then another, and then shovels in more after that to seduce you with succulent sweetness. Maybe I’m even a little disgusted with myself for becoming rapt in his opulent fantasies. That said, I think his work is very apropos of our contemporary circumstance, and damn, does he capture our plushy, overabundant lifestyle with imagination and skill.

Honestly, I think the joke is on us for eating it all up. If anything, Cotton’s practice provides a mirror to reflect the image of the art world, at least some of us totally ready to douse ourselves in oozy sweetness so easy to swallow. I enjoy the beastly undertones, though. In the past two years, Cotton has painted two fish-looking creatures ridden by nude women, and I’m curious to see how this narrative develops. I find these works the most compelling, as the women seem to have more depth in their expressions, as well as an air of command. I think it would be tacky to suddenly have ghoulish creatures descend upon the candy lands and their nymph inhabitants, but the gradual emergence of a threatening presence would be a welcome addition to my eyes.

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