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Someone Made A Living Replica Of Vincent Van Gogh’s Severed Ear

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We all know the story of Vincent van Gogh’s ear, an organ that the artist is rumored to have severed from his own head in a fit of lovesick madness. For her project Sugababe, the artist Diemut Strebe has recreated the living ear of the legendary Post-Impressionist. Teaming up with scientists and using an advanced 3D printing technique, Strebe constructed the true-to-life organ from a sample of the late artist’s DNA found in an envelope that he had licked in 1883 and live cartilage from the ear of Lieuwe van Gogh, a grandson of the painter’s brother. The replicated ear, now on view at The Center for Art and Media in Karlshruhe in Germany, is kept alive by being suspended in a solution laced with nutrients.

Strebe’s installation includes a microphone into which viewers can speak. The sound is then carried to the ear, which hears speech as a crackling noise that is projected through speakers for all to listen. For the artist, Sugababe is a physical manifestation of Theseus’ paradox, wherein the ancient Greek hero was asked if a ship would remain the same if all its individual parts were replaced with new ones. Here, Strebe asks if this clone of an ear might in fact be considered the same ear worn by van Gogh. Tragically unable to respond the viewers who speak to it, the organ seems startlingly alien. Though it is composed of the same elements as the original ear, it lacks the humanity and the romance we ascribe the artist whose molecular biology it shares.

Given the tragic history of the artist, Strebe’s work carries with it a sense of loss and poignancy. Where the living van Gogh was unappreciated— reviled, even—in his time, here even his tiny organ is preserved with the utmost care, his body transformed into a valuable work of art in and of itself. (via Design Boom and The Daily Beast)
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Sponsored Post: LG Releases World’s First 34-inch UltraWide Monitor, Designers Rejoice!

TV monitors have been getting bigger and bigger every year but computer monitors haven’t been keeping up, staying at standard sizes and forcing creatives to place multiple screens side by side to get a wider monitor surface. Things are about to change with the introduction of the LG 34 inch Ultrawide QHD Monitor!

The LG Ultrawide Monitor gives you the freedom to see your work on one clean surface regardless of whether you’re working 2D or 3D.  When you’re working in Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign, monitor landscape size is directly linked to efficiency of your work. For those of you who had used two monitors in the past you’ve felt the pain of having to calibrate monitors for hours so that the colors matched from one screen to the next. Well with the Ultrawide you don’t have to lift a finger. LG’s own True Color Finder software and built-in scaler robustly sustains color consistency round clock, across all of your images.

This monitor is a game changer for anyone working within the creative world. Regardless of whether you’re designing the next issue of a magazine, editing music, or working on the next groundbreaking 3D animation the LG 34 inch Ultrawide QHD Monitor is the only choice for you!


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Néle Azevedo’s Ice Figurines Melt In The Streets To Remind Viewers Of The Dangers Of Global Warming

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In 2009, Brazilian artist Néle Azevedo created 1000 men and women figurines made out of ice for the completion of her Public art installation, The Minimum Monument (Melting Men). Throughout its life in the outdoor space, the ice figurines slowly melted until their disappearance. Originally placed in Berlin’s Gendarmenmarkt Square, the piece was to bring awareness of Global Warming. Minimum Monument was then installed in Ireland as part of the Festival of Queens; there, the artist, recreated the original in order to visually remind people of the melting ice caps in Greenland and Antarctica. Since then, the installation has travelled to many cities around the world and it remains internationally known as ‘climate-change art’.

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Svetlana Petrova Inserts Her Fat Cat Into Famous Paintings

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I first encountered Russian artist Svetlana Petrova’s renderings of classic paintings, modified to include her very large, fat cat, a couple of years ago. I was pleasantly surprised to find the artist is still re-creating paintings, and that her work has recently become a part of a gallery show in Abingdon, England.

Petrova’s mother died in 2008, leaving her cat, Zarathustra, behind. She claims her mother spoiled the cat, contributing to Zarathustra’s large stature. Petrova was very depressed after her mother’s death and wasn’t able to make art until a friend suggested she create an art project using the cat, and thus, Fat Cat Art was born.

Petrova says, “I’m a professional artist, and I was fond of Internet memes, and I thought maybe I can make an Internet meme who would at the same time [be] a work of art. And I did this.” But her confidence in her work was at first met with some hesitation. “I thought that I could hold an exhibition, but gallery owners said: ‘This is not art, this is just cats.’ I asked: ‘Why is a shark in the formaldehyde art, but and a cat in a classic painting is not art?’ Nobody could give me an answer, and these people began to avoid me saying that I am mad.” Eventually, though, her cat art won the hearts of the gallery in the UK.

Petrova has been most recently inserting her cat into movies, and she welcomes suggestions for fat cat placements via her Twitter, or the project’s website, whose disclaimer reads: “We are real. All the artworks at this site are real. Nobody’s opinion about Us, Our art or this site will ever disturb Our suprematism.” (via archie mcphee and huffington post)

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Brutal Photographs Of Teen Boxers Before And After Fights

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For his powerful series 141 Boxers, photographer Nicolai Howalt shoots young amateur boxers in Denmark before and after their first brutal fight. The artist, known in part for his elegant images of car wrecks, once again finds an eerie beauty in violence, capturing sweaty faces sprinkled in fresh blood. On the left, his subjects present their game faces, poised in a moment of calm determination prior to the battle; on the right, the violence and competition has ended, leaving their faces bruised and swollen.

For these teenage athletes, the first foray into the ring presents itself as a rite of passage out of childhood and into manhood. Afterwards, they are irrevocably changed, as if all of puberty were condensed into a single test of machismo. As viewers, we might be unsettled to see these round, blushingly cheeks marked by punches; though outwardly baby-faced, Howalt’s subjects possess a knowingness and understanding of aggression that transcends their youth. Thrust into the environment of the controversial sport, these pimpled, wide-eyed adolescents are aglow with their own glistening sweat and an uncomfortable sense of adult virility.

Arranged neatly in a grid as they are in gallery installations, Howalt’s violent images are paradoxically sterile. Set against a pale gray background, his subjects seem restrained in a way that contradicts the nature of their sport. Many of the photographs look like clean mugshots pinned cleanly and simply on a wall; the young boxers are at the mercy of our judgement. Do we condemn or celebrate this ruthless sport? Take a look. (via Agonistica)
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Astounding Human Skulls Carved Into Delicate Mother Of Pearl Shells

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Carved carefully into the delicate surfaces of shells, Gregory Halili’s magnificent human skulls look like forgotten human fossils, discovered long after the extinction of our species. The New Jersey-based artist draws inspiration from the wild plant and animal life the Philippines, where he lived into his teenage years; his medium, black-lip and gold-lip mother of pearl, are gathered from the shores of the island country. The artist’s shimmering skulls are complex bas-reliefs, and his technique, which includes detailed oil painting, is evocative of ancient coins; in the place of hard metal lies a soft partially organic material, and portraits of kings are replaced with ominous skulls.

Halili’s skulls are poignantly fragile, far less durable than human bone. A single slip of a tool, and the tender piece is ruined. The shape of the shell lends itself to the humanoid form; encased within its circular bounds, the skull appears like a child in the womb. The shell material that once protected a gastropod with maternal determination, softly frames Halili’s expert carving. In this way, the artist forces a collision between birth, the “mother” of pearl, and death, represented here with the skull. Like relics washed ashore, these masterful pieces serve as a memento mori, reminding us of our own mortality, our creation and our inevitable demise. Take a look.

Halili’s work will be on view at New York City’s Nancy Hoffman Gallery beginning October 30th and through December 13th. He also has an upcoming show at Manila’s Silverlens Gallery. (via Colossal)
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Portraits of Chinese Swimmers Showcase a New Fashion Trend, “Facekinis”

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There’s a new fashion craze that’s happening along Eastern China’s seaside city, Qingdao. Publicly-dubbed “Facekinis,” are protective head masks that are being worn by many beachgoers (mostly women). Photographer Peng Yangjun has documented them in a series of portraits that are set against the backdrop of the beach.

The colorful style is no doubt a strange one, and it’s reminiscent of luchadore and ski masks. This bizarre fashion trend has a more practical purpose, however, and that’s to protect swimmers from the sun, in addition to repelling insects and jellyfish. It’s often paired with long-sleeve bodysuits that help people maintain their natural complexion because bronze skin is often associated with those who perform physical labor in many Asian countries.

We’re often used to seeing swimmers wearing next to nothing or going completely nude. This style takes modesty to the next level, completely covering people up rather than stripping them down. It’s a surreal sight to see someone posed with bare arms and legs but a completely covered face; the photographs showcase an individual style but are devoid of the feeling and emotion we read from the face.  (Via Flavorwire)

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Build Your New Portfolio Site Before You Finish Your Morning Coffee!

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Here at Beautiful/Decay we know a thing or two about what makes an artist’s portfolio successful; each day we receive dozens of artist portfolio submissions from all over the world showcasing art, design, photography, and more. When it comes to artist portfolio sites, we’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly- we wanted to share our favorite artist-friendly website builder with our readers, it’s called Made With Color.

Made With Color is an online website building platform created by artists for artists. You can build your website in minutes without touching a line of code and customize it to fit your needs. It’s inexpensive, has great customer service, and best of all every Madewithcolor.com site is mobile and tablet optimized so that your site looks good no matter what device it’s viewed on.

Sign up for a free trial today, no credit card required. You’ll have your site up and running before you finish your morning coffee.


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