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Ben Stone

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Slept on artist- extraordinaire and all around good guy, Ben Stone,  just broke out his 3rd solo show here in Chicago @ Western Exhibitions. Full of ambition and humor, these new sculptures are NOT meant to be missed. More after the jump…

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Concrete & Sex: Sasha Kurmaz Juxtaposes Nude Figures Against Scenes Of Urban Desolation

Sasha Kurmaz, Concrete & Sex - Photography Sasha Kurmaz, Concrete & Sex - Photography Sasha Kurmaz, Concrete & Sex - Photography Sasha Kurmaz, Concrete & Sex - Photography

In a book titled Concrete & Sex, photographer Sasha Kurmaz juxtaposes nude figures against urban and industrial scenes of post-Soviet Kiev. At a first glance, the images may not seem to have a lot in common, other than the similar tones of concrete and skin. One side displays bleak horizons and the hard façades of cold and crumbling buildings; the other takes us inside, to candid moments of warmth, flesh, and bodily expression. By splicing these images together, however, Kurmaz masterfully shakes their emotional and political similarities into relief; both resonate with a sense of alienation and the vying for connection. Bodies (with their faces hidden) and buildings become landscapes of departed dreams, made and unmade again by the social and political conditions that shape them.

However, there is more than desolation in these juxtapositions. In comparing images of sex with devastated urban spaces, Concrete & Sex reverberates with a subtle resistance, a quiet protest against a system that strips the individual of power and evacuates life of meaning and beauty. The book’s description explores this further:

“On one hand, it’s impossible to ignore the political implications of this approach—as in so much of his output, one finds here the blunt advocacy of sex, vandalism, and, of course, artistic expression as meaningful responses to repressive conditions, and it doesn’t feel like a stretch to view this work, at least partially, as a comment on the status of the individual (whose identity within these pages is repeatedly [and tellingly] obscured by anonymity and/or physical distortion) within the broader mechanisms of public ideology and fading history.” (Source)

If the nude body can manifest its oppression and exploitation, it can also enact change. By moving, twisting, and contorting against architectures of despair, the figures in Kurmaz’s photos become enduring signifiers of life and self-expression within a deteriorating system.

Concrete & Sex can be purchased on PogoBooks. Visit Kurmaz’s website to learn more. (Via Dazed)

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Catherine Jacobi’s Artificial Heart

Catherine Jacobi takes everyday materials such as bike tire tubing (pictured above), discarded newspapers, roof shingles and other debris and creates sculptures that use the histories of the materials they are built with as a conceptual and narrative starting point.

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Subscribe To The Beautiful/Decay Book Series!

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Book: 5 Sneak Peek & Giveaway!

Ladies and Gentlemen! The latest issue of Beautiful/Decay is upon us! Sent to the printers last week, there will be only 1500 copies produced (all of which are ad-free) and only subscribers will receive their copy before anyone else does. You also save 33% by subscribing versus going to the newsstand (plus you don’t have to go past your mailbox to get it!). Subscribe today and secure your newest addition to the Beautiful/Decay series.

To get you ready for the release of Book 5 dust off your tablets and fire up your copy of Photoshop because today we begin the contest to give away a free copy of Beautiful/Decay Book: 5 to the fastest gun in the wild west. Each Tuesday for the next 4 weeks we are going to be releasing a new piece of Beautiful/Decay cover to get you guys ready for the upcoming issue. The rules are simple: Be the first person to piece together the cover of the Book:5 and email the completed image to [email protected], and your speed of hand will be rewarded with a free copy of the book you just solved. So wrangle up your magic lassos and get busy winning!

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New work by Jonathan Zawada

Jonathan Zawada

One of my most favorite designers has updated his portfolio! Actually some of the work isn’t super new, I just wanted to give it some face time on the B/D site. Also check out some of the other projects Jonathan has going on at TRU$T FUN! (where these “Glory Scarfs” came from) and FASHEMATICS.

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Morgan Faye’s Fairytale

Morgan Faye’s illustrations take you to a far away land full of wonder and mystery.

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Jeff Dodson Conducts the Onesize Symphonic Orchestra

Dutch motion graphics studio Onesize released their exceptionally cinematic new showreel yesterday. The music and sound design were created by Los Angeles based composer Jeff Dodson, who has been working with them for the last several years. The collaboration has gained something of a cult following in the motion graphics community, to the extent that an EP of the music from the reels prior to 2008 was released last year.

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