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Ben Venom Turns Old Heavy Metal T-Shirts into Spectacular Quilts

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Quilting is a time-honored craft that uses scraps of fabric to form a pieced-together image. The designs are often geometric patterns or more complex images that have been appliqued onto the textile. Artist Ben Venom works in this well-known realm, but instead of adhering to tradition, he creates quilts that are beyond your typical subject matter. Venom takes heavy metal and motorcycle t-shirts, cuts them up, and fashions them into spectacular handmade pieces. He writes about it in a short artist statement:

I’m interested in juxtaposing traditional handmade crafts with extreme elements found on the fringes of society. My work can be described as opposing forces colliding at lightening speed. Imagery found in vintage tattoos, the occult, and motorcycle gangs are stitched together with recycled materials using techniques usually relegated to your Grandmothers sewing circle. Serious, yet attempting to take on a B movie Horror film style where ridiculousness becomes genius. The question remains… Can I play with madness? (Via Boooooom)

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Jonty Hurwitz’s Sculptures Are So Small They Can’t Be Seen By The Human Eye

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Size matters. Anamophic artist Jonty Hurwitz’s new sculpture series recreates the smallest human form ever at 20x80x100 microns, or roughly the scale of a human sperm. According to Hurwitz’s website, the size of these sculptures approximately equals the amount your fingernails grow every 5 or 6 hours. These tiny art works are too small to be seen by the naked eye!

We’ve previously covered Hurwitz’s warped sculptures on beautiful/decay, which also used physics to challenge human perception. These new nano sculptures, “Trust”, “Cupid and Psyche: The First Kiss”, and “Intensity”, explore the idea of science vs. legend, myth vs. reality. Created with a ground-breaking 3D printing technology, the work is ultimately created using two photon absorption—art made with Quantum Physics.

“As technology starts to evolve faster than our human perception is able to handle, the line between science and myth becomes blurred.

We live in an era where the impossible has finally come to pass. We have, in our own little way we have become demigods of creation in our physical world…. The nano works that I present to you here represent more that just a feat of science though. They represent the moment in history that we ourselves are able to create a full human form at the same scale as the sperm that creates us in order to facilitate the creation.”

Despite their microscopic size, these are detailed sculptures, with individual feathers in Cupid’s wings and tiny fingers, belly-buttons, and ears. It’s almost impossible to imagine that these realistic, emotive human figures are much smaller than an ant’s eye.

“The absolute fact is this: the human eye is unable to see these sculptures. In your hand all you see is a small mirror with … nothing on it. The only way to perceive these works is on the screen of powerful scanning electron microscope. Can you be sure of its existence if your basic senses are telling you that nothing is there?”

These sculptures were created in collaboration with The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the Weitzmann Institute of Science and involved over 10 people as a working team over several months.

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Robots, Superheroes, And Villains Pose For Daniel Picard’s Figure Fantasy

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Superheroes and toys, clever photography and computer magic, familiar figures and surreal scenes—Ottowa photographer Daniel Picard may have found the perfect recipe in his series “Figure Fantasy.” Using items from Hot Toys and Sideshow Collectibles, he sets up scenarios on location and shoots them, making the 6” to 12″ tall toys look like they are full-size.

“Seeing Superman stop a train in danger is quite common, but making him take a selfie while doing it is something new and quite silly and that’s how I try to approach my photos: I take these characters from different books and movies and mix them up and make them do things that we’ve never seen them do before because that’s the freedom I have in using these awesome poseable figures and they’ve truly become the perfect ‘actors’ for my scenes.”

The photos feel like a very well executed glimpse behind the scenes. It turns out that when the cameras are off, even Darth Vader has to pee. Batman is a snitch, the Joker is building his own LEGO Gotham, and the IG-88 Assassin Droid practices yoga on the beach. Picard’s childhood interest in comic books serves him well here. From the very first, impromptu, photo of a robot in a field holding a blue balloon, the images have been funny, sometimes scary, sometimes wistful, and always cool.

“I see places and think of photos, scenes and angles in my head, then [I] come home and sketch things out while looking at my collection to see who could be cool to use and how to pose them.” (Source)

Picard has recently teamed up with Sideshow Collectibles for some as-of-now unannounced projects, using their 12” figures as well as their statues. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook for updates and new photos!

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Ángela Burón Creates Optically Perplexing Photographs Of Distorted Bodies

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Using herself as a model, Spanish photographer Ángela Burón creates surreal and often optically perplexing photographs. With askew imagery and mysterious compositions, Burón seeks to disorient the viewer and prompts them to question the reality of what they are seeing.

While Burón boasts a diverse body of work, a common motif in her photographs is a focus on hybridity. Feet replaced by hands, breasts conjoined with thighs, and legs sporting two sets of knees are just a few examples of these peculiar pieces, which make up a large portion of her celebrated portfolio.

In addition to her surreal photographs, Burón also dabbles in more conventional portraiture. Spanning coy self-portraits, sensual nudes, shots of amorous couples, and even a close-up of a bright-eyed cat, these works—though seemingly realistic—still convey the artist’s unique and curious style. Characterized by unnatural poses and disconcerting expressions, this side of Burón’s oeuvre still captures her inherent tendency toward the surreal and, thus, portrays her unique and unusual style. (Via Inkult)

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Sculptor Monica Piloni Creates Architectural Body Horror

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Sculptor Monica Piloni takes body horror and gives it an acid bath in the surreal. Remember how traumatizing Labyrinth was? Specifically, the scene with the “helping hands”? Now imagine that times a million — sans David Bowie, but plus whatever Ziggy Stardust was on.

In one piece, named “Opium,” a constellation of body parts melt and fuse with each other. Hands, faces, genitalia, and everything in between are carved out perfectly from a chalky resin. A series of acrylic and vinyl fruits are shown bisected with gory ribs instead of the usual innocuous white pith.

Though of course the body horror is a highlight of Piloni’s work, there something more to it. Her art explores identity and otherness. “Triptych Self-Portrait,” is a sculpture of a woman as seen through a kaleidoscope. It’s a grotesque play of symmetry and perspective. Similarly, “Ballerina” is a woman deconstructed, each part of her isolated from the others in a clear box, as though she were some kind of pre-packaged Barbie doll.

There is something architectural about Piloni’s work, the way she calls your attention to the angles, negative spaces, and repeated motifs, like those many body parts are only building blocks. If anything, that makes it all the more disturbing. (via Hi-Fructose)

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How To Draw With Perspective: A Free E-Guide On Craftsy

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At Beautiful/Decay we have been partnering with Craftsy, an online art class company and community that offers hundreds of different arts and crafts e-guides, online classes and other tools for sparking your inner creativity and honing new skills. This week we have another Craftsy resource to share! How To Draw With Perspective is a free PDF e-guide available exclusively on Craftsy (available on this link) that features 24 pages of tutorials, demonstrations and tips on perspective drawing.

Developed and drawn up by artist Paul Heaston, an accomplished illustrator who also teaches Craftsy classes on sketching, the downloadable and printable e-guide incorporates step-by-step guides on mastering drawing space.  This guide is suitable for the advanced beginner to intermediate drawer, and is a great reference for any artist to have on hand in their studio.

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Burning Buns: A Lampshade, Made Entirely Out Of Bread

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When Japanese artist Yukiko Morita began working in a bakery as a teenager, she marveled at how cute baked bread was. She probably did not realize at the time that, years later, she would craft a way to make bread into a usable home decorative object.

Introducing her one-of-a-kind Pampshades at Tokyo Designers Week, Morita most certainly has a monopoly on the most glutinous lighting system. Although she declined to name a few secret ingredients, she listed the rest as: “Bread flour, salt, yeast, LED, batteries.” After the bread is baked, she covers it in resin, solidifying the form so it will not decompose.

“As the story goes, Morita worked in a bakery in her native Kyoto eight years ago, subsquently graduating from the Kyoto University of Arts in 2008 and reportedly launching Pampshades as early as 2010 (the name is a portmanteau of ‘pan’—French for bread, derived from the Latinpanem—and lampshade). The brief timeline on her website further notes that the first prototype dates back to 2007 and that she relocated to Kobe as of this year.” (Excerpt from Source and Source)

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Jaz Harold’s Sexual And Grotesque Pastel-Hued Sculptures

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The candy-colored works by New York-based artist Jaz Harold have a subversive nature about them. Although they use pastel colors have soft features, you can’t avoid  the sexual undertones and overtones that are prevalent throughout Harold’s sculptures. We see grotesque displays of rotting skin, nippled pom poms, and sensual lips with just a hint of tongue. She writes about her charged works, stating:

Using an aesthetic that consciously appeals to child-like naïveté, Jaz’s work softens the emphasis on the ego, ritual, intimacy, and stigma that society generally attaches to sex.

 

Cherry blossoms (sakura) are a perfect balance of sexual innuendo, beauty, and innocence. The cherry blossom, symbolizing love in many cultures, adds an additional element in a body of work that covers both areas- an innocent love, and a simple uninhibited lust.

Harold makes the pure not so pure, perhaps in an attempt to scramble the visual culture that we’re used to, or as a way to offer a confusing reflection onto being young and learning about sex/being sexual. (Via Asylum Art)

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