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Best Of 2012: Jenine Shereos Human Hair Leaves

In Jenine Shereos’ series Leaf the intricacies of a leaf’s veining are recreated by wrapping, stitching, and knotting together strands of human hair.  Inspired by the delicate and detailed venation of a leaf, Shereos began stitching individual strands of hair by hand into a water- soluble backing material. At each point where one strand of hair intersected another, she stitched a tiny knot, so that when the backing was dissolved, the entire piece was able to hold its form.

The complex network of lines present in this work mimics the organic patterns found in nature and speaks to the natural systems of transformation, growth and decay. Allusions to the vascular tissue of plants, as well as the vascular system of the human body, exist simultaneously; the delicate trace of a hair falling silently, imperceptibly, from one’s head becoming the veins of a leaf as it falls from a tree leaving its indelible imprint on the ground below. (via oddity central )

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Stefano Colferai Takes You Behind The Scenes Of His Cute And Hilarious Clay Illustrations

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Just like a modern day Wallace and Gromit, Stefano Colferai‘s clay creations are cute, light-hearted and can be enjoyed by adults and children alike. He spends many hours with his cutting board, modeling knife and colored clay. Carving out hamburgers, candies, tacos, chicken nibbles, sneakers, boobs and self portraits (all with big googly eyes), Colferai is no stranger to having a laugh to himself and indulging his own sense of humor.

These behind the scenes videos show us a candid insight to his process and creative practice. Creating different campaigns, posters and images for many clients, Colferai approaches them all in the same way. If he’s not enjoying himself, then the viewer won’t be either. About his Boob poster creation, he says:

As a big fan of boobs, I have tried to study their shapes, reproducing some of them in plasticine. I decided to play with the consistency, trying to emphasize the materiality. (Source)

Personifying objects and giving them some sense of life is Colferai’s specialty. Like all good animators he can convincingly tell us a narrative through an unexpected image. Like his ‘Shit Selfie’ – a humorous look at a modern day phenomena. His fresh take on different ideas is what makes him an exciting talent to watch. See more behind the scenes footage after the jump.

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The Deadly Seas Of Publishing!

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Dear Cult Of Decay,

As you may know Book 4 should have already come out by now. Unfortunately I received an email from our printers last week about an unforeseen delay with our cargo ship. At first I thought pirates had taken over the vessel to hog all the copies of B/D for themselves, but alas it was just some bad weather combined with faulty parts on the cargo ship. So what does this mean for you, our faithful subscribers? Well the good news is that our magazines have just arrived in good ol’ sunny los Angeles. It will take a few days to clear customs and to pack up each book to send your way but you will get book 4 within the next two weeks. I know that the wait is longer than anticipated but I promise that it will be more than worth the wait.

For those of you who haven’t subscribed yet here is your last chance to get on board and get B/D delivered right to your door.  Book 4 comes with a signed, full color, editioned silk screen print that will only go to subscribers so make sure you get in on it. Once we close subscriptions in the next couple of days you will miss out on Book 4 and will have to buy it separately at the regular,non-discounted price. Subscriptions are just a click away here.

Since we feel so bad about the delay we have decided to extend our 50% sale until every single subscription has been sent out. This way you can keep getting great deals while you patiently wait for the highly coveted book 4!

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Andréanne Lupien’s Amusingly Surreal Series Of Crazy Cat Lovers

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When you think of a someone who’s a “crazy cat person” you might imagine them to live in shambles overrun by felines. In Andréanne Lupien’s series Crazy Cat Lovers, however, that’s not the case. Her amusing photos feature people in their otherwise tidy homes, yet surrounded by their cats duplicated many, many times.

These images celebrate her love of felines, and the initial inspiration was her own cat. Lupien tells us, “I had fun taking pictures of myself with my cat, putting it around me in the room so that the final picture would result in my cat being multiple times in the photography doing multiple actions. That was it!

Crazy Cat Lovers makes light of the cat phenomena. With their Internet presence like videos, GIFs, and photos, felines become more and more popular. This was  my opportunity to fully talk about it.” Lupien says. “To create the photos, I would take my photography kit, put it in my bag and leave to explore the world of some crazy cat lovers. It was a great adventure! I would visit unknown people or I would go to a friends house. It was always a new universe to discover. Every picture had its own essence and energy, its own universe. It was like visiting a person’s unique world.” (Via Yahoo News Tumblr)

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Kara Walker’s Gigantic Sugar-Coated Female Sphinx Makes A Powerful Statement

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Kara Walker’s new sculpture “A Subtlety” is pure white, coated in 160,000 pounds of bleached sugar; with this modern take on the ancient sphinx, the legendary artist crafts a towering black face in honor of the slave laborers who worked in sugar cane fields. The powerful work is meant to address racial and sexual exploitation; like the sugar that coats her polystyrene core, this black female figure has been pressured, against nature, into succumbing to whiteness.

The work is now on display at the old Williamsburg, Brooklyn Domino sugar factory shed, where it reaches to the ceiling and extends for a magnificent 75 feet. The mythical creature is a powerful assertion of the black female self; the face quite resembles the artists’ own, and a carefully wrought bandana subtly references the stereotypical (and often offensive) symbol of the mammy, a slave woman who nurtured and brought up white children. Walker has been the subject of debate in the past for her use of contested imagery, and despite the controversy surrounding the “mammy” figure, she is presented here as powerful and divine.

Like the ancient sphinxes of Egypt and Greece, Walker’s monolithic creation is godly, simultaneously fearsome and comforting. The sphinx, known for protecting the tombs of royalty, becomes the guardian of history, interrupting a white-washed historical narrative to make visible the labor of the men and women who were kept enslaved. Her face is serene, assured, and unyielding. The sphinx character, in addition to being a protector, is also dangerous, renowned for devouring those who cannot answer her riddle; Walker’s sphinx is similarly confrontational in her overwhelming size, forcing viewers to confront the complex and painful history of American industry. (via The New York Times)

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Artist Ben Tegel Visits B/D

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Ben holding one of his drawings for "Art Works Every Time"

Have you met Ben? Ben stopped by the Beautiful/Decay headquarters yesterday to drop off work for the upcoming Art Works Every Time exhibit. You may recognize Ben’s style from two of his recent Beautiful/Decay Apparel T-shirt designs: Greetings From New York & Greetings From Los Angeles. Ben’s been busting out some new paparazzi-inspired paintings for the exhibit. I had the pleasure of listening to him chat about his recent explorations and process, and the importance of a high-quality brush. You’ll be able to see all of Ben’s submissions next Saturday, June 12 at the Art Works Every Time opening reception at LA’s Synchronicity Gallery. Check out some more behind-the-scenes shots after the jump. Thanks Ben!

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The Surreal Ceramics Of Sergei Isupov

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In Sergei Isupov’s hands figurative ceramics are both instantly recognizable and strangely surreal. Heads are tattooed, the art integrated into the facial features. The backs of the heads often add a separate contrasting element. Lift the head to find a third, hidden design on the base. The images create a narrative, but what does it mean?

“My work portrays characters placed in situations that are drawn from my imagination but based on my life experiences. My art works capture a composite of fleeting moments, hand gestures, eye movements that follow and reveal the sentiments expressed. These details are all derived from actual observations but are gathered or collected over my lifetime. Through the drawn images and sculpted forms, I capture faces, body types and use symbolic elements to compose, in the same way as you might create a collage.” Source

Contrast is inherent to the nature of ceramics. The sculpting that goes into creating the work is meticulous and controlled but once the piece is lowered into the kiln the firing is random and unrestrained. In Isupov’s work the form and content are also contradictory. The figures and heads are realistic, even somewhat minimal, yet the paintings on them are surreal, highly detailed, often adding a skewed dimensionality. There are demons and distortions, surplus limbs and conjoined bodies. Isupov’s works create a world that is visually stunning and conceptually disturbing.

“I am a student of the universe and a participant in the harmonic chaos of contrasts and opposites: dark — light; male — female; good — evil. Working instinctually and using my observations, I create a new, intimate universe that reveals the relationships, connections and contradictions as I perceive them. … When I think of myself and my works, I’m not sure I create them, perhaps they create me.”

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Carole Epps

02CEPPEnter the miniature world of Carole Epps.  Sinister. Cute. Dark. Mysterious. Wabbits & Mickey Mouse.  Seems like a fun and slightly scary world to live in.  I wouldn’t mind staying for a while.

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