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Anastasia Cazabon

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Anastasia Cazabon’s photos contain such compelling settings and backdrops that it feels very calm and serene. With a soft color palette, natural and living environments, she manifest dramatic, playful and melancholic imagery.

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BARE USA: Photographer Brian Cattelle’s Nation-Wide Project Contrasts Nude Beauty With Manmade Decay

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Searsboro Consolidated School (Searsboro, IA)

Brian Cattelle, BARE USA - Photography

The Ghost Town of Welcott (Welcott, WY)

Brian Cattelle, BARE USA - Photography

Nike Missile Base PH-58 (Swedesboro, NJ)

Brian Cattelle, BARE USA - Photography

Fort Gorges (ME)

Brian Cattelle is an American photographer who has embarked on a nation-wide project to photograph one nude model in each of the USA’s 50 states. Driving his concept is an exploration of the contrast between natural, nude beauty, and the decay of manmade environments; explore his current collection, and you will see female figures integrated within architectural wastelands, the black and white tones highlighting the illumination of soft skin amidst shadowy, shattered rubble. Entitled BARE USA, the project emerged from Cattelle’s desire to challenge himself and his work. In a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, he explained:

“I wanted to tackle a project that would prove I was able to work with models in often difficult and uncomfortable situation. I wanted to show I was willing to go to any lengths to get a great shot. I also wanted to show the level of organization, execution, and dedication I was capable of. It seems that my initial intention was to prove these points to others, but in the end the true reward was proving them to myself.”

Part of what makes Cattelle’s project so imaginative and emotionally evocative is his approach to abandoned places. “People often express sadness about some of these great abandoned structures,” Cattelle observed. “They don’t make me feel sad. Change is change […]. I do find myself captivated by a sense of awe and wonder when I soak in my surroundings. I think about how much effort went in to building these places, how much work took place here, and how quickly that can be lost.” By incorporating nude models, Cattelle reinvests desolate spaces with hope and optimism for the future. As he concludes, “I think my work is important because I am creating art and bringing something beautiful to this world by injecting new life into these dead and forgotten structures.”

Last summer, Cattelle completed successful shoots in 30 states, and is working on completing the final 20. If you like his concept, check out his Kickstarter project. There, you can learn more, make a pledge, and receive beautiful fine art prints in return. Visit Cattelle’s website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see more of his work and follow him on his journey.

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Mac Premo’s Surreal and Instinctive Assemblage

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Incorporating a vintage vibrant palette of collectibles, wood, paint, and hardware, Mac Premo, who is also an Emmy Award-winning animator, imaginatively concocts assemblage pieces that feel like personal homages or inventions.

Premo suggests, mash-ups evoke a certain surreal and instinctive attraction where– “Only through engaging in the almost absurd cycle of macro systems do you find things worth living for, like your wife, baseball, or a handsome piece of wood.”

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Kehinde Wiley’s Bold Paintings Reconfigure The Way African American Culture Is Portrayed

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Kehinde Wiley‘s impressive painting career is being celebrated at the Brooklyn Museum in a grand exhibition that is open right now. For fourteen years, he has been painting bold, decorative oil paintings that are reconfiguring the way African American culture is portrayed in art. He takes the techniques from the old European portraiture masters and turns them into modern and fresh images, relevant to a post-colonial culture. Old stuffy aristocrats and patrons wearing flouncy blouses and ridiculous wigs from centuries gone by, are replaced by black subjects with a certain street style to them.

Wiley asks different people – most of whom are regular passer-bys on the streets in Harlem, to sit for his portraits. They are given different art history books full of ornate backgrounds to choose from to complement their portrait. Wiley then paints them reenacting certain poses, imitating the European subjects and places the chosen embellishments behind and over their image. His style is a fusion of many different elements – French Rococo and the High Renaissance, Islamic architecture, West African textile design and urban hip hop, and is a result of his own mixed heritage.

Wiley later went on to create a series called The World Stage, where he traveled to Mumbai, Senegal, Dakar and Rio de Janeiro to portray different cultures and traditions in his work. He explains more:

One of the reasons I chose Brazil, Nigeria, India and China is that these are all the points of anxiety and curiosity and production that are going on in the world that are changing the way we see empire. As I’ve been traveling, I started to notice that the way many people in other parts of the world interact with American culture is through black American expression. It’s an interesting phenomenon. (Source)

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic is an exhibition showing over 60 of his paintings and sculptures, and is on until the 24th of May.

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You Won’t Believe That Thomas Demand’s Life-Size Installations Are Made Completely Of Paper

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Thomas Demand meticulously recreates scenes from photographs he finds through mainstream media entirely out of paper. The images are next to indiscernible from the real thing, and complicate the process a step further, the artist destroys his creations and only presents a large-scale photo print of his paper sculptures. Thus the viewer is not allowed to examine the execution, and is left all the more baffled by the precision of his pieces. He never includes people in his work, perhaps for logistical reasons as much as aesthetic, but it gives the photos an eerie quality that was already present in the clean cuts of the paper. No matter his effort to maintain a natural messiness and used quality to the spaces he creates, there is still subtle evidence that something is off, due to the lack of ware on the objects themselves.

Demand also creates animations (see a clip after the jump) using the same paper sculpture technique. His most ambitious production is Pacific Sun. Demand took the footage from a YouTube clip and completely recreated it in paper (editing out the people, of course). The clip is from the security camera on a cruise ship caught in a storm in the South Pacific. The animation tracks hundreds of objects – from tables and chairs to a straw – sliding back and forth across the dining room as the ship pitches in the waves.

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HEATHER BENJAMIN’s Sad Sex Comics – NSFW

Jesus. Heather Benjamin is one wild chick.

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Andrew Holder

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By creating a style akin to The Very Hungry Caterpillar for grown-ups, Andrew Holder has snagged some big clients, including Roxy and Urban Outfitters. His intricate patterns, clever compositions, and often bold color choices make Holder’s pieces buzz with visual interest.

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LA Based Lord Huron Releases Debut Album, Lonesome Dreams.

Los Angeles’ own Lord Huron released their debut album yesterday, Lonesome Dreams on IAMSOUND Records. The good people at NPR Music have the whole record streaming so you can listen before you buy it. I caught them this past August when they opened for CULTS at MOCA and loved the new songs. Check out their video for Time to Run and grab a ticket to one of their upcoming live performances, you won’t be disappointed.

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