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Jonathan Budenz

Work by graphic designer Jonathan Budenz.

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Beautiful/Decay Lecture: Northern Virginia March 22nd!

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Some of you long time B/D fans know that I originally started the magazine in 1996 while growing up in the suburbs of Northern Virginia. Although there is a lot of talented artists in the region I wouldn’t say that the local community is very supportive of underground magazines, the arts, or creativity in general. Most people are wrapped up in the politics of D.C. and could care less about art. So it was a a great surprise to get a call from Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) asking me to come to my hometown and give a talk about B/D. Needless to say I jumped at the chance.I’ve always wanted to go back to where it all started in hopes of inspiring the next wave of Viriginia artists to give the middle finger to mediocrity and make things happen. Not only are the fine folks at NOVA flying out yours truly but they have an entire week of events including a public mural program, workshops on stenciling and wheatpasting, and a batch of other talks to get your creative juices flowing. This event is completely free and open to the public. If you’re in the Washington D.C., Virginia, Maryland area come by and say hello. It should be a good time!

Northern Virginia
Community College
Alexandria Campus
3001 North Beauregard St.
Alexandria, VA 22311
Bisdorf building room 196
March 22nd | 4:30pm | Free
No3rthern Virginia
Community College
Alexanderia Campus
Bisdorf building room 196
March 22nd |  4:30pm | Free

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The Wind Passages of Magnus Sönning Bring The Outside Indoors

The site specific installations of Magnus Sönning investigate space and the structures that inhabit it.  In a way, his Wind Passages bring the outside indoors.  The small raised corridors allow the wind (and at times rain) to flow right through a building.  His work emphasizes the space that we live in.  It encourages us to think about the world prior to the existence of the the structures of everyday life.  Other works of Sönning take pieces of buildings – ceilings, floors, walls – out of context and puts them on display.  These pieces create further opportunities to investigate structures we simply pass through each day.

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Spotted Hirst

Footage from the installation of Damien Hirst’s painting John, John as part of the exhibition Color Chart: Reinventing Color, 1950 to Today at the Museum Of Modern Art.

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Do Ho Suh’s Cottage In The Sky

When Do Ho Suh first proposed “Fallen Star” to UC San Diego’s Stuart Collection, he “never thought it would be realized.” A cottage built from scratch and permanently joined to an existing campus building – several stories up in the air? Right, mm-hm.

“Fallen Star” is hard to miss. The 18th addition to the renowned collection of site-specific sculptures at UC San Diego is in a central campus location. It sits atop Jacobs Hall, also known as Engineering Building 1 – cantilevered at an angle from a corner of the seventh floor.

The house was built during the fall of 2011. On Nov. 15, it was gently hoisted 100 feet and then attached to Jacobs Hall.

It has since been furnished and accessorized. Its garden is growing: There’s a plum tree, a wisteria vine, tomatoes and more. Lights flicker on at night; a TV, too. And steam, simulating smoke, sometimes rises from the chimney.

To some, imagining Oz, it might look like a tornado-tossed interloper from Kansas. To others, more biologically minded, perhaps like a small blue creature living in symbiosis with its much larger host. Either way, it can be seen from multiple vantage points on campus and off. (Watch a video about the installation after the jump)

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Ellie Coates’ Drawings of Myths, Folklore, and the Renaissance

Through the work of Ellie Coates the viewer is invited into the timeless world of story telling. Combining inspiration drawn from myths, folklore and Renaissance painting she creates the props with which to encourage the imagination of the viewer to weave the narrative. Through the well-known Greek Myth of Medusa the Gorgon Queen Ellie explores and adapts both the anatomy of this formidable character and that of the story surrounding her.

The work deals with entrapment, the female role in storytelling and the close relationship between the beast and the human. Whilst Ellie’s work addresses themes of entrapment it in turn provides the tools for escapism. The otherworldly and uncanny feel is made even more mysterious and mythical through her drawing and making process. The surface of the paper is laboriously prepared with layer upon layer of rabbit skin glue and gesso before graphite is applied with meticulous mark making to give an ethereal and luminescent quality.

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Noah Kalina’s ‘Internet/Sex’ Photo Series Of Composite Copulation

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Though he is perhaps most famous for his internet sensation photoseries, Everyday, where he has taken a photo of himself daily since 2000 (and which was then turned into a stop-motion video which went viral), Noah Kalina‘s work actually possesses a very distinctly subtle, and personal feel. In the series Internet/Sex, taken between 2007 and 2009, Kalina pairs empty hotel rooms, illuminated only by computer screens, and composite photography which suggests naked couples having sex. The dynamic of the empty and occupied rooms, when paired together, connect a portrayal of the inherent loneliness and longing of the human condition.

Kalina, who is based in Brooklyn and Lumberland, New York, has not explicitly said what these photos are documenting, it can easily be implied that these intimate moments with open computer screens simulate the connections and separations that both sex and connection through the internet offer. Taking place in various hotel and motel rooms, the series seems to suggest a lonely traveller, using their computer to make a primal, human connection. Surprisingly, the open screens and the desire they represent offers a loneliness more lewd than photographing sex.

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Eric Johnson’s Reclaimed Furniture Design

Eric Johnson is a brilliant carpenter who designs and builds furniture out of completely salvaged materials. Armchairs from boat masts, rocking chairs from milk crates, lamps from moped scraps. A lot of “recycled” product design can end up looking not too different from the garbage it started out as, but Johnson does an incredible job of using clean, shrewd designs to make objects that stand on their own regardless of their history. The combination of his intelligent designs and recycled materials is inspiring in its own right too, quietly encouraging us all to see the potential in the mountains of discarded objects that overwhelm our modern lives. So kudos on three levels, Eric. Keep your eyes on Mr. Johnson, I smell a bright future.

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