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Mark Harless’ Haunting Photographs Explore Death, Magic, And Transformation

Mark Harless - Photography Mark Harless - Photography Mark Harless - Photography Mark Harless - Photography

Mark Harless (also known as “Bleeblu”) is a conceptual photographer who creates worlds of magic and astounding beauty. Death, mystery, and ritual seem to be recurring motifs in his work; from bodies in bags deserted in the forest, to flowers sprouting from a young woman’s shadowy skin, to hands placed ceremoniously on a bare, narrow chest, each image is an emotional event. Like the calm before and after a storm, there is a sense that something powerful has happened, or is about to happen.

What intrigues me most about his work is the brave and neutral portrayal of death, loss, and transformation. In his Fertilizer series, for example — the images depicting the bagged, naked bodies — Harless explores the erratic cycle of life and death, and how we, and our material forms, are an inevitable part of it. As Harless explained in an interview with Phlearn:

“[D]eath isn’t just the end. It’s not the beginning either. It’s just part of the life cycle. Show me the beginning and end of a circle. After we die our bodies will decompose and the plants and animals will feed off of us in the same fashion a bag of fertilizer would.” (Source)

While the above statement refers specifically to Fertilizer, this theme of death, decomposition, and renewal reverberates throughout Harless’ other works. In La Faune et la Flore, for example — a collaboration between Harless and the French illustrator Moon — a woman (Molly Strohl) wanders naked around the dark shoreline of a secluded lake. Like a wayward revenant, there is something sad, powerful, and lonely about her, but the illustrated flowers sprouting from her face, arms, and torso offer a glimmer of life and rebirth. The image of the dead bird also connects with this theme, for while lying on its flowery funeral bed, the small creature seems on the verge of resurrection as it returns to the earth. In short, Harless’ photographs have an uncanny ability to confront us with the beauty, sadness, and magic that permeates our earthly lives.

Visit Harless’ website, Tumblr, and Instagram and explore his haunting and magical visions.

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Tim Lahan’s Still Life With Sex Tape

A friend just came back from Brooklyn with New York based artist/designer Tim Lahan‘s art zine Still Life With Sex Tape, and man is it a joy to look at. His drawings are simple, graphic, and funny. It mostly consists of taking ultra banal, overlooked objects and moments, reducing them to a few distinctive lines, warping them a little, and in doing so makes them silly, interesting, and just plain cool. If you like what you see, you can order his zine from Smalltime Books. They’re only ten bucks, made on recycled paper, and free shipping to boot– there’s no reason not to have this in your life! More of his zine along with some of his still life drawings after the jump.

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Paul Fryer’s Life And Death

Paul Fryer’s gripping sculptures and installations share his visions of life, death, science gone mad, and an apocalyptic future.

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Lernert & Sander

A bold claim made by Dutch artists Sander Plug and Lernert Engelberts, but fairly well deserved. Since their first collaboration, they have been working on commercials, leaders, art movies, documentaries and installations. Their aim is to make simple and communicative works, that takes little note of the existing border between contemporary art and commercial projects. Their highly esthetic, humorous and dedicated works are often challenging the media and its viewer, in a simple but very effective way. Check out some of their shorts after the jump! They all sort of share the same color palette and are nice in that way.

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CYBER MONDAY 30% OFF THE ENTIRE B/D SHOP!

We’re keeping the savings going on Cyber monday by extending our 30% off sale for one more day. Get everything on the entire shop for 30% off. We won’t be having a massive sale like until summer so stock up now and get that print for your wall, complete your Beautiful/Decay magazine collection, and buy that shirt so you can impress your sexy robot girlfriend!

Use discount code “Turkeycult”

Sale ends Tuesday at 12am.

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Andy Freeberg’s Photos of Gallery Dealers At Art Fairs

Andy Freeberg‘s “Art Fare” series is currently on view at Kopeikin Gallery in Culver City, CA. The series captures gallery owners and artists, usually hidden behind desks and gallery walls, in plain sight at major art fairs. Simultaneously “real-life” and narrative drama, the photos depict the business of the art world in stark, natural light. The results are humorous, seedy, and honest.

The exhibition is up until October October 27th. See more photos from the show after the jump.

Images courtesy of Andy Freeberg and Kopeikin Gallery.

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Jean-Francois Fourtou’s Giant people for a tiny world

Jean-Francois Fourtou’s photographs go back and forth between miniature worlds for giant people and tiny people living in giant worlds.

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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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