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Art We Love.

Walls, we’ve all got them. Now, it’s the New Year and there’s no better time to start decorating – or re-decorating – those blank barriers.

ArtWeLove is an innovative, curated online art store with a selective catalogue of exclusive limited edition artworks. They work directly with top contemporary artists such as Tomoo Gokita (seen above, Night and Day for $75), Francesca GabbianiShelter Serra, and Molly Dilworth to produce thought provoking, hand picked archival pigment prints and Digital C-prints.  Each piece comes immaculately packed for your artwork’s protection plus every work is numbered, embossed, and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.

You can rest assured each ArtWeLove edition will enrich your walls, spar rousing conversations, and elicit pride within your collection – maybe, even, some envy among friends. Not to mention, their prints come in standard sizes, making it easy for you to add your personal touch when choosing the perfect frame to complete your interior makeover.  All of this, and we’re certain you won’t tap into your holiday bonus because ArtWeLove editions start at $15 and go up to $2,000, a bargain given the museum-quality of the prints and the caliber of artist.

To further inspire Beautiful/Decay readers to jump-start their New Year’s art collection, ArtWeLove offers an exclusive $5 off your first purchase when you sign up to their FIRST VIEW email. To join, simply go to ArtWeLove.com and follow the next steps.

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LEONCE RAPHAEL AGBODJÉLOU

Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou’s photographs of  the people of Porto-Novo, Benin (formerly Republic of Dahomey) are drawn from street life, his friends, family and studio customers. Benin is all about colour – Porto Novo is like a visual assault.In Leonce’s impressive portraits, wild combinations of locally designed Dutch imported textiles create extreme gradations between background, foreground, person and clothing. Leonce is part of a generation experiencing rapid change and his photographs capture the energy and unfettered zest for life of a people caught between tradition and progress.

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Paul Kaptein Questions Notions Of Substance, Emptiness And Temporality With His Wooden Sculptures

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Australian sculptor, Paul Kaptein creates unusual but skillful wooden sculptures that question our ability to look past missing pieces in the bigger picture. Kaptein, interested in the Buddhist term sunyata (Sanskrit word for ideas of emptiness as a way to achieve wholeness), integrates (and questions) notions of substance, emptiness, and temporality into his highly skilled pieces of wooden work.

By seamlessly incorporating empty gaps (usually long empty rectangles) into busts and entire recreations of human bodies, Kaptein imposes the viewer with questions as to why these pieces are missing. The simple fact that viewers will directly and promptly question this characteristic first, further enables Kaptein’s interest in challenging the viewer’s resistance, and/or apprehension to accept something that is not complete. The main idea  here relies on getting the spectator to react to Kaptein’s work for what it is: seamless, beautiful wooden sculptures that happen to be missing a piece or two.

It can also be said that these gaps are indicative of conceptions of time:

I’m exploring the notion of the now as a remix of past and future potentialities. This facilitates a renegotiation of perceptual truths resulting in an expression of things not quite truth, yet not quite fiction.

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SBAGLIATO’S Street Art Trompe- L’oeil Doors And Windows Into Nowhere

Italian street art group SBAGLIATO (meaning “wrong” in Italian) covers, buildings, walls, and the occasional rock with trompe- l’oeil  windows and doorways that beg viewers to walk and pear into places that we’re not supposed to look at.  Their execution is so precise that from a short distance it’s difficult to tell their work apart from a real window or door. So next time you’re late for a meeting and running towards a door make sure it’s not the newest piece by SBAGLIATO or you’re sure to be greeted with a sore forehead and a few chipped teeth. (via)

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Andrew Davis’s Brutal Faces

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22 year old painter Andrew Davis makes violent paintings that remind me of a mix between Leon Golub and Francis Bacon.

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Shelly Mosman’s Intensely Personal Portraits

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The strength of the portraiture tradition, and what separates it from documentary photography, lies in the skill of the photographer to attach meaning and the essence of the person in a simple image. Using metaphor, subtlety, and open-ended but vaguely familiar narrative, photographer Shelly Mosman is able to imbue an intensely personal and soft-spoken beauty to her photographs. Drawn to subjects for reasons she says she often cannot immediately describe, Mosman spends a great deal of time with her subjects, waiting for key moments when their personality is revealed through action, or the subtlest of looks or gestures. “Portraiture relies on the smallest mannerisms and expressions to offer narrative,” says Mosman, “I rely on the spontaneity of circumstance.” 

The Minneapolis-based portraitist continues:

“In my photographs I negotiate and characterize the balance between my own vision and the unknown and often powerful potential given by each portrait’s subject. I am drawn to certain people for the simple reason that I know shooting them will give me an image I could never have created on my own, and because my camera can reveal something they may not have known was in themselves.  It becomes a synthesis of us both, captured in a single photograph. These connections with each subject are often too straightforward and immediate to be conscious, but rather they are something that is felt immediately, coming straight from the gut, which is the home of our instincts.”

Mosman is currently in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for an upcoming exhibition titled Mercury. The show will feature new black and white works, printed with a long-standing (though rarely used) silver gelatin contact technique, overseen by a master printer. They will then be framed in a specially designed cast resin frames, the results of a collaboration with two sculptors. For more information or to donate, click here.

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Lee Bul’s Infinite Installations Will Fracture Your Reflection Into A Thousand Pieces

Lee Bul - Installation

Lee Bul - Installation

Lee Bul - Installation

Lee Bul’s transformative installations pull you into a fractured space of infinite mirrors. The Korean artist, both well versed in illustration as well as installation and sculpture, forms complex, maze-like structures with interiors made of mirrors that reflect in all different directions, creating a disorienting effect. Bul takes seemingly small, secluded spaces and magnifies its size by making the space seem never-ending, keeping you exploring each layer of the multi-faceted structure. The highly industrial installations create such intricate depths and perspectives that allow you to fall into a place of vertigo. Each fractured mirror bounces back color and light in a way that transforms and bends the space around you into an intense kaleidoscope. Bul’s interactive artwork gives way to a fractured universe of distorted shapes and space.

The artist, being multi-talented, mixes elements of architecture in her work to design the sleek exteriors of her installations. Adding to the lustrous, reflective surfaces of the interior walls are the reflective floors of the exhibition, creating even more confusing space perception. This unique work creates a range of emotions from the anxiety caused by the ambiguity of depth, to the overwhelming awe from the beauty and sublime of the endless space around you. Each installation is a portal to another world, absorbing you in its abstracted images that include your own reflection. This unearthly theme is present in much of Bul’s work, as her illustrations often include unknown beings and aliens. Bul’s stunning mirrored labyrinths are now on view at the Museé d’Art Moderne in Saint –Eitienne in France. (via Design Boom)

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Haunting Photographs Of The Stains Left Behind By Victims Of Murder And Illness

1Seizure, Male, 25 years old 6Illness, Female, 60 years old 4Suicide with Gun, Male, 40 years old 3Heart Attack, Male, 50 years old (II)

The photographer Sarah Sudhoff traces the physical, bodily evidence left by the dead; for her project At the Hour of Our Death, she gives form to death and the unknown, shooting fabrics stained by the blood and fluids of the victims of murder, suicide, and illness. She follows these material reminders of dead, contaminated and removed from the scene, to a warehouse, where they wait to be disposed of; she knows not the names or identies of the dead, constructing strange and poignant narratives with only the colors and shapes left by their passing.

Shot under flood lights, the close-range photographs are rendered with astounding sharpness, resolution, and color. Aided by titles that only reveal the cause of death, gender, and the age of the deceased, the images veer into abstraction; accidental blood splatter mirrors the deliberate marks of abstract expressionist Jackson Pollack. Textured surfaces are saturated with the traces of the body, their delicate floral and lacy doily patterns colored by a permanent, irreversible reminder of our mortality. The empty, untouched space of the fabrics are assigned new meaning; like unfinished portions of a painted canvas, they stand in for the unknowable significance of a life lost.

These photographs force our eye to face the repulsion and terror we feel for the traumatized human body and the dead, transposing our invisible grief and fears onto jarringly beautiful, vividly textured tapestries. These are the physical and tangible marks of passing and loss; these are the quiet reminders of a life that exists no longer, a body that paradoxically cries out for our touch. (via Feature Shoot)

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