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Documentary Watch: Project Nim

 

Project Nim is a powerful look at how science can go from studying an animal to exploiting it.  In this doc we follow Nim, an adorable baby chimpanzee who was taken from his mother and placed with a foster human mother as part of a “nature vs. nurture” academic experiment. Nim was to grow up around humans and learn language and communicate like a human being.

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Marie Blanchard

menhir

French artist Marie Blanchard draws nice illustrations with what appear to be markers (I can’t tell as the site is in French). I like how minimal they are; she really explores just how little can be in an illustration and still have it be a legitimate piece. She also runs a book imprint called Shining Books, which recently published her latest book, entitled Echoes.

 

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The Dark Wintery Wonderlands Inside Walter Martin & Paloma Muñoz’s Snow Globes

Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz - snowglobes Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz - snowglobes Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz - snowglobes Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz - snowglobes

Proving that snow globes aren’t just kitschy souvenirs, artist duo Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz create mini worlds covered by glass domes that are dark, gloomy, and slightly sinister. The scenarios they build are usually set in a stark wintery landscape and feature characters carrying out strange, ill-disposed acts on each other.

Working together since 1994, Martin and Muñoz source different figurines or model making elements, cut them up and re-assemble them as victims or criminals at a crime scene. They use plumber’s epoxy to build the base of the scenes, and cover it in a water resistant resin. Then, they fill up the globes with a water and alcohol solution, to create the authenticity of the object.

Taking inspiration from dreams, movies, and literature, the pair is happy to build on a bizarre or surreal narrative. Their scenes are very dark indeed: A man is caught in the act of dropping a boulder onto another man’s face, or we watch a woman suspiciously planting a dead tree in the snow, or two men vindictively dangling children over a deep dark well, all surrounded by the stillness of snow and winter. They see their snow globes as a celebration of that uneasy feeling you get when you are lost in a crowd, or left alone somewhere uncomfortable. Martin reflects on the environment that he grew up in and those feelings he experienced within them:

I always liked a good snowstorm, and so many of my best memories revolve around those occasions. The water is the thing in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Everything that comes out of it, everything that you can do on it, or in it, is special. (Source)

Their globes and a number of other artist’s impressions of winter were also featured previously in a post on B/D. Click here to check out the different ideas of just what that wintery spirit is all about.

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Sneak Peak: Jeremy Mora @ Zuam Projects

Jeremy Mora Zaum Projects

Most people know Jeremy Mora via his gallery space POV Evolving but Jeremy is also an amazing sculptor. He recently headed to Lisboa, Portugal for a “larger than life” show at Zaum Projects featuring hundreds of sculptures.

Jeremy primarily works in sculpture creating miniature worlds out of everyday debris. Each piece is like a small planet, inhabiting tiny people going about their everyday life in a world built out of styrofoam, paint, and wood.

Congrats on a great show Jeremy! Wish I could have seen it in person.

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Nicolas Kennedy Sitton’s Twisted Architecture

Nicolas Kennedy Sitton‘s Twisted series uses photographic manipulation to distort the architecture of San Francisco. The photographer adds concentric circles to the images to form new shapes, with the buildings seemingly folding and toppling into themselves.

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Jake Watling

jake Watling paintings

Oakland based painter Jake Watling creates paintings that are both festive and frightening at the same time. For some reason they remind me of a circus gone mad!

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Frank Marshal’s Journey Into The Heavy Metal Subculture Of Sub-Saharan Africa

Heavy Metal africa

Frank Marshall

Frank Marshall

Frank Marshall

Renegades, a photographic series by Frank Marshal, captures the Heavy Metal subculture in Sub-Saharan Africa.

As we know, Heavy Metal audiences have traditionally been Caucasian and Eurocentric. All of these things, however, are not an obvious description of Sub-Saharan Africa. Marshall’s portraits offer a vision of an unlikely Heavy Metal subculture in Botswana, his subjects are an anomaly, a reaction to a strictly occidental genre. Marshall aptly labels his subjects as renegades, as he renders portraits of rebellious individuals who form part of “an ulterior, emergent rootedness where traditional identities and political histories in Botswana are subverted”. Furthermore, Marshal’s portraits break down established archetypes of ethnicity, cultural identity, and ideology. These individuals are on the fringe of a society that is already situated within the ‘geographical and ideological’ space of the Other, meaning that they are already viewed as exotic by the Occident.

The peculiar thing here is, that we see the ‘Other’ under an completely unpredictable light.

Tribe-like, Heavy Metal possesses an unconscious sense of brotherhood that transcends race and nationality in the context of Renegades. So too, Marshall’s renegades unpack popular stereotypes, transcending traditions, blurring the boundaries between liberty and fraternity, helping to delineate the power structures inherent to Heavy Metal, which may be misinterpreted as a trace of an oppressive past. This is in keeping with the extremism of Heavy Metal ideology, embracing anything that popular culture finds unacceptable.

(via Rooke Gallery)

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Help Us Get Into A Bookstore Near You!

bookstore

Alright B/D fans! Many of you have been asking us to get more shops in our stockist list so we thought it would be appropriate to have you suggest some good shops in your area that would be a good fit for B/D. Please suggest shops that carry art or design books or boutiques that carry other similar publications. It would be helpful if you could give us the shop name, website(if they have one), and location/phone number. If you want to go one step further run into your favorite bookstore/shop and demand that they carry Beautiful/Decay! You can have them email contactbd@beautifuldecay.com to get wholesale info. With your help we’ll get the books in a quality shop near you!

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