Only 24 hours to go until our massive Black Friday sale on the B/D shop with items 30-55% off. We will release a special discount code on Thursday the 26th at 12AM both on the blog and via our email blast. This code will be the only way to get a massive price slash on B/D goods. All books, shirts, prints, stickers, and back issues of Beautiful/Decay will be on sale.
Items are limited and will sell out so the earlier you shop, the better deals you’ll score! Sale ends on Sunday the 28th at Midnight!
P.S. If you can’t wait until Friday solve the riddle to unlock the code to get early deals!
A mesmerizing, surreal experience awaits anyone entering the Japan Pavilion at this year’s Venice Art Biennale. In a stunning installation called “The Key in the Hand,” artist Chiharu Shiota has filled a room with webs of red yarn. Suspended from the ceiling, the yarn is tied together so densely that it filters out the lights above. Hanging from the mass are over 50,000 keys collected from people all over the world. Like dark, frozen drops of rain, they appear to spill from the stringy red “clouds” into two weathered boats below, creating a dual sense of breathtaking movement and suspended time.
Despite their seemingly simple utility, keys are intimate objects that we all carry to keep ourselves—and the things we love—safe. Invested with our deep trust and passed between hands over time, keys symbolically bind us together. The Curator’s Statement for “The Key in the Hand” eloquently describes this further:
In our daily lives, keys protect valuable things like our houses, assets, and personal safety, and we use them while embracing them in the warmth of our hands. By coming into contact with people’s warmth on a daily basis, the keys accumulate countless, multilayered memories that dwell within us. Then at a certain point we entrust the keys, packed with memories, to others who we trust to look after the things that are important to us. (Source)
The keys represent a collection of human feelings, while the yarn visualizes their immaterial connections across time and space. Furthermore, while far removed from their international owners and original purposes, the keys also embody emotions and memories on a transcultural, transnational scale, as they are webbed together without perceptible distinctions of race, class, gender, or nation. As all the keys fall perpetually into the same ancient boats (which are described as “two hands catching a rain of memories”), Shiota’s installation beautifully visualizes a global form of connection spanning borders and generations. (Source). As the Curator’s Statement movingly concludes:
I look forward to watching as The Key in the Hand, an installation that forges a link between a space made up of keys, yarn, and two boats, and photographs and videos of children, transcends national, cultural, linguistic, and political contexts, and emotionally arouses countless visitors from all over the world. (Source)
Born in Japan, Shiota has been based in Berlin for the last two decades. Visit her website to see more fascinating large-scale installations. (Via Colossal)
Inquietto (Oscar Marchal) is a art director and creative director, specialized in Motiongraphics with background in animation, (quite convincing) 3D graphics, illustration, graphic design, cinema, tv graphics and multimedia applications.
Our fine friend Brian Bonus from VIMBY recently did an amazing video profile on us for our anniversary issue Z and art show. It’s a great piece- Amir discusses the very first black and white issues of Beautiful/Decay ever made all the way to our most recent issue! Watch as ten years becomes 4 minutes….
Based in Maryland, Adam Ferriss works as both a photographer and web designer. I like to think his series, Illusion, is titled for the optical trickery that gives these images a real sense of depth. Like looking through a kaleidoscope, it seems each image contains it’s own infinite universe primed for exploration.
We’ve covered Kris Kuksi’s Churchtanks series in the past, which invoked religion alongside symbols of modern warfare to create a curious blend of spirituality and the profane. “Ascension of Eos” is a more recent work, taking the exploration of larger than life mythos intersecting with the mortal coil.
Eos, the goddess of dawn in Greek mythology, or perhaps a statue of Eos rises up from a sea of humans. She’s being worshipped or built — or perhaps the two are one in the same. The humans around her are in a frenzy — some are tangled together in frantic sex, others are being crushed by wheels and impaled by arrows. Her congregation’s agony can just as easily be interpreted as divine ecstasy, and painted with a dark patine, the entire tableau seems truly gothic.
“I get inspired by the industrial world, all the rigidity of machinery, the network of pipes, wires, refineries, etc.,” says Kuksi. “Then I join that with an opposite of flowing graceful, harmonious, and pleasing design of the baroque and rococo.”
Beautiful, dark, and mysterious, Kuksi’s work contains tons of detail. It’s created through mixed media assemblage, which adds texture and physicality to the piece. At more than four and a half feet tall and three and a half feet wide, it looks almost like an altar or a memorial. (h/t Dark Silence in Suburbia)
Michelle Morin’s works are beautifully detailed natural scenes depicting flora and fauna. Each of her pieces is full of painted texture, and puts an earthy calm spin on classical animal paintings. As a once professional gardener, she has a unique insight into her subject matter. I think it makes all the difference, don’t you?