We at Beautiful/Decay would like to consider Alex Bec a runner-up for our “Submit your Artist” contest from two weeks back. His work was way too awesome not to post (thanks for letting us know, Gringo)! Alex’s creations consist mainly of typographic illustrations, colors and shapes that pop–all entirely from cut paper and sometimes even masking tape. Major props for patience and intense precision.
1. Warrior’s Woman: In a universe at war, theirs was a love that burned hotter than a thousand suns.
2. Savage Thunder: Theirs was a passion that would never be tamed.
3. Enchant the Heavens: Their love would set the world on fire.
4. Gentle Rogue: She was meant to marry a king, but fate had other plans.
We’ve all seen them – those romance novels with the dramatic covers featuring love-struck ladies collapsing into the arms of a hyper-masculine heart-slayer, while some dramatic scene — such as a leaping horse, or surging ocean — occurs behind them. As fetishized and erotic as these images intend to be, most of them are quite silly in their portrayals of unrealistic desire and impossible bodily standards. As a response to this, Cosmopolitan magazine recently created a series where they playfully reenacted romance novel covers by inserting real people into the excessive, escapist scenarios; throughout the images, lovers pretend to collapse into beds of roses, and others are doused in water (simulating the seems-better-than-reality waterfall kiss).
What is best about these remakes is that the participants are clearly indulging in the absurdity of the exotic scenes. Many of them appear to be suppressing laughter with their awkward, exaggerated embraces and pseudo-seduced expressions. While it may be fun sometimes to indulge in fantasies of being “swept away” by a phantasmal lover of cosmic erotic proportions, Cosmo’s series reminds us that such images are just that: fantasies. Real-life romance and desire (and the pleasures thereof) quite often derive from playfulness and openness — no vested swashbucklers, billowing hair, or voyeuristic unicorns needed.
Click here to see the original article. I’ve included the captions from the Cosmopolitan feature to add to the humorous effect. (Via Art Fucks Me).
Shawn Smith’s sculptures investigate the slippery intersection between the digital world and reality. Specifically Shawn is interested in how we experience nature through technology. When we see images of nature on TV or on a computer screen, we feel that we are seeing nature but we are really only seeing patterns of pixilated light.
For the past few years, Smith has been creating a series of “Re-things.” These whimsical sculptures represent pixilated animals and objects of nature. Finding images of his subjects online, he creates three-dimensional sculptural representations of these two-dimensional images. By building his “Re-things” pixel by pixel Shawn hopes to understand how each pixel plays a crucial role in the identity of an object. Through the process of pixilation, color is distilled, some bits of information are lost, and the form is abstracted. Making the intangible tangible, Smith views his building process as an experiment in alchemy, using man-made composite and recycled materials to represent natural forms.
What may at first look like a sketch of a classic sculpture is actually a mass of tiny doodles by Japanese artist Keita Sagaki. Sagaki manages to turn drawings of UFOs, skulls, and aliens that you’d see on the edges of your middle school notebook, into beautiful works of art. These tongue-in-cheek works combine the artist’s respect for classic paintings and sculpture with his love for modern comics and graffiti. Sagakis art can take months to create since each work is composed of millions of smaller compositions. Each of his drawings are improvised and drawn directly onto the surfaces he uses without being drafted.
You’re probably thinking “Why is Beautiful/Decay posting about children’s puppets?” Well that’s a good question. Usually we leave Sesame Street for the toddler and mommy blogs but over the weekend I happened to watch Being Elmo, a documentary about Kevin Clash, the long time voice and puppeteer of Elmo. Since the age of 10 (check out the above image of young Kevin performing for local kids in 1975) all Kevin wanted to do was to be a puppeteer. With tons of ambition, hard work, and creativity Kevin not only became a professional puppeteer but also one of the most famous and iconic figures in the field right along his life long idol Jim Henson.
I don’t want to give away too much of the story but I will say that every artist, designer, and creative person should watch this documentary. You will be touched, inspired, and moved to work harder, push the limits of your craft, and to never give up on your dreams. Watch the trailer for the documentary after the jump and run out and go out and buy the DVD. It will be the best money you’ll spend all week.
David Skazaly is a Hungarian/German graphic designer who has been creating hypnotic, mind-warping GIFs since 2008. Working under the name Davidope, Skazaly’s psychedelic GIFs and warped images have set the standard for animated GIFs across the internet. Even if you haven’t heard his name before (or his online pseudonym, Davidope), you probably recognize some of Skazaly’s technicolor, organic forms, pulsing in infinite loops, whether on art blogs or the annals of Tumblr. Skazaly’s animations are strangely hypnotic and entrancing, pushing a format that is now primarily used for cat memes and celebrity reactions into successful, technically adept artistic territory.
Skazaly got his start experimenting with animation program Macromedia Flash in the 90s before focusing on his own motion graphics. Looking at his Tumblr now, it’s clear Skazaly has mastered the art form of creating technically perfect GIFs, from trippy, twisting shapes to black and white worms perpetually moving forward. Skazaly’s mind-bending GIFs are dizzying, satisfying works of art, elevating a now common internet trend to a mesmerizing new level.
Typographer and illustrator Alex Varanese combines 3d techniques with traditional print design techniques in circuit bent type series of illustrations. I like the consistent and specific use of red in all of Alex’s work. Im not sure what you would call the shade but it’s an iconic palate that’s modern and vintage at the same time. Alex also has a nice array of custom type on his site. More images after the jump.
You may be back at work today but that doesn’t mean that you missed out on saving big at the Beautiful/Decay shop. Everything on the Beautiful/Decay shop is 50% off until tonight at Midnight (PST Time). Use discount code holiday50 to get all our books, magazines, artist posters, shirts and accessories at half the price. We have limited quantities of everything and will not be restocking any sold out products so act fast to take advantage of this rare holiday sale!