In a culture addled with conspiracy theories and apocalyptic prophecies, photographer Thomas Brown thinks a red herring could do us all some good. Exploiting the hyper-paranoia he sees in today’s society, Brown’s “Meteor” series is a collection of clean, tranquil images resembling doom-wreacking meteors at first glance, that upon further inspection manifest as simply crumpled pieces of paper. Just like the overwrought fears that constantly inflict anxiety on our population, these “meteors” too may initially appear violent and threatening, but ultimately both prove to be as inconsequential and harmless as discarded pieces of paper.
Our upcoming Book 3: The Underdogs is a doozy of an issue- compiling over 100 submissions from B/D readers around the world, including a mix of never-before-seen talents and established artists. It’s dedicated to you, dear readers. As we are an independent, ad-free publication, we depend on your support to keep Beautiful/Decay filled with pages of quality work. So, do yourself and us a favor at the same time and SUBSCRIBE (or resubscribe) today! As always, the pages are chock-full of art you need to see, as well as one of a kind collectables, stickers, rare inserts and original artwork. (You don’t want to get left in the dust- Book 1’s already sold out!)
We posted Todd Knowpke’s work a while back but he has some new works on his site so it’s time to take a second look. When i first saw Todd’s work online I thought “wow these are funky shaped stretchers.” It took me a few minutes to realize that I was staring at massive, mind blowing, sewn pieces of fabric! What I love best is that Todd keeps all the various moves that most painters make but makes them his own by introducing sewn fabric into the mix. The result is a collage like surface full of stitching, layered fabric, and awesome detail.
These sculptures are made from the bones of dead people. The photographic portraits of these sculptures are made by Arne Svenson. What results is Unspeaking Likeness, a strangely captivating series of death portraits, collected here.
For four years, Svenson sojourned from coroner’s offices to law enforcement agencies allover the country, snapping photographs of facial reconstruction sculptures which were built by forensic artists and molded from unidentifiable victims’ skeletal remains, with the intention of resolving crimes.
The narrative hidden behind each “face” is a mystery, and, as viewers, our own hearts tense with sadness when considering each subject’s lurid last moments of life. It’s almost too much; so, we reject the idea of reconstruction in relation to rejuvenation. It feels psychological, how we need to detach. The “face” in the context of Svenson’s portraits are not representative of an emotional life nor physical body; instead, it’s a mask or doll with a troubling echo, seemingly touched by the hands of Frankenstein.
Ludovic Florent‘s new photoseries Poussières d’étoiles (which translating as Stardust) features the natural beauty of the human body in motion, capturing dancer’s poses in moments of ecstasy, distress and grace. Each photograph is highlighted by the staging, a chalk and sand floor which enhances each movement, with dust clouds mirroring the appendage’s motions to create a dramatic physical presence of their own. Florent says, “In our changing society, my photographic work is guided by a humanistic look, willingness to foreground the natural beauty of the body, free to express his grace and personality.”
The Metz, France-based Florent created Poussières d’étoiles for Gallery HEGOA, and in anticipation for the European Festival of Nude Photography in Arles, France in May, 2014. The photographer further explains his work, “‘Behind every carnal envelope hides a soul that is both sensitive and flamboyant as I try to capture in each of my photographs.’ We certainly enjoy his work guided by a humanistic look, finding expression in a series that is both, sensitive and vivid.” (via ignant)
A little TGIF fun…Mr. Erial Ali is proud to offer the unique *magical* service of creating a Celestial Soul Portrait of YOU (and maybe also your family?). I’m curious who’d pay upwards of $250 for this. Is my soul even worth that much money?? Click more to see before and afters.
Beautifully designed costumes sets the stage for artist/photographer Uldus Bakhtiozina’s pictorial essay “Russ Land”. Shot in a rural setting, Baktiozina, recreates a narrative based on Russian folklore. Through magic and her own designs she sets forth in capturing a time when the earth was occupied by knights, fair maidens and the forest. She features characters called Baba Yaga (the old woman with knowledge) and Mikulishna (the beautiful), who are familiar figures in fairytales known throughout the world.
The photographer’s hand made costumes are elaborate variations on a theme, most notably in the head dress which the artist emphasizes with great detail in this series. The intricate construction embraces the forest itself, ranging from crowns made of nest like sticks to black and white spider webbed veils. She works with a generation of young Russian artists, who she claims is the inspiration for her pictures and continues to challenge stereotypes in “Russ Land” by showing women as knights and a fair maiden as lothario(a).
Bakhtiozina was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia from a mixed religious background. She received her education from the University of the Arts London and is credited as the first Russian speaker at TED. She frequently features herself in her work first gaining recognition for a project called “Desperate Romantics”, a series of ironic self portraits. Instead of a digital camera, Bakhtiozina prefers using analog stating ‘it’s better suited at capturing the nature of an object’. She currently runs a studio dedicated to the visual arts in her native Russia. (via demilked)
Italian sound designers Fabio Di Salvo and Bernardo Vercelli, together known as Quiet Ensemble, create work that features insignificant sounds that we wouldn’t give a second thought to. They focus their energies on the “greatness of small events,” and the subject of their most recent project is a lamp. Specifically, lamps used to produce a musical event. Titled The Enlightenment, the duo calls this performance a “hidden concert of pure light” that uses a bevy of different lighting elements like stage lights and high-powered bulbs. “Instead of violins are neon lights, to replace drums are strobe lights and instead of clarinets we will see theatrical headlights illuminating the audience,” they explain in the video’s description.
The Enlightenment was performed in October for Bologna’s Robot Festival, where it included 96 lamps. Each was fitted with its own copper coil that received various electric currents set at specific intervals, as well as a sensor. This produced an electromagnetic field that was captured and turned into sounds. Salvo and Vercelli accompanied the buzzes by modifying and amplifying each lamp’s electric output in real time. The result is a clash of blues, greens, and yellow flashes with the poetics of a familiar buzz. (Via The Creators Project)