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Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada’s Portraits Are So Massive They Can Be Seen From Google Earth

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Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada is known for his culture-jamming renegade advertising disruptions, and even more so for his large-scale charcoal portraits of local residents on the buildings in their neighborhoods (previously featured here). But his newer works have gotten bigger, so large many of them can be seen from Google Earth.

“Working at very large scales becomes a personal challenge but it also allows me to bring attention to important social issues, the size of the piece is intrinsic to the value of its message,” says the Cuban American artist. “Creativity is always applied in order to define an intervention made only with local materials, with no environmental impact, that works in harmony with the location.”

Works like WISH (above) took several years to complete, and involve a time-consuming process which begins by using a plotted grid system and only recently available Topcon GPS technology to map the area. 30,000 wooden stakes were applied as markers to an open area in Belfast, Northern Ireland’s Titanic Quarter shipyards, resulting in a portrait drawn by volunteers using nearly 8 million pounds of sand, rock and soil. The massive scale of the project is balanced by the delicacy of its subject, an anonymous local girl Rodríguez-Gerada met while planning the project (via blog4uuntitled).

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Kilian Rüthemann

KILIANR THEMANNKilian Rüthemann was born in 1979 in Bütschwil, St. Gallen, Switzerland. Kilian always engages with the given situation of an exhibition space. He investigates the architectural and spatial qualities and in a surprising manner and makes precise, generally minimal interventions into the existing structure. Pretty neat.

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Studio Visit: The Site Unscene

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The Site Unscene is one of only a handful of new businesses radically changing the landscape of the art world for the better. JB Jones and Wil Atkinson, who founded The Site Unscene [TSUS], are two of the greatest people around – so it’s no wonder that artists as diverse as Gregory Siff and XVALA treat them like family and often drop in to their headquarters from time to time just to say hello. However, one of the most unique aspects to their HQ, besides the art and artists themselves, is that TSUS have a massive garage space where the artists they represent, as well as their friends, are able to come in and paint for however long they need to – which is crucially important, especially to those who work with spray paint and don’t have the space to do so where they live. They even have lockers for all the artists to store their supplies in! I guess you’re wondering what exactly TSUS does and the only way I can explain it is to repeat their mantra of “We help make art happen” – since they really do it all, from putting on pop-up shows to helping an artists realize an ambitious project. In fact, I love TSUS so much that I frequently ask JB and Wil if I can do many of my interviews with artists at their space because everyone instantly feels right at home with the vibe they’ve set up for it. In the future I hope that we will begin to see the downfall of snooty gallerists who are rude to young collectors and the rise of organizations like The Site Unscene who open their arms welcomely to anyone who loves art – whether or not they have a Phd or a zillion bucks.

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Photographs Turn Hong Kong Streets Into A 2D Video Game

Christian Åslund

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Swedish photographer Christian Åslund realized that the city streets of Hong Kong looked like a giant video game while hanging out on a friends rooftop. So with the help of a few fun loving friends, his camera, and walkie talkies he orchestrated this playful and disorienting photo series that reminds us of the golden days of video games where Super Mario was king and the Power Glove was all the rage. (via)

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Mike Lythgoe

I absolutely love the stuff illustrator and designer Mike Lythgoe is making; it’s lavish and dreamy and somehow clean and meticulous at the same time.

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Goodbye, Fearless Intern Spencer!

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Spencer Ockwell is a man of many talents. Aside from his extensive art, illustration, design and animation expertise, what really made us want to give Spencer the job (of working for free, as an intern) here at Beautiful/Decay was his experience doing voice over work. (Anyone who has been around me at the office, towards the end of a long work day, knows I randomly like to “channel” a southern belle’s twang for sass, and also a tiny, one thousand year old all-seeing Chinese fortune teller for giving advice.)  I will miss not only Spencer’s tolerance of my annoying, and incurable “habit,” but his acceptance, no, celebration of it! To give an example of his purported talent, word on the streets is, when we went down to Las Vegas for the Slate Tradeshow, Spencer did a mean, award-winning impersonation of Snoop Dogg. This performance, that fused many talents, (mostly within the realm of karaoke) is rumored to have won acclaim, a brief YouTube appearance, and the hearts and souls of the dancers of that fine, Vegas establishment. Of course this is all speculation.

All tangents  aside, the truth is that Spencer has busted ass for us here at Beautiful/Decay, going above and beyond the call of duty, staying almost double our minimum requirement! (Why, I can’t fathom- I kid! ‘Cause we rock!) Spencer has contributed some extremely comedic blog posts, design work, help with our apparel line, and more!

Being the young exuberant self-starter and entrepreneurial go-getter that he is, Spencer has also recently founded Hammered, an art/design inspired clothing company. Spencer was recently chased through our office by his logo today, and I snapped a quick picture of it, above. View his prodigious output below. Thanks, Spencer for all your help!

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Keiichi Tanaami

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Lines from Keiichi Tanaami’s bio include: “experimenting with LSD,” “working in Andy Warhol’s factory,” “art directing Playboy,” and “depicting motifs from dreams and memories, such as an oversized goldfish, referring to his grandfather, who would kill them by squeezing them.”

How could I possibly say it better?

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Architectural 70’s Wonder by William Hirsch

 

I absolutely love this house, designed by William Hirsch for art director John Holmes, (no, not that John Holmes!) most famous for his original cover art for “Jaws.” Their home is comprised entirely of salvaged, hodge podge reclaimed building materials, making it a sort of living, breathing, thrift store turned frankenstein-like architectural collage. Ah, the free-wheeling spirit of the 70s that kicks modernism’s dutch-minimalist-eames-clean line-stainless steel-white cube’s ass!

 

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