Christopher Charles Curtis A.K.A. C3’s drawings explores a world the artist has created to better understand the darker parts of himself and humanity as a whole. This world is best described as a fairytale western with some horror film aspects. The characters are in a constant struggle to find their place in a world that is slowly crumbling all around them. As they foolishly try to save this world they find that not only are their attempts futile but their very efforts are contributing to the decline in civilization. It is a basic story of the few vs the many, honor and glory vs power and corruption.
These marble and bronze sculptures of Kevin Francis Gray‘s are beautifully mysterious. They are classical in technique, but completely contemporary in subject matter. Gray chooses figures and characters – “the freaks and oft-romanticized street tribes of the East End” he see on the streets around his studio in London and then turns them into striking statues. Covering them in beaded veils or shrouding their faces with draped cloth, he manages to surround them in mystery.
His piece called ‘Ghost Girl’ superficially looks like a classical Greek or Roman sculpture, but is actually an earnest, tender view of a modern city girl, with a urban-ghetto-gothic twist. Poking out from underneath her veil is a skull tilted down toward her feet. She has her arms casually wrapped behind her back, but bear the markings of self harm. Gray renders many of his subjects from live sittings and recalls sketching the different faces:
One of the subjects has intense agoraphobia. Another was the first subject whom I really, truly didn’t like. He was so dark, a complicated psychopath. But I was determined to capture that. Some of the subjects could only sit still for an hour, because they had to go get high or whatever. (Source)
All of Gray’s pieces have a dark history to them, but he sculpts them so impressively they transform into something majestic, almost mythical.
What I’m trying to do is create a juxtaposition. The surface is glossy and consumable, but look deeper beneath that and you’ll see a darker underworld. (Source)
Didier Blondeau, quite obviously from France, is an incredible graphite artist (fancy-talk for someone who draws with pencils, but you knew that). One cannot fathom that the image above is hand drawn, and not a beautiful, rich in contrast black and white photograph.
As you may know Book 4 should have already come out by now. Unfortunately I received an email from our printers last week about an unforeseen delay with our cargo ship. At first I thought pirates had taken over the vessel to hog all the copies of B/D for themselves, but alas it was just some bad weather combined with faulty parts on the cargo ship. So what does this mean for you, our faithful subscribers? Well the good news is that our magazines have just arrived in good ol’ sunny los Angeles. It will take a few days to clear customs and to pack up each book to send your way but you will get book 4 within the next two weeks. I know that the wait is longer than anticipated but I promise that it will be more than worth the wait.
For those of you who haven’t subscribed yet here is your last chance to get on board and get B/D delivered right to your door. Book 4 comes with a signed, full color, editioned silk screen print that will only go to subscribers so make sure you get in on it. Once we close subscriptions in the next couple of days you will miss out on Book 4 and will have to buy it separately at the regular,non-discounted price. Subscriptions are just a click away here.
Since we feel so bad about the delay we have decided to extend our 50% sale until every single subscription has been sent out. This way you can keep getting great deals while you patiently wait for the highly coveted book 4!
Paul Brainard’s got a healthy libido, there’s no doubting that. He mixes it up with junk food, memento mori, geometric abstraction and political anger to create work that seduces and repels. Dredging into the murky area of what the French psychologist Jacques Lacan called “desire;” defined as: what you want after you’ve got everything you need. Cue the Rolling Stones, I can’t get no (guitar riff) satisfaction. Brainard is bad mofo with a pencil, after the jump there’s some tasty drawings. You can see Paul’s work in SF at Guerrero Gallery, and in NYC at Allegra LaViola for the upcoming group show Pornucopia, which is running from Feb 4th to March 11th.
Joe Davidson creates beautiful sculptures from plaster sunflowers. Devoid of color, the hanging bouquets look as though they could be bones, bleached coral, or some other organic form drained of life. The Los Angeles-based artist is interested in repetition. A tradition based in Minimalism—repeating the same form over and over again—Davidson’s flowers are less about Minimalism and more about material. Davidson is interested in allowing an idea to be driven by the inherent quality and symbolism of the material used. Through the similar plaster casts (all are cast by hand), Davidson is creating shadows of the original. The mass production generates an effect whereby individual elements become part of a uniform, monochromatic whole.
Davidson strives to allow viewers to consider that which surrounds us; he wants to show beauty in the mundane and the individual within the mass. Subtle yet stunning, Davidson’s floral sculptures are like three-dimensional still lives, conceptually engaging and visually appealing.
We all need a bit of inspiration every once in a while. Whether you’re having a bad day in the studio or looking to add some art into your life the Beautiful/Decay Book series is the ultimate collection of art & design curated by us for you to enjoy. So get creative, get inspired, and join us in our mission to document, promote, and share the best creative minds from around the world. In other words join the cult of decay and subscribe now!