Artist Maximo Reira fuses wild creatures with furniture in his series called Animal Chairs. The hulking, sculpted figures have a realistic styling to them, and beings like octopi, rhinos, whales, all have a place for someone to sit. Their backs have large notches cut into them, and they’re so regal looking they transcend ordinary chairs and are thrones.
Reira’s designs have textures that mimic the real epidermises of these creatures. There are tiny, intricate folds that look like dry, rough skin, and he’s covered them in a natural color palette. From a certain angle, they look as though they could be real. The artist has also kept their defining features, like long tentacles and massive horns. It’s an elegant, unique take on industrial design. (Via Hi Fructose)
Jim Callahan is a multi-talented creative who lends his bold pop-icon vibrant graphic style to a potty-mouthed vision of vulgar humor and the macabre. His humorously outlandish take on his subjects disarms their gritty gore visuals of exploding skull & brains, guts and the spray of blood. James Callahan also runs his own fledgling deck company: Nowhere Skateboards, and has illustrated comics, such as Strange Detective Tales and Rotting In Dirtville. He is also responsible for the DVD covers to the daybyday films, among art for piles of records, CD’s, shirts, toys, posters, and beyond.. James was interviewed in issue: D of Beautiful/Decay magazine and designed the three-dimensional stunner “Barf 3d” for Beautiful/Decay Apparel- which featured, of course, a three-dimensional skull puking a cacophony of vile beasts. Most recently he contributed the mind-blowing (no pun intended) graphic “Kersplat” that shows someone’s brain literally exploding from reading B/D!
Liza Lou’s art making process seems a bit obsessive, to say the least. She first came on the art radar when she exhibited Kitchen (1991-96), at the New Museum of Contemporary Art. A 168 sq. ft. beaded “kitchen” that took five years to create and incorporated 30 million beads, Lou created the ultimate homage to the domestic. The space contained beaded walls, tables, cereal boxes, etc. –everything created from glass beads.
In 2002, at age 32, Lou was awarded the MacArthur “genius” award. In 2005 she founded a collective with Zulu artisans in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Although she doesn’t incorporate specifically African beadwork tradition, she finds within it a commonality in the process of working with beads. Creating her works becomes a kind of meditation—the final products representing the impossibility of perfection—something Lou refers to as “the culpability of craft.”
Much less showy and, if not for the same medium, actually completely different, I am actually more drawn to Lou’s recent works. Minimalist and hauntingly beautiful, they appear to be Agnes Martin’s, or Ellsworth Kelly’s re-imagined as beaded canvases. And because of the beads there is a delicate, feminine sensibility to them. They walk the line between fine art and craft without needing to be one or the other. With them, Lou has fully embraced her method as meditation, placing process over content (although the final products are still pretty wonderful).
The controversial rendition of Richard Wagners Die Walküre is still at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for a couple more days. You may recognize scores from Die Walküre, or The Valkyrie from Apocalypse Now, or pretty much any scene from a movie where bombs are getting dropped. The interesting aspect of this otherwise ultra-dated opera is that, aside from the music and singing, everything about this performance is modern. Modern like all the props are made out of neon tubes. And most importantly, Placido Domingo, one of the two remaining Three Tenors, is the leading role.
We sent off Book 4 to the printers the other day, so we thought we’d give you a sneak peak of what we have in store for you. The above is a screen cap from an amazing collaboration between 26 artists from around the world. I don’t want to give away all the details for this project, but think of it as a Y2K version of one of the most classic art-based games. Confused? Good! Read on to see more behind-the-scenes tidbits….
Barcelona-based graphic designer Alex Trochut is one of the most innovative typographic artists we’ve ever seen. In his work, he takes all states of matter–– liquids, solids, gases–– and turns them into eye-catching type. His aesthetic style has been tapped by clients ranging from Nike to The Rolling Stones. For fans of sculpture, check out Alex’s Dalí-inspired collaboration with Xavier Mañosa, Skate Fails.
Get your hands on three different prints by the inimitable Alex Trochut, including Chains, Eggs, and Spaghetti at the newly relaunched B/D Shop. In addition to the posters, his art was featured on the cover of Issue T. The same issue features an interview and more full-color spreads of Alex’s work. In it, he had this to say of his design philosophy:
“I think there’s always to be a balance between your work and the time you are living, something you call ‘yours’ in your design and something that is ‘ours,’ as the work should be a reflection of our present moment, too, the cultures that surround us.” (Source)
To bring you all some holiday cheer we’re having a big holiday sale on all of our posters, books and magazines. Now you can get the work of Alex Trochut and other talented artists for a fraction of the price. Simply use promo code “beautifulposters” during check out and save 15% off everything on our shop!
Marco Mazzoni’s work softly drips with an exquisite ease of darkness. From blooming faces where birds gather to a rabbit draining with butterfly wings, each image surrealistically depicts folklore infused with spiritual healing properties that twist and twirl with our own imaginative connections to nature.
To elaborate, Jonathan Levine Gallery notes, “Mazzoni’s imagery references herbalist traditions and Sardinian folklore of mystical seductresses who enchant, curse and cure. His body of work is a tribute to the legacy of female healers throughout history. These women held an important role in medieval communities yet their ancient knowledge of the natural healing properties of medicinal plants was widely feared by the Church, viewed as witchcraft and cause for persecution.”
This weekend on Beautiful Decay we want to welcome you over to the dark side, where a vast amount of artists are churning out contemporary art fueled by the fire of Metal. A multitude of artists these days are making art inspired by the crushing sounds and dark spirit of Heavy Metal, Death Metal and Doom music, all of which weave in and out of several other genres.
I’ve been a huge fan for a while now of the work made by artists Skinner, Ben Venom and Martin Durazo, which are strongly informed by Heavy Metal. This past week after chatting with artist and Beautiful Decay owner, Amir H. Fallah and artist Skinner and reaching out on Facebook to learn more about artists tied into this music scene, I was turned onto a breadth of incredible artists. A lot of artists working with metal as inspiration have strong crossover into design and illustration, album art, posters (especially for the band Mastadon), band merch and murals. There’s also a strong genre of work that explores dark spiritual matter, mythology and death that is absolutely captivating. You can expect upcoming coverage of these sub-genres in coming weeks.