João Ruas is a Brazilian visual artist who paints esoteric scenes of ghostly bodies and mysterious symbols. Each image appears to be filled with a chiaroscuro-like fog that dissolves form into shadow. Recurring motifs include animal skulls, red tattoos, and medieval weapons that drift amongst hooded figures and undead dogs. There is a sense of arcane mythology mixed with everyday banality, for intermingling with strange and ancient-looking objects are scissors, helmets, and electrical cords.
By unfolding layers of time and myth, Ruas’ paintings emit a deep emotional timbre, unsettling the soul with their dark scenes. A boy with what appears to be animal ears growing down his face evokes something akin to despair and alienation, while a blindfolded woman on the back of a red horse (a reference to Lady Godiva) emanates with vulnerability, fear, and strength. With mystifying combinations of symbols, Ruas’ paintings function like open tomes that can be inscribed with the viewer’s own imagination and spiritual significance.
To celebrate the launch of our brand new shiny Beautiful/Decay apparel website, we teamed up with one of our favorite shirt websites, Shirts on Sale! Eden herself has done a lovely job writing up the event at SoS here, but let me recap for ya.
Upload a photo of you wearing a B/D shirt to our brand new B/D community flickr pool, and if we like the photo, we upload it to our Community section and send you another B/D shirt, free of charge- just our way of saying thanks for being involved with beautifuldecayapparel.com and being a loyal fan! Deadline: February 20th. (If you miss the deadline, feel free to continue using our Flickr pool and we’ll still give you your five seconds of fame in our community gallery.)
Shirts on Sale also devised a way to hook their loyal readers up with shirts for free- just submit your best artork representing your love for SoS, and they’ll foot the bill for a free t-shirt as well!
Hope to see all of your shiny faces in our community section in the future.
As part of our ongoing partnership with Feature Shoot, Beautiful/Decay is sharing an article about photographer Deborah Bay.
I began thinking about The Big Bang after seeing a sales display of bullet-proof plexiglas with projectiles embedded in it. The plexiglas captured the fragmentation of the bullets and provided a visual record of the energy released on impact. In deciding to explore this concept further, I also was intrigued by the psychological tension created between the jewel-like beauty and the inherent destructiveness of the fragmented projectiles. Many of the images resemble exploding galaxies, and visions of intergalactic bling sublimate the horror of bullets meeting muscle and bone.—Deborah Bay
Houston-based photographer Deborah Bay gives us that interesting mix of creating a beautiful visual to comment on a darker issue. The Big Bang addresses the steadfast affection America has for its firearms. The topic is especially relevant for the native Texan, who lives in a state that has an estimated 51 million firearms. The images were made in Bay’s studio after law enforcement professionals from the Public Safety Institute of Houston Community College shot at sheets of plexiglass.
Nick Blinko is considered an outsider artist. He also leads the relic punk band Rudimentary Peni. No one knows much about him other than a few smapshots of him and a few documents recording the time he spent in a psychiatric ward as a youth. subsequently, he believes that the anti-psychotics prescribed to him obstruct his creative impulses and spends long periods off of his medication, recording and creating detailed compositions of faces, coffins, figures, handwritten notes. I think appreciating his work helps if you are familiar with his music too. Surprise! he never made a website either.
French artist Marie Blanchard draws nice illustrations with what appear to be markers (I can’t tell as the site is in French). I like how minimal they are; she really explores just how little can be in an illustration and still have it be a legitimate piece. She also runs a book imprint called Shining Books, which recently published her latest book, entitled Echoes.