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HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

All of us at Beautiful/Decay would like to wish all of our readers and supports a happy thanksgiving full of food, fun and good times with family and friends. We’re taking the day off from blogging but if you must have your art fix check out some of our favorite all time posts HERE, HERE and HERE. Also keep an eye out for our Cyber Monday sale that will bring you big savings on all your favorite Beautiful/Decay books and products just in time for the holiday season.

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Chris Jordan and Laura Ball

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The Kopeikin Gallery

Chris Jordan: “Running The Numbers… Again”

Laura Ball: “Boundary of the Interior”

September 12th through October 17th, 2009

Opening Reception: Saturday, September 12th from 6:00 – 9:00

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Vintage Board Games from the Soviet Union

Retronaut recently posted a gallery of early Soviet-era Russian board game designs and illustrations. The images seem to be taken from a LiveJournal user by the name of babs71. You’ll find some seriously gorgeous propaganda here. The vintage illustrations depict workers young and old, soldiers bravely entering battle to defend the Motherland,and some nicely stylized industrial complexes. Find more hammer and sickle goodness after the jump.

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Lori Nix’s Photographs Of Danger And Disaster Are Actually Miniature Worlds Painstakingly Made By Hand

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In her ongoing series “The City,” photographer Lori Nix creates incredibly detailed scenes by hand in miniature, then photographs them. The result is an amazing collection forecasting scenes of danger and disaster. The pictures share some commonalities with Matthew Christopher’s “Abandoned America,” recently covered on b/d, but instead of finding places that have been left behind, Nix constructs them.

“In my newest body of work ‘The City’ I have imagined a city of our future, where something either natural or as the result of mankind, has emptied the city of it’s human inhabitants. Art museums, Broadway theaters, laundromats and bars no longer function. The walls are deteriorating, the ceilings are falling in, the structures barely stand, yet Mother Nature is slowly taking them over. These spaces are filled with flora, fauna and insects, reclaiming what was theirs before man’s encroachment. I am afraid of what the future holds if we do not change our ways regarding the climate, but at the same time I am fascinated by what a changing world can bring.”

The images are classically composed, with a balance of color and space. Even once the viewer is told that these are dioramas, it’s difficult to believe. The intricate details, realistic lighting, and cohesive scale make them absolutely lifelike.

“My scenes can be as small as 50×60 centimeters and as large as 182 centimeters in diameter. It takes approximately seven months to build and photograph a scene. I build it for one angle of view and never move my camera from that spot. I will change the lighting, the placement of the objects and re-shoot until I’m fully satisfied with the results.”

Nix’s apocalyptic visions are both familiar and fantastic. She presents a world on a tabletop that is beautiful and alarming.

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Rana Begum’s Shifting Perspective Geometric Sculptures

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The first quality one may see in the brightly-colored, bent steel pieces by Rana Begum is the potential to shift based on perspective. From one angle, viewers will be confronted by a flat, monochromatic shape jutting from the wall, while another view offers more intricate geometric patterns spreading across several pieces. This is the legacy of Sol Lewitt, Donald Judd or Agnes Martin – to take the simplest shapes and through color, form and collection, imbue them with complexity and depth. As Begum explains, “Its so beautiful the way the simple form and shape can be repeated to create a space like that”

Though Begum lists these more modern artists as influences, the Bangladeshi-born, London-based artist also explains that the Aniconism (belief in avoiding/outlawing representations of divine beings, prophets or any human beings in religious imagery) traditions of Islam were equally influential. This tradition was responsible for the exquisite geometric and intensely detailed works seen in classical Islamic architecture, a connection which is apparent in Begum’s deceptively simple works.  “For me, architecture evokes memories of reading the Quran as a child in a mosque in Bangladesh,” said Begum in an interview with Surface Magazine’s Marina Cashdan, “which was bare, simple, and had a lot of light coming in through the windows.”  This shifting imagery can be seen in her works, where repetition and simplistic elements collectively offer complexity.

Begum’s most recent works often uses paint on Origami-like, bent mild steel and powder-coated aluminum, but she has also begun using brass and copper as a base for her wall sculptures. “[They are] materials I spent a long time researching and I’m excited to use them for this show,” she says. “They bring an extra dimension to the works” (via wallpaper* and surface)

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So Unreal

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New video by Jon Clark and Spencer Longo for Los Angeles band LA Vampires’ (in collab with Matrix Metals) catchy number “So Unreal” combines all the things I love most about 80s/90s video aesthetics: head wraps, odd mystic paraphernalia, soft glows, and of course a healthy helping of neon. Jon and Spencer sacrificed their living room to set up this dark lair for a whole month! Spencer Longo currently has an installation up at the Pacific Design Center as a part of MAN, SUCH AS WE KNOW HIM, IS A COMPUTER. Jon is currently working on completing a 30 minute short called ‘Spectrum Hunter’. Watch the full video after the jump.

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Natural gas commercial by Lovo Films

It seems Los Angeles has finally decided to warm up to us and the heat is slowly but surely attacking our foggy lovable city. I was trying to find something to post here that would welcome the heat wave back in LA after months of rain and freezing cold nights. Although this commercial is obviously targeting the concept of using natural gas in “winter”, I feel like if I could describe the heat in LA right now, would be a wool covered house.

The commercial is made by Lovo Films, a company that operates in Europe. They are known for making great commercials for companies like Belgacom, Coca-Cola, Telenet, Yamaha, TDK, Mio, McDonald’s, Gordon Beer, Center Parcs, Renault and Seat. They also have a “making of video” of this awesome commercial.

Now get ready to welcome the heat of Los Angeles with open arms~! HA!

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New(ish) Work from Minimalistic, Idiosyncratic Dutch Artist Parra

Let’s check in with Dutch artist/designer/illustrator mogul Parra for a second. What’s that dude been up to lately (besides a show at SFMOMA)? Well, looks like he’s still killin’ it with his idiosyncratic minimalistic style. Birds, babes, food, and his signature palette still in full force- good to know he’s not slowing down. His style has always had an element of vintage 70s illustration, but not that of this planet. If you’re craving some Parra imagery for your own consumption and can’t afford a limited run print or sculpture, you can head over to his clothing/design company and score somethign there.

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