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B/D Best of 2010: X-Rated Legos

This is definitely not for the kids! These creations have a level of realism that almost replicate department store mannequins. At the same time the blocky-pixelation effect of lego pieces adds to the whole X-rated theme.

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CANSON WET PAINT GRANT RECIPIENT: Ryan De LA Hoz

The work of Ryan De La Hoz exists in a very particular world, a world comprised of hauntingly nostalgic paper cut outs and drawings that look like a spooky cartoon reduced to the absolute minimum of expression. Delicate flowers, leaves and skeleton gloves contrast with gaping holes filled with dizzying Op-Art to create a landscape that seems like Tim Burton got together with Henri Matisse to make their own paradise. The works are so simplified they leave it up to viewers to project their own narrative on the scene. We each have our own idea of where each ladder leads, and what is hiding behind those geodes and mounds of slime. The compositions are mysteriously devoid of humans, yet laced with the shadows of human characters. The gloves of skeleton costumes pepper many of his works, as if to signify not only death, but a human representation of death. Another common symbol used by De La Hoz is the ladder, one loaded with symbolism. Ladders leaning into a spiraling abyss, or simply leading to no where, bring to mind the question of where are we going and where have we been. While De La Hoz does have the tendency to appear Halloween-ish, with his frequent use of pointed witches’ hats, cob webs, skeletons and blobby mounds with gaping mouths, the work transcends the threat of kitsch in its minimalism and precision. We are drawn to wonder about the age old truths, about death and what is left behind, and about what is hidden and what is revealed.

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Biannual Subscription Sale Ends Tonight!

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Beautiful/Decay Book 5 is officially in the building and we’re stuffing subscriptions as we speak. You have until midnight tonight to take advantage of our Biannual subscription sale and save some cash on your favorite Art & Design Book Series.

For those of you who want to start your subscription with Book 4 we can send you both books. Just put a note in the comment box when you check out saying whether you want your subscription to start with book 4 or book 5. After midnight all subscriptions will begin automatically with book 5.

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Preview: Spacegrass, Group Show at Bloom Projects in NYC curated by Chris Bors

 

…These visions were frozen in a time capsule on Gallifrey, only to be unearthed when the time and relative dimension in space felt right. Opened in 2012, the images resembled paintings like Michael Bevilacqua’s layered chrome and black attack, Chris Bors’s post-pop pseudo-propaganda, David Humphrey’s surreal suburban wet dreams, Ketta Ioannidou’s chaotic spiraling vegetation, Todd James’s bright cartoons from our Id, Allison Schulnik’s luscious thick impasto, Aaron Zimmerman intricate fever dreams and Jeremiah Teipen’s psychedelic sexual video.

NYC artistic heavyweight Chris Bors curated Spacegrass, a group show at Bloom Projects in New York (95 East 7th Street, downstairs) opening September 8th. The exhibition features works from a couple B/D favs including Allison Schulnik, Todd James, and Aaron Zimmerman. Check out some preview shots after the jump.

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Fabio Tonetto

Fabio Tonetto has some pretty crazy illustrations where his cute characters look like they are made out muscle tissue or twisted veins. You can check out his flickr page as well.

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Guillermo Lorca Paints Eerie, Classically-Influenced Scenes That Symbolically Unpack The Human Psyche

Guillermo Lorca - Painting Guillermo Lorca - Painting Guillermo Lorca - Painting Guillermo Lorca - Painting

Guillermo Lorca is a Chilean artist who infuses Baroque- and Renaissance-influenced paintings with touches of surrealism, fantasy, and paranoia. In scenes of luxury and violence, bright-haired children wander around in the company of shadowy, mythical beasts. The classical style and carefully planned (and almost theatrical) compositions lend Lorca’s works an air of gravitas and serenity, but among his innocent and otherworldly characters are signs of deep trouble and impending chaos, such as smoke-filled skies, bloodied animal carcasses, and snarling dogs. Similar to the Flemish vanitas, his works are beautiful, symbolic visions that teeter on the verge of becoming nightmares of death and human excess.

The ambiguity that permeates from Lorca’s paintings allows him to tell stories through metaphor, thereby exploring the shape of the human soul. Just as fairy tales transmit their veiled messages across generations, his imagery can be unpacked to uncover layers of meaning. For example, there is savagery and madness in the dogs that demolish a pristine-white table setting into a mountain of blood and gore; there is obscenity and greed in the animal-headed clowns who topple over platters of uneaten meat; and the child sitting courageously in the burning field alludes to a loss of innocence. The beautiful thing about Lorca’s works, however, is that their immense detail and seductive atmosphere allows the viewer to extract his or her own meaning, one that resonates across time to masterfully portray symptoms of the human psyche and experience.

Visit Lorca’s website, Facebook page, and Instagram. Spanish-speaking readers can enjoy an interview with the artist here. (Via beautiful.bizarre)

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Photographer Guido Argentini Honors The Feminine With His Silver Nudes

Demeter and Persephone

Demeter and Persephone

Artemis

Artemis

Cassandra and Clytemnestra

Cassandra and Clytemnestra

Aglaea

Aglaea

Fluid, pliable, and sleek—Guido Argentini’s models are not only painted silver, they look to be made of the molten metal. In his series “Argentum,” Argentini has gathered over 100 of his images of women covered in shiny silver makeup, which he began shooting in 1995. The collection is printed in his book, also called Argentum, published by teNeues.

Evoking the luminous polished planes of the work of Brancusi and the verve of Degas’ ballet sketches, these photographs endow the human body with both the solidity of sculpture and the vivid energy of dance.

Using geometrical props Guido Argentini created a contrast between the human body and the archetypal forms of geometry: triangles, circles and squares.

The metallic full-body paint is reminiscent of Pussy Galore’s iconic murder scene in the 1964 James Bond movie Goldfinger, as well as more recent images such as Kim Kardashian’s photo spreads in W. In Argentini’s feminine images the silver paint is used as an effect toward an artistic goal, not as the point of the photo, which is why they’re successful and memorable. “The skin, covered with silver paint, becomes an even, shiny surface and the human figure becomes more abstract,” Argentini writes. Without the distraction of skin tone and pores and body hair, the eye is captured by the models’ elegance and athleticism, their strong, contorted bodies juxtaposed against simple forms. The metallic sheen also heightens the contrast between highlights and darkness; we’re captivated by their agility and the sensuality of light and shadow moving across their bodies. (Via Scene 360’s Illusion)

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Carly Waito is Crystal Clear

Carly Waito’s paintings are so crystal clear you have to look twice to make sure they’re not photos. They’re all oil paintings on panel and I’ve gotta say, this is one girl who has surely mastered her craft. She’s picked such interesting gems as subjects, and represents them flawlessly. I’m just as enamored with every new one I see as I was with the one before. She exhibits with Narwhal Art Projects in Toronto, Canada, if you’re lucky enough to be in the area, I’m sure they’re breathtaking in person. 

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