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The Gruesome Artwork Of Sarah Best Will Give You Goosebumps

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The artist Sarah Best creates astounding replicas of the female body, using it as a symbol that tracks the human desire for connection and intimacy; severed from the rest of the body, her sculpted hands and a cut-out collaged breasts take on a life of their own, worming their way up walls and pages and sometimes tracking blood in the process. The work, though sometimes gruesome, maintains a pulsating beauty; as if with clear intentions, her vital sculptures navigate space, dangling from hooks and exploring piles of cloth.

From both a feminist and an aesthetic standpoint, Best’s work operates in a miraculous, subversive manner; the feminist philosopher Susan Bordo, for example, writes that the body, coded female, is often seen as passive and lacking in intellect, explaining that therefore the body alone has the power to challenge those sexist ideas. Positioning parts of the body within cubistic collages and arresting installations, Best allows it to transcend societal definitions. Rather than figuring as part of a whole to be admired and objectified, limbs actively seek out understanding of the outside world, touching and feeling everything in their paths.

Wonderfully vulnerable yet undeniably powerful, female arm bears Christ-like stigmata, and the physical body searches for spiritual meaning. The oppressive boundaries between the corporeal self— too often considered to be unintelligent, immoral, and “feminine—” and the elevated metaphysical self are effectively shattered, and a new kind of humanity begins to emerge, one to which we can all relate, one that is beautifully desirous, yearning, and sometimes lonesome.

I got the amazing chance to speak with Best, and when I asked what advice she’d give to aspiring artists, she simply said, “Keep your integrity. You will only count, for yourself and in your art, to the extend that you keep your integrity.” Take a look.

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Architectural 70’s Wonder by William Hirsch

 

I absolutely love this house, designed by William Hirsch for art director John Holmes, (no, not that John Holmes!) most famous for his original cover art for “Jaws.” Their home is comprised entirely of salvaged, hodge podge reclaimed building materials, making it a sort of living, breathing, thrift store turned frankenstein-like architectural collage. Ah, the free-wheeling spirit of the 70s that kicks modernism’s dutch-minimalist-eames-clean line-stainless steel-white cube’s ass!

 

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▲L N Y▲’s Hatched World

I’ve said it a million times but  I’m always blown away by the talented artists we have in the Beautiful/Decay community. I discovered Alnya’s work while going through the B/D Creative Pic Pool on Flickr and fell in love with the rich textures and shadow Alnya creates with hatching and stippling. This work is serious!!!

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Zach Johnsen

Coffee Break

Zach Johnsen‘s use of graphite and watercolor in his work such as Coffee Break, and many other pieces, is what really attracts me to his work.  I like how he doesn’t use the watercolors in the most traditional style. The watercolor and graphite work well together and individually, and his subjects plus style just make me want to study all the details of his different pieces. Zach Johnsen also has a really interesting style and way of working because he uses coffee as a medium in a lot of his pieces which give them a really unique look and makes him stand out as a artist.

 

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Photos Of BP Oil Spill

bp oil spill photoos

The Boston Globe has been posting a great collection of photographs from the disasterous BP oil spill. While these images are beautifully taken they are constant reminders of our greedy need for more oil and our relentless desire to make a profit with disregard to how our actions will effect our future.  More images after the jump.

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Former Fleet Foxes Drummer, Josh Tillman aka Father John Misty

Father John Misty performing at the FYF Fest August 2, 2012

Father John Misty, aka Josh Tillman left Fleet Foxes in January of 2012 to the disbelief of many fans, myself included. I personally thought he was crazy, I mean he’s been releasing excellent solo albums as J. Tilllman for years, but why would he leave such a successful band like Fleet Foxes? When I first heard his new record Fear Fun under the moniker Father John Misty, I knew why. The album which he produced with Jonathan Wilson is amazing from start to finish and is definitely one of my favorite records of the year. He for one has always stated that he was just a hired hand for Fleet Foxes and just learned the drum parts for their songs.

With his dry sense of humor and imposing stage presence, he stole the show from many an act he was performing with, he definitely stole the show at FYF Fest 2012. I remember Kevin Bronson from Buzz Bands LA telling me after his performance, “he’s like Dean Martin“, which I thought was a perfect compliment. The singer is just hilarious and can rival many a stand-up comic with his quick witted comebacks to any fan that makes a comment out loud while he’s performing.

His humor also extends to his website calling his upcoming tour dates, “Opportunities to Capture Cell Phone Footage of a Live Rock Show You Went To”. Yes, he’s heading back on the road in 2013 with some headline dates as well as support for The Walkmen, before heading to Australia. Tickets are available for all shows including his last show of the year on Dec. 29th at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles via Ticketmaster.

Also check out his video for “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” which his website describes as the following, “In this 3 hour experimental film, Aubrey Plaza reprises her career-defining role as Duncan Splays, a retired bounty-hunter and casual naturalist.”

 

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James Blagden

James Blagden

Brooklyn artist James Blagden isn’t worried about offending you with racial stereotypes. Or rather the aim is to offend to get the point across. Fusing together a myriad of influences and topics found in African American popular culture, the artist pokes fun at the ideas and images we accept on a regular broadcasted basis. Whatever the common conception, the nerdiness of Asians in mainstream cinema, African Americans and basketball, gold teeth and bling, he’s done it all. Check out an interview Format Mag did on James.

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Karl Persson’s Grotesque Paintings Explore The Darkest Corners Of The Human Mind

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The work of painter Karl Persson is not for the faint of heart; his horrific scenes, rendered with hyperrealistic precision, examine the darkest and more cannibalistic impulses of the human mind. Envisioned in an aesthetic evocative of the work of horror artist Chet Zar or tattoo artist Paul Booth, Persson’s unique hellscape is wrought with sexual tension, desire, and yearning.

Through Persson’s frightful lens, the human creature becomes base and animalistic; overtaken by the sheer fact of appetite, a mouth erupts from the gut of a dead chicken, its head cruelly severed and skin raised, revealing grotesque goosebumps in lieu of downy feathers. Again, a set of carnivorous teeth slice open the entire face of a baby, who kicks and thrashes about with eating utensils in hand; with his umbilical cord only just severed, the monstrous being is never satiated and still demands more. Persson’s self portrait imagines the artistic impulse as equally cruel, presenting the artist as cannibalizing his own form in service of a ravenous creative hunger.

Within this grotesque sexual and gluttonous thirst, there are moments of beauty to be unearthed. The Kiss imagines a pair of slimy insects making bestial love with their pointy, bloody legs, stabbing one another in the process; though repulsive, their slick, glinting feelers are also magnetic and alluring, their lusty movements brought to life and crystalized forever in dreamy pinks and purples.

The work is also not entirely without innocence; in this cruel vampiric world, a fetal rat lies dead and gutted. In a stunning reversal, those that we label as “vermin” become soft, delicate babes, whereas the human is revealed to be savage and cruel. Within this piteous creature, ripped fatally from the womb, we might rediscover the all-too-rare feelings of compassion and heartbreak. Have we, as humans, descended too far into our own brutal greed, or might we return to a state of virtue and empathy? Take a look. (via TrendHunter and Mongolian Art)

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