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Hassan Rahim’s The Air Above This Ground

Hassan Rahim lives and works in Los Angeles. He has just concluded a solo exhibition at HVW8 in L.A. entitled The Air Above This Ground. Rahim has a knack for transforming childhood memories into conceptual work that pays tribute to the past while relaying thoughts on the present and future. His photography, collage and mixed media pieces are heavily rooted in 90’s NBA nostalgia. Themes of fame, struggle, life and death are all explored with re-appropriated and combined imagery. From the press release: “…Conversant with pre-existing works–Rahim’s “The Big Three” owes as much to Wallace Berman’s “Untitled” (hand holding a cassette) as it does to Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman, and Scottie Pippen—his pieces build a bridge from art-historical zones to realms of culture that are usually entirely claimed by advertising.  There is a reclamation of imagery happening, the sports Hero comes back home to art. One is reminded of classical sculptures of discuss throwers, or of the fact that Nike was originally the Greek Goddess of Victory.”

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Rachael Yamagata’s back with a new EP, Heavyweight and a Fall Tour – I spoke with her recently about both.

Rachael Yamagata has been busy lately, she’s just about to release her new Heavyweight EP and has just embarked on a Fall Tour which will bring her back to Los Angeles next Tuesday, November 20th at the El Rey Theatre. I was lucky enough to talk with her briefly as she made her way to Vancouver for the first show of the tour.

“Sorry it’s so noisy, I’m sitting in the back of a van on the road.” Laughing, I said that I’m in an art gallery with construction going on… we make quite a pair (more laughter). She then asked me if we had met because my name sounded so familiar (oh how I wish I had the guts and split second timing to joke around and say that we had once dated). I told her that we had met at one of her past Hotel Cafe shows, but was also one of her Pledge Music supporters for Chesapeake (her last release). “That’s it! I even remember writing you a note – once I write a name down, it’s hard to forget.” Yup, she pretty much made my day. Moving on, she was excited that the first thing I brought up was the cover art for her new record. All her previous releases have photos of her, so I asked how she found the painting.

“I was just searching online and came across this artist named Jan Zoya. Her work had this feeling of sadness, nostalgia, and passion that I could relate to.” Her artist statement also made an impression. She told me it wasn’t easy though, apparently the artist didn’t believe who she was so it took a bit of going back and forth, “I finally just had to tweet at her saying, look this really is me and I’m trying to contact you.” That finally worked and now one of her paintings graces the cover with even more collaborations possible in the future. As for returning to Los Angeles, I had to mention that I always felt that she belonged to us. “I feel the same way.” She said she still has so many friends here and that it was really hard for her to move to Woodstock. As for the show, “I’m really excited to play the El Rey, I’m touring with strings this time around and really wanted to have seats to keep it intimate.” If you’re familiar with the El Rey, you know it’s usually standing room only.

If you’ve never seen her before, do yourself a favor and go to one of her upcoming shows. Her onstage banter and incredible voice makes her one of my favorite singer/songwriters. Tickets are still available for the El Rey show via Ticketmaster and you can also download a free mixtape from NoiseTrade. Also, don’t forget to buy her new EP, Heavyweight from her website. Thanks again to Rachael for taking the time to speak with me, it was a real pleasure.

Watch the video to her single Even If I Don’t after the jump.

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Documentary Watch: Ink & Paper


Ink & Paper is the tale of one of LA’s oldest letterpress printshops Aardvark Press and Los Angeles’ oldest artist paper distributor McManus & Morgan Paper.  These two shops were once part of the thriving printing community but with the advancement of cheap (and poor quality) digital presses and inferior low price paper they have lost the booming business that they once had. Hear how these two historic Los Angeles landmarks stay in business and help one another survive in this era of “Cheap Is Better” and If you’re in the Los Angeles area make sure to stop by and support them! Watch the full documentary by Ben Proudfoot after the jump!

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Trash awareness project in Japan

Garbage Art Work Project
Does making trash bags cuter motivate litter-bugs to responsibly chuck their burger wrappers and soda cans into the patiently waiting heads of bags donning the faces of cute little rabbits and Sesame’s Oscar the Grouch? Japanese designers at MAQ Studio have started a whole “movement” around “playing with trash” in order to address and bring attention to the waste problem and how it effects the environment. To really reduce waste though, wouldn’t it have been better to just use recyclable materials to substitute for the dilemma of accumulating all these bags and not being able to do anything with them? I dunno…what do you guys think? Could this be more effective in Japan than it would be here? This sort of reminds me of those Novelty Bras I had posted about before…

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The World Is Coming To An End

The performance group TRIIIBE (identical triplets) hit Wall Street with a guerrilla performance just as Wall Street banks prepare to pay year-end bonuses to top management at the same time asking for government bailouts, The three were dressed as businesswomen carrying briefcases overfilled with money while panhandling the public with tin cups. TRIIIBE set up in front of the New York Stock Exchange and the American International Building, home of the insurance giant AIG.

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Start The Holidays On The Right Foot- Launch Your Portfolio Site Today!


To celebrate the holidays our good friends at Made With Color want to offer Beautiful/Decay readers a special deal on their amazing website building platform.

Made With Color has a host of new designs to make your website look sleek and professional. Their service is custom built to help artists create well-designed and mobile/tablet responsive websites in a few minutes without having to touch a line of code.

To spread some extra holiday cheer they’re offering our readers a 29% discount on the first year of service! Simply sign up and use discount code “holidaycheer in the “My Account” section of the site and enter your credit card info to let the savings roll in!
This discount code is valid through December 31st so make sure to enter your credit card and discount code in before then to redeem the 29% discount!


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Shizuka Yokomizo Photographs Strangers Through The Window


For this 1998-2000 series of portraits, photographer Shizuka Yokomizo left anonymous letters on the doorsteps of random ground floor apartments with the message:

“Dear Stranger,
I am an artist working on a photographic project which involves people I do not know…. I would like to take a photograph of you standing in your front room from the street in the evening.”

These letters gave simple instructions for when the artist would come and take the photograph. The only contact she had with the subjects of these voyeur portraits was when Shizuka sent the subjects a print of the image and her contact info in case they didn’t want the photograph exhibited. (via sympathy for the art gallery)

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The World’s Largest Flower Parade Is A Surreal Feast For The Eyes

Corso Zundert- Dahlia Sculptures Corso Zundert- Dahlia Sculptures Corso Zundert- Dahlia Sculptures Corso Zundert- Dahlia Sculptures

Corso Zundert, the famous flower parade, takes place every September in Zundert, a small town on the Belgian border. Known as the world’s largest flower parade, participating districts work arduously to out-do the other competitors in creating the most wild and unique float possible. There is no set theme for the parade, but competitors must adhere to two parameters: their floats must be made entirely of dahlia flowers and be smaller than 20 by 10 meters. Included here are photographs of floats from this year and past years as well. With the huge crowds surrounding the floats you can really see just how immense and outrageous these structures really are.

Starting in 1936, Corso Zundert is an ongoing tradition within the Netherlands. Using an unimaginable number of dahlias, people painstakingly construct and adorn these gigantic floats. The twenty floats, once completed, make their way through the city, everyone hoping to win first place. For the 2014 parade the prize went to a horse-themed float called Horsepower. What would your float look like?

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