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Benjamin Edmiston

The Escape

Artist Benjamin Edmiston lives & works in Brooklyn, NY and he’s just opened an exhibit on July 2nd at the Infantree Gallery in Lancaster, PA. He produces paintings, drawings, and prints that, according to the artist, “recalls for me the tension of an early, crude Mickey Mouse cartoon, or a misplaced folk sculpture standing eerily on a dusty shelf,” and I’d have to agree.

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Death Goat!

when I was a kid I used to love to collect comic books. I would buy stacks of them and read them obsessively. I always wanted to start a comic book company but B/D was as close as I ever got. The best part about comic books are the covers so we slaved away on creating our own unique cover complete with our very own super hero, the Death Goat.  He’s one bad motha who punishes all in his way with one blow to the head with his might crowbar.  Get the Death Goat shirt and join the Cult Of Decay. Together we’ll punish all those in our way!

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Save 50% on Last Minute Holiday Shopping With B/D!

To celebrate the holiday season and get ready for 2013 we are having a massive 50% off sale on all books, magazines, shirts, and accessories on the B/D shop from now until January 2nd 2013. All US orders placed by January 20th will be shipped out US Priority Mail and will arrive before Christmas. Just use DISCOUNT CODE: CREATIVE50 during check out and give the gift of creativity and artistic expression this holiday season!

 

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Spooky Portraits Capture Death And Ecstasy

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Through careful manipulation, Silvia Grav‘s ethereal black and white images capture a psychological realm where death and fear lurk around each corner, a world beyond the material where rich blacks and blinding white tones evoke a heightened anxiety and ecstasy. In her spooky portraits, the self is blurred by smoke and transparency, as if transported from the page by some unknowable force.

As with the works of the prolific photographer Francesca Woodman, Grav’s images are often set against the backdrop of the domestic space. The house, associated symbolically with the female, is no longer seen as safe or comforting; deteriorated walls and filthy floors cannot protect or contain inhabitants, and a woman rises ghostly towards a lit window. In another eerie image, the sleeping female is disturbed in sleep, her delicate floral bedding overcast by a foreboding shadow whose presence forces her to cover her breast and frightfully clasp at her back. Later, she is shown to be levitating, reaching out for the comforts of her mattress.

Within the terror of the images lies a sort of ecstasy, a dreamy surrender to instability and fright. The woman subject, surrounded by smoke clouds that seem to melt away her flesh, clasps her skeleton hands in rapturous prayer. Her nighttime slumber is seen in mysterious light, and she basks in its warmth, seeming to wriggle with delirium so that the majority of her body is pulled out of the frame.

The impressive work seems to invoke the memory of troubled women artists who came before. In one poignant image, the artist seems to mirror the famous profile portrait of Virginia Woolf by the photographer George Charles Beresford, down to the dark, pulled-back hair, the white blouse, and the ominous shadow below the eye. Contributing to the dialogue on femininity and mortality began by the likes of Woodman and Woolf, Grav adds a unique and potent modern voice. (via Colossal)

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Antti Uotila

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Ahh, Scandinavia. Bow down to the golden kings of design! Simple, quirky, funny work by Antti Uotila.

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Mel Davis’ Begin Here

Berkeley based artist Mel Davis has just opened her latest exhibition at Eleanor Harwood Gallery entitled Begin Here. From the press release: “With these new paintings, Mel Davis explores the polarities between the natural and the allegorical, the decorative and the expressive, the representational and the gestural. She is engaged in a conversation that exists between these states, measuring the gaps between thought and language, trying to expand on her diverse visual vocabulary. Integral in Davis’s new paintings is the notion of foliage as a connecting thread, both pictorial and metaphorical, describing a taut emotional and private landscape that illustrates the potency of variation. The works are engaged in a simple pared down composition but push an expansive, dramatic and romantic use of language. Always with the goal of achieving visual pleasure, the paintings are calculations of light shifts, the space that trees occupy, the reverie that happens when looking out a window, reminding us of our fragile coexistence with the natural world and its everlasting powers.” The show is on view through April 27th, 2013.

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Daniel Zvereff’s Stunning Photographs Of The Arctic Come In Unexpected Hues Of Violet,Red And Blue

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Discontinued film stock has become an obsession amongst fine art photographers, and pretty much everyone else (at least the imitation of it even–think instagram filters). New York-based photographer Daniel Zvereff is no exception. In one of his recent series, Introspective,  Zvereff uses some of the last remaining supply of expired Kodak Aerochrome film in 120 format and takes it to the Arctic–a place as endangered as the film itself.

A travel journalist and photographer, Zvereff looks for the picturesque and the mundane- a good mixture of the two brings forth an interesting and stunning collection of photographs from all over the world- including the ones found here, which were taken in very remote parts of the Arctic.

The usage of the expired film showcases brilliantly unusual but beautifully colored mountains, graveyards, and highways in the brief, verdant Arctic summer are stained in otherworldly pinks and purples.

The now discontinued Aerochrome, was originally developed for the military to help them detect camouflage from helicopters: It responds the chlorophyll in plants and reverses green colors into lavenders and magentas and browns into deep blues.

“The Arctic will essentially be the next frontier for mining natural resources, and with a warming climate it’s safe to say it will soon be transformed as we know it, forever, It only seemed appropriate to photograph its incredible natural beauty using a film that is no longer in existence.”

(via FastCompany)

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Maggie West Captures The Tenderness And Eroticism Of Kissing

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Kissing is an act of intimacy that has been iconically portrayed throughout art history — take the sculptural power of Auguste Rodin’s The Kiss, for example, or Gustav Klimt’s own interpretation of the erotic gesture at the dawn of modernism. Fast forward over a century later, and photographer Maggie West has revisited this tradition with her own contemporary style. Described as “dreamy” and “hallucinatory,” West’s debut book KISS is a sensual photo diary of LA-based artists. Dripping in a haze of neon eroticism, the gentle lovers in West’s photos embrace and engage each other with intense intimacy. In a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, West explains the concept and creation of KISS:

By placing a common activity in such a dreamlike setting, I wanted the readers to reexamine the energy and intimacy taking place each time a couple embraces each other. Through the color choices and extreme close up angles, I hope that the viewer can appreciate specific aspects of a kiss that they may not have otherwise noticed.

[…]  One of the objectives of the book was to examine the dynamic between a variety of relationships — not just established couples.  Some couples had been dating for years, some were just friends, some barely knew each other, etc.

Initially everyone, no matter their relationship, was a little nervous.  However, kissing is such a physical act that within a few minutes the models were so engrossed in each other that they seemed to forget they were being photographed.

Most of the models were chosen from among West’s friends who she knew in the LA community — “models, musicians, artists, porn stars, dancers” and more make up the group. Portraying the kiss as an act that knows no distinctions of identity or lifestyle preferences, KISS features a variety of ethnicities and sexualities, celebrating diversity and the fluid nature of attraction, desire, and love. “The kiss is a beautiful exchange regardless of the relationship,” West writes. And this is what KISS allows us to focus on: the gentleness of the moment, the tantalizing hesitation, and the oscillation of desiring energy and tenderness that makes kissing one of the most powerful ways to connect both flesh and heart.

KISS features a foreward by artist and journalist Hannah Stouffer. The launch party for the book is taking place on the rooftop of The Ace Hotel in Los Angeles on June 14th at 8pm. Visit West’s website, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to view more of her work. (Via Juxtapoz)

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