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Michelle Wasson

Love the brushwork in these semi-abstract still life paintings by Michelle Wasson. The mark making feels perfectly effortless but extremely precise.

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Emil Holmer

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I love Emil Holmer’s nutty bright colored graffiti jungles.If you happen to be in Berlin, on Friday, 12th of March 2010 from 6 to 9 p.m., Galerie Michael Janssen will be presenting a selection of his recent paintings.

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Bye Caitie!


Caitie, throughout your stay here at Beautiful/Decay, we have shared so many heavy and introspective philosophical conversations revolving around alien life, true paranormal ghost photos, and calorie counting. Who will I share my innermost feelings of awe and wonderment at the universe and its production of such things as… sodas? Is life really that strange and magical? From the bottom of all our hearts here at Beautiful/Decay (and in Ziggy’s case, his stomach) we’d like to wish you a big THANK YOU for all of your positive energy and hard work. We are really going to miss you (and in Ziggy’s case, your blue “lap top bag” aka his bed.) You’re officially in our intern superstar hall of fame.

Caitie is also an extremely talented illustrator- check out her bright & bold illustrations after the jump. They are all laced with Caitie’s characteristic sense of wit, style and irreverence. Check her portfolio, hire her, and keep an eye out for her because she is destined for great things!

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Wookjae Maeng’s Ghostly Ceramics Express The Relationship Between Man And Animal

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Wookjae Maeng is a Korean artist who works with ceramics, focusing on the relationships between man and animal. The ghostly pieces often resemble commemorative busts or mounted heads reminiscent of big game trophies (the kind you’d seen in a hunter’s den). Sometimes, works are painted to blend in with wall treatments or trendy decor.

I concentrate on art as a vehicle to communicate contemporary social and environmental problems to the viewer by stimulating, not just emotion, but sensibilities and memories,” Maeng writes. Stimulus is an important idea, and it’s used to evoke the viewer’s curiosity and to inspire them to figure the greater meaning of the work.

Maeng also explains why he chose to feature animals in his sculptures:

In our environment, numerous creatures live in harmony. Yet there are other creatures that merely exist without enjoying their natural right due to human classification and negligence. I would like to express the nature of the relationship between human and other creatures-a relationship that, in other to thrive, demands careful coexistence and balance between the urban and the natural, for example, and an awareness and empathy for less visible creatures. In my work I hope to provide an opportunity-however brief-for modern man to consider the realities of the environment in which he exists, even as he continues his daily existence indifferent to it. (Via Optically Addicted)


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Svetlana Karel Recreates Famous Paintings In Plasticine To Battle Depression

Svetlana Karelina - Plasticine Reproduction

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Svetlana Karel is a Ukranian artist who molds plasticine into old masterpieces. She works as an economist at the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy in Kiev, but finds her work uninspiring. Having gone through a divorce that sent her into intense depression, she used her creations to keep herself focused on something outside of her problems. Plasticine being an unconventional medium associated with child’s play, Karel hasn’t been received too enthusiastically in her local art community. She lies in the realm of outsider artist. At one point she tried to set up an exhibition, but was unable to get it off the ground. Although her artwork isn’t too popular, she is constantly creating.

Karel speaks about how she began creating her plasticine art:

“Once, about 9 years ago, while I was playing with my kids (I have 2 daughters) I found that plasticine really helped me to forget about my problems. I touched it, started to create something and, during this process, felt myself becoming calm. So then I started to make more and more figures from plasticine and place them in to a single picture. The result was unexpectedly successful, so I continued to create pictures on childish theme for my daughters.”

The style of her creations is beautiful and a bit naïve. The figures can seem extremely realistic, or a bit caricature-like. It creates a new perspective on artworks that you’ve already seen again and again. They becomes less epic, more approachable, and certainly unintimidating. Which of her works can you recognize? (Quote and artist via Lost at E Minor)

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10 Amusing Reenactments Of Romance Novel Covers Featuring Real People

Cosmopolitan - Romance Covers

1. Warrior’s Woman: In a universe at war, theirs was a love that burned hotter than a thousand suns.

Cosmopolitan - Romance Covers

2. Savage Thunder: Theirs was a passion that would never be tamed.

Cosmopolitan - Romance Covers

3. Enchant the Heavens: Their love would set the world on fire.

Cosmopolitan - Romance Covers

4. Gentle Rogue: She was meant to marry a king, but fate had other plans.

We’ve all seen them – those romance novels with the dramatic covers featuring love-struck ladies collapsing into the arms of a hyper-masculine heart-slayer, while some dramatic scene — such as a leaping horse, or surging ocean — occurs behind them. As fetishized and erotic as these images intend to be, most of them are quite silly in their portrayals of unrealistic desire and impossible bodily standards. As a response to this, Cosmopolitan magazine recently created a series where they playfully reenacted romance novel covers by inserting real people into the excessive, escapist scenarios; throughout the images, lovers pretend to collapse into beds of roses, and others are doused in water (simulating the seems-better-than-reality waterfall kiss). 

What is best about these remakes is that the participants are clearly indulging in the absurdity of the exotic scenes. Many of them appear to be suppressing laughter with their awkward, exaggerated embraces and pseudo-seduced expressions. While it may be fun sometimes to indulge in fantasies of being “swept away” by a phantasmal lover of cosmic erotic proportions, Cosmo’s series reminds us that such images are just that: fantasies. Real-life romance and desire (and the pleasures thereof) quite often derive from playfulness and openness — no vested swashbucklers, billowing hair, or voyeuristic unicorns needed.

Click here to see the original article. I’ve included the captions from the Cosmopolitan feature to add to the humorous effect. (Via Art Fucks Me).

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Bill Culbert’s Light Works

Bill Culbert’s work thoughtfully explores the perceptual interactions between light and the human eye. As a disciple of the mid-sixties British Experimentation movement, he utilizes discarded plastic goods and ready-made materials to construct the objects of his illumination. His photographs and sculptures have been exhibited over five decades, gaining wide recognition in New Zealand and Australia. He has been commissioned to do numerous public art works that emphasize light as a medium. Most recently. Culbert was included in a group show at Pace Wildenstein gallery along side some of the most well known light artists known today. Born in 1935 in Port Chalmers, New Zealand, he now lives between the South of France and London, England.

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Innocence Lost: Probal Rashid’s Striking Profile Of Underage Workers In Bangladesh

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Documentary portrait photographer Probal Rashid captures the dark side of labor in his recent series Innocence Lost. Profiling the underage workforce in Bangladesh, his candid snaps focus on children who must earn what little money they can in order to provide for their families. The jobs range from brick-chipping, construction and refuse collecting, and are all low-paid jobs. The minimum age for employment is 14 years of age, but because a majority of the work is carried out in small factories, workshops and on the street, laws and guidelines are almost impossible to enforce. This means that some labor is even unpaid. Rashid explains more about the situation:

Children are paid less than adults, with many working up to twelve hours a day. Full-time work frequently prevents children from attending school. Long hours, low or no wages, poor food, isolation and hazards in the working environment can severely affect children’s physical and mental health. (Source)

The portraits of the children are simple, stark and striking images situated in their place of work. Surrounded by the objects they manufacture, you can get an accurate sense of just how long the children labor away for. All framed similarly, and as close ups, the hardships they experience are evident in their faces.

Rashid is a long time advocate of the people of Bangladesh, India, and Nepal. He captures the unspoken side of local life, spirituality and economy in those countries. His past series include Faces In Black Oxide (a further exploration into the workforce, this time in the iron oxide manufacturing industry); Life, Death and Salvation in Varanasi (about the pilgrimage to the Ganges); and Faces of Climate Survivors (portraits of some of the 154 million Bangladeshi who have been affected by natural disasters between 1990 and 2009).

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