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Prosthetic Limbs as Art: Sophie de Oliveira Barata’s Alternative Limb Project

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Sophie de Oliveira Barata’s Alternative Limb Project applies an artistic approach to prosthetic limb design, seeking to create unique and personalized prosthetic limbs for amputees. With her degree in Special Effects Prosthetics for film and television from London Arts University and 8 years of work for prosthetic providers creating realistic limbs, de Oliveira Barata has now established her own studio working as a specialist consultant alongside prosthetists to create alternative prosthetic effects with direct input from clients. She also collaborates with other artists – designers, laser-cutters, metal, plastic, and wood workers – in order to maximize the potential for a unique prosthetic. In addition to her “surreal” and “unreal” prosthetic designs, she is also highly skilled in crafting realistic looking limbs.

The experience of losing a limb, often under intense and strenuous circumstances, can be alienating and disempowering. Through her work, de Oliveira Barata offers a creative form of empowerment, one that is both functional and fashionable.

“Generally the whole technology is moving towards trying to recapture a lifelike limb that looks realistic and also acts realistic in motion,” says de Oliveira Barata. “In this instance I’m doing the complete opposite and I think it does capture that whole childlike imagination — it’s like being a superhero with super powers.”

“It’s drawing attention to their disability in a positive way…Rather than people seeing what’s missing, it’s about what they’ve got…Having an alternative limb is about claiming control and saying ‘I’m an individual and this reflects who I am.'” (via cnn)

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Images Of People Owning Their “Awkward Years” Photos

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I know it wasn’t easy for you.  That is, those inevitable years, often landing around middle school, when we all seem to exude an uncontrollable weirdness.  While doing our best making our way through that awkward phase, it often seems like it’ll never pass.  However, designer Merilee Allred offers proof that it does indeed pass.  Her Awkward Years Project captures not-so-award looking people showing off their awkward years photos.  While the project does illustrate that us nerds, geeks, freaks, fashion illiterate, and all around weirdos do pull out of it, it points out something more important: when it seems like no one will go easy on you, perhaps especially when things seem this way, own it.

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Ian Larson

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Ian Larson’s works are incredibly congested with raw, dirty, crude energy. I almost feel too shy to really observe his paintings. The way Ian paints so thickly onto his canvas, almost has these exposed, and humping characters pop out of their environments in an attempt to keep you from looking away. Definitely attention grabbing.

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Beautiful/Decay Issue: 1 update

Hi Everyone,

A few weeks back we announced the new format of Beautiful/Decay. It’s been great getting all the positive feedback and support from all of you. Within the first week we received over 300 new and renewed subscriptions!

We have 2 months until or first issue comes out and I wanted to urge all of those who want to get a copy of the magazine to subscribe as it’s looking like we will sell out of subscriptions within the next month. This means that issues will not be available on newsstands and only a handful of stores internationally will have copies.

If you aren’t familiar with our new direction you can read about it HERE

And to subscribe you can go HERE

The new issue is by far our best, especially the cover which will be adorned by hand drawn art by Kyle Thomas. Yes that means every single copy of Beautiful/Decay issue: 1 will be a one of a kind, unique item!

-Amir

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Experimental Typography and Fruits collide in Typefruitography

Typefruitography is a series by Garret Steider of the letters of the alphabet carved into the item of food that it corresponds to.The result is a playful take on typography and a gorgeous series of posters that any type nerd would be proud of. (via colllater.al)

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Brooklyn Brown has “A Machine Frame of Mind”

Brooklyn Brown’s “A Machine Frame of Mind” is a project that investigates the evolving relationship between machines and humans. In a near-distant future (and really in our current present), machines and humans will hold conversations, relationships, and (of course) look at each other. As just one part of her extensive series of projects centered around computer vision, Brown created “Do You Want To Be Recognized”, a series of portraits that explore a potential for the development of trends that include accessories and make up that allow us to be tracked and recognized better by machines.

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Billboard Abstraction

BRANISLAV KROPILAK billboard photographs

Beautiful billboard photographs by Branislav Kropilak.

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Magic For Beginners @ P.P.O.W

Historically, the formulas of Modernism have lent themselves to the imposition of structures on nature.   Utilizing an economy of means, or a paring down of form, some artists have drawn attention to the processes and materials that they employ in order to comment on limitations inherent in human observation and experience.  The impossibility of this search for certainty is prescient in a world rife with unforeseen technological advances and consequences.  From Kurzweilian “singularities” to the embrace of dystopic or parallel hyper-realities, many artists today use Modernist tropes to draft odes to possible futures.

In the face of such infinitely malleable destinies, the ten artists selected for this exhibition remain undaunted.  In bold, minimal and idiosyncratic terms, they propose new, decidedly un-grandiose, vernaculars through various mediums such as video, photography, and sculpture.  Their works concern themselves with an intensely personal present tense, with lives lived and documented in real time.  These works are inward, solipsistic, and in some instances, similar to an occult experience or an exercise in ritualized revelation.  The art object is often left over from actions performed in service of an impossible quest, or crafted in playful celebration of it.  These artists seem to exist in cultural peripheries, lobbing ruminations out of left fields, revealing epistemological truths—truths that have little or nothing to do with changing the world.

Featuring: Bas Jan Ader, Olaf Breuning, Jennifer Cohen, Scott Hug Kevin Lips, Niall McClelland, Jesse McLean, Kristie Muller, Rbt. Sps., Brent Stewart
July 28 – August 26, 2011 | Opening Reception: Thursday, July 28, 6-8pm
P.P.O.W.
535 West 22nd Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10011

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