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Nádia Maria’s Hauntingly Beautiful Melancholic Photographs

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Brazilian photographer Nádia Maria creates melancholic, visceral and nostalgic photography that resonates with her private life struggles and universal themes that are familiar to all, amongst them- anxiety, depression, confusion, and so on. The dark aesthetic of these photographs are not to be taken lightly. Contemplating about these will bring discomfort and unwanted past painful memories…it happened to me. However, Maria’s work is so hauntingly beautiful that can just can’t look away.

“It’s all about experiments, games and involvement with the camera, with the image, the feelings, with ourselves.”

‘Vacuum’ and ‘Perfume’ are the names of the two series of photographs that are shown here. Maria’s series ‘Vacuum’ was inspired by constant wars insides herself (and humanity in general). She brilliantly captures the essence of deep nostalgia and sadness, and eternal yearning for something more, or something different. Its darkness is not to be confused with complete destruction and agony, as her subtle feminine, delicate characteristics take on and leave us feeling hopeful. Similarly, ‘Perfume’ visualizes Maria’s mental state (post-partum depression) after having her first son. “It was a phase of deconstruction and transformation”, she says. (via IGNANT)

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Mickael Jou Combines Photography And Dance To Defy Laws Of Gravity And Levitate Through The Air

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The intensity and electricity in Mickael Jou’s photography can only be matched by his equally immaculate dancing skills. In his series Air Through my Ashes, Jou captures the precise positions of his dance through the lens of a camera. Each movement, leap, and bend is shown being done not on a stage, but through city streets, in breathtaking nature, and even in a grocery store. Jou, now living in Berlin, was trained as a dancer, and started out dancing through the streets of Paris. He got the idea to photograph himself after so many tourists began taking pictures of him as he danced. He then taught himself how to use a camera and turned his dancing into frozen moments in time where he can levitate and defy gravity.

Jou’s dance positions are turned into still statues that pulsate with energy in each photograph. The incredible scenery of the images is almost as breathtaking as Jou’s suspension in mid air. The series has a kind of magic to it that transports the viewer into a world where your feet never need to touch the ground. What makes each composition so dynamic is not only the sheer power felt in the dancer’s stance, but also the addition of a scarf in the dance movements. This scarf that often appears adds color and balance to the rhythm of each photograph as it floats alongside this multi-talented dancer. Jou combines these two art forms harmoniously to create ethereal and graceful photographs. He explains how using these two mediums further his creative vision and expression:

My self-portraits help me express the emotions that I feel while dancing. Dance is a very powerful art form, and I try to translate my emotions into my photography.

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Geekiest Tattoos of All Time

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Not exactly “art” persay, but I wanted to share this article Huffington Post recently put together of the “geekiest tattoos of all time” featuring inks of hourglasses to Bill Gates. While I admit to being a lover and not a fighter of technology, some of these tats might be crossing my limit. Some of them are actually kind of clever though. What do you guys think? Ps, does anyone know of a good antonym for “Luddite”?

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B/D Apparel at Agenda Tradeshow January 22nd-24th

Twice a year the entire streetwear/action sports community converges in San Diego for the ASR trade show. Each year ASR becomes more water downed than the next attracting cheesy corporate lines created to make a quick buck and outdated swim suit lines.

Fortunately the Agenda trade show has been making headway in San Diego over the last 5 years, growing its impressive line up of brands with each show. Championing the independent, DIY spirit of the brands which the action sport/streetwear community was built on, a diverse group of brands such as Incase, The Hundreds, Imaginary Foundation, 10 Deep and of course Beautiful/Decay will be exhibiting.

Agenda will once again take place at the San Diego Concourse from January 22nd-24th.
Stop by our booth and get a preview of our Spring and Summer 09 line.

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Goat Helper on Friday!

Have you found yourself in a dark wood? Has the clear path been lost? Do you have a dead fish in your hand? If so then HELP ME HELP YOU at Goat Helper: Volume 1 debuting tomorrow at Los Angeles artspace Show Cave!

This LIVE screening of experimental video art and animation, installation, live video, goat themed food art, costumed “Helpers”, and of course Oreo the beloved pygmy goat. The screening features work from Shana Moulton, Jacob Ciocci of Paper Rad, John Michael Boling, Art Clokey (creator of Gumby) and many more! Don’t miss out. Screening starts at 9PM sharp.

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Katsuyo Aoki’s Stunningly Intricate Porcelain Skulls

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Katsuyo Aoki creates stunningly intricate porcelain skulls. Her work is almost like a three-dimensional expansion on the tradition of calavera, decorated skulls made of sugar or clay to commemorate the Day of the Dead. She touches on this in her explanation of work, commenting that elevating the skull, which could be considered macabre, can make the viewer feel, “tranquility and awe that can almost be described as religious, as well as an image as an object of worship.”

The patterns on her skulls range from elegant swirls to jagged spikes that look like prehistoric teeth. Others unfurl like deep sea creatures from another plane of existence, stretching their frills out like anemones from beyond. The name of the exhibit, “Predictive Dreams,” further emphasizes the mystical qualities of the artwork, recalling a time when prophets and seers would study bones and entrails to gaze into the future.

Aoki says of the work:

“The decorative styles and forms I allude to and incorporate in my works each contain a story based on historical backgrounds and ideas, myths, and allegories. Their existence in the present age makes us feel many things; adoration, some sort of romantic emotions, a sense of unfruitfulness and languor from their excessiveness and vulgarity.”

(via Deadman’s Reach)

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Joram Roukes’ Morphing Figures

Dutch painter Joram Roukes’ large scaled oil paintings of collaged images bring together moments of abstraction, figuration, and pop iconography together to create dynamic mutating and morphing figures. His imagery refers to the moral dilemmas one may find himself in, viewing today’s western society. Through experience by participation Joram Roukes reflects not necessarily on an opinion on society’s flaws in his work, but rather observes and reports on typical western phenomena, leaving judgement up to the viewer, who thereby, establish their own position in these matters. (via)

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Kristin Baker’s Abstract Explosions

I’ve been following the work of Kristin Baker for over a decade watching the work go from explosive paintings of race cars to the complex and layered abstract explosions of color that she’s working on currently. Last night I visited her personal site and was pleasantly surprised by the high level of documentation. Not only does the site have all her work broken down by year but there’s also time lapse process shots of many of the newer pieces as well as gorgeous photos of her studio which looks better than most NYC galleries.

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