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Art We Love.

Walls, we’ve all got them. Now, it’s the New Year and there’s no better time to start decorating – or re-decorating – those blank barriers.

ArtWeLove is an innovative, curated online art store with a selective catalogue of exclusive limited edition artworks. They work directly with top contemporary artists such as Tomoo Gokita (seen above, Night and Day for $75), Francesca GabbianiShelter Serra, and Molly Dilworth to produce thought provoking, hand picked archival pigment prints and Digital C-prints.  Each piece comes immaculately packed for your artwork’s protection plus every work is numbered, embossed, and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.

You can rest assured each ArtWeLove edition will enrich your walls, spar rousing conversations, and elicit pride within your collection – maybe, even, some envy among friends. Not to mention, their prints come in standard sizes, making it easy for you to add your personal touch when choosing the perfect frame to complete your interior makeover.  All of this, and we’re certain you won’t tap into your holiday bonus because ArtWeLove editions start at $15 and go up to $2,000, a bargain given the museum-quality of the prints and the caliber of artist.

To further inspire Beautiful/Decay readers to jump-start their New Year’s art collection, ArtWeLove offers an exclusive $5 off your first purchase when you sign up to their FIRST VIEW email. To join, simply go to ArtWeLove.com and follow the next steps.

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Figurative Paintings Of Girls Empowered By Their Own Crafty Muses

Sean Mahan - Painting

Sean Mahan - Painting

Sean Mahan - Painting

Sean Mahan’s refreshing acrylic paintings on wood depict girls as creative spirits deeply empowered by and engaged with their own crafty muses. Unlike the classical order, where female figures were often shown as objects that inspire– here, the buzz of breathing maker is most present within the the young lady subjects themselves. Each portrait shows a confident furrowed brow or contemplative daze completely focused inward on a project at hand, unaware of the artist’s gaze. Their identities appear to be emerging from within, not dependent on an external eye.

Mahan’s collection “Invisible Threads” is up at Thinkspace Gallery in Culver City this month.

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Valerie Hegarty’s Deconstructed Paintings

Paint slipping off the canvas, woodpeckers poking holes through landscapes, and watermelon paintings rotting right off the stretchers are all images that can be found in the beautifully decaying paintings and sculptures of Valerie Hegarty.  See more deconstructed, mutilated, and decomposing artworks after the jump. (via oriental)

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Wagner Pinto

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Brazilian artist Wagner Pinto produces work that feels like an explosion. Riotous color and combative line work absorbs the viewer into the rather chaotic world Pinto creates. The artist explains that his imagery is often derived from the folk art of a variety of indigenous cultures, as well as the symbolism in religious artwork.

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Porous Walker

Arguably the most low-brow of all popular artists of the mid 2000’s, Porous Walker is sorely missed. Now existing as a torrent of blog posts and a flickr, Porous’ rapid-fire drawings and punchlines remain as appropriately inappropriate as ever. His untimely ‘demise’ in 2007 can only remind us that… well, maybe we shouldn’t take art so seriously.

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Meet The Families Who Live Among The Dead In Cairo’s Cemetaries

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In her project “City of the Dead”, Iraqi-Canadian photojournalist Tamara Abdul Hadi  documents the lives of families living in the cemetery of Bab al-Nasr in Cairo. For the past 60 years, generations have been residing in this modern day necropolis among their deceased ancestors. Children were born and raised in the ruins of the graveyard, they attend schools nearby and even work in the area.

“This is a cemetery of the living”, says one of the residents, Mohammed Abdel Lateef.

Such illegal settlements as the City of the Dead, date back to the 1980’s. They were a primary coping method for local poor and “ultra-poor” inhabitants. Despite unsanitary conditions with no electricity or running water, workers were moving to the urban slums in order to stay close to employment. Overall, there are five main cemeteries like Bab al-Nasr and the whole area was said to have a population density of a whopping 12,000 inhabitants per square mile.

Abdul Hadi is already widely known for her documentary photographs of the Middle East, giving us a close-up look at their controversial culture and society. She states that the Arab world faces many misconceptions, such as oppressing patriarchy, ignorance and others. In her work, Abdul Hadi tends to bring up the softer and peaceful side of the communities which is rarely shown by the mass media. (h/t Middle East Revisited and The New School)

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Only 5 Copies Left of Book 1!

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Across the great lands, in all of eternity, against time, space, and even in the third dimension, there are only FIVE, I repeat FIVE copies of Book 1 left in existence. Or at least, left on the online shop. If you missed out on Book 1: Supernaturalism, with its custom sticker inserts, 164 pages of glossy art, and hand-drawn, collectable cover by Kyle Thomas, I suggest you run (or arrive, in a cloak of smoke and lightening) to the B/D Online Shop to get your copy. And, if you never want to miss another issue (and support independent art at the same time) subscribe!

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Sara Cwynar’s Photographs Still Lifes Made of Junk

Sara Cwynar - Photography

Sara Cwynar - Photography Sara Cwynar - Photography

The exact color of that Ginger Ale can is important to artist Sara Cwynar. Her work revolves around the careful curation of both fantastic and banal objects. She arranges and later photographs these assemblages, which range from color studies to chaotic interpretations of old works of art.

You might be familiar with 16th and 17th century Dutch Flower paintings. If not, then they are exactly as they sound; Still life paintings of flower arrangements. They are colorful and realistically rendered pictures. Their realism is almost boring, until you find out that these paintings were meant to brighten up the interior of homes during the winter months when real flowers were dead. In her Flat Death series, Cwynar took old reproduced pictures of these flowers and overtop placed it with the likes of cheap plastic toys, fake leaves, rolls of tape, and dish gloves.  A sophisticated painting is recreated out of junk, creating a cognitive dissonance.

Color Studies is another still life series. Instead of parodying of an already existing work, Cwynar gathers objects of a similar color. They include old marching band uniforms, encyclopedias, lemons, old slide film, cigarettes, and so much more. Photographs feel really dated, like a teenager’s room in the 1970’s. This is Cwynar’s intention. In an interview with Lavalette, she states:

I thought a lot about the aesthetic patterns you see in these pictures – a particular lighting, a slickness, a high level of detail. I’m also trying to recycle and subvert conventions of product and commercial photography by using elements that aren’t normally associated with these genres – objects that are now discarded or forgotten, intentional scuffing, not glossy at all.

It’s easy to be intrigued by Cwynar’s work. She utilizes conventional objects and through assemblage, allows us to experience them in a new way.

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