Ladies and Gentlemen! The latest issue of Beautiful/Decay is upon us! Sent to the printers in the last weeks, there will be only 1000 copies produced (all of which are ad-free) and only subscribers will receive their copy before it ships out to stores. You also save 33% by subscribing versus going to the newsstand (plus you don’t have to go past your mailbox to get it!). Subscribe today and secure your newest addition to the Beautiful/Decay series.
To get you ready for the release of Book 5 dust off your tablets and fire up your copy of Photoshop because today we continue the contest to give away a free copy of Beautiful/Decay Book: 5 to the fastest gun in the wild west. Each Tuesday for the next 3 weeks we are going to be releasing a new piece of Beautiful/Decay cover to get you guys ready for the upcoming issue. The rules are simple: Be the first person to piece together the cover of the Book:5 and email the completed image to [email protected], and your speed of hand will be rewarded with a free copy of the book you just solved. In case you are just tuning in, be sure to check out the B/D blog for the previous missing pieces. So wrangle up your magic lassos and get busy winning!
Rhiannon Schneiderman‘s self portrait series “Lady Mane” takes on societies ideals for women but with a hilarious tongue-in-cheek spin. Striking the same types of poses you’d find in fashion magazines with hip accessories across a neutral background, the artist stares into the camera while long wispy ponytails, four foot hair braids, and jheri curls dangle from her crotch. In a recent interview with Design Taxi Schneiderman states about the project:
The Lady Manes is a series of eight self-portraits. In each image I’m standing in your typical feminine pose in an outfit or article of clothing, and I’ve accessorized each outfit with its own unique, stylized ‘Lady Mane.’ A ‘Lady Mane’ is just a somewhat empowering pseudonym for a bunch of pubes, a “bush,” your “hair down there”… And that’s what the series was about for me: empowerment. I can’t really pinpoint any one source of inspiration for the project because it really was a culmination of so many things going on at the time; I’d moved to and lived in Daytona Beach, the armpit of Florida and possibly all of civilization, for almost two years (for school) during which time I’d witnessed and been subject to some pretty amazingly sexist ordeals. I was moving more into my hardcore feminist phase, which I think every lesbian in their 20’s goes through, and just so happened to have a hardcore feminist, fine-arts-major professor who had been giving me a semester of the most intense and life-altering class critiques I’d ever experienced. I’d been introduced to Cass Bird’s “Rewilding”, an amazing body of work that continues to influence me. All of these things, and maybe a few Lady Gaga songs, were inspiration enough to create a series that kind of laughed at conventional gender norms. I wanted to tell people that they were ridiculous, make them uncomfortable for a change. I wanted to challenge femininity and the objectification of women that is still so incredibly prevalent in society. I guess it was my way of saying, “Fuck you. Enough is enough.”
The most daring piece of public art ever commissioned in the UK, Turning the Place Over is artist Richard Wilson’s most radical intervention into architecture to date, turning a building in Liverpool’s city centre literally inside out. It runs in daylight hours, triggered by a light sensor. The piece consists of an 8 metres diameter ovoid cut from the façade of a building in Liverpool city centre and made to oscillate in three dimensions, resting on a giant rotator usually used in the shipping and nuclear industries, it cts as a huge opening and closing ‘window’, offering recurrent glimpses of the interior during its constant cycle during daylight hours. Amazing!
As part of our ongoing partnership with In The Make, Beautiful/Decay is sharing a studio visit with artist Rebecca Morris. See the full studio visit and interview with Rebecca and other West Coast artists at www.inthemake.com.
We drove to Rebecca’s studio on a Sunday morning, with a yellowish-grey almost dusty looking sky overhead and both Klea and I wondered how this visit, the first in our LA adventure, would go. Being in a new city had us feeling less sure about what to anticipate and we just hoped to get off to a good start. As soon as Rebecca greeted us and took us up to her studio, I knew our morning was going to turn out just fine. She instantly felt familiar and easy to talk to, and she had fresh croissants waiting for us! Rebecca paints large, open paintings in vibrant hues and utilizes a series of shapes, lines, and gestures to create a singular visual vocabulary within abstract compositions. We talked about how she finds the lack of specificity and the openness in abstraction appealing, and she likes that a viewer can come to her work with their own set of associations and leave with a very personal interpretation. Rebecca’s generosity regarding how her work is decoded and interpreted is a testament to her hard-won confidence. She’s put in enough years working at her art to figure out what’s right for her, and she doesn’t seem all that concerned with proving anything to anyone but herself. I was struck by Rebecca’s sense of self and her total commitment to her own beliefs and aesthetic choices despite what others might think. She calls it “a stubbornness.” I call it true grit. In her 2004 manifesto, Rebecca’s gutsy, no-nonsense attitude comes through in lines like: Don’t pretend you don’t work hard… Be out for blood…and, Abstraction never left, motherfuckers.She’s self-possessed, but there’s no chip on her shoulder. I guess because when confidence is real, it’s not complicated or loud— it’s just a simple, quiet thing. It’s inspiring to encounter a woman who has unapologetically taken a hold of her life, and is making choices based solely on what she truly believes in, artistically and otherwise. Visiting with Rebecca reminded me to recognize the weaknesses in the rules that were written for me, and to do something about it.
Light painting or light illustration has been a trending technique of late. Darren Pearson‘s skeletal pieces, though, are much more complex than most of the work we often seem to come across. While the camera shutter is open Pearson moves a light much like a brush which leaves its trail on the resulting photograph. The image appears to take up physical space and leave a haunting glow on its surroundings. Each piece also interacts with the surrounding scene, the California landscape which figures largely in much of Pearson’s work. [via]
Photographer Marshall Scheuttle travels across the country, bringing his lens to bear on our nation’s cultural patchwork. In his work, desolate landscapes are occasionally dotted with a baptism or bolo tie, a snake charmer or carnival worker. It is a world that is lonely, powerful, surreal, and distinctly American.