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Book 1 Release Party & Signing July 25!

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Join us in celebration of the highly anticipated release for Book 1: Supernaturalism, Saturday July 25th, 2009 at Gallery Nucleus. Don’t miss artist Kyle Thomas, who will be signing and taking requests for custom, one of a kind covers for each attendee. Works by Kyle as well as featured artists Ben Tegel, David Jien and Seth Curcio will also be on display until August 3rd. Artists from the book as well as the entire Beautiful/Decay team will also be in attendance.This is a rare opportunity to get a hold of a completely customized, original copy of the limited edition Book 1! Details after the jump.

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Dan Sabau

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I recently ran into Dan Sabau‘s haunting and ethereal abstract-figurative watercolors at YES Gallery in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I was immediately drawn to the dashing bright colors and the flow of lines that maintained a definitive form despite allusive strokes of paint. Faces and figures are distraught and aloof, some hidden and others morphed into voluptuous loops. There’s a confounding element of ghastly transparency and confrontational forwardness that makes them disturbing and addictive.

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Smuttgrinder – NSFW

At first glance I was like “wow these are nice little collages.” Then I realized why this artist calls himself Smuttgrinder.

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Geoff McFetridge

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Geoff McFetridge is a creator living in Los Angeles, California. He has his hand in many things, most recently the title sequence in Spike Jonze’s ‘Where the Wild Things Are’,  and never seems to disappoint. At the moment, he has a skate company called The Solitary Arts, a wallpaper company called Pottok Prints, a design business called Champion Graphics, and does gallery/museum shows in his spare time. I’ve been following his work for years, and his work deserves every bit of recognition is receives. I can’t wait to see what his hand has in store for us next.

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July Shirt of the Month: “B/D Yoga Vintage” by Oliver Hibert

July Shirt of the Month: "B/D Yoga Vintage" by Oliver Hibert

July’s shirt of the month is an ultra-limited edition shirt with a one-of-a-kind color way & printing process we are calling “B/D Yoga Vintage.” With only 25 units ever made, this shirt will definitely sell out quickly! The shirt image of a playfully levitating yogi has been printed without a white base to give it a lovingly-faded appearance. It looks like your favorite shirt, without having to wear & wash it 200 times to get the same effect. Once gone, this shirt will not be reprinted–so pick up yours ASAP!

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Jennifer Maestre’s Prickly Pencil Creatures

We’ve all used hundreds of pencils in our lives since we were kids. Jennifer Maestre uses pencils too, but not the way most of us do, or even the ways most artists do. These imaginative creatures use pencils to showcase the contrast between lifelike forms and industrially produced materials. They were inspired by the texture of the sea urchin, which she has been exploring in many materials for several years.

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Ambivalent Photographs Of Bolivian Witchcraft Reveal The Clash Between Tradition And Modernity

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In their book Waska Tatay, French photographer Thomas Rousset and graphic designer Raphael Verona document the cryptic reality of Bolivian witchcraft. During their trip to the Altiplano region of Bolivia, Rousset and Verona encountered the magical world of shamanism, spiritual healers and ancient mythology. Their book exposes the collision between old and new, mystical and mundane, spiritual and physical.

The ambivalence of Waska Tatay begins from a first glance. Book’s abstract cover of fading yellows and blues is contrasting with the actual matter. The clash continues throughout Rousset and Verona’s style of photography, which is tossing between reportage and staged portraiture. Finally, the grotesque ambiguity reaches its top when the subjects in all their ritual garments are photographed in their mundane surroundings. This incoherence between content and form exposes the viewer to the grim reality of tradition in today’s world.

“We decided to mix two languages: one very staged and those that are very snapshot. We mixed a lot to create ambiguity for the reader, in knowing what’s real and what’s fiction.”

Rousset and Verona claims to have tried to zoom the old fashioned world into today’s reality. The picture of a Bolivian girl standing in a tree is an iconic example of their idea: “You could see that the girl is a witch, trying to talk with divinities or evils but her voice to God is replaced by a cell phone,” says Verona. According to the photographers, what they witnessed in Bolivia was a sense of magical realism which they wanted to broadcast to the viewer. The book Waska Tatay is available on IDPURE. (via Wired)

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The Taliban Destroyed The Buddhas Of Bamyan, Two Artists Brought Them Back To Life Using Holograms

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On the weekend of June 6th and 7th, two giant Buddha statues destroyed by Taliban forces in 2001 were resurrected using 3D projection technology. Known as the Buddhas of Bamyan, the two structures, towering over 100 feet, were carved into the sandstone cliffs of Bamyan Valley, Afghanistan, and had watched over the area since the sixth century. They once served as an important site of pilgrimage for Buddhists. When the Taliban deemed the Buddhas false idols, they obliterated them using tanks and artillery shells. The damage was extensive, and in the years since there has been much debate on how — or even if — they could be repaired. UNESCO named the ruins a site of World Heritage in Danger in 2003.

Documentarians Janson Yu and Liyan Hu, however, offered the Afghan people a temporary (but inspiring) solution: to project beautiful, realistic holograms of the Buddhas inside the blasted caverns where they once stood. As The Atlantic explains, “the couple fine-tuned the projections on a mountainside in China and then, after receiving approval from UNESCO and the Afghan government, brought the system to Afghanistan” (Source). Only 150 people attended the event as it was not well publicized, but you can still witness the Buddhas’ resurrection in the images and video above. While the temporariness of the projections may reemphasize the devastating loss of the ancient statues — and how their future remains uncertain — the video sums up the symbolic effect quite nicely, deeming the holographic reconstructions a “beacon of light after a decade of war.” (Via artnet News)

 

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