Published in 2011, Ricardo Cases‘s stunning photo book Paloma al Aire (Pigeons In the Air) depicts colorful and unusual moments from a unique form of pigeon racing that takes place in Valencia and Murcia, Spain. This “sport” involves the release of one female pigeon and dozens of painted male pigeons – the winner of the “race” is decided by how much time the male spends with the female. Each male pigeon is painted by his owner, in much the same way color is used to distinguish teams. The pigeons’ breeders, mostly older retired men, invest lots of time and money into their birds – some of the pigeons are worth thousands of euros in addition to the amounts placed during bets on these flighty contestants. For these retired men, these birds are emblematic of their later-life hopes and dreams – each painted pigeon becomes a projection of the pigeon-keeper, representing sportive, economic and sexual success or failure in the community. Be sure to check out Cases’s other work, including his similarly colorful series of the 2012 Florida Republican Presidential Primary for TIME Magazine. (via foam magazine)
Young Icelandic designer, Hrefna Sigurðardóttir has a graphic sensibility that is bold and bright. Originally spotted via The Fox is Black, her portfolio is an eclectic mix of illustrative typography and design to art direction and styling, including several collaborations with photographer Magnus Anderson.
Tate Ellington, known primarily as an actor, is also a self-taught painter, with an exhibition history that expands from NYC to Los Angeles. Working from doodles, conjured from found magazines, photographs, medical reference books, and/or an automatic sense of line, using mostly oils as his medium, Ellington inevitably focuses in on facial nuances, stating, “It’s what I identify with the most, so naturally, they come more.”
Each portrait carries a sharp bend of drama, as though the artist is implicated or interrupting more so than puppeteering the performance. Likewise, this is what strong acting does. In this way, Ellington seems to connect his two artistic loves, asserting, “In acting you are supposed to look for the truth of a character or of a situation. You can also be called to exaggerate the truth, if necessary. I think this is what I try to do with my paintings. I try to find the person by exaggerating him or her.” Each stroke is not just about the surface, but a discovery, or search for our own sense of play or performance as human beings.
By now you can tell that we have a soft spot for the ocult, death metal, and anyone who will paint their face, grow out their hair and wear a studded cod piece on stage. To celebrate all things metal I present the “I Want Your Skull” Tee. Get it until Monday for 30% off with discount code: new30year. Long live the cult of decay!
David Thompson, the artist behind Monsieur Cabinet is hilarious. His quirky and sometimes shocking sense of humor is paired well with his simple and almost childlike illustrations. Thompson is a master of visual humor.
The drawings of Sasha Zivkovic present office workers existing in strange, dystopian universes. He uses various art historical styles and sources to create allegorical transformations. Everyday working life is presented within frameworks such as religious symbolism, zoological observation, and ethnographic documentation. Detailed pencil drawings create zoological mini-habitats with strange medieval perspectives that feel at once displaced and at home in their cubicles and board rooms.
Javier Aguilera resides in Spain and does fun and slightly creepy sculptures of people. Check out his website for more work.
What you’re lookin at is our Arts District neighborhood, home to B/D offices…..barricaded due to police activity. Apparently, our block doesn’t just house contemporary art magazine-makers and cigarette-smoking hipsters, but Jason Bourne-style, America’s Most Wanted fugitives!
To recap, we here at the offices had an extremely bizarre day. The loud snores of Ziggy, our office mascot, were replaced with the even more thunderous and more obnoxious drone of helicopters, circling the sky in pursuit of well-known fugitive Brian Alexik! After a day-long standoff between Alexic and an entire swat team of police authorities, the suspect was finally arrested this afternoon. His crimes run a laundry list of wrong-doing, from the relatively minor offenses of drug-dealing, illegal weapon possession and counterfeiting money, to the grave offense of being photographed with U2’s Bono!
Let’s just say popping off to pick up a refreshing iced latte down the street was out of the question….the entire neighborhood was blocked off, leaving us here at Beautiful/Decay gawking out of our office windows at the armored cars and bike police, held hostage in our own office for most of the day! Read what the Huffington Post has to say about the matter here.