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KERI OLDHAM

Keri Oldham‘s collections of watercolors are studies in familiarity and restraint. Each mark is deliberate, yet still manages to accidentally wander, bleeding and pooling into the next, happening upon a recognizable form.

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Book 4 Sneak Peek: the printer’s proof!

Book 4, Printer's Proof: cover

Book 4, Printer's Proof: cover

So folks… here it is! We’ve got the printer’s proof of Book 4 here at Beautiful/Decay headquarters and we’re excited to share this tape-bound, post-it-riddled version with you, our dedicated readers. Our Exquisite Corpse issue will be sporting a fluorescent yellow spot color throughout the book, front & back fold-out spreads, an array of eye-mesmerizing patterns, and one-of-a-kind type treatments. There’s so much more to it than that, but if we gave you any more details than we couldn’t call this a sneak peek, now could we? Subscribe early as there’s only a couple weeks left to reserve your very own copy of this exquisite issue. Enjoy!

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Mary Anne Kluth’s Visitor Center

Mary Anne Kluth’s Visitor Center project is a multi-layered series involving ceramic rocks, talks with her geologist father, and detailed dioramas. Here is a description of the project in the artists own words:

My recent work is a conceptual project which began with a simple exercise. I asked my geologist father to describe the formal attributes of his favorite rocks from his collection, which he has been amassing over his entire 40-year career. Then I made ceramic models based only on his descriptions, having no other specific knowledge of the originals. Once I had these ceramic “abstracted rocks”, I then asked my dad to guess which rock sample matched up with which ceramic piece, and got him to tell me basic stories about the places he found each original. I then made dioramas to re-create the scenes he described, and took photographs to document these simulations.

The final presentation is a faux-museum, displaying the c-prints and ceramics alongside the language we used to create them, as well as watercolors made from the original rock samples my dad was thinking of, and infographic paintings elaborating on the ideas and conversations sparked by the process.

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Skwak joins the Mr. Chiizu crew

If you’ve followed Beautiful/Decay you know that Skwak has collaborated with us dozens of times creating apparel, posters, gallery exhibitions and most importantly his wildly popular cover story in Beautiful/Decay Issue J .  One of his most exciting new projects is his collaboration with our friends over at Mr. Chiizu, an artist’s photo decoration iphone app. He signed on with Mr. Chiizu earlier this year to create a theme that lets his fans get inside his always funny and sometimes grotesque illustrious world. Skwak’s signature style lent themselves well to the photo frames and stickers he created for his theme. We caught up with Skwak to see what he has been up to.

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Kim Rugg Deconstructs Social Constructs By Dissecting Newspapers And Maps

Kim Rugg - Cut NewspaperKim Rugg - Cut Newspaper

Artist Kim Rugg’s incredibly meticulous artwork consists of slicing up and breaking down everyday sources of information, like newspapers and maps. Dissecting newspapers, she rearranges the words and letters, creating a new depth of meaning. She often cuts the letters out and places them in alphabetical order, throwing the message in disarray. If these newspapers were real, they may cause panic and mayhem, as they disrupt our normal access to worldwide information. Can you imagine if even online news from all countries suddenly appeared as Rugg’s newspapers do? Both her surgically cut newspapers and transformed maps deconstruct society norms of information and the restrictions our culture has placed upon them, and therefore us as well.

This London-based artists slices up maps and pieces them together again backwards, or purposely arranging the once solid land mass in a way that fuses together all elements of land, border, and ocean. She also creates her maps by hand, erasing borderlines and geopolitical issues that are so relevant in today’s society. Her recreations of man-made territories display a new topography; a world with no boundaries, where we all can live with no territorial restrictions. Each carefully incision made forms a part of the whole, redirecting your view to its small details. Rugg’s complex work invited you to investigate the information laid out right in front of you that is often overlooked. Other work of her that require our close inspection to really understand her subtle manipulations include magazines, comic books, and even cereal boxes. Her work can be found at Mark Moore Gallery in Culver City, CA.

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Awesome Video Of The Day: Dragonfly Love

This is probably the best short film I have ever seen using only a camera phone. Director Thomas Hilland was asked to make the most out of Nokia N8’s smartphone camera. If the quality of the film doesn’t do it for you, I know I especially enjoyed the rotund men running around in costumes, battling each other with remote controlled dragonflies. Music was by the British band, Kap Bambino.

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Cayce Zavaglia’s Incredibly Real Embroidered Portraits That Look Like Paint

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American artist Cayce Zavaglia considers herself a painter.  “Although the medium employed is crewel embroidery wool, the technique borrows more from the worlds of drawing and painting”, the artist comments on her statement.

Manipulating color, especially paint with a brush, is obviously easier than manipulating color with varying wool strings and needles. That seems kind of impossible, don’t you think? Zavaglia makes it looks like a seamless process, laborious but not too difficult to actually achieve.

“Initially, working with an established range of wool colors proved frustrating.”

Painterly portraits demand for loose brushstrokes and intermingling colors, varying tones, and contrasting hues; creating a technique that would allow her to do this with wool strings was something that Zavaglia struggled with. However, with time, she came up with a system of sewing the threads in a sequence that would ultimately give the allusion of a certain color or tone. The system allowed for the threads to mimic the depth,volume, and form that we are familiar with in paintings and color drawings.

My work unabashedly nods its head to the tradition of tapestry and my own love of craft. Using wool instead of oils has allowed me to broaden the dialogue between portrait and process as well as propose a new definition for the word “painting”.

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Monica Cook’s Women Covered In Slime And Octopus

Monica Cook- Painting Monica Cook- Painting Monica Cook- PaintingMonica Cook- Painting

New York painter Monica Cook depicts absurd, messy scenes in these paintings of women playing and posing with food and sea creatures. Often referred to as “absurd,” her work tells of women, sometimes not naked, covered in liquids and slime, fruit pulp, and cradling octopi. There is no arguing her painterly talent at narrating the viscosity of the elements in the frame, but she leaves it up to the viewer as to how they will interpret the contents of the scene. Meaning, she has no implied meaning:

“When I’m painting, it’s more about my relationship with the object than it is about me. It’s hard for me to separate myself from the experience. It could be a fish or an octopus. I handle it until it becomes unfamiliar to me so I can see it in a new way. People might want to read into those paintings but for me, it’s just about finding magic in the mundane and exploring further. I’m sure if I stumbled upon the work I’d see it differently.” (Excerpt from Source)

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