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Jane Masters’ Intricate Abstractions Made Using Scratchboard

Jane Masters lives and works in Providence, RI. Using the scratchboard technique that originated in the 19th century she creates highly detailed abstractions. Using nothing but knives and sharp tools the art of scratchboard is creation through removal. In Masters’ case what remains are dizzying op art spirals and ribbons of intersecting waves. The stark black and white adds to the timelessness of designs that often resemble microscopic magnifications of viruses, cells, and other things found in biology. (via)

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Andreas Fischer

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Andreas Fischer’s “Ghost Town” is currently on view in our lovely city of Chicago. Ghost Town, which is on view at two separate venues, Hyde Park Art Center and The Gahlberg Gallery, shows us two distinct selections of Andreas’s portraiture and imagined landscapes. There is a nice anonymous quality to these  locations and figures, with titles like “Original Location” and “Sunday Best”. Plus, the work actually becomes more engaging after you read about it, which in my opinion, is often not the case.

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The Strange World Of A Dwarf Theme Park In China

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After stumbling across a photograph on the internet depicting people posed in a dwarf theme park, Belgian photographer Sanne De Wilde conducted a little research and discovered that the Dwarf Empire, or Kingdom of the Little People, is a real theme park that operates in the Yunnan province of China. In this park, dwarfs provide entertainment – singing, dancing, and various other forms of amusement – for tourists who visit the park. De Wilde eventually contacted the park’s manager and was invited to take photographs of the park and its 77 little people for a project she calls “The Dwarf Empire.” As soon as she arrived, she immediately felt compelled to consider questions regarding the morality of the park’s existence, namely if the workers were happy there, or if they felt more like they were being put on display and exploited. Additionally, “For me, it’s about how this kind of place can exist,” De Wilde says. “What does it tell you about a person who starts this and creates it? What are his intentions?” Founded by a tall, rich man who wanted to “do something good” for the little people, this park is a “Chinese charity dressed in commercial attire.” Much of the park appears run-down, but seems to have a solid foundation.

While she partook in the project of documenting the park, De Wilde, a tall blonde woman, found that she stood out in the park – for the tourists, she became a character in the show created at the park, something she found exhausting. She would even hide with the little people “to be free of the claws of the tourists…they want to touch you and have a part of you.” After she got home, De Wilde spent about a year culling through her images; during this time, she even received letters from some of the people claiming they’re happy and thankful to be working at the park, something that De Wilde viewed as a bit suspect.

From her statement, De Wilde writes,

 

“I embarked on an adventure with a handful of ethical questions about commercializing social care. Every story has two sides but in this place every question and every answer seemed contradictory. My adventure ended up as a modern anti-fairytale, a collection of images of my making, and theirs. My own trick forced upon myself.” (via lens culture and slate)

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7 Days Left Until B/D Business Card Giveaway Ends!

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There are only 7 days left until the deadline for the Beautiful/Decay Business Card Giveaway! So don’t forget to send us your most creative business card ideas!

One piece of advice we impart to our interns at Beautiful/Decay is that a well-designed, professional business card is one of the most critical tools anyone seeking a job can have- especially in the creative field! So, Beautiful/Decay is presenting a competition to see who can design the best business card for themselves and/or their business. Please send us your most innovative, eye-catching card graphics! The most creative card will win 500 free cards printed courtesy of UPrinting.com! (Note: We will be posting the winners on the blog–so if you don’t want your personal information broadcasted please also send a version of the file with dummy text.)

Deadline: July 28th, 2009 6:00pm PST

Guidelines:
-Email submissions to: contactbd@beautifuldecay.com with the subject line: Business Card Contest
-Format is 2 x 3.5″
-Business card graphic includes front & back, full color
-Winner may select any paper type
-For all template & file specification requirements please visit UPrinting’s guidelines.

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Awesome Video Of The Day: Khoda

What if you watch a film and whenever you pause it, you face a painting? This idea inspired Reza Dolatabadi to make Khoda. Over 6000 paintings were painstakingly produced during two years to create a five minutes film that would meet high personal standards. Khoda is a psychological thriller; a student project which was seen as a ‘mission impossible’ by many people but eventually proved possible!

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Josh Spear Likes Our New Site!

Our friends over at Josh Spear have just written up a sweet review of our new site! Click the image above for real, (virtual) proof & to see it in all its cyber glory. Thanks Josh Spear & co!

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Rhythm and Hues: Cloth and Culture of Mali

hm_banner_rightMali’s extraordinary legacy of textile arts, with its vibrant colors and complex graphic statements will be presented in an exhibition entitled “Rhythm and Hues: Cloth and Culture of Maliat the Museum of Craft and Folk Art in San Francisco from February 5-May 2, 2010.

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