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B/D Best of 2010 – Tenko

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Swiss artist Tenko‘s work seems to represent a twisting, flawed humanity that we try to forget. Looking at his work I’m very conscious of the fact that my supposedly higher thoughts and feelings all rely on a system of organs, pumps, and fluids to exist and no amount of perfume is going hide the fact that we are simply beasts of flesh and bone. Maybe it’s all those perfectly modeled legs or even the grotesque facial expressions but I feel like I’m definitely gonna have to exfoliate tonight.

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Louise Despont’s Drawings as Abstract Meditations

Louise Despont explores drawing as abstract meditations, balancing and integrating symbols and forms to link her art to the inscription of narratives and to mystical or literary concerns. Employing and recasting a vocabulary of elements and constructions found within a set of architectural stencils and compasses, the artist renders her drawings on the pages of antique ledger books.

Despont has borrowed the geometries of Indian labyrinths, gardens, architecture, vessels and ancient Buddhist and Jain caves to offer balanced forms – particularly masculine and feminine principles—that engage past and present as indicators and provocations. While leaning towards strong poetic and lyrical translations, these drawings unlock a spatial perceptual field to reveal the formal qualities of surface, texture, scale and form.

While reinvesting introspection and the metaphysical into tropes of abstraction, Despont’s drawings are notable for their levels of sincerity, intricacy and refinement. Even in her larger works, the artist evokes an intimate experience with fine lines and subtle hatch marks revealing themselves only when viewed up close. The resulting works, charged with alternative legacies of cultural and personal, confront the binaries of abstraction and figuration through their encoded compositions.

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Andy Ristaino’s Psychedelic Insanity

 

Andy Ristaino is the lead designer at Adventure Time. His online portfolio is insanity. Yeah, Ristaino’s got the whole psychedelic thing pretty much down. But he’s also doing a lot more. This is what it looks like when you reach a high level within your craft. His blog is worth a click as well. (via)

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Documentary Watch: Being Elmo

You’re probably thinking “Why is Beautiful/Decay posting about children’s puppets?” Well that’s a good question. Usually we leave Sesame Street for the toddler and mommy blogs but over the weekend I happened to watch  Being Elmo, a documentary about Kevin Clash, the long time voice and puppeteer of Elmo. Since the age of 10 (check out the above image of young Kevin performing for local kids in 1975) all Kevin wanted to do was to be a puppeteer. With tons of ambition, hard work, and creativity Kevin not only became a professional puppeteer but also one of the most famous and iconic figures in the field right along his life long idol Jim Henson.

I don’t want to give away too much of the story but I will say that every artist, designer, and creative person should watch this documentary. You will be touched, inspired, and moved to work harder, push the limits of your craft, and to never give up on your dreams. Watch the trailer for the documentary after the jump and run out and go out and buy the DVD. It will be the best money you’ll spend all week.

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Sr. X

Sir.x graffitiSr. X is a stencil-graffiti artist based in Gijon, Spain. His humorous post-ups are fantastic and will make any graffiti artist say, “why didn’t I think of that?” Although there is a lack of information about him on the internet, the work on his Flickr page speaks for itself.

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Heartbreaking, Beautiful Images Of Elderly Animals

Handsome One, Thoroughbred Horse, Age 33

Rooster, Age Unknown

Red, Chow Mix, Age 14+

Violet, Potbellied Pig, Age 12

When her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, the photographer Isa Leshko faced the prospect of her own aging process and ultimately her own death; in refusing to photograph her family during that time, she retreated to farms where elderly animals were housed and photographed them for her series Elderly Animals. Many were rescued from factory farms where they had been genetically modified, abused, and they were therefore facing premature death; others were part of their caregiver’s families and always had been. Like she would with a human subject, the artist spent hours with her subjects, communing with them on straw beds and sometimes visiting them multiple times.

In the iconic Camera Lucida, Roland Barthes meditates on the poignancy of photographic memory, writing, “Whether or not the subject is already dead, every photograph is this catastrophe.” The well-seen photograph fixes a moment within the space between light and shadow, reminding viewers that the exact instant pictured can never be recreated. In her rich black and white tones, Leshko realizes the potential of her camera to make permanent her elderly bestial subjects, and in the process of remembering each creature, the viewer is forced to recognize his or her eventual death.

The artist writes in her artist’s statement, “I have come to realize that these images are self-portraits,” uniting the living, the aged, and the deceased under a single canopy of mortal experience. Within the glimmers of the blind bovine eyes, the bare bones of the rooster wings, the grey snouts and balding patches of fur, we might all recognize what we must someday leave behind, and we are forced to search for what remains within Leshko’s thoughtful frame. (via HuffPost)

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More from Bryan Schnelle…

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B/D featured artist Bryan Schnelle a while back on the blog, and he recently sent us these ‘zines/brochures of his work.

If the black mask on the cover wasn’t an indicator to you that theme was unorthodox, then I don’t know what is! It’s definitely interesting how he places a black mask over the faces of his subjects. In the one instance that he doesn’t, he removes the model’s eyes. Just a little creepy. Maybe it’s a shot at the fashion industry or maybe a comment on the concept of beauty itself. In any case, Bryan Schnelle’s work has definitely struck a nerve with me.

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Skeleton Swimsuit

We all look the same inside.

(Via Culthole)

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