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A Warped House from Martine Feipel and Jean Bechameil

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This installation of Martine Feipel and Jean Bechameil is as much about the structure as the empty space within it.  The installation’s title Le Cercle Fermé, or the Closed Circle, offers a clue.  Like a closed circle Feipel and Bechameil offer a finite space that in some ways look familiar, much like a home.  However, the artists playfully alter the structure and its furnishings to throw viewers off balance.  The warped rooms make visitors acutely aware of the space and how they interact with it.  In a way this calls to mind more benign spaces like bedrooms or kitchens, and encourages us to consider how such familiar spaces influence daily life. [via]

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Goodbye, Fearless Intern Spencer!

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Spencer Ockwell is a man of many talents. Aside from his extensive art, illustration, design and animation expertise, what really made us want to give Spencer the job (of working for free, as an intern) here at Beautiful/Decay was his experience doing voice over work. (Anyone who has been around me at the office, towards the end of a long work day, knows I randomly like to “channel” a southern belle’s twang for sass, and also a tiny, one thousand year old all-seeing Chinese fortune teller for giving advice.)  I will miss not only Spencer’s tolerance of my annoying, and incurable “habit,” but his acceptance, no, celebration of it! To give an example of his purported talent, word on the streets is, when we went down to Las Vegas for the Slate Tradeshow, Spencer did a mean, award-winning impersonation of Snoop Dogg. This performance, that fused many talents, (mostly within the realm of karaoke) is rumored to have won acclaim, a brief YouTube appearance, and the hearts and souls of the dancers of that fine, Vegas establishment. Of course this is all speculation.

All tangents  aside, the truth is that Spencer has busted ass for us here at Beautiful/Decay, going above and beyond the call of duty, staying almost double our minimum requirement! (Why, I can’t fathom- I kid! ‘Cause we rock!) Spencer has contributed some extremely comedic blog posts, design work, help with our apparel line, and more!

Being the young exuberant self-starter and entrepreneurial go-getter that he is, Spencer has also recently founded Hammered, an art/design inspired clothing company. Spencer was recently chased through our office by his logo today, and I snapped a quick picture of it, above. View his prodigious output below. Thanks, Spencer for all your help!

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Xavier’s Smokin With Marley

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Xavier Barrade is a French artist and designer that does many creative things. My favorites are these wacky installations and sculptures. You’ll love the Bob Marley installation after the jump… Trust me!

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Paco Peregrín’s Photography Transforms High Fashion Models Into “Beautiful Monsters”

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Paco Peregrín is an international photographer who creates experimental characters out of high-fashion images. This particular series is entitled Beautiful Monster, which Peregrín directed with the intention of exploring the effect of makeup on identity:

All photos that integrate Beautiful Monster allude to a very particular concept of beauty (sometimes unusual, alien or even beautifully monstrous), to its ephemeral nature and the passage of time. Naked men and women are on a neutral background where makeup comes great prominence, even avoiding the recognition of the models, thus reflecting on the idea of identity and a proposal for the makeup as a contemporary mask that protects us, on the one hand like a camouflage, [and on] the other helping us to build a super-ego. (Source)

Peregrín’s “Monsters” are fascinating, radiating with acid-bright color and cryptic eroticism. Most often nude, their faces are bound and adorned with rope, tape, paint, and jewels. Something happens when their features are obscured — their expressive bodies appear almost inhuman. In a style best described as hyper-real futurism, the images speak directly to a postmodern society so obsessed with beauty and constructed identities that it slips into beautiful absurdity.

Given that fashion photography is often criticized as being wholly commercialized and thus heavily restricted, Peregrín’s unique style is doubly surprising; he has worked with big names such as Chanel, Diesel, Vogue, and Vanity Fair, but still manages to bring his own creative and unconventional vision into his works. Check out his website for a gallery of his immersive and consistently experimental projects. (Via Art Fucks Me)

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Painter Jesse Higman Utilizes Mica Flakes To Unearth Micro And Macro Wonders

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Seattle painter Jesse Higman is the creator of a world where everything shimmers on an exaggerated scale, either macroscopic or microscopic. With the use of “Illuvium,” Higman creates within his paintings an affect of an unmistakably organic, earthly feel. Using masonite as a canvas, Higman dilutes acrylic paint mixed with mica flakes and pours the paintings onto the canvas, which is weighted to allow a slope which the paint will travel to. Illuvium, a geological term referring to the way particles settle on flood plains, is really about the art of these mica flakes settling along their course. The resulting textures are planetary, cell-like, while the mica flakes grant a shimmering presence that breathes life and density into his work.

Looking at his paintings, which are large, you see that they could be of many things: an aerial view of a retreating tide from a network of grasslands, cells and tissue seen under a microscope, the nearly mythical creatures that live in the deepest, darkest parts of the ocean, the terrain of another planet, a spray of blood, the moon.

What is interesting about this method is the active role that time and chance play in his work. Higman casts a single gesture, pouring the paint in a certain direction on a chosen part of the board, and then, for the most part, the painting is out of his hands. The mica flakes travel and settle on their own accord, an outcome that cannot be calculated or predicted.

Higman sums up the importance of his process:

“As I sit with a cup of paint in my hand, on the edge of a blank board that took days to set up, I try not to lurch forward like a horse into the stream. I promise to take more time to see how the water is flowing before I move. Once I begin, there is no stopping. Pouring over the same place twice creates craters and destroys the quietly settling particles. Investing too much energy into the system creates aberrations like cancers. I find that curiosity, confidence and play leads to beauty.” (source)

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Ana Strumpf Redesigns Fashion Magazine Covers By Adding Eye-Popping Colors And Patterns

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Artist Ana Strumpf uses creative color schemes and patterns to redesign fashion magazine covers. In her series Recover, trend-setting magazine like Vogue and Vanity Fair are transformed into whimsical worlds with eye-popping patterns complete with quirky make-up added on to the models. Striking, beautiful women posing for the camera are given pink hair, rosy cheeks, and green eye shadow, turning them into silly, fun characters. The primary colors and simple shapes are reminiscent of childhood and dress up games. Although her clashing patterns and neon colors at first may remind you of doodles, they all somehow look amazing. The interesting color palettes Strumpf chooses to add work beautifully in their own unique way.

Strumpf is a jack of all trades in the arts, as she designs and fabricates chairs, couches, lamps, and pillows on top of being an interior designer. Based out of New York, the artist studied fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, which accounts for her love of high fashion magazines! Her cover redesigns are funky enough to be album covers, with the models now radiating lines and shapes along with the occasional third eye. Her wild stripes and spots form fresh new designs that really look like they belong on the cover of a magazine, like they are the next big trend in fashion. (via Honestly WTF)

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Brendan Cass

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Brendan Cass has been busy turning out awesome new paintings since his studio visit in April.  Nailing the beautiful, effulgent color he’s known for, Cass is pushing into some new terrain with night-scapes.  It’s all headed to Paris for Brendan’s upcoming show, Infrared Scene, which opens September 4th at Galerie Zurcher.

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The World Is Coming To An End

The performance group TRIIIBE (identical triplets) hit Wall Street with a guerrilla performance just as Wall Street banks prepare to pay year-end bonuses to top management at the same time asking for government bailouts, The three were dressed as businesswomen carrying briefcases overfilled with money while panhandling the public with tin cups. TRIIIBE set up in front of the New York Stock Exchange and the American International Building, home of the insurance giant AIG.

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