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A Day In Decay: The Tampa Express

Dealing with the ups and downs of an independent business can at times be a drag, but getting packages like this in the mail makes all the work worthwhile. I first met Justin B. Nelson when he entered our contest with Colt45. Justin was one of the top ten finalists and his work was entered in our show at Synchronicity Gallery. I loved Justin’s work in the show but was blown away when I met him at the opening. At first I thought Justin had drove an hour or two, but he flew in all the way from Tampa, FL just to check out the show! If that’s not dedication I don’t know what is. Since then, Justin’s been part of the Cult of Decay. We’ve only met each other once but we probably email or send each other tweets at least once a week. It’s amazing to be able to connect with creative people without the restrictions of distance. (The internet kicks ass!)

Anyways back to the package… Yesterday our mailman brought us an envelope all the way from Tampa. it included not only a print of one of my favorite pieces in the Colt45 show but also a note from Justin. It might not seem like much but it’s a great feeling to get feedback like this. We get caught up in all the chaos of running the show and sometimes forget that YOU are out there reading our books, wearing our shirts, and spreading the good word of decay!  I’m glad that you guys are out there. Without your there would be no Beautiful/Decay.

P.S.  You can check out a larger image of Justin’s print after the jump along with his note. You can also get a copy of his sick print here.

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The Perfect Alarm Clock Wakes You With the Sounds And Smells of Brewing Coffee

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Joshua Renouf, a designer based in London, has sleekly blended the morning routines of waking up and making coffee by building an alarm clock that doubles as a barista. The Barisieur uses induction heating produced by stainless steel ball bearings to heat the water before transferring it over to a stainless steel funnel for filtering. There’s even a spot big enough to store just the right amount of milk on the machine. The stainless steel tools paired with nicely finished wood lends the design of the Barisieur an elegance and simplicity. Renouf is currently in the process of developing the Barisieur, which will be available for a retail price of £150-£250 (around $250-$420). Included in the product’s description: “It encourages a ritual before going to sleep, signaling to the body and mind that is time to unwind and relax. Living slow when times are fast.” (via visual news)

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Liz Cohen

LizCohen

The humor may be pretty obvious in displacing hot rod models and putting them in odd, working class, mundane, broke down car scenarios, but Liz Cohen’s photographs are humorous nonetheless.

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Aritstic Duo Takes High Fashion Photography And Pushes It to An Uncomfortable Perfection

Sandrine Dulermo and Michael Labica - DIgital Photography

Sandrine Dulermo and Michael Labica - DIgital Photography

Sandrine Dulermo and Michael Labica - DIgital Photography

Artistic duo Sandrine Dulermo and Michael Labica turn a strange eye to photography, as they create worlds filled with plastic-like women with color palettes to die for. Having done many photo shoots for celebrities and fashion clients, their photography style is a mix of high-fashion shoots and Hitchcock movie scenes. Their use of dramatic lighting and cinematic sets create an eerie, yet playful, sense of mystery. In the series How to Spend It, a woman that seems to be frozen in an artificial stance like a mannequin, lounges around in extreme luxury. Her all-too-perfect house matches her synthetic and impossibly perfect look. Still, the scene seems too flawless, causing a sense of secrecy.

In the Dolls House, a more playful yet dark series of the dynamic duo, contains a palpable sense of madness. With the intense lighting and absurd make up, this series contains a girl who looks shockingly like a doll. Her limbs are limp and motionless, as if she has been placed like a child’s play thing in her dollhouse. Dulermo and Labica’s sense of color is absolutely breathtaking, as their photography, specifically this series, holds brilliant, bursting hues. However, these seemingly bright and cheery scenes have disturbing and dark undertones. The doll-like girl seems to have no life in her body. She is pale, expressionless, and without emotion. She is trapped in her perfect world, similar to the woman in the previously mentioned series.  Both women hold a hollow sense of plasticity that renders them lifeless.

Sandrine Dulermo and Micahel Labica are masters at creating cinematic, compelling photography with an irresistible palette. They construct uncanny, eerie scenes that are both undeniably appealing and unsettling. (via Behance)

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Ethan Murrow’s Large Scale Drawings

Ethan Murrow’s obsessively rendred drawings based on collaborative performances. Read his artist statement and view more works after the jump.

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Early Record Covers By The Prince Of Pop Art, Andy Warhol

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Before he was the Prince of Pop Art and arguably the biggest art star on the planet, Andy Warhol was one of the most sought-after graphic illustrators in Manhattan. Years before he designed two of Rock and Roll’s most iconic album covers, Warhol was responsible for a series of recently recovered Jazz record covers for Count Bassie, Thelonious Monk and Moondog.

Rendered in his then-trademark ‘blotted line’ style (a technique Warhol mastered before screenprinting, where a single line of heavy, beaded ink was drawn on one sheet of paper, and then pressed against another which created a blotted monoprint), these whimsical and funky covers graced some of the best jazz albums of the 1950’s.  The quality of Warhol’s highly trained freehand drawings separated him from other commercial illustrators of the day, but one of his many secret weapons was his mother’s gorgeous script writing, seen heavily in the looping, colorful script featured on The Story of Moon Dog (above). Warhol employed his mother’s lovely writing to essentially double his work-load, a precursor to his loose-authorship creative policy that would become commonplace later in his Factory days. (via dangerous minds)

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Awesome Video Of The Day: Light Bulb Music

Not sure if I would categorize Michael Vorfeld’s performance as “music” but it’s an interesting installation incorporating sound & light.

On another note It might be taboo to say this but I find it hard for myself to get into noise art or noise music in general. What do you guys think? Is noise just noise or more?

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The Intimate Moments Between People And Their Sex Dolls

Marcussen, Photo

Early morning at the hotel in Wales. ‘Shadowman’ wakes up with his doll Carly. He has 2 adult daughters with another woman. Besides Carly he has 4 other dolls. Bianca is one of them. His dolls are not part of a daily life with his family, but everybody knows of their presence. Shadowman recently got divorced from his second wife.

Phil stopped smoking for a year to be able to afford his doll Jessica. He is aware that she's a doll, but simply doesn't care what anyone thinks about his choice of lifestyle. Phils friends all know of her existence.

Phil stopped smoking for a year to be able to afford his doll Jessica. He is aware that she’s a doll, but simply doesn’t care what anyone thinks about his choice of lifestyle. Phil’s friends all know of her existence.

Rebekka and June in the backyard of Everard. He has 12 dolls and often takes them to the garden for a photoshoot. His neighbours goes inside when he enters with his dolls. Everard has only had one relationship with a living women and has difficulties understanding women. He is lonesome but his dolls gives him kind of a comfort by their presence. The men are in general vain towards the dolls, they use a lot of time to make the hair and make up right before they picture them. That is also the reason why Rebekka and June are wearing summerhats – not to have the sharp sun in their face.

Rebekka and June in the backyard of Everard. He has 12 dolls and often takes them to the garden for a photoshoot. His neighbours go inside when he enters with his dolls. Everard has only had one relationship with a living woman and has difficulties understanding women. He is lonesome but his dolls give him kind of a comfort by their presence. The men are in general vain towards the dolls; they use a lot of time to make the hair and make up right before they picture them. That is also the reason why Rebekka and June are wearing summerhats – not to have the sharp sun in their face.

In 1986 after having their first child Chris Zachos wife filed for divorce. He was refused contact with his daughter for years. Every now and then he would try to search his daughters name on different social medias to get back in touch and a few years ago he managed to find her, now married and a mum of 2. It has been very painfull for Chris not to have been a part of his daughters life, so it was big when they finally reunited.

In 1986, after having their first child, Chris Zacho’s wife filed for divorce. He was refused contact with his daughter for years. Every now and then he would try to search his daughter’s name on different social medias to get back in touch and a few years ago he managed to find her, now married and a mum of 2. It has been very painful for Chris not to have been a part of his daughter’s life, so it was big when they finally reunited.

While, since its popularization in the 1990s, the phenomenon of sex dolls—life-sized and lifelike synthetic figures intended both as erotic objects and as stand-in companions—has been riddled with condemnation, Danish photojournalist Benita Marcussen seeks to shed these judgments through her series, Men & Dolls.

Following a group of six male doll-owners, Men & Dolls documents the individuals’ relationships with the anatomically-correct mannequins and provides an intimate glimpse into this controversial lifestyle. While the identities and situations of the subjects greatly vary—two men are married with children, two have been through a divorce, one was once betrothed in a dead-end engagement, and one has never had a girlfriend—they have one very apparent thing in common: they each consciously turn to dolls as a means to alleviate their loneliness.

This is why, in the photoseries, Marcussen does not solely focus on the sexual aspect of neither the dolls nor the relationships that they facilitate. She presents, rather, images that convey the ways in which the men incorporate the dolls into their daily lives and treat them as sentient—albeit intimate—companions.

Ultimately, whether clad in a sun hat and seated outdoors, dolled up in formal attire, carried around on a romantic pseudo-stroll, or wrapped in an embrace on a bed, it is clear that each doll featured in Men & Dolls is so much more than a sex toy. (Via Feature Shoot)

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