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Sigmar Polke Dies at 69

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Polke, Hope Is: Wanting to Pull Clouds (1992)

German painter and photographer Sigmar Polke (1941 – 2010) died yesterday from complications of cancer, according to Gordon Veneklasen, the artist’s main American representative. Polke invigorated the world of pop art and beyond with his parodic examinations of consumerism and politics, especially those concerning post-war Germany. The artist resisted artistic conventions by expanding on ideas of “what art is” with his multi-faced, mixed media pieces.

“We cannot rely on it that good painting will be made one day. We have to take the matter in hand ourselves,” Polke once said. A bit of an understatement, but I’ll allow Polke’s “good painting” to speak for itself. Check out more of my favorites after the cut.

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“Art Works Every Time” T-Shirt Teaser

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B/D head of security, Ziggy, models the “Art Works Every Time” t-shirt, which will be given away to the first 100 people to arrive at our opening tomorrow night, June 12 from 8-11!

The shirt features Colin Strandberg’s award-winning design (which you have seen on our exhibition flyer) and super-shiny metallic gold and silver ink! (Shiny!) I’m only exaggerating slightly when I say that this shirt is badder then fixed gears and cigarettes COMBINED. So come early! Details and more of Ziggy vogue-ing it after the cut.

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Aaron Leif Nicholson

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Aaron Leif Nicholson has an affinity for creating life-sized sculptures of imposing characters (like witch doctors and Yetis) that seem to have stepped straight out of a nightmare. Nicholson’s “Coney Island Star Man” is a prime example: faceles and hunched over the ground, he lurks on a beach as if he’s watching you. Nicholson brings his sculptural background to other works as well, which include mixed-media drawings and paintings, lending traditionally two-dimensional art a three-dimensional quality.

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B/D Artist Interview: Ben Tegel

Ben Tegel, Self Portrait

Ben Tegel, Self Portrait

The final interview in our 10-part “Art Works Every Time” series is with artist Ben Tegel.  We’ve actually collaborated with Ben extensively, as he has also designed for Beautiful/Decay Apparel, contributing the shirt graphics for the “Manson”“Greetings from LA.”, and “Greetings from N.Y.C.” shirts. Can’t believe the opening is already tomorrow- hope to see all of you out there, it’s gonna be a great night!

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Emily Malan

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Emily Malan‘s intimate style of photography gives her shots the illusion of being candid. You get the sense that you’ve come to know her subjects without ever meeting them. Her focus is on portraits, but she has her eye on the fashion industry; perhaps one day we’ll see her effortless photographs in fashion spreads in Vogue.

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Rune Olsen at Johansson Projects

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Rune Olsen has created an installation for Johansson Projects in Oakland, CA. The piece addresses the issue of children on leashes, with a nod to Duchamp’s Mile of String. Apparently, Olsen and myself have both become skeptical of this rather primitive method for controlling one’s child. I mean, this is 2010, Lindsay has a scram bracelet, Coco the Pomeranian is accosted with high-pitched buzzing from her collar every time she barks–where are the similar techie solutions to child rearing? Oh right, normally we reserve that sort of methodology for criminals and dogs.

Olsen approaches the issue with a similar sense of humor, while creating a highly confrontational space for the viewer to interact with. A playful installation, addressing a serious concern.

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Behind-the-Scenes with “Art Works Every Time” artist: Eric Shaw

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Eric Shaw creates fractal-filled cosmic psychedelic drawings and paintings that takes both abstraction and figuration to strange, surreal new levels. We’ve actually had the pleasure of doing an in-depth interview with him on the B/D site last year, so it was great to catch up with him! Just a few days away ’til “Art Works Every Time,” and we can’t wait!

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I Believe In Unicorns

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C.W. Moss, the Unicorn behind such B/D blog posts as “5 Reasons to Subscribe” and “Godspeed, Unicorn Riding Fei,”  will be in a group show opening tomorrow, June 11 at WWA Gallery.Curated by Industrial Squid, “I Believe in Unicorns” assembles a group of optimistic talents who fearlessly employ rainbows, joy, candy-colors, and yes, even the shining beacons of hope and goodness that are unicorns. I’m sick of self-deprecating hipster irony, bring on the celebration! Word on the street is that Unicorn may be paying a visit and you might even be able to take photos with him. (You can also be his friend on facebook.) Flyer after the jump!

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