Today is the very last day to take advantage of our big Mystery Pack sale. We’re slashing our already discounted Mystery Packs for both magazines and t-shirts. This is your chance to save a bundle of cash, get a killer surprise package in the mail, and have fun all at once. It’s like Beautiful/Decay throwing you a surprise party and giving you the best gift ever! Sale ends tonight at Midnight PST
Finders Keepers, a group exhibition curated by An Hoang including Joseph Hart, Todd Knopke, Blaze Lamper, Andy Ness, and Justin Valdes featuring drawings, collages, and photographic prints. This show brings together artists who engage in a creative process which allows for discovery through the act of making. What is found by the artists remains to be discovered by the viewer. Whether it is an edge, a gesture or the way the figure is revealed, all the works provide for the experience of uncovering the hidden.
Joseph Hart’s works on paper examine compositional tension through an elegant balance of spontaneous and deliberate marks, heavy and delicate forms, and subtle gestures confined by thick layers of graphite. The detailed, constructed fabric pieces and photographic prints by
Todd Knopke, incorporate the textures, patterns and seams inherent in the material to form dreamlike compositions which transcend the original story of the clothing. Blaze Lamper’s enigmatic graphite drawings feature mysterious figures whose faces remain veiled while in plain sight. The watercolors and pencil drawings by Andy Ness explore personal themes of searching and wandering using recurring imagery of ships, airplanes, teeth, and the reconstructed body to form newly defined narratives. Incorporating airbrush, acrylic and pencil, the still-life drawings by Justin Valdes investigate the relationship between object and frame.
It’s been a while since we last looked at the work of Belgian Illustrator Brecht Vandenbroucke. Imbued with awesome pop culture and comics flavors, his work never disappoints. There’s so much going on in these paintings that I can’t always tell the difference between references to Adventure Time, and social commentary. But who says the two don’t mix?
I wear a lot of black and am frequently lumped into a certain black wearing subculture that will remain nameless (hint: it isn’t “dark people”); so I was understandably delighted when I saw these exquisitely polished portraits by Spanish photographer Jorge Miguel.
There’s a pretty great pair of painting shows on the Lower East Side in NYC at Dodge Gallery. Ted Gahl is in the front room with his cryptic, interpretive and symbolic paintings. I was drawing with him once, and he drew something that looked like a mysterious jelly bean, using a marker on construction paper. I was curious so I asked Ted what it was, and told me it was a car mirror reflecting the driver. Go Figure is group show curated by Eddie Martinez, and it has a bunch of artists that have appeared on Beautiful/Decay’s website and in the book series. There is some very choice work too, it’s interesting to see the work together as well. After the jump you can see work by Allison Schulnik, Erik Parker, Jamison Brosseau, and Jose Lerma. Both shows are up until November 13th.
In 2009, Jesse Krimes (yes that is his real name) was sentenced to 70 months in a federal penitentiary for cocaine possession and intent to distribute. The judge sentenced Jesse to a minimum security prison in New Jersey, close to support network of friends and family, but the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) opted to send him to a medium security facility in Butner, North Carolina.
His way of coping with the life-changing sentence went a bit more differently than you would expect. He got by with a little help from federal prison bed sheets, hair gel, The New York Times, and some color pencils. Although money was limited in prison, he never struggled to gather enough money to purchase these objects. You might be thinking these are random, but, in fact, they are what made prison life a somewhat more passable experience.
While experimenting with these four materials, Krimes discovered that he could transfer the newspaper images onto the prison bedsheets. At first he used water to do this, but that did not work. Hair gel, on the other hand, had the requisite viscosity to do the job. He was not aware that three years after, he would end up with a 39-panel mural. Each transfer took 30-minutes. Thousands make up the mural. Krimes only worked on one bed-sheet at a time, each of them matching the size of the tabletop he worked on. The laborious routine kept Krimes sane, focused and disciplined.
Years ago, the American automotive industry was an unparalleled success not only in productivity, but also in the quality of their beautiful car designs. Unbeknownst to these automotive designers, they were also creating something beautiful that would last long after the processes they pioneered went extinct. Fordite (or Motor Agate, or Detroit Agate) as it has become known, was created by the process of hand-spraying cars with enamel-paint. A byproduct of the process, paint slag called “rough” was baked in the ovens, which hardened the automotive paint, creating layered slabs which crafty autoworkers realized could easily be polished, much like the naturally occurring agates they so resembled. Since this process has long been , these remaining stones have found a particular following, as they can never be created again.
Johnny Strategy, who documented much of the story for Colossal, writes, “Old car factories had a harmful impact on the environment, releasing toxic chemicals into the air, land and water. But it wasn’t all ugly. Oddly enough, one of the by-products of car production was Fordite, also known as Detroit agate. The colorful layered objects take their name from agate stones for their visual resemblance. But instead of forming from microscopically crystallized silica over millions of years, Fordite was formed from layers of paint over several tens of years. Back in the day, old automobile paint would drip onto the metal racks that transported cars through the paint shop and into the oven. The paint was hardened to a rock-like state thanks to high heats from the baking process. As the urban legend goes, plant workers would take pieces home in their lunch pails as a souvenir for their wife or kids.” (via mymodernmet, fordite.com, colossal)
Katherine Newbegin creates rare beauty in photographs of old cinematic houses. Traveling throughout India she sought out these forgotten places and transformed them into celluloid dream sites. Her quest led her to the more rural areas. These out of the way places provided a history and character needed to create an interesting narrative. Behind a sensitive lens, depictions of these magnificent structures transports one back in time to a place of make believe and desire.
Each of her pictures exude a ‘if only walls could talk’ sensibility.The cracked and peeling surfaces mimic the colors seen on sari’s worn by women in that part of the world. Perhaps the same women who once sat in the now empty seats engrossed in another’s story with dreams of their own. Instead of just focusing on the actual auditorium, Newbegin also photographed the staircases and projection rooms. In some instances, these anonymous spaces are turned into brilliant frames of abstract color. In others, film canisters and tea mugs become painterly still life subjects.
India ranks as the largest producer of films in the world and is known for its Bollywood stars. Newbegin’s quiet, intimate photographs project another side of that industry, one that appropriately preserves an important part of India’s social history.