I first saw Retro Stefson perform back in 2009 at an off-venue Iceland Airwaves party at a downtown clothing store in Reykjavik. The name of the store escapes me, but not the lasting impression this young band had on me. People were going crazy for this band I had never heard of, so I immediately bought their CD and followed them around wherever they played. Three years later, I’m about to head back to Iceland and low and behold, they have a new record and video out and will most likely be one of the highlights of this years Airwaves festival. I challenge you to not bounce your head up and down while watching the video for their song Glow.
From the start, Beautiful/Decay has always focused on emerging artist and designers.We dedicated ourselves to promoting the next generation of creatives through our apparel, our magazines, our website, and now our books. Trying to do so much without the luxuries of rich parents, trust funds, and corporate backing has always been a challenge, but we pushed ahead, always striving to do as much as possible to promote our creative community.
We’ve always had a soft side for artists that pushed the envelope, but until recently, I didn’t realize that skateboarding, punk rock, underground comics, zines, and DIY culture so heavily influenced the type of artists feature and collaborate with. Whether exploring Heavy Metal & the occult in Issue S, psychedelia for Issue T, or working with Jim Callahan on a shirt graphic of a 3D barfing skull, we’ve always gone off the beaten path to work with a community of creatives who rebel against the norm and create powerful images that aren’t watered down for the masses.
So, when we sat down to discuss the B/D website 6 months ago, we decided we wanted to redefine the look and feel of the site to pay homage to all of our influences.
So what’s new in the new site you ask? Well, everything! We knew that we wanted to add new social networking features to make it easier to share posts on Twitter and Facebook. You can now like a post or retweet it with one click of a button, located at the bottom of each post. We also wanted you to be able to find various pages easily, so simplifying our navigation and columns was a big project. We’ve managed to minimize the number of pages and menu buttons so that you can easily find the info you need. (Without having to click a hundred different links!)
On the visual side of things, you’ll notice that we have hand lettering peppered through out the site. B/D started as a black and white ‘zine, so what better way to pay homage to our DIY beginnings than to have one of our past featured artists, Kyle Thomas, create a killer hand typeface for the site!
Last but not least, our biggest change is to the B/D shop. For the last year, we had a different website for B/D Apparel, but now Beautifuldecay.com is your one-stop shop for all things Cult Of Decay: from the latest books we’ve released, to new T-shirts from your favorite artists. Not only is our shop now fully integrated into Beautifuldecay.com, but it also allows us to give you better, more personalized service. We know that YOU are our most important asset so we’ve added free shipping options, better discount code functionality, better images, and a whole gang of new features to help with your shopping experience. We’ll be adding new product weekly to the shop and will be doing several promotions to celebrate our relaunch, so get ready for lots of exciting releases from us!
We want you to enjoy this new site as much as we do, so if you have any comments, problems, questions, suggestions or issues let us know in the comment section below! We want to give you a bigger, better Beautiful/Decay so your feedback is important.
Long live the Cult of Decay!
Last September, we visited Leon Reid IV‘s studio and brought back some photos. Less than a month later, Hurricane Sandy blew through the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, leaving so many of us devastated. Leon’s studio is located right up against Newtown Creek in Greenpoint. When the storm hit, the creek flooded the studio with nasty, polluted water; damaging equipment, artwork, and the space itself. Slowly but surely, Leon’s working to bring things back together. We recently talked briefly about his rebuilding process and where things are headed going forward. Click past the jump for Leon’s account of the ordeal and some news from his studio. And stop by his booth at the Fountain Art Fair (March 8-10, 68 Lexington Ave.), where he’ll be showing some of the flooded works.
Fred Eerdekens’ work combines shadows and and typography to create experimental artworks that lie somewhere between installation and sculpture. Each piece relies on the perfectly lit gallery space to create the visual tricks and the process of the work is revealed as viewers walk around and interact with the work. Not restricted by one material Eerdekens uses everything from artificial cloud formations (pictured above) that spell out “neo deo” to food boxes (after the jump) that are arranged to cast the shadow “Come Home”.
The Argentinian street artist known simply as Elian works with a clean and seemingly effortless style rare in street art. While his large abstract murals would be at home on a magazine page, they work to a powerful effect inhabiting entire sides of buildings. Often using colors reminiscent of a graphic designers CMYK color palette, Elian maximizes the simplicity of each mural. A buildings bland blank wall becomes a space for an exercise in composition and color.
The Amsterdam-based company NL Architects has proposed a beautiful and “slightly insane” project: a series of luxury hotels resembling amethyst geodes. The unique buildings would all vary slightly in their shapes, sizes, and forms, but their layout would be similar: hallways along the periphery (or shell) of the building that connect to rooms adjacent to the violet, crystalline center. The architects describe this project as “a mutation of the innovative hotel typology as developed by the architect and real-estate entrepreneur John Portman: hotel rooms lining a sensational void” (Source). Portman — who has designed hotels for Hyatt, Westin, and Marriott — is known for his high-rise buildings with interior atria. The Amethyst Hotel is similar in structure, only it has been bisected, thus revealing a spacious and awe-inspiring interior.
The goal of the Amethyst Hotel chain would not only be to produce structures of stunning (and arguably utopian) beauty, but to replicate and harness the well-known positive energies of the violet mineral. Deriving etymologically from an Ancient Greek word meaning “without drunkenness”, amethyst was thought to prevent intoxication. Today, it is still attributed with natural healing powers, and is believed to detoxify the body and mind, helping to cleanse the consciousness from “drunken” (delusional) thoughts. It is also seen as an aid in the treatment of stress, insomnia, depression, and anxiety. While the concept may seem somewhat idealistic and far-fetched, should these effects be simulated in the Amethyst Hotel, NL Architects will have designed a space wherein the geodic form matches and manifests the building’s function: a hotel that fosters both “hospitality and well-being” (Source).
The first Amethyst Hotel would be located on China’s Ocean Flower, a man-made island currently in development. Check out NL Architect’s website for a slideshow explaining their concept and goals for this project. (Via designboom).
Jacopo Rosati, with his adorable self-consciousness of his English, makes delicious Illustratored illustrations that will for sure make you smile. How could you not? All the little round characters are both cute and MarioBros.-like, with a splash of color. Some of designs have even made it to grace the chests of lucky T-shirt buyers across the globe!