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Jack Vanzet

Jack Vanzet, an Australia-based designer, is not limited to just one look but an array of styles all equally beautifully mastered. The one common ground between these differing pieces is that each of these show great attention to the foundational design.

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Shih-Mao

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I know virtually nothing about “Shih-Mao” except that he is from Taiwan and he is male (thank you, Flickr profile). His illustrations are fantastic, often depicting some kind of twisted alternate dimension where everything is incredibly weird and visceral.

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Charles Pfahl

Akron, Ohio based photo realist painter Charles Pfahl paints psychological and dark images contemplating life, death, and fleeting childhood memories.

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Book 4 Sneak Peek: the printer’s proof!

Book 4, Printer's Proof: cover

Book 4, Printer's Proof: cover

So folks… here it is! We’ve got the printer’s proof of Book 4 here at Beautiful/Decay headquarters and we’re excited to share this tape-bound, post-it-riddled version with you, our dedicated readers. Our Exquisite Corpse issue will be sporting a fluorescent yellow spot color throughout the book, front & back fold-out spreads, an array of eye-mesmerizing patterns, and one-of-a-kind type treatments. There’s so much more to it than that, but if we gave you any more details than we couldn’t call this a sneak peek, now could we? Subscribe early as there’s only a couple weeks left to reserve your very own copy of this exquisite issue. Enjoy!

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Dance Of The Disfigured: Monica Piloni’s Resin Sculptures Are Disturbingly Elegant

Monica Piloni - resin, plastic, hair

Monica Piloni - resin, plastic, hair

Monica Piloni - resin, plastic, hair

Monica Piloni - resin, plastic, hair

Sculptor Monica Piloni creates surreal, multifaceted versions of the human body from resin, hair and different plastics. Whether it is a triptych of herself, melded at the hips, with multiple breasts, three legs and conjoined heads, or a double tailed horse, she has the ability to make something gruesome seem commonplace. In her work Ballet Series, she assembles body parts to look quietly surreal and unassuming, yet elegant. Figures lie on beds, as if exhausted from a recital, literally collapsing on themselves. Piloni places her models in a graceful manner, toes pointed and muscles tensed as they would be mid-dance. The poses and gestures of the bodies conjure up the drama of French Romantic oil paintings, where humans were depicted expressing a whole range of emotions with their bodies.

In her work Concave & Convex, she piles dismembered body parts up on themselves to form a human landscape. Similar to Louise Bourgeois’s ambiguous sculptural forms, Piloni fragments the human shape into abstraction, and in the process dismantles her, and our, understanding of identity.

Her sculptures are captivating because of their simplicity and fluency of movement. Even her more challenging pieces (modified women with exposed genitalia) have a gentle symmetry that reassures, rather than revolts. See more of her beautifully gruesome work after the jump. (Via Sweet Station)

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Bizarre Furniture That Looks, Feels, And Even Smells Like Human Flesh

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Feeling tired? How about a nice rest on some blobby furniture that looks and feels like real human flesh, such as “a chair meant to mimic a squishy roll of fat and footstools that resemble deformed testes”? UK artist Gigi Barker of studio 9191 has created a furniture collection called “A Body of Skin” that not only feels and looks like realistic skin, but also smells like a human body – Barker impregnated the silicon skin with the pheromones and after shave of models she used during the construction of the pieces. To design her work, she first studies the body, drawing abstracted shapes inspired by its form. Barker then sculpts a clay model before casting a life-size version in silicon. After the silicon is infused with human smell, Barker lays moulding leather on the form, completing the imitation. She tells Wired, “I have my own personal relationship with it which is based on my own personal history. Just as someone else will…I think this project is more about the people and the bodies rather than the skin itself. That being said as a project it’s interesting how reactionary it is given it’s essentially silicone and leather shapes, which shouldn’t inherently be. This speaks a lot therefore to the emotional associations attached to the work.”

Barker also notes that children have been especially taken with her work: “Without any of the hang ups we later develop, they are free to truly explore and interact with the work. Work regarding the human body is very personal and we all have a very immediate reaction to it so the reactions have reflected this.”

Barker’s fleshy furniture challenges our perceptions of the bodies of ourselves and others – her interactive sculptures are both discomfiting and comfortably familiar. (via wired and new york magazine)

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“Nature” Violently Overtakes Jess Riva Cooper’s Beautiful Ceramic Busts

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Jess Riva Cooper’s ceramic sculptures are as beautiful as they are disgusting. Her works have the viewer going back and forth between pleasure and revulsion, creating a welcome confusion to be examined. This juxtaposition of attractive and off-putting elements is not a new phenomenon in art – think Jessica Harrison’s ceramic women, and whose work we’ve featured on Beautiful/Decay – and although her artwork is also similarly violent, the aggression is expressed quite differently. Cooper’s busts are overtaken by plants, leaves, and sometimes bugs, which are often gagging or otherwise obstructing the female’s sensory capacities. The plants grow from the women’s heads, the leaves with an almost leech-like gesture extend out with determination.

It’s painful to see the women bound by nature in this way, also because, as a bust, they are without arms or hands to defend themselves. She renders the women with a great deal of skill, their expressions soft and subtle. In her artist statement she speaks about nature reclaiming its place and “a loss of control…as the parasitic entity subsumes the host” as well as her interest in sculpting the figure as a way to illustrate “physical and emotional vulnerability of the individual.” She addresses these themes plainly in her work, which is what makes it so successful and enjoyable.

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Electronic Ballet Shoes That Trace The Beauty And Movement Of Dance

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If kinetic art “is art from any medium that contains movement perceivable by the viewer or depends on motion for its effect,” (Wikipedia) then “Electronic Traces: Memories of Dance” by Lesia Trubat González is the most literal form of kineticism. In “Electronic Traces” González has adapted ballet pointé shoes to create digital pictures, recreating the dancer’s movements.

“We focused on the ballet shoes themselves, which through the contact with the ground, and thanks to Lilypad Arduino technology, record the pressure and movement of the dancer’s feet and send a signal to an electronic device. A special application will then allow us to show this data graphically and even customize it to suit each user, through the different functions of this app. The user can then view all the moves made in video format, extract images and even print them.”

Many people desire to capture the beauty of physical movement in art. Heather Hansen’s “Emptied Gestures”, previously covered on Beautiful/Decay, also seeks to document the movements of the artist’s body as she lies on a huge sheet of paper and holds charcoal in her hands, tracing her choreographed performance. “Electronic Traces,” however, is more than an artist’s tool.

“Dancers can interpret their own movements and correct them or compare them with the movements of other dancers, as graphs created with motion may be the same or different depending on the type of movements executed and the correction of the steps and body position.

This is a project that can be extrapolated to other dance disciplines and the applications are multiple, from self- learning or dance classes to the graphical representation of live performance.”

Particularly evocative is the subtitle, “Memories of Dance.” Video can film a dance as it occurs; photography can elegantly freeze a particular frame. But like a memory, the sketchy lines of E-Traces capture the movement but lose the specificity of the moment. (Via Juxtapoz)

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