Photographer Kacper Kowalski captures life from above in these beautiful images of the Polish woodlands. The bird’s eye view features incredible, vibrant shots that are simultaneously recognizable and abstract. Brilliant greens, blues, pinks, and purples dot the landscape and play with our sense of scale. Trees look minuscule in many of the compositions, like they’re pipe cleaners or tiny army.
There’s a divide in many of Kowalski’s photos whether it by a river, a road, or line of trees. This separated area creates a pause or compositional breath. We’re often overwhelmed by texture or patterns. The photographer’s decision to include these areas allows time for reflection and comparison. How are the two spaces different? How are they same? What does it mean for them to coexist? (via a_a)
Stumble onto Matija Erceg’s Instagram account — inconspicuously named @seriousdesign — and find yourself immersed in a gallery of delight and disgust. Erceg, a Vancouver-based web and graphic designer, combines images of food — usually raw meat — with everyday objects. Among his hilariously gross “inventions” are shrimp earbuds, pizza irons, ground pork trolls, and sausage vibrators (the latter design taking the “food porn” trend to an entirely new level). The idea emerged when Erceg came across a photoshopped image of sandals with cooked beef as soles; while contemplating the absurd experience of putting them on, Erceg decided he wanted to try and evoke similar reactions among people, discovering as he went that food “lends itself nicely to being a part of an inanimate object” — hence how easily a chicken breast can be made to look like an oven mitt.
In addition to making people laugh and cringe, Erceg’s designs are experiments in context. If food is presented neatly — and properly cooked — on a plate, it is seen as acceptable and appealing; but, as Erceg observes, when the same food makes contact with “your skin (hands, feet, ears, face, etc.), [it] becomes gross or weird” — shrimp, while often considered a delicacy, does not belong inside the ear canal. There are several possible reasons for this discomfort, whether it’s in regards to phobias surrounding the (potential) toxicity of raw meat, or just the idea of dead, cold flesh lying around the house as a useable object. Erceg, however, pushes it further, commenting on how his designs confront us with the unglamorous realities of modern food production: “We admire food, but typically only when we don’t need to get too close to it — [the] raw texture, pre-cooked form, farming, and slaughtering.” His designs remind us of how alienated we are from the foods we eat; food — like sunglasses, housewares, and sex toys — has become grossly commodified.
When I asked Erceg where he aims to take his project next, he said he would like to collaborate with a fake food artist and create real-life versions of his designs. Follow Erceg on Instagram and see what edible objects he dreams up next. But be warned — you may not look at packaged chicken breasts or slabs of beef the same way again.
Beautiful/Decay has teamed up with By Osmosis TV once again to mix words with one of our favorite artists Aaron Noble. Aaron is a long time collaborator with Beautiful/Decay Magazine and Beautiful/Decay Apparel, and is featured in Beautiful/Decay’s AtoZ gallery show at the Kopeikin Gallery.
Casey Grossblatt is now officially part of the elite Beautiful/Decay intern Alumni. Casey goes off into the dark unknown to discover forbidden planets full of groundbreaking art and design. During the Cult initiation process Casey posted many a blog post, drew eons of illustrations, and helped us ship out billions of orders to the mighty cult of decay all over the world. But before going off into the abyss Casey leaves us her fantastic design portfolio full of typographic goodness and hand drawn illustrations. Thanks for the hard work Casey and enjoy the AMAZING adventures that awaits.
eL Seed is a Tunisian artist who writes graff in arabic. His work is often socially aware- he recently completed a large piece in his home country that translates to “Oh humankind, we have created you from a male and a female and made people and tribes so you may know each other.” The phrase, a verse from the Quran, was used to “convey a message of mutual respect, tolerance, and dialogue in a country brimming with countless possibilities.” And last November, he did a wall that read “this is just a phrase in Arabic” as part of a commentary on Western prejudice and misunderstanding of Middle Eastern culture. Pretty solid skills to top it all off as well.
With the innocent and untainted imagination of a child, Japanese artist Misaki Kawai thrills us with her collection of blockheaded animals and misshapen figures. Her own unique point of view is currently at critical mass and Kawai has turned into a kind of poster child for slacker art. Kawai first got her start selling zines, drawings and paintings on the streets of New York City and in true Basquiat fashion eventually caught the attention of a few local galleries. After exhibiting her colorful and engaging pictures she quickly gained mainstream recognition and began showing on the international art world circuit.
Kawai’s lastest project consists of a blow up doll pool toy made in collaboration with The Grey Area. The piece debuted at Art Basel Miami Beach this past winter where she also created a teepee installation at the Mondrian Hotel. Her oeuvre encompasses all media and as her celebrity grows we see her floating down a rockstar path which also includes diy merchandise. Some of the products for sale in Kawai’s tent include a series of pink fluffy art dogs in three sizes, pin and keychain. This is a faithful replicate of the arty doll she has exhibited on a massive scale all over the world at such diverse locations as the Life is Beautiful Festival in Las Vegas , Museum of Contemporary Art Japan, Watermill Center in upstate NY, Malmo Konsthalle in Sweden, and many more.
Kaitlyn Jeffers is an independent graphic designer based in NYC. She is a recent graduate of Fashion Institute of Technology with a BFA in Graphic Design and English Literature minor. I thoroughly enjoy the experimental nature in her portfolio and her humor that she exhibits. She has already dabbled in editorial illustration, book design, and has freelanced at Sesame Street Workshop! Here is a portion of what Kaitlyn wrote to me about herself and her work that I particularly enjoyed:
“My ethnic makeup is 1/2 Irish-American 1/2 American Indian, which I incorporate into my work a lot. Sometimes my work, specifically the collage pieces, functions as a vehicle for resolving some internal conflicts. Sometimes I create things just to work out ideas. Sometimes the sketches and rough process material is more visually engaging than the end result.”
Daniel Zeller’s practice involves meticulous and obsessive pattern making creating forms that resemble maps, isolated body parts, and blood streamed arteries. I’m drawn by the labor intensive repetition, its lingering between sci-fi staging and topographical landscape, and the undulating and vibrating ebb and flow of each compacted form. Step close to the surface and be astounded by the articulate and precise thin lines, step back and let your eyes adjust to the accumulated network of organisms pulsing throughout the picture plane.