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Ali Bailey

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Chicago youngster Ali Bailey comes correct  (again) with his second major Midwest exhibition, It’s The Real Thing @ Andrew Rafacz Gallery.  Live the American dream after the jump!

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Mao NAKADA

Beautiful fairytale-like  woodblock prints by Japanese artist Mao Nakada.

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Nikki Rosato

Pittsburgh artist Nikki Rosato creates delicate sculptures from carefully dissected street maps, the roads and waterways creating a paper mesh resembling veins and arteries. See more of this sculpture and some of her 2D work after the jump.

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Stina Persson

Stina Persson

 

Stina Persson is an incredibly talented illustrator hailing from Stockholm, Sweden. I’m a huge fan of her rich, full color palette paired with seductive, free-flowing lines. Even the way she handles cut paper is so sophisticated! 

 

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Goodbye Miss Busenbark!

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Chillin' B/D Steez at the Office

Elyse Busenbark, it is with a heavy heart embossed upon antique letterpress stationary set that I bid ye farewell. Where to begin waxing philosophic of your many talents? Your enthusiasm, hard work, tolerance of Ziggy’s tummy-shames and epic masterminding of our new and improved intern binder have all brightened everybody’s days here at the office! Not only have I grown so fond of you that I call you by your spirit name (as opposed to the serial number we assign to all B/D interns), I will actually miss you! All jokes aside, we here at B/D wish to issue you a resounding thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all of your help during your time here! And…Elyse is a great graphic designer. (That’s why we hired her, duh.) Check out some of her work after the jump…and leave a comment wishing her well! Better yet email her and give her freelance work!

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Last Day To Save 50% On The Beautiful/Decay Shop!

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You only have one more day to add creativity and inspiration to your home while you save your hard earned cash.  Now you can get 50% off all books, magazines, and artist shirts and get inspired by the thousands of artists and designers that we feature in our pages. Just use discount code “happyholidays50” during checkout and save big! Sale ends January 10th at midnight PST!

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Joseph Parra’s Manipulated Photographs Are Braided, Folded, Cut, And Scratched To Reveal The Unseen

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Joseph Parra is an artist working with the human portrait and figure. While he obviously draws and paints very well, Parra is not necessarily concerned with perfectly replicating what someone looks like. He finds this notion limiting to an artist; after all, a photo or realistic painting can only go so far. You’ve made someone look like their outward appearance, but now what?

Parra strives to delve deeper into the figure or portrait and reveal what is unseen. His work questions what it means to be human using a couple of different methods. One way is through layers. Aside from a portrait, he adds of media that distorts the face or the body. Parra scrapes, pricks, and sands his subjects. In his words, this is “acting as reminders that we are merely a union of ideas.” Additionally, he will cut, braid, or fold paper as a way to express the complex nature of humanity. Oneself (directly below) is the same portrait but manipulated in three different ways. It references the fractured, multiple, and twisted ways we often view ourselves. Some days we think we’re great, while others we are loathsome.

Much of Parra’s work is screen prints and digital prints, which I think enhance his ideas and again parallels the human experience. We see these images mutilated and/or distorted, and they look very textural. Yet up close, they are mostly reproduced images and have a smooth sheen – the rawness is kept contained. I compare it to having a friend who appears very put together on the surface, but beneath you know they are a mess.

Parra was featured last year on Beautiful/Decay, not long after graduating college. Since then, he’s created more work that focuses on the braiding or manipulating of paper, which are some of my favorite pieces. I’m looking forward to seeing where Parra goes from here.

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Christopher Rimmer’s Haunting Photographs Of Towns Consumed By Sand

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Christopher Rimmer’s haunting photography series Sign of Life chronicles two towns that are slowly being buried by sand. The desolate and surreal works were shot in the diamond mining towns of Elizabeth Bay and Kolmanskop in South Western Namibia. Here, we see the hospital, ballroom, power station, theater, casino, and more slowly filling up of sand. The amount of it makes these places indistinguishable from one another as well as uninhabitable as the spaces are totally devoured.

The juxtaposition of the once-ornate interiors and the giant drifts of sand is fascinating. We see how the material, which is the same thing that’s used to build children’s sandcastles, is really destructive,  as it takes doors off its hinges and works of filing rooms to the brim.

With Sign of Life, Rimmer explores the ultimate futility of human endeavor. The now ghost towns depicted in the work were extremely wealthy due to diamond mining and were once a symbol of growth and prosperity. After the diamonds ran out, the last resident moved away in 1951 and left the town to the elements. Now, they are no match for nature as it destroys the structures residents worked so hard to build. (Via Yellowtrace)

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